Author Topic: Clothing styles of ASLOW. (Warning: Ocean of text.)  (Read 6972 times)

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Clothing styles of ASLOW. (Warning: Ocean of text.)
« on: August 01, 2007, 06:47:11 PM »
   This is a document I'd prepared a while ago, when I'd found someone interested in doing concept art for the mod. I never heard back from him, and foolishly didn't keep in touch, but the conversation inspired me to turn fashion designer; here are the results. Anyone who wants to contribute concept art is thoroughly welcome...
   Note that the ASLOW cultures' styles of weaponry are in a state of flux right now; don't take those descriptions too literally, but feel free to draw them if you're interested...
   (That said, it will probably be necessary to discuss legal terms first; please e-mail or PM me if you're interested in contributing art...)

   As you all might have caught on to, the region of ASLOW is not the homeland of the Honseli nor of any of the other races or cultures mentioned here; the clothing, fighting, etc. styles of the game are descended from the "root styles" of the various cultures. I'll describe these original styles first, and the ASLOW variations later -- there's no need to do concept art for the primordial ones.

      Galines.

   Galine masculine clothing tends to focus on a kaftan, plus an undershirt and close-fitting trousers or leggings. There's a good bit of variety in style of cut -- ranging from very Russian sorts of outfits clear over to kimonos. I'm not sure what to do with Galine feminine clothing yet, but I doubt that it'll be too important -- it certainly isn't for planning Sivas, below.

      Honseli (Peija).

   The Peija, the Honseli proper, were a hill tribe conquored by an early Galine empire, deported, when sufficiently valuable minerals were discovered in their limited remaining territory, to a stretch of islands and coastline so far out of the way that it was four hundred years after that empire's collapse that the word got to them. Their costume was originally "Arcadian," but was influenced first by Galine robes and again by the necessities of adapting to a region with a climate about like Newfoundland. This plus some odd Misli influence (TODO, explain here if not yet elsewhere) has produced the following, which I'll go into great detail with -- it's essential that this be gotten more or less right, and I've deliberately tried to create a style of dress with no particularly good historical antecedent...
   Both kantis (masculine) and kasja (feminine -- note that these are both utterly ungrammatical by my current rules for the Peija language, and need re-coining) contain 'trousers' and a 'tunic' or 'shirt,' but don't think of them too quickly in European terms.
   The kantis contains the following elements:
      Loose but not baggy trousers, reaching just below the knee, able to be tied off like knee breeches, brought up to above the knee, or left open as the occasion demands.
      Heavy stockings reaching the knee or so -- the trousers can be tucked into these; removing the stockings and pulling the trousers up a bit would allow activity in light water without having to worry about (as severely) wet clothing. These stockings were originally worn with sandals or very light shoes; boots are basically unknown. (We see more substantial shoes in ASLOW, typically upturned at the toe in imitation of the Soltallines and especially the Misli; they also use boots, typically worn with less substantial stockings.)
      Light undergarments more or less following the lines of the trousers (though shorter) and the upper garment (see just below), as one might imagine that this sort of clothing was a severe bother to wash.
      A tunic-like main upper garment, fully closed at the neck (sometimes hooded), reaching halfway to the knees, made thick enough to be comfortably warm, and long-sleeved. As with the trousers, there's no attempt at being form-fitting -- the sleeves can be tied at the wrists, the garment's always worn with a belt at the waist (for appearance and air circulation -- support is covered by the trousers' "under-belt"), but the tunic unsecured is very much 'flat'.
      Headgear largely varied depending on which of the Peija tribes one was looking at. Turbans were worn by several of them, tied in the Persian (progressively wrapped, with a 'turban tail') or Muslim (progressively wrapped without a 'tail') fashion more commonly than the Sikh (always wrapped at the same place, producing a 'crest' over the forehead). There were several common types of hats or other headgear also used -- birettas, typically a dark color, often with flaps for the ears; a fez-like hat with a bill, a narrow brim slanting backwards, and a shoulder-length free-hanging fabric covering the ears and everything behind them; and the Iraden cap, named for the largest and what was to become the most influential of the tribes, which needs a little more description. It was/is a single article, generally felt or wool and of a solid color; the crown has a slight rounded peak in the front (running horizontally), but apart from that mostly follows the line of the head. A corded band runs along the base of the crown -- about the line of the eyebrows and the top of the ears. Below this, the cap has two significant sections, a pair of long cheek covers that can be folded forward and tied at the front of the face, leaving only the eyes and the base of the nose uncovered, and a long 'fringe,' equally solid, covering the neck -- there's a slight curve upwards in the profile just behind and below the ears. The front parts, the cheek protection, were worn folded back more often than tied over the face, and when folded back touched comfortably at the back of the head; the extra layer of cloth running back and the knot at the back of the head are basically the cap's definitive visual aspect.
         The kantis proper, the upper garment, would also sometimes have a hood woven into it, which would be worn underneath other headgear for extra insulation for the neck.
      The typical outerwear is a thick chalmys, wool or sometimes fur, or a hooded cape; it's typically to deal with rain and wind rather than cold. One wouldn't think of it, but the Honseli are actually pretty poorly suited to truly cold climates -- and as far as clothing, they'll generally borrow whatever's necessary, as noted below regarding Lun and Sivas.
      (Any other garments?)
   The kasja is mostly similar. However, the trousers are longer -- ankle- rather than knee-length, and worn with shorter stockings and more substantial shoes; the undergarments are longer in the legs, following that; the tunic can be opened at the neck, and has a longer skirt reaching somewhere between halfway to the knees and to the knees themselves; the belt is replaced with a sash, with a ribbon-like texture when possible (tied off in a manner similar to a necktie, though with an extra turn of the sash to hide the knot); headgear is always a cap, and a shorter one, fastened under the chin rather than across it, with a clear band above the ears and leaving the ears and neck uncovered (though scarves are worn in sufficiently chill climates to compensate, and enlarging the upper parts of the securing band into ear-flaps is not unknown). Outerwear is about the same, though.
   Also, both sexes cover their faces relatively often. Honseli women will often wear veils for the sake of modesty, or formality, though it's not strictly a cultural requirement; and Honseli never fight with their faces uncovered when even remotely possible, making covering the face a universally understood way of signalling that fighting's about to begin. Most of their helmets echo the tagelmoust, and originated with an armored version of a cap plus cloth to cover the face.
   (Also note, Honseli men always wear their hair short, in something similar to the modern fashion; long hair is so distinctively feminine that it doesn't even have a cultural meaning when worn by men. Women traditionally held some of their hair up in the cap of a kasja, a probable partial explanation of why it's normally padded; and feminine hairstyles are meaningful in some Honseli cultures, though not in any in this setting. Honseli men seldom have significant facial hair, but those who do will normally grow an 'Islamically scruffy' beard -- though certainly not as a sign of humility.)

