a students' magazine / Art

A History of fashion: Byzantine fashion

Byzantine fashion can be noticed  in a lot of mosaics, in particular in the apse  of the Basilica of St. Vitale in Ravenna.

This fashion appeared  in IVth century b.C., when the emperor Constantine transferred the capital from Rome to Byzantium.

Byzantine fashion was influenced  by oriental elements. There was the introduction of silk and of the colour  purple  (the colouring stuff  derived from a mollusk); these materials were reserved to the court.

The type of clothes was similar to that  of the late Roman style. Men used two tunics and a “clamide”, a short cloak that was fixed on a shoulder with a brooch. This had been copied by the Romans from Greek fashion and was decorated with a rhomboidal accessory, the “tablion”, that was considered a symbol of power and dignity. Men wore the “pallium”, a Greek coat,  on the tunic.

Women fashion was very rich: there were a lot of jewels, like diadems with pearls and gems, or long and precious earrings.

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