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 and one of my collection was inspired by Elizabethean era and the other was Ottoman era.
I especially inspired by Muhteşem Yüzyıl (The Magnificent Century) tv show which is a Turkish historical fiction television series.
The tv show released between 2011 and 2014. I started to study fashion design in 2012 and I was following all the costumes in tv show. I prepared an Ottoman fashion collection in three months and I watched Magnificient Century from the beginning all day long for an inspiration.
In today’s post, ı would like to write about everything about Ottoman fashion.
Everything about Ottoman Fashion
Turkish fashion’s root is based on functionality. During Turks settlement in Antalolia, horseback riding was common transportation. This type of transportation means functional clothes. Most clothes were unisex due to their practicality.
Layering was the key for Ottoman fashion. At the 16th century, it influenced female Western fashion. Ottomans were layering becase of the practical use. Ancestors of Ottoman Empre were horse riders and they needed something practical. Layering of garment was revealing one’s status and wealth while displaying fabric.
When settlement began in Anatolia, the varying climate and new cultures brought changes in clothing.
In the late 16th century, Ottoman Empire entered the Golden Age. Textile reached a peak with the introduction of weaving. Metallic threads were very popular.
Specific fabrics such as brocade, taffeta and velvet were used for the Sultan’s clothing. These materials mostly ordered from West such as Italy.
Sultans were wearing luxurious kaftans (a robe), an inner robe and şalvar (harem pants).
European women loved harem pants because back than European clothing was delineated between male and female dress. Harem pants was a common item for men and women.
Harem pant became a symbol of freedom because British women observed that Ottoman women had more rights than British women.
Harem pants spread into Europe at the end of 19th century. British women such as Lady Ottoline Morell and Lady Archibald Campbell wore it to refuse sexual differences.
Harem pants also spread to America. Amelia Jenks Bloomer inspired buy Turkish pants to create American bloomers.
The kaftan was worn over the inner robes and had a deep U decolletage and short sleeves.
Women in palace were completing their look with çevberi (a belt). They were wearing over the inner robe. These were also referred as hooked belts.
The kaftans made of the fabrics with silver and gold plated threads. For supply, special workshops designed court apparel. Sometimes for placing orders to other workshops in Bursa and in İstanbul in order to meet the high request.
Western influence on Ottoman fashion began in seventeenth century. During the reign of Ahmet III (1703-1730), women started to have a social life at outside. The long sleeves of the innfer kaftan transformed into open from wrist to elbow. They started to use bright colors such as lilac and blue.
During 19th century, social-economic status began to influence to fashion. Lower class was wearing traditional clothes such as hırka,yelek and cübbe ( a specific type of jacket). Wealthy ones were prefering fur lined, embroidered kaftans .
One of the most popular Turkish embroideries is Oya. It has also known as Turkish lace. It is made with a sewing needle. Scarves, headdresses, towels and undergarments are traditionally decorated with oya.