THE MEDIEVAL FASHION: EAST AND WEST!

hqdefault  Recognize this cool guitarist! No way! It’s Kurt Hauenstein from Supermax! He was my music idol in the beginning of 80-s ! He is dressed in armour if the Medieval knight but, but we was a great pascifist, peacelover and was married with black woman! That was the reason why he and his wife were percecuted both in the West and in
Africa!

The Eastern and Western cultures were mutually 1522789606denying and influnce each others! After the crusades the West learned from the east: you wouldn’t believe it: to wash the hands before the eating, to have a bath, the mirrors, perfumes, the wind and water mills! I’m not going to say about the superiority of East: it’s an absurd! It’s a normal course of History! Just look to these pictures.

4493241            french-medieval-costume-002This time if the Middle Ages the Humanists called asthe Dark Period of History! It’s happened not because of superiority of the Eastern culture but because the Arabs translated into the Arabic all the works of Antic Culture which were forbidden by the Christianity.  Chritianity announced these works as a Pagan Culture! All the inventions in science, technology, art. fashion were created in the Muslim Civilization at that time! But the dark part of the middle ages passed away from the West and today the obscurantism is raging today in the East! 151e741bc2a0b7ec7047b67429c28bae THAT’S WHAT RADICALISM MAKING WITH ANY CULTURE!

    Ottoman Influences in Western Dress

Charlotte Jirousek

Fashion is a significant area of cultural borrowing that reflects the broader exchanges of ideas that occurred between the Ottomans and the West. Dress reflected both personal tastes and cultural values in these societies. A great deal has been written about the influence of  Western fashion in Turkey, but less has been said about the contributions of Turkish dress in the West. Although there are some well-known exceptions to this, in general comparative studies have tended to be limited to economic and political history. What has been referred to as Orientalism in the arts generally focuses on literature and painting, but usually drawn from Arab, Indian or Persian sources — this in spite of the obvious presence of Ottoman civilization on the Mediterranean borders of Europe over a period of centuries. Dress, however, is a form of expression in which all people participate.

 

The Fundamental Form of European Dress

In order to be able to make coherent statements about exchanges of dress ideas East and West, it is necessary to first define what was characteristic about the aesthetics of both Turkish and European dress. The essential characteristic of European clothing was that it revealed more of the contours of the body than did dress of the East. In the early Medieval period both men’s and women’s garments were laced to the upper body, and although women’s gowns were modestly skirted to the ankles, men’s were short enough to display a well-turned leg, usually encased in closely fitted or laced hose. Although outer garments such as capes, mantles and hoods were worn for functional or perhaps for ceremonial purposes, prior to the Crusades trousers as worn in the East were unknown, as were sleeved, front opening coats. Nor was the layering of these garments a particularly important aesthetic element in the early middle ages.

Tailoring– the use of curved seams and darts to achieve individual fit– is a distinctly European invention of the fourteenth century that enhanced the display of the body contours. Men displayed their legs in fitted hose that were separate covers for each leg, suspended from the interior of the upper body garment, also closely fitted. Only much later did men encase their legs in a single bifurcated garment, trousers. For women the legs were enveloped in long skirts, with no bifurcated garment of any kind worn until the mid nineteenth century. The gender division of dress was thus much more pronounced than in Near Eastern dress, with garments of entirely different construction– hose (later trousers) and skirts each reserved exclusively for one sex. For women, not only was the  upper body garment closely fitted, the neck, head and face might be exposed.

Yet within these general aesthetic limitations we see changes so dramatic that an observer from the fifteenth century would be hard put to identify the nationality, or even the rank and occupation of Europeans he might encounter in later periods. Costume historians find it far easier to date European garments that have survived, because fashions changed much more rapidly and dramatically in construction, silhouette and embellishment.

The fundamental form of Turkish Dress 

image003The Turks  trace their origin to the steppes of Eastern Central Asia. There they first appear in history as pastoral nomads, horse riders who followed their herds of sheep and goats. From this lifestyle a form of dress evolved that was adapted to life on the move, and the vagaries of climates that could include extremes of heat and cold. The fundamental garments for both men and women were loose trousers, most suitable for riding, with front opening coats and vests or jackets. The coats, jackets, and vests could be layered over a shirt for warmth. They had the advantage over closed tunics in that they could be removed easily a layer at a time as needed, even when on horseback. Sashes are used to close garments and also serve as receptacles for personal items or weapons. Distinctions of gender or status are indicated by differences in other accessories, such as jewelry and above all, headgear. Prominent and often complex headgear was a particular characteristic of Ottoman dress for both men and women. Details of accessories, textile embellishment, textile choice, and the particular combinations and layering sequence of garments worn further distinguished gender, class, and particular clans or communities .

image015The wearing of many layers always had been a characteristic of ceremonial or festive dress, and was a sign of wealth and status. The layering of coats is a particular characteristic of Turkish dress, creating a silhouette that muffled the body form and equated luxurious dress with modesty and bulk. The layers were not merely worn one on top of the other, they were designed and arranged so as to reveal the materials of all the layers, to sumptuous effect. The significance of layering as a broader aesthetic and spiritual concept is deeply embedded in the culture. There is an array of special textiles, often elaborately embellished, used as covers or wrappers for gifts, or storage of especially valued items which may themselves be articles of dress or textiles. Here again formality is associated with layers. In Islamic decorative arts, the layering of intricate patterns one on top of the other is seen as a spiritual metaphor for the nature of the divine order, seemingly incomprehensible, but in fact planned and meaningful.

Once Islam was adopted, Turks also adopted the tradition, based in the teachings of the Prophet, that Muslims must be distinguished by their dress from non-Muslims. Turbans for men, veiling for women and the wearing of certain colors and fabrics became markers of the Muslim. In Ottoman society, which included many ethnic and religious groups, dress became a particular marker of any religious affiliation, established by law.

These forms remained essentially unchanged over centuries, particularly for men, except for dynastic changes in headgear. For women, the essential forms also remained the same although there were some gradual changes in silhouette, materials and accessories. The fact that many items in the royal wardrobes preserved in Topkapı cannot be dated to a specific reign, and perhaps not even to a specific century confirms the stability of Ottoman dress forms, especially in earlier periods. This slow rate of change had begun to accelerate in the eighteenth century, however, as a wider range of consumer goods became available and exposure to new tastes and fashion ideas proliferated. ancient-indian-fashion-69-728

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