      Misli.

   Regarding the Misli, I'll begin by noting that they're a lot more significant outside the game's setting than in it... Within ASLOW, there's an enclave of them in Ayrum, and there's some of their blood in the Aimarines, but that's about it -- they're not going to show up too terribly often...
   The Misli are ultimately descended from proto-Galines, like everyone else in the Honseli cultural sphere, but a cold climate together with a lot of sun forced a certain amount of Inuit-type biological adaptations; they're stocky but fairly tall, with a "Far Eastern" skin tone; they have dark hair, and their eyes are dark with an epicanthalic fold. Culturally, they tend to be 'true techophiles' -- interested in knowledge, in technology especially, for its own sake, and seeing benefits from improved knowledge as a crass consideration, an embarassment rather than an incentive. (Galines interested in technology, by way of contrast, tend to be in it for the profit.)
   Unlike the Galines and Honseli, the Misli not only have pronounced differences in form between male and female clothing, their differences are instantly recognizable to Westerners -- shirts (or rather tunics -- woven in a single piece rather than buttoned down the front), coats and trousers for men, and blouses and skirts for women. Men's tunics are short, worn tucked into the trousers instead of loose over them as is more common in the Honseli cultures; their coats are long-sleeved, high-collared and skirtless, buttoned along the left side, in the Tibetan fashion. Their trousers are the standard "Asiatic herdsman's trousers," heavy, loose-fitting but not baggy; they're fastened to one side instead of in the front.
   Misli women dressed much like early-modern Europeans. Undergarments are primarily a corset with integrated petticoat (though remember that corsets weren't as stiff as we think of them until the 19th century -- it's probable that Renaissance corsets were 'boned' with hemp cording instead of Victorian-style whalebone). Clothing proper above this would follow its lines -- long skirts and low-cut bodices; sleeves closed at the wrist as seperate articles attaching to the bodice; a shift with very long sleeves worn when sleeves are, with the long 'undersleeves' primarily in the main sleeves but visible, sometimes puffed out, at the armpit. Headgear -- typically bonnets or turbans depending on the culture -- would be worn in sufficient cold; coats similar to men's, and similarly almost never skirted. Women's as well as men's clothing would typically button when applicable on the left side.
   Chinese-style boots, broad and with upturned toes, are the normal masculine footwear; women wear shoes recognizably derived from these, fastened across the instep and similarly upturned at the tip.

