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Dressed To The Sevens, Or Sin In Style: Fashion Statements By The Deadly Vices In Spanish Baroque Autos Sacramentales

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Chapter Summary

The autos had actually begun in the fifteenth century as liturgical dramas performed by priests inside the church. With the annual design of new costumes and the sale of old ones to raise funds for the theater companies (sometimes the costumes were sold second-hand to members of the audience), theatres functioned as engines of fashion." In addition to the Holy Scriptures, playwrights turned to emblem books for inspiration for designing costumes. There is also a sense in the autos sacramentales in which successive layers of clothing are associated with morality or immorality. The theme of immutability is emphasized repeatedly with respect to clothing in the autos sacramentales. Unlike other more amorphous aspects of Spanish Baroque culture, fashion in the autos sacramentales is a readable figurative code, if only critics can become literate in this language.

Keywords: fashion statements; Spanish baroque; theatres



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