Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Etiquette History of Fashion Accessories

Under Louis the XIV, the custom of the walking stick was introduced to the French court.  It became fashionable for men and women alike to carry the long, slender sticks.  Louis was said to have never been seen publicly without a walking stick. 

Walking Sticks


The walking stick, or cane, has a history that reaches back to biblical times. The Hebrews carried long, crutched sticks like those of the shepherds who attended the flocks. The young Athenian dandies also carried walking sticks while Greece was still an infant civilization. Some were tall like those of the Hebrews; some were short like the modern riding-crop.
  
Some walking sticks were short, like the modern riding-crop
In Europe is the walking stick probably took the place of the sword when it began to disappear after the age of chivalry. Apparently, however, its use did not become general until the time of Queen Elizabeth, when everyone carried a cane or stick to be fashionable. The celebrated portrait of Charles I shows the king with his left arm akimbo, with his right hand resting on a long walking stick.
  
"I walk tall and carry a long stick!" Though also used ecclesiastically, etiquette for the use of walking sticks was actually defined at Versailles. No one was allowed to carry a walking stick or cane in the presence of the King. Louis XIV had restricted the use of a walking stick, or cane, to aristocracy alone, and forbade anyone of lower rank from carrying walking sticks in his presence.  He had one walking stick alone that was ornamented with 24 diamonds.
Under Louis the XIV, the custom of the walking stick was introduced to the French court.  It became fashionable for men and women alike to carry the long, slender sticks. The women's walking sticks were invariably decorated with love knots.
"A collector of walking sticks is termed a 'rabologist?!?' Are you certain about that?"

Gloves


Gloves are very old and were invented for the purposes of protection. We find them particularly prevalent among early peoples in cold regions.
  
During the 13th century women began to wear gloves for the purposes of ornament... and still do in the 21st century.  ~  
Glove Etiquette: 
Don’t eat, drink, or smoke with gloves on.  Don’t play cards with gloves on.  Don’t apply makeup with gloves on.  Don’t wear jewelry over gloves, with the exception of bracelets.  Don’t make a habit of carrying your gloves.  Source~ Maura Graber, The RSVP Institute
The ancient Persians and Romans wore gloves.  And Homer Laërtes  is described as wearing gloves while walking in his garden. Gloves of leather were worn at a very early period in war, and in the chase to protect the hands. In the 8th and 9th centuries the custom of wearing gloves was almost universal in Germany and in Scandinavian countries.
"The universality of human desire for symbolic signs of private emotions is ever standing. The emotion of grief at the loss of relatives and friends by death has found in dress fertile fields for expressing the desire. Black, death's particular emblem, has been used for this purpose certainly since the early part of the 14th century. Chaucer and Shakespeare give occasional allusions to it to use, particularly in the case of the widow. He tells us also of a curious custom of giving away black gloves to be worn "in memoriam. "In 1736 at the funeral of Gov. Belcher of Boston more than 1000 pairs of mouning gloves were distributed. At the funeral of Andrew Faneuil 3000 pairs were given away." From "The Customs of Mankind," Lillian Eichler
From the 10th to the 13th century gloves showed a remarkable development. Gauntlets of leather were worn by men; those in military costume wore gloves the backs of which were covered by overlapping plates. 
Andrew Faneuil... At his funeral, 3000 pairs of "mourning gloves" were given away.

During the 13th century women began to wear gloves for the purposes of ornament, most of them being made of linen and reaching to the elbow. In the 16th-century Queen Elizabeth set the fashion for wearing jeweled and embroidered gloves. In France, under Louis the XIV gloves made of kid made their appearance. The women wore gloves of knitted silk.
In France, the fan reached the height of its development under the reign of Louis the XIV

Fans


Fans have an interesting history.  The first fan was probably a palm leaf or some other natural device appropriated by man to keep away flies and mats, perhaps even to cool the fevered brow in tropical climates. We know that in Egypt, 2000 years ago, fashionable hosts had special servants to stand behind guests and fan them with huge papyrus bands.
Depiction of a Chinese woman holding a fan.

Both men and women carry fans in China.  Many carry with them also a pair of chopsticks talked into the girdle. In Japan the woman does not consider herself well-dressed unless her fan  harmonizes with the rest of her costume.
The Japanese woman does not consider herself well-dressed unless her fan  harmonizes with the rest of her costume.

In France the fan reached the height of its development under Louis the XIV. We read that "fans are invariable accompaniment of feminine costume, and they are of rare beauty, exquisitely painted and mounted on sticks of carved or painted wood, mother-of-pearl, carved ivory, or gold. There were over 500 makers of fans in Paris, and they enjoyed special privileges accorded by the king."



Ostrich fans, to match or harmonize with the costume, are fashionable to-day as they have been for a century.

The fan is still a popular accessory and we find it the "accomplishment of feminine costume" in the ballroom. Ostrich fans, to match or harmonize with the costume, are fashionable to-day as they have been for a century.







Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia