Monday 8 September 2014

Langeais: 16th century fashionistas

Recently we went and visited the chateau of Langeais. We'd never been and the poster below piqued our interest- we particularly liked the 'Lou Reed' style shades. They have extended the exhibition until the end of September.

Langeais as we see it today was built in 1465 by Louis XI as royal residence and was never intended to be a defensive, fortified castle despite the appearance of its town-side facade. The facade facing the park is much more Renaissance in style with large windows and no crenellations. There had been a donjon [keep] on the site from the turn of the 11th century, the ruins of which still stand in the park. The original donjon had been built by Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou as part of his defensive line during his interminable disputes with Eudes 1er, Count of Blois.
remains of the donjon

1465 "new build"
In the attics we finally found the costume exhibition. Though not extensive, it was interesting as it portrayed the progression of clothes and changes of style in the 16th century.

Two points to the person** who correctly guesses which costume is the earliest and an additional 2 bonus points for correctly identifying the 'odd one out'. :-)

**Susan -- give the others a chance ;-)

Just to give you some clues here are two photos of the waxwork of the marriage of Anne of Brittany to Charles VIII, which took place in 1491.

As always you can click on the photos to enlarge them.


ladybird said...

I have haven't a clue - Sorry! But I do like the exhibition. Langeais is very good at organizing such events. In 2010 they had a great exhibition about medieval food and foodies. It was fascinating ...

Aussie in France said...

I really like Langeais. We were lucky enough to be there during a mock wedding which we really enjoyed. Did you try the hot chocolate in the place just opposite the entrance?
Great costumes.

Pollygarter said...

He wasn't exactly an oil painting, was he? The tights don't do him any favours. Those waxworks are excellent.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Ladybird - I'd have loved to have seen the food exhibition.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Aussie in France - We do too :-)

We did stop there but, it was way too warm for a hot chocolate, so we had a cold drink.

The costumes were great; it was just a pity there weren't more of them.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Pauline - Lord no, he was pug ugly with a huge beaky nose.

Poor Anne; she wasn't more than 14 when they married her to him and all of 22 when she later married his cousin Louis XII in 1499.

Susan said...

Where did the costumes come from? Loches has film and telly costumes this year so it is curious that Langeais went with a similar exhibition. Are they from a reenaction group?

For what it's worth, I'm struggling with the 'oldest' although I could guess. I could tell you why just about every one of them is the odd one out for one reason or another stylistically, but I suspect you are aiming for one in the middle photo.

Poor young Charles -- he didn't exactly have a great gene pool when it came to looks. But his purple hose are presumably telling you that he is very rich.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Susan - not sure, from what we could find out. Langeais is owned by the Institut de France, the info gives the impression the exhibition was 'created' not collated as in the film costumes at Loches.
They do tell you that they have mixed styles with representations from Germany, Italy etc. There were displays of underclothes and accessories as well.

You're right -- right hand costume in the middle photo. :-)

Susan said...

OK, odd one out as I thought. Is the oldest in the first photo?

Perpetua said...

I'm no costume historian, but the one you mention stood out to me too, though I haven't a clue about the oldest. I love exhibitions like this, which always make me grateful I live now and don't have to wear all that fabric. :)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - yep :-) So you get all 4 points.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Perpetua - the weight of the clothes is substantial!!
Once had to wear accurately researched late 16th clothes for a film [was an extra] and the number of underclothes and layers of petticoats was impressive! When finally kitted out I was boiling!!