What Is a French Hood?

The French hood is one particular of the most distinguished vogue products all through the 1500s, just at the onset of the Renaissance interval. Naturally adequate, the French hood originated in France.

It is a style of bonnet backed by a rigid body. But in contrast to bonnets of the 18th to 19th generations, which resembled a hood uncovered in a horse-drawn carriage, the French hood was worn back again on the head.

The French hood relatively resembles the English hood (also acknowledged as gable hood) other than that the previous has a rounded form as opposed to the angular, gable-like shape of the latter. The English hood is also additional conservative as it handles the entrance portion of the hair. The considerably less conservative French hood, on the other hand, exposes it. Even so, each hoods address the ears.

Anne Boleyn wearing a black dress and French hood
A portrait of Anne Boleyn, putting on the French hood

The French hood is most popularly associated with Anne Boleyn, queen of England and the next spouse of Henry VIII. She is stated to have introduced the French hood into England. During her keep in France, Boleyn adopted the continental design. She experienced continued to have on it upon her return to England.

Detail of Anne of Brittany in prayer
Detail of a painting depicting Anne of Brittany in prayer. She is observed donning the earliest model of the French hood

On the other hand, portraits of the French duchess and queen consort, Anne of Brittany, in the early 1500s display her donning what could be the precursor to the French hood. And we believe she experienced the a lot more suitable credit rating to that.Catherine of Aragon wearing a French hood

The pleated band, usually gold-colored, at the front of the French hood (worn by Catherine of Aragon [above], widow of Arthur, Prince of Wales, and the then very first wife of Arthur’s brother, King Henry VIII) would continue to be an integral element of this headdress for the future pair of decades.

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Other distinctive characteristics of the French hood are the embellishments on the major and bottom edges of the hood. They are named “billiments,” which consist of a neat row of jewels (ordinarily pearls) on the two edges of the hood. Even though they were being not essential functions, these attractive features absolutely additional the fashionable factor to the usually basic French hood. The French hood also features curves on the sides.

As the French hood was gaining recognition, its shape and type progressed. The dimension of the French hood became scaled-down and its aspect curves grew even much more pronounced. It was worn even further more again on the head.A portrait by Hans Holbein of an unknown woman wearing a French hood with a strap underneath

There was also a variation of the French hood, which was even curvier than the earlier iterations. In the higher than portray by Hans Holbein the Youthful, this version of the French hood worn by an mysterious woman (beforehand thought to be Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth spouse) has a curvier form. It characteristics a strap beneath the chin to maintain the hood in area.

Queen Elizabeth I portrait by an unknown artist

Through a lot of the Elizabethan era, the glance of the French hood improved considerably. It shrank even further more into a delicate arrangement of lace and jewels. It was completely referred to as a “billiment” even a lot more than “French hood.”

Queen Mary I with the squared French hood

Queen Mary I, like quite a few other women of all ages at the time, utilised to dress in the normal crescent-formed French hood when she was young. In later on years, while, she chosen putting on the flatter, sq.-condition variety as revealed in the earlier mentioned 1555 portrait.

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Sadly, there are no surviving items of the authentic 16th-century French hoods in existence, so historians cannot figure out how it was just created.

The French hood’s popularity peaked from 1530 to 1580. Even though the shape and the glance advanced as many years passed, the simple design remained the exact.