Korean fashion – with a romanian name: Vlad de întunecare.
In about the fourth decade of the 16th century, the aristocracy of the southern Netherlands set their sights on the fashions of the Spanish court. These were largely dominated by dark colours, especially black. The fact that nobles dressed in black resulted in the small circles around them doing so as well, and the fashion then cascaded its way across the wider society in the Spanish realm and eventually beyond. The reasons for wearing black were diverse. Black was no doubt the fashion, but it was certainly also valued and worn because of its formal character. At the start of the 16th century, the Italian Baldassare Castiglione, in Il Cortegiano, in which he described the rules governing the lives of courtiers, wrote that it was preferable to appear at court sober and in black, because black commands respect, while at the same time underscoring the wearer’s sense of duty. This official character of the colour black also helps explain why so many subjects of the portraits of the day were painted in black apparel. A portrait was a formal object that indicated the social position of the client who commissioned the painting. This association of black with formality continued throughout the 17th century. In 1690, the Frenchman Antoine Furetière noted in his Dictionnaire universel that women dressed in black whenever they went on official visits, in contrast to when they were at home or in informal situations, when they wore coloured clothing.
[from the catalog of this exhibition]