The purpose of this research is to look at the journey of development that theatrical costuming has gone through so that more insight for the present and future efforts and understanding can be obtained.
When we look into the history of medieval theater to understand that what kind of costumes were used that time, we come to know one very obvious piece of information discussed in almost all the documents about costuming history in medieval times. This information is that that time cross-dressing was as common a practice in theatrical performances both in English and French theaters. Cross-dressing means male characters wore costumes of both male and female gender and thus performed both the roles in the theater. Basic reason for this cross-dressing was that female performers were not yet allowed to enter the theatrical world. Furthermore, there are a great many more reasons for this tradition. For example, medieval era was an age in which cultural and ideological thinking was being reshaped for a more refined future culture. That time categories of race and class were less determined. (Clark, & Sponsler, 1995)
The striking accounts given in medieval plays like Robin Hood and Marian is that cross-dressing was used for a number of purposes and that it was a very effective device which served as a progressive milestone in medieval plays. For example, Robin Hood disguises a number of times in different dresses, including yeoman, monk, etc. to achieve his goals. A male character can disguise in a female's dress to delay an incident of shame etc. The emphasis in medieval time (both English and French plays) was that the issue of "transgressiveness" was of high importance. Additionally, famous characters' clothing was very popular among spectators as, for instance, band of Robin Hood was sold outside theaters in which Robin Hood plays were performed. People liked to put a feather in their hats like Robin Hood. However, it is not very clearly given as what made it so easy that disguising worked for the characters in a play. Was it a simple society, a people looking over formal differences opposed to reality, and so on These are the issues that surely need extensive research with relation to costuming history in medieval time so that clear cut opinions can be stated. (Clark, & Sponsler, 1995)
In the time of Italian Renaissance costumes were of the Gothic tradition which had roots in northern Europe until the arrival of the time of mid 15th century. Here costumes became to look more natural. There was robe, with bodice and skirt. Doublets of men became shorter and their hose were attentively donned. By this time women's hair was finely trimmed as they wore thin veils with colorful ribbons and, of course, glittering jewelry. The popular fabric in fashion in Italian Renaissance period was velvet and brocade simply because these fabrics were more colorful and eye-catching. From 1480 to 1510 Italian costuming was dominated chiefly by European fashion. Both the garments of men and skirts of women became shorter. By this time the use of a long grown was abandoned by the people. (Marszalek, & Panagakis, 2004)
However, from the period of 1510 to 1550 Germanic influence (which was almost everywhere in Europe) was felt of Italian Renais