   In the context of ASLOW, this level of heaviness of clothing -- especially with the multiple layers of undergarments the Misli traditionally wear, which inspired the similar style in Peija clothing -- is completely unnecessary, and it shows. Misli in ASLOW will tend to wear light fabrics and a single layer of undergarments.
   Misli armor follows the lines of the body like their clothing, but is noteworthy for its heavy use of sliding-rivet ("lobster-tail") armor on the limbs, especially over the knees and elbows.

      Soltallines.

   The Soltallines look about as Turkic as pre-Galines could be expected to become, and are famous in Honseli civilization for their physical beauty. Their home region is the southern half of the continent on which the Galines inhabited the north -- primarily open savannah (though with wildlife much more prosaic than Africa's -- the low biodiversity of the Honseli cultural sphere has potential to become a plot point someday), shading into primarily temperate forests towards the eastern ocean. The earliest Soltallines were "western," herders and hunters on the savannah, fighting with bows, spears and bolas, proud of their horses' ability to match pace with most of the game they hunted; the "eastern" or "forest" Soltallines hunted on foot and practiced rudimentary agriculture, but still fought on horseback, and were hardly less fierce for their change in climate, at least prior to contact with the Iradens.
   All Soltalline clothing emphasizes their height, slenderness, and tawny skin. Western Soltalline men wore slack trousers similar to the kasja's, long, long-sleeved tunics with heavily developed collars, broad belts, and capes worn off the shoulder, unexpectedly like the chalmys. They had a taste for elaborate headgear (many of them developed a "Plains Indian" system of feathered headdresses) and ornamental clothing in general; their quivers, worn by their swords on the left hip, always had elaborately decorated shoulder-straps. Their facial hair was Asiatic -- those who could grow long mustaches wore them, but they didn't grow beards easily or substantially at all.
   The forest Soltallines favored closer-fitting trousers, shorter tunics with heavier sleeves and lighter collars, and Circassian coats (http://www.chechnyafree.ru/index.php?lng=eng&section=bookeng&row=14); their headgear was typically similar to the Iraden cap (low-crowned and billed, with substantial ear-flaps and a long back). More decorative/ceremonial headgear tended to be the Plains Indian-type headdress or more-or-less naturalistic heads of animals in the Mexica ("Aztec") fashion.
   Soltalline feminine costume began as essentially the modern-form Vietnamese ao dai, though adapted to much more intense sun -- with more than one layer of the upper 'tunic', a long wrap, a shawl or headscarf instead of the Vietnamese conical hat, and cuffs halfway up the shins to pull the long trousers back up and keep them from dragging on the ground. Colors were always pale, to reflect as much heat as possible, though only unmarried girls wore white.
   In the east, the need for heavier clothing led to looser trousers with multiple layers of undergarments, closer-fitting tunic layers reaching only to about half knee length, a wrap more like a narrow blanket, and a very heavy cloak more like a buffalo robe. (Shaped coats were very much masculine clothing.) With time, Iraden influence (and Iraden sheep, as the Soltallines had previously had access just to flax and leather) led to the replacement of numerous layers of clothing by fewer but warmer ones. The heavy cloak was basically abandoned except as extreme outdoor wear, for conditions too cold and wet for anyone but the Peija; the trousers evolved into a divided skirt, then into a true skirt, in imitation of the look of the ao dai and out of a desire to distinguish masculine and feminine costume; and the wrap became significantly longer if narrower, becoming one of the definitive parts of Soltalline feminine costume.
   Later, and especially in more temperate or warm environments, there was a revival of the ao dai together with several new adaptations of it. In the first, the one for most, for normal, wear, the upper garment developed into a true blouse, with sleeve lengths ranging from 'puffs around the shoulder' to true long sleeves, and the wrap became almost auxiliary -- used to break up the otherwise-monotonous lines of the rest of the outfit. As to the other approach, young women wore ever longer and more extravagant wraps, less interesting and closer-fitting skirts, and shorter, shorter-sleeved 'blouses' with deeper necklines, until (in no more than about twenty-five years) they'd reduced the outfit as far as it could go, ending up with something close to the Indian sari -- complete with cutaway-backed choli and nivi-style draping -- via an unlikely sort of evolution. It became the iconic costume of young Soltalline women inclined to show off -- though it's obviously not something that evolved as a practical garment; and one can definitely tell, comparing a Soltalline 'faux sari' with an Indian sari proper, that the Soltalline garment is not a mainstream garment but more the Honseli version of a halter top.
   Neither of these outfits fully displaced the ao dai, though the transitional Iraden-influenced style basically went extinct.

