In Renaissance Florence , Italy, fashion was a tapestry of elegance and refinement. The clothing of this era showcased intricate details and subtle displays of wealth. Women of the time donned silk gowns over their chemises, with the curls of their hair framing their faces in a fashion-forward style. Silk stockings were a prized possession, knitted painstakingly with fine silk yarn. Garters, buckled or tied beneath the knee, allowed for graceful movement. Their footwear was just as unique. Soft white leather shoes, adorned with embroidery or delicate patterns, were the choice for indoor wear. Outdoors, chopines, elevated overshoes, graced the feet and raised the hems slightly off the floor.
The camisia, a linen or silk garment, was worn closest to the skin, with voluminous sleeves extending beyond the wrist. Over this, the Gamurra, with its off-the-shoulder neckline and richly gathered skirt, added a touch of formality. Sleeves were separate, subtly displaying one’s affluence. In formal settings, elaborate overgarments and fine jewelry completed the ensemble. However, an informal over-gown, the guarnello, was chosen for more relaxed occasions, associated with motherhood and children. In 1503, Leonardo da Vinci captured the essence of this era in his painting of Madonna Giocondo, a young married woman, aka the Mona Lisa . Her dress, though opulent, exuded homely elegance, and her smile, subtle and captivating, remains a timeless symbol of Renaissance portraiture.
Top image: A woman in the Renaissance getting dressed. Source: YouTube Screenshot / CrowsEye Productions .