elizabeth I


Elizabeth, reigned on Britain and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death(1603). She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was called the Virgin Queen because she never married: any other European Prince or King was not Anglican and she did not want to come under the Roman Catholic control again. In government, Elizabeth was moderate and in religion she was relatively tolerant, avoiding systematic persecution. In the mid 1580s Queen Elizabeth could no longer avoid the war against Spain, and when Spain finally decided to invade and conquer England in 1588, the defeat of the Spanish Armada associated her with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history.
Elizabethan Clothing was a part of the social order; the clothes provided information about the status of the person and his social reputation. The Elizabethan era was a society divided into class. The divisions were manifested in the clothes that people wore which were decreed by the Law. The type of clothing used by Upper Class Fashion were rich and elegant, the materials were sumptuous and elegant styles. Elizabethan Nobles and Upper classes wore a variety of expensive clothing made of velvets, satin, furs, silks, lace, cottons and taffeta. Many of these sumptuous materials were imported from the continent. These exotic materials were introduced in earlier centuries by Knights returning from the crusades. Silks and cottons were imported from the Middle East and velvet was imported from Italy.
At the start of her reign fashion for women was modest and the body of a woman was covered from head to foot. Afterwards the Fashion dictated a more feminine and seductive image for women which was achieved by opening the ruffle in front to expose the neck and the top of the bosom. Queen Elisabeth wanted to keep her beautiful image of Virgin Queen. For this reason her clothing were seductive. Elisabeth’s clothes were decorated with heavy embroidery and with jewels, spangles, pearls. Queen Elisabeth had red cheeks and red lips and she achieved this picture of ideal beauty by using white make-up. This explains the odd white face make-up seen in many of her portraits.
The Elizabethan time was an interesting period for cosmetics. Where it was previously considered vulgar to wear makeup, women then started wearing makeup increasingly. Women would paint their faces very white. This makeup was called Venetian ceruse or sometimes just ceruse. It was a lead-based cosmetic item that also contained hydroxide and carbonate. Another common base for makeup at the time was talc, boiled white egg or other white products. Elizabethan women also used red face paint instead of using blush to bring color to their cheeks. It was called focus and was mainly used on the face and lips, although for lipstick, the most popular choice was vermilion . Kohl was used to darken the eyelashes.
Elizabethan Hair Styles for the court were led by Queen Elizabeth. The long flowing hair of a young girl was a sign of virginity and the favoured hairstyle for a bride on her wedding day. Long hair was generally dressed in a bun to which the variety of head coverings could be pinned. The hairstyle was usually designed to flatter the style of the hat. An Elizabethan bride would adorn her hair with, fresh flowers, jewels, spangles and pearls. Queen Elizabeth had a natural red color hair. This red hair look was emulated by many of the nobility of the Elizabethan era, as was the fair hair ideal of an ideal woman .

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