Lela Ahmadzai created her project “Burka Meets Haute Couture” for her graduation presentation on September 30th, 2004 at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover. The burka (burqa), chadri, chador, and ruband were featured in her collection. The burka is a full-body veil worn by Muslim women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The burka is the Persian chador and ruband combined. The ruband is a face veil that is now rarely worn today; it is a strip of transparent fabric or mesh material covering the face and may be embroidered. The chadri is a burka worn by Afghan women where the cape is pleated. The chador is a full body veil with a half-moon and armless cape worn by Iranian women.
On June 22nd, 2009 the burka/burqa has caught attention because of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s words: “The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women […].”
Kimono from the Meiji period 1868-1912 gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Naoki Nomura depicts carp, water lilies, and morning glories.
“This kimono was worn by Naoki Nomura's grandmother, one of four generations of female textile artisans in Kyoto, during her thirteenth year, in about 1876. The occasion was her jusan mairi (literally, thirteenth temple visit), her final visit as a child to Arashiyama Horinji, a temple in Saga, Kyoto. The jusan mairi, which involves the blessing of young people as they enter adolescence, is sometimes practiced today, and Horinji, located in the scenic Arashiyama district west of the city of Kyoto, still welcomes more than 20,000 participants every year”
- “Kimono with carp, water lilies, and morning glories [Japan] (2006.73.2)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–2009. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/10/eaj/ho_2006.73.2.htm (February 2008).
Kimono and obi (sash) worn by Geisha in this beautiful Salt Print from the 1890s; I love the photographer’s sense of humor titling this piece “The Macaroni Maidens of Old Japan” or “How Four Geisha Put Away a Ton of Soba Noodles”.
Another beautiful 1890s Salt Print titled “Show Me The Obi” showcase geisha in their Kimono but this time their colorful obi (sash) is the focal point.
Queen Sirikit of Thailand wears an outfit that is a variation of the style of Thai Ruean Ton, one of eight Thai national costume styles. It is a variation because the sleeves of her blouse are above the elbow when typically the sleeves are supposed to be about 3 inches below the elbow. The photograph is dated to April 1960; she is shown with her daughters and husband in the background, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (a.k.a. Phumiphon Aduldet).
After thorough online research, I could only find two sources (they are more of personal websites by webmaster Suchat Tongdee and another anonymous blogger) listing the eight Thai national costume styles. The spellings of the styles vary on each website since it is an attempt to translate to English.
Some Thai history from Suchat’s website:
The King and Queen Sirikit were preparing for a six-month long visit to 14 countries in America and Europe in 1960. Thailand had traditional clothing but it was not official or clearly defined. To define formal attire, Queen Sirikit rounded up a team of historians, scholars, designers along with her relative and aide Thanpuying Maneerat Bunnag. A fixed series of eight Thai national costume styles made from Thai silk were established by the team and from the Queen’s inspiration.
The most casual of these, the Thai Reun Ton (Thai Ruean Ton) or the Royal Thai House style, has a plain or horizontally/vertically striped silk ankle-length skirt (pa sin or pha sin) which is folded to one side. The collarless blouse covers the upper hips. The sleeves end at just about three inches beneath the elbow. The blouse has five round buttons on the front.
Please feel free to read about the other seven Thai national costume styles on Suchat’s website or on the blogger’s website.
Style 2 – Thai Chitralada (Thai Chitlada)
Style 3 – The Thai Amarin (Thai Amarin)
Style 4 – Thai Borom Bimarn (Thai Boromphiman)
Style 5 – Thai Chakri (Thai Chakkri)
Style 6 – Thai Dusit (Thai Dusit)
Style 7 – Thai Chakraphat (Thai Chakkraphat)
Style 8 – Thai Sivalai (Thai Siwalai)
Another example of draped Thai garments would be the traditional clothing of Muay Thai fighters (Thai Kickboxing). Miss Thailand 2008 Gavintra Photijak competed in Miss Universe with an outfit inspired by Muay Thai and won best national costume. The garment was titled "Spirit of Fighting" and created by Thai student Sathapat Moonma, a senior-year architecture student from Khon Kaen Univerisity.
Trousers worn by peasant farmers in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s oil on wood Netherlandish painting titled The Harvesters dated to 1565.
Trousers worn by Gustave Manet (artist’s younger brother) in Édouard Manet’s oil on canvas French painting titled Young Man in the Costume of a Majo dating back to 1863.
“Manet purportedly painted many Spanish subjects because he owned a trunkful of Andalusian costumes that had enormous visual appeal for him. For this depiction of one of the dashing young Spaniards known as majos […]”
- "Édouard Manet: Young Man in the Costume of a Majo (29.100.54)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–2009. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mane/ho_29.100.54.htm (December 2008).
Coat Armor (jupon) of Charles VI of France, late 14th century.
“In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, […] in addition to mail and plate armor, […] knights and men-at-arms wore armor made of fabric, many-layered and heavily quilted body armor known as a gambeson (worn under mail and early plate armor), or a jupon (worn alone or over a mail shirt).”
- Breiding, Dirk H. "The Function of Armor in Medieval and Renaissance Europe". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–2009. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ufarm/hd_ufarm.htm (October 2002)
A 1960s wool suit created by American designer Bill Blass.