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Romeo Gigli, Details Magazine, March 1989. Photograph by Paolo Roversi. Image via pinterest

Colour Theory Courtship

| muse

A short lesson on colour theory courtship from the Gothic era.

'Chivalry had its origins in south-western Europe, in Spain and southern France. It was not long before it spread to the whole of Europe. The 12th century undoubtedly saw a refinement of morals, and the raising of woman to a social and cultural level she had never known before. The troubadours were pledged to the "Service of Women" and the knight's code of honour bade him render homage to the female sex.

We are told that, during courtship, a set course of conduct had to be followed. The knight in love proceeds by four steps, each of which characterised by the wearing of a certain colour. The feignaire, the secretly languishing knight, often becomes knight errant in order that his deeds might give him the courage to confess his love. He wears green. On occasions he pays court, like Dante to another lady, so as not to betray himself as a feignaire. The precaire has declared his love; humbly begging her favours, he has approached his lady. His colour is white, the colour of hopeful longing. The entendaire has been given a favourable hearing and his services accepted; as a vassal of love he wears red. There is yet another, a tender, delicate shade, which means that the lady has granted her favours. To what extent concerns no one; perhaps she has only told her knight that his feelings are returned; perhaps she has permitted him to watch her going to bed and to assist her - enough, she has made him happy by allowing him certain advances and by the warmth of her feelings for him. He has become her knight and wears yellow as a symbol of returned affection.'

- Excerpt from The Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Fashion, by Ludmila Kyalová, Olga Herbenová, Milena Lamarová, 1968, chapter Gothic Fashion, page 101.

I hope you found that as interesting & amusing as I have! Perhaps we could all colour code our of feelings of love once again.


Kalaurie Muse

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