ASLOW's versions:

   With these, I'll go from the northeast clockwise, saving Ajaria for last...

      Lun.

   Lunnais clothing puts a premium on warmth to an even greater extent than the traditional Honseli style, but it's together with a different aesthetic -- Lunnais are taller, stronger, more active than the Honseli proper, and their clothing reflects and emphasizes this. Soldiers wear a kantis with a short-skirted coat and a more tailored cut, with long trousers with a puttee-like wrap and knee-height boots instead of the 'knee breeches' and long stockings of the classical style. The kantis tunic is cut with a knee-length skirt divided in the front, broad shoulders incorporating shoulderboards, sleeves with a closely-spaced row of buttons from halfway down the forearm to the wrist, and a Mandarin collar; it's worn with a relatively broad belt and a sash for sword and quiver. Headgear emphasizes its wearer's height -- plumed shakos or bearskin grenadier-type caps are common (and it says a lot about how far the Lunnais are from traditional Honseli if they'll wear animal skins...). Civilian men will dispense with the buttons and shoulderboards, and will wear tall caps instead of shakos, but they're clearly in the same "paramilitary" style. (Also worth noting is that the Lunnais can and sometimes do grow beards and/or mustaches.)
   Armor is a cuirass with plate or splinted greaves and gauntlets, and mail or occasionally lamellar sleeves and leggings -- "lobster mail" is prized but rare, an import from Rapla or Ayrum. Lunnais shields are round and relatively small; they fight primarily with the lance, additionally using bows and the Circassian-style shashka and kindjal.
   The Lunnais kasja is tight-fitting and voluptously cut, worn with a Misli-style corset -- a garment less demanding on its wearer than the almost severe classical one, although an Ajarine, let alone a Peija proper, would despise them for trying to cheat this way. The ribbon sash is replaced with a low-riding belt, and the skirts are shorter -- half knee-length, an inversion of the usual relation of masculine and feminine Honseli tunics, cut in such a way as to emphasize the hips. The trousers are closer-fitting than the classical kasja's; footwear is normally boots, buttoned up the outer side (Lunnais value small feet in women together with the other aspects they emphasize, and a Lunnais woman will normally wear footwear a bit too small to be put on, and especially removed, without partially taking it apart). Also, Lunnais women don't wear anything like the kasja cap, but cover their hair with kerchiefs, or shawls if a kerchief would no longer look as graceful on them.

      Karachen.

