Once upon a time far far away, in Tuscany lived an excentric lady who trended a red riding hood cape.
She opted for the colour red as it is the festive season to be jolly. It is also the year to be powerful by wearing a cape.
She decided to walk the estate to show off her not so little red hooded cape.
But no matter how hard she tried. This ready to made wear cape sewn by Angela Facchini
For movement, we redesigned the cape after me wearing it for three weeks. It was too restrictive for my lifestyle.
Cape redesigned it is much bigger.
Had mystique powers. It guided her on a leafy path.
Along the leafy path, she was so excited to show off her not so little red hooded woollen cape.
Fattoria Mansi Bernardini gardens are so stunning so red riding hood got distracted along the way.
As she peered at Villa Bernardini which has a history of nobility. She decided to enter.
Knock knock she screamed aloud. She was so excited to show her newfound friends of not so nobility. To show off her bespoke made to measure cape.
It was a cold, rainy and stormy evening. It was clear that none of these non-nobility friends was home.
Her red hooded cape will empower her to do so.
Cape And Cloak History
As far as history goes the cape was founded in 1066. An illustration of a soldier or shepherd that had a cape draped across his shoulder. Biblically Joseph and Jesus’ capes were spoken about. They owned very expensive capes.
Biblically it was explained, that Jesus’s cape was made out of the most expensive fabrics of its time.
It was the Victorian era that capes cemented their place in fashion history. At the time worn by more women than men.
Me below in Tuscany in a former Villa dating back 600 years ago.
Capes were created for outdoor wear, to be both functional and fashionable. Those days horse riding was an essential way of transport and capes worked well for this lifestyle. The fabric draped over your clothes so that dirt and mud that the horse would kick up would end on the cape.
This wool cape is very robust due to the nature of the fabric.
Ancestors Of Our Cape
The ancestors of our cloak were the Greek himation and the Roman toga. Huge rectangular ankle-length tarps of soft expensive fabrics were used so it looked magical and perfectly wrapped around the body.
Based on the quality of the fabric, the color, the length and drapery technique, it highlighted how rich you were and who was wearing it. Astoctric backgrounds were all about capes and cloak status.
The Greek clamide design was a much smaller cloak. The Etruscan trabea created wearability was mainly worn by soldiers and travellers during their trips.
It was all about staying warm.
The Romans created a luxury model of imperial clamide. This was the most powerful leaders of all time. The cape and cloak message was about its preciousness and royalty, was worn only by triumphal war generals or future emperors and empresses.
The purple silk, the colour was about royalty gold weaved at ankle-length.
These cloaks symbolized the absolute power and the physical reincarnation of God.
The Medieval Age was the birrus, also known as lacerna, piviale or cape. Made of rough and heavy fabrics, it was created for protecting from bad weather and hiding the person who wore it because of its wide hood. One combat tactic for intimidation of its enemy. Royalty, the middle-classes and merchant style and fabrics used became precious and more luxurious. The choice of finest fabrics teamed with fantasy and colorful details adorned the typical houppelandes. The wider volumes and longer trains were a fashion and combat statement in itself.
The Italian Renaissance is known as the Golden Age of long cloaks. The cloaks were made of gorgeous brocades and floral weaves. Among these there were: the giornea, opened on the side and closed by a belt; the guarnacca, fur or zendado lined with wide and decorated sleeves. The lucco, made of a long dark or purple fabric was only worn by nobility.
During the XV century, the favorite item of warrior princes and Cavaliers was the cape. An overcoat sleeves-free, similar to the Peruvian poncho, became, at the end of the Medieval Age, the “noble” evolution of a working piece of clothing, called capperrone bassomedievale.
The textiles used were silk fabrics, cut in a circle, mid-length and always black, the cape could be elegantly pinned on the shoulder and passed under the other armor bound under the neck with a fur collar. Very stylish and powerful message.
XVI and XVII Centuries
The Venetian tabarro era was about the cape and a cloak. This trended during the XVI and XVII centuries. It was ever so popular as it was worn both by women and men of all social classes. The cape was used for many different kinds of occasions worn with theatrical masks. The cape designs consisted of half-cut in a circle, long or short, in cloth or velvet fabric, purple for the Patricians. For the rest of the public, dark for citizen and merchants and, finally, white with golden and silver embroideries for women.
