Fashion designers create multiple collections per year. Season after season never running out of ideas. Have you ever wondered how we find an inspiration for a new collection?
My one of my source for a new collection is history. I love to remodernize old period costumes. When I was at university, I had to create collection every semester. One of my collection was inspired by Elizabethean era and the other was Ottoman era.
In today’s post, I would like to talk about Byzantine fashion.
The Byzantine Empire is also known as Eastern Roman Empire. It is a continuation of the Roman Empire during Late Aniquity and the Middle Ages.
Byzantine clothes changed over the thousand years of the Empire but clothes were always conservative.
Byzantines were loving pattern and color. They made an exported rich patterned clothes especially Byzantine silk and embroidered for the wealthy ones and printed and resist dyed for the lower class.
In the early years of the Byzantine Empire, the Roman toga was still used as formal dress. In Justinian’s time Roman toga replaced by long chiton or tunica for both sexes.
Upper class was also wearing garments like dalmatic ( a shorter and heavier type of tunica) again for both sexes.
Modesty was very important in Byzantine fashion. Women’s clothes were coming down to the ankles with a high round collar and tight sleeves to the wrist. The cuffs and fringes were decorated. Women were wearing long cloak beneath their stola.
One of the key features Byzantine fashion is color. Its history of trade with the Orient and the Middle East made them adopt exotic patterns and fabrics.Over the time Byzantine clothes became richer in color. They were prefering always bright colors. Wealthy ones prefering colors such as deep reds.
Lower class was wearing simple tunics but still they were prefering bright colors.
Purple was reserved for the royal family. The color of outfit was revealing someone’s class or government rank.
Silk was beloved by wealthy Byzantines. Unlike Rome, where laws determined what people of different social classes could wear, Byzantine clothes were available for people who can pay for it. Of course only wealthy ones could afford silks and jewels. The rest of the population wore simple versions of common garments.