   Karachine men wear something close to the classical kantis, although both the tunic and trousers are cut more closely to the body rather than falling straight, and the trousers, which are three-quarters length, halfway down the calves, rather than knee-length, can be 'buttoned in' on themselves and can't be tucked into the stockings. Shoes are fairly solid but still shoe-like. For riding, they'll add leather 'chaps' over the trousers, together with half-calf-height boots. Their preferred headgear is a turban tied in the Sikh fashion, ornamented with a central jewel or 'brooch' for an official and this together with a plume for a nobleman. (Note, though, that the Karachines almost never have facial hair, and when they do, generally in old age, it's generally a scanty beard growing straight down like those of the Chinese. And their skin's lighter than Indians', more 'golden' or 'tawny' than 'dark' -- do not think of the Karachines as Indian, turbans or no turbans...) Overwear is generally a Circassian coat -- complete with something like the double-breasted cartridge holder, although in the form of a raised area of vertical ridges, looking almost like rank insignia or something, rather than a means of carrying rifle ammunition.
   Soldiers generally use lamellar armor, preferring it over plate for increased flexibility; preferred weapons are the bow, saber and estoc, with jians or cruciform swords for fighting on foot. They generally have the edge in cavalry, and war's an aristocratic enterprise for them even by the standards of ASLOW -- they seldom bother with spears or pikes. All Karachine soldiers wear eagle feathers in their headgear and elsewhere in their clothing -- a soldier wears one feather per enemy killed or captured, plus any feathers he takes from a dead or captured enemy. (The Aimarines also follow this custom, as do the soldiers of Chelm and Kobulaiet -- and as the Chanurins themselves did prior to their unification of Ajaria, when they gave it up out of embarassment. Note also that the Honseli taboo on eating birds extends to killing them, so they're not hunting eagles for their feathers, they're plucking semi-domesticated ones. Ever try to pluck an eagle?)
   Karachine women wear a sort of re-rationalization of the sari: a long, close-fitting skirt fully covering the legs, with a form-fitting blouse -- the length and coverage of which vary based on the age and the flirtatiousness of the wearer. (Almost no married women however young will wear blouses without a true collar, the ability to be tucked into the skirt, and slits that just help it to be more manageable, but unmarried girls will sometimes favor deep necklines, very short sleeves, and blouses _just_ long enough not to expose the midriff while standing still -- sometimes all at once. They'll sometimes wear midriff-baring blouses, though normally with a sari-like wrap.) Their shawls and the hooded capes they wear in bad weather are clear echoes of the long wrap, the sari proper.

      Aimaren.

   Aimarine men wear solid trousers, long-sleeved tunics (although close-fitting, cut to emphasize the breadth of the shoulders, and with turned-down collars), and knee-length robes crossing below the throat, like a short kimono with close-fitting sleeves. They wear Chinese-style boots, upturned at the toes but without a long peak; the boots' upper parts are loose enough for the trousers to be easily tucked into them, but can be 'folded over' on the side facing inwards (i.e. towards the other leg) and buttoned shut. Headgear is rare -- the occasional Karachine turban, more often rounded hats like those worn by the Ayrunine Misli (see below).
   Aimarine women wear a fairly loose, almost knee-length skirt, trousers sufficiently close-fitting to be better called hose not covering the feet, a blouse a bit looser, 'puffier,' than that worn in Karachen, opening below the throat (and with sleeve length varying based on personal preference, but few young women will wear sleeves longer than halfway down the upper arm), sometimes a sort of vest fastening below the bosom down the waist (normally rigid and tight enough to act somewhat like a corset) with a deep but narrow 'neckline', and occasionally a kerchief over the hair, more often a hairband or other such means of mostly controlling the hair.
   The characteristic non-combat outfit of the Karachine (to-be-renamed) Fish Speakers is a stylization of this style of clothing -- the Fish Speakers were originally recruited in Aimaren, after the Karachine conquest and before they split back off. The Fish Speaker version of this shortens and reduces the skirt dramatically, making it completely flat, very close-fitting, and hardly longer than the hips, worn a little bit higher than the top of the hose, held on the left side by a brooch and covering only halfway across the hose on the left leg. (The hose are now true hose, covering the feet as well as the legs, but have slack at the ankles like Indian churidar.) The blouse is form-fitting (although closed below the neck), and sports slits up the bottom quarter after the manner of the ao dai; the sleeves are elbow-length, and the headdress is simplified to just a headband, always embroidered and sometimes sporting feathers to commemorate battlefield successes.

      Ayrunine Misli.