Towards the end of XVIII century, the Venetian tabarro was replaced with the paltò, it was created for the style of that period.
During the XVII century was the French cloak. An overcoat worn over crinoline clothes and suitable for walks and trips in the carriage. Capes were deemed for women an item, that was designed in a few variations such as the mitiga, the mantellina and the pellegrina.
Not too far from the original characteristics in terms of volume, length, bright colors, swollen sleeves, hood, gatherings and ribbon ties.
Traditional models of capes and cloaks were reinterpreted, from the 900s, The new lifestyle and the new forms of entertainment such as ballet, theatre and cabaret had a strong influence on the fashion of the period. The French designer Paul Poiret, created a new dress-cloak playing with soft fabrics and Liberty-style floral motives.
His inspiration was from oriental culture and the Russian ballet. His garments had wide-kimono sleeves, fur borders, colorful feathers, silk sashes and big buttons.
In 1911 Poiret created a dashing velvet model, named Batik and in 1919 he designed his first ethnic tippet, called Tanger.
The competition was on during XIX century, the couturier Mario Fortuny reinvented the cape-coat using a kimono velvet dress, with straight lines and Renaissance decorations. Including Knossos model, a special tippet similar to the traditional sari. The lightness of the fabric was well sort after as it leaned softly on the female body enhancing its shapes. The lifestyle models of elegance were those performing in the theatre as actresses and ballerinas’ loved wearing them.
Jeanne Lanvin dedicated a huge study to the creation of cape-coats and tippets. The Egg-shaped one, realized in 1926, in black velvet fabric with white fur borders and pink and silver pearls embroideries. He recreated the organza fabric one, realized in 1935, with embroidered borders.
Fashion photography was born in the’30s and were fundamental years for the clothing industry.
In 1932, the red short quilted tippet by Elsa Schiaparelli was photographed by Barone de Meyer.
Elsa Schiaparelli obsessive nature created for the most part of her career capes and coats. Elsa Schiaparelli still remains a point of reference in today’s fashion industry.
The famous Glass Cape model, made in 1935, made of synthetic material.
The haute couture world in the mid-’40s Balmain, Balenciaga, Dior and Madame Grès designed new models of cape-coats that matched with elegant suits, balancing the female silhouette in a classy and sophisticated way.
In the ’50 the cloak was trending a more modern item with romantic allure.
I adore the,
Jacques Fath, who created in 1955 a white triple pleated tippet to wear over a party dress.
The ’60s revealed a series of geometric and essential-lines models of cape-coats and tippets. The aesthetic mood of that period thanks to designers such as Paco Rabanne, Cappucci, Marucelli and Sorelle Fontana.
Who all opted for a bell-shaped and a more comfortable knee-length.
In 1965 Emilio Pucci designed a big but light colorful cape-coat with a hood and decorated with print details.
In 1966 The Lord&Taylor chain produced a gold brocade tippet with a hood and, in 1967.
Yves Saint Laurent created a total black velvet model.
In 1969 Emanuel Ungaro designed a Sangallo lace tippet with trimmed ping pong bolls applications to match with similar shorts and a metal bra.
The young soul of the ‘70s and the birth of the ethnical-chic period saw the rise of popular, ethical and folklorist traditional cloaks. The models such as the Peruvian poncho, hand-made wool shawl and tissue-cut tippet filled up the catwalks.
The ’80s, instead, were a very weak period for cape-coats and tippets. Not trending at all due to house music culture.
They mainly became the object of research for Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçon e Rei Kawakubo.
The ’90s AND NOWADAYS
Thanks to the historical European designers the ’90s, cape-coats started to reappear within the collections of designers such as Giorgio Armani, John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Avant-garde reinterpretations that play with tradition, modernity and high-tech materials are included in the creations of nostalgic designers who pay homage to that princely world and fantasy atmosphere.
Letting themselves been driven by all the emotions, imagination and charm that cape-coats still bring to life.
Wonder Woman cape comes to mine.
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