Sunday, 5 April 2015

Ottoman costume complete!

Woohoo! I have finally finished my 15th/16th century Ottoman costume.

Once I had completed the entari, all that was really left was the sash or kusak. Judging from the illustrations I found, this should be wider than a modern belt, but not nearly as wide as a nineteenth century hip sash. It should also be very long. I made mine out of the same material as the tarbus (hat), and 2.4m / 94½" long by 15cm / 6" wide.

The completed kusak

One description I read somewhere (and stupidly I forgot to note the source) stated that the kusak ends were often richly decorated. So, I finished mine off with gold braid, red and gold rocaille beads, and longer blue beads to pick up on the blue flowers just visible in the fabric.

Close-up of the end decoration

This also had the advantage of adding a bit of weight to the sash ends, so that it hangs slightly better.

The veil was simply the dupatta of the shalwar kameez set, with the cheap modern trim removed, and the ends straightened and hemmed. I attached it to the tarbus with medieval brass pins from Quartermasterie. I had expected these to snag the sheer fabric of the veil, but they are so beautifully sharp that they slipped through it perfectly.

The hat and trousers make the costume as a whole impossible to display on Nancy so there was nothing for it but to model it myself.

The completed costume

The complete costume is incredibly comfortable to wear; probably the most comfortable costume I have. The frankly absurd amount of fabric in the shalwar (trousers) makes them very easy to sit down in, and the flared shape of the gomlek (the white blouse) means that it hangs beautifully. Unfortunately it is traditionally made from sheer fabric and mine is made from a very thin muslin, so no pictures of that and the shalwar, however good they look together!

Sitting pretty (and comfortably)

As I explained in an earlier post, the costume that I ended up making is nothing like the costume I originally intended to make, so most of the materials I started off with are still in my stash. I was toying with the idea of making some sort of early twentieth century 'Arabian Nights' fancy dress costume from them, but then I came across this.

Suit, Poiret, 1913 - looks oddly familiar!

But that is another project for another time!

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