   The Misli of Ayrum wear a coat with broad, cuffed sleeves and skirts reaching halfway down the calves, buttoned along the left side of the chest but solid below that, with a Mandarin collar; the right side of the coat is cut such that it runs downwards from the collar to the buttons underneath the left arm. (In the interest of symmetry, the coat sometimes bears a similar pattern running to an equivalent position on the right arm.) Trousers under this are loose-fitting and not even remotely tailored, normally padded to a certain amount; shoes are simple but solid, with upturned toes. Hats are round, broad and crownless, similar to the tam-o'-shanter. (The riding version of this splits the coat's skirts from the waist downwards.)
   Ayrunine Misli women dress in a much more understated manner: long-sleeved blouses able to be opened at the neck, dresses with integrated sleeves (low-cut, but always worn over a blouse), short cloaks about half waist-length (with full-length cloaks worn over rather than replacing them in cold weather), and boots buttoned along the outer sides (the Lunnic style clearly originated here). They use corsets, normally significantly tighter than those worn elsewhere in approximate imitation of them. They'll cover their hair with a kerchief or shawl if necessary, but not routinely; young women normally wear their hair in two braids, unlike the free-flowing styles ubiquitous elsewhere in the setting.
   Ayrunine Honseli costume is more or less the same as other Western Ajarine styles; see below for these.

      Sivas. (This country needs a rename in a hurry...)

   The Galine Sivaic masculine style, originating from and focusing on Rapla, shows some Ajarine influence, and probably had some effect on Lunnic clothing. They wear long-sleeved kaftans, buttoned down the front (although normally left unbuttoned below the waist), with broad bands of contrasting cloth (or areas in which the kaftan was turned back) outside the buttoned area, with voluminous shirts with broad, flat collars. Headgear is not universal except when weather requires, and is typically in the form of a hood, Phrygian cap, or a peaked cap of the worn by early Russians or the Norwegian nisse (though this third type tends to have less of a peaked hood and a fairly large area that can be turned up -- sometimes reaching from the ears to nearly the top of the head, looking like a very broad headband). Trousers are close-fitting, worn with puttees and with very high-topped boots, reaching above the kneecap and buttoned facing outwards from halfway up the calves to the top.
   All that need be said about Sivaic Galine women is that they dress like Bavarians. Who says that only Soltallines can enjoy flirting with and/or scandalizing Honseli? (Outerwear is normally a coat similar to the Sivaic kaftan, though often cut to still show the bare throat; headwear for sufficient cold will normally be shawls and scarves. Also, they were the ones who transmitted corsets to Lun.)
   Sivaic Honseli show heavy influence from the Galines, and the other direction basically doesn't apply. The typical Sivaic kantis is lightweight, worn with a kaftan-like coat (or sometimes a Circassian coat, showing Lunnic influence), and often with a fez instead of a kantis cap or turban; and Sivas is perhaps the only place in known civilization where one can see that least likely of sights, a kasja with cleavage. (Although most Sivaic Honseli women have some Galine blood, few have the broad shoulders and full bosoms necessary to dress like a Galine woman and not look like they're wearing a pillowcase. Note also that they consistently use corsets, normally less tight-fitting than those used in Lun.)

      The Harsenyi. (Not yet implemented, but they'll be coming presently. Nomadic, Gypsy-type.)

   Harsenyi men wear a doublet of sorts, sleeveless, buttoned down the front, and with knee-length 'skirts' not joined in the front, along with a long-sleeved shirt or tunic (with loose arms even when close-fitting elsewhere), a belt (typically leather with a small metal disc over the buckle, and buckling in front), and the normal Honseli-type trousers; their shoes are always upturned, and they frequently wear Iraden caps but never turbans or other headgear.
   Women wear a similar sleeveless doublet, but opening only halfway down to the waist, with a solid and much heavier, ankle-length skirt; it's pulled on over the head rather than buttoned, and is worn with a much smaller belt. They wear blouses similar to the tunics mentioned above, but looser-fitting, ending at the waist, and often shorter-sleeved; the doublet, and often also the blouse, are often cut with a fairly deep, though seldom very broad, neckline.
   Most Ajarine dancing girls are Harsenyi, but their performing costumes are the traditional Honseli style -- not at all related to Harsenyi clothing. The main garment is a sort of two-piece leotard, the upper part fairly low-cut (especially on the back), the whole of it worn with decorated articles somewhere between arm- and legwarmers and bracers/greaves. The 'bracers' run from just below the elbow to the wrist, with a triangle of material reaching across the back of the hand with a hoop for the two middle fingers; the 'greaves' are more or less just that, following the lines of the calves closely, covering the calves but leaving the feet and ankles bare. The 'greaves' normally have wide fringes sewn onto the outer side, and the 'bracers' are worn with small scarves, normally silk or a similarly light fabric, tucked or sometimes sewn into them facing the lower side of the wrist.
   Of course, this isn't something worn outside the context of performing -- too cold, for one thing. Dancing girls will dress in more normal fashions outside this sort of context; they tend to favor East Ajarine clothing, though often replacing the rather uninteresting trousers of the kasja with churidar.

      Ajaria.

   And lastly, there's Ajaria. Ajarine clothing is primarily split along east-west lines, similarly to the cultural divide -- there's little cultural borrowing from Lun in the east or Aimaren in the west.
   Both eastern and western Honseli men wear the kantis, but with small differences exaggerated in the neighboring cultures. The Eastern Ajarine kantis has a tunic close-fitting around the waist, making the belt more ornamental than practical, and is ordinarily padded in the shoulders; footwear is boots more often than shoes, and sandals are unknown. Western Ajarines wear, over the tunic, coats similar in shape to Circassian or even frock coats, though "under-tailored," loose in the characteristic Peija style; their trousers are closer-fitting, more nearly tailored, than the usual Honseli style, and their undershirts are more shirt-like, often including Mandarin collars (especially in Ayrum). Kepis are occasionally worn, as well as Honseli-style fezzes (mentioned above) and the traditional Iraden cap (more popular in the east) and turban (more often found in the west, and tied Persian-style with a tail reaching the small of the back -- the Karachine use of turbans is probably meant to distinguish them from Chelm).
   Almost all Ajarine Honseli women wear the kasja, but the styles of the east and west are tremendously different, much more than men's clothing. The western kasja is close-fitting to the body; the skirts of the upper garment are close-lying and reach the knee, looking almost like a skirt, and the outfit is worn with a corset, generally just tight enough to have an effect while leaving the observer wondering whether it's really present (as even the western Ajarines share a certain amount of the scorn Honseli women originally had for attempts to cheat in one's appearance); the cap is often omitted or replaced with a kerchief or shawl. The eastern style is much more the 'natural' look of the Isles themselves -- a top untailored but with little slack cloth, tied tightly with a ribbon-textured sash at the waist, slightly 'skirted' to enhance the narrow Peija hips, and sleeves a little too long and partially covering the hands (though this is an affectation only of young women, and not all of them); close-lying but untailored trousers; and the traditional sort of cap, padded and without flaps below the band.


Nasrudin

  • Guest
Re: Clothing styles of ASLOW. (Warning: Ocean of text.)
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2007, 09:22:02 PM »
Could you post some kind of "Guide to <name of the region/continent aSLoW takes place in>"?  This is somewhat helpful to getting to know who's who.  Taking 20 min to draw a really basic map helped me organize the actual in-game factions as well...

Lord Sparrow

  • Guest
Re: Clothing styles of ASLOW. (Warning: Ocean of text.)
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 06:03:26 PM »
   This is a document I'd prepared a while ago, when I'd found someone interested in doing concept art for the mod. I never heard back from him, and foolishly didn't keep in touch, but the conversation inspired me to turn fashion designer; here are the results. Anyone who wants to contribute concept art is thoroughly welcome...
   Note that the ASLOW cultures' styles of weaponry are in a state of flux right now; don't take those descriptions too literally, but feel free to draw them if you're interested...
   (That said, it will probably be necessary to discuss legal terms first; please e-mail or PM me if you're interested in contributing art...)

   As you all might have caught on to, the region of ASLOW is not the homeland of the Honseli nor of any of the other races or cultures mentioned here; the clothing, fighting, etc. styles of the game are descended from the "root styles" of the various cultures. I'll describe these original styles first, and the ASLOW variations later -- there's no need to do concept art for the primordial ones.

      Galines.

   Galine masculine clothing tends to focus on a kaftan, plus an undershirt and close-fitting trousers or leggings. There's a good bit of variety in style of cut -- ranging from very Russian sorts of outfits clear over to kimonos. I'm not sure what to do with Galine feminine clothing yet, but I doubt that it'll be too important -- it certainly isn't for planning Sivas, below.

      Honseli (Peija).

   The Peija, the Honseli proper, were a hill tribe conquored by an early Galine empire, deported, when sufficiently valuable minerals were discovered in their limited remaining territory, to a stretch of islands and coastline so far out of the way that it was four hundred years after that empire's collapse that the word got to them. Their costume was originally "Arcadian," but was influenced first by Galine robes and again by the necessities of adapting to a region with a climate about like Newfoundland. This plus some odd Misli influence (TODO, explain here if not yet elsewhere) has produced the following, which I'll go into great detail with -- it's essential that this be gotten more or less right, and I've deliberately tried to create a style of dress with no particularly good historical antecedent...
   Both kantis (masculine) and kasja (feminine -- note that these are both utterly ungrammatical by my current rules for the Peija language, and need re-coining) contain 'trousers' and a 'tunic' or 'shirt,' but don't think of them too quickly in European terms.
   The kantis contains the following elements:
      Loose but not baggy trousers, reaching just below the knee, able to be tied off like knee breeches, brought up to above the knee, or left open as the occasion demands.
      Heavy stockings reaching the knee or so -- the trousers can be tucked into these; removing the stockings and pulling the trousers up a bit would allow activity in light water without having to worry about (as severely) wet clothing. These stockings were originally worn with sandals or very light shoes; boots are basically unknown. (We see more substantial shoes in ASLOW, typically upturned at the toe in imitation of the Soltallines and especially the Misli; they also use boots, typically worn with less substantial stockings.)
      Light undergarments more or less following the lines of the trousers (though shorter) and the upper garment (see just below), as one might imagine that this sort of clothing was a severe bother to wash.
      A tunic-like main upper garment, fully closed at the neck (sometimes hooded), reaching halfway to the knees, made thick enough to be comfortably warm, and long-sleeved. As with the trousers, there's no attempt at being form-fitting -- the sleeves can be tied at the wrists, the garment's always worn with a belt at the waist (for appearance and air circulation -- support is covered by the trousers' "under-belt"), but the tunic unsecured is very much 'flat'.
      Headgear largely varied depending on which of the Peija tribes one was looking at. Turbans were worn by several of them, tied in the Persian (progressively wrapped, with a 'turban tail') or Muslim (progressively wrapped without a 'tail') fashion more commonly than the Sikh (always wrapped at the same place, producing a 'crest' over the forehead). There were several common types of hats or other headgear also used -- birettas, typically a dark color, often with flaps for the ears; a fez-like hat with a bill, a narrow brim slanting backwards, and a shoulder-length free-hanging fabric covering the ears and everything behind them; and the Iraden cap, named for the largest and what was to become the most influential of the tribes, which needs a little more description. It was/is a single article, generally felt or wool and of a solid color; the crown has a slight rounded peak in the front (running horizontally), but apart from that mostly follows the line of the head. A corded band runs along the base of the crown -- about the line of the eyebrows and the top of the ears. Below this, the cap has two significant sections, a pair of long cheek covers that can be folded forward and tied at the front of the face, leaving only the eyes and the base of the nose uncovered, and a long 'fringe,' equally solid, covering the neck -- there's a slight curve upwards in the profile just behind and below the ears. The front parts, the cheek protection, were worn folded back more often than tied over the face, and when folded back touched comfortably at the back of the head; the extra layer of cloth running back and the knot at the back of the head are basically the cap's definitive visual aspect.
         The kantis proper, the upper garment, would also sometimes have a hood woven into it, which would be worn underneath other headgear for extra insulation for the neck.
      The typical outerwear is a thick chalmys, wool or sometimes fur, or a hooded cape; it's typically to deal with rain and wind rather than cold. One wouldn't think of it, but the Honseli are actually pretty poorly suited to truly cold climates -- and as far as clothing, they'll generally borrow whatever's necessary, as noted below regarding Lun and Sivas.
      (Any other garments?)
   The kasja is mostly similar. However, the trousers are longer -- ankle- rather than knee-length, and worn with shorter stockings and more substantial shoes; the undergarments are longer in the legs, following that; the tunic can be opened at the neck, and has a longer skirt reaching somewhere between halfway to the knees and to the knees themselves; the belt is replaced with a sash, with a ribbon-like texture when possible (tied off in a manner similar to a necktie, though with an extra turn of the sash to hide the knot); headgear is always a cap, and a shorter one, fastened under the chin rather than across it, with a clear band above the ears and leaving the ears and neck uncovered (though scarves are worn in sufficiently chill climates to compensate, and enlarging the upper parts of the securing band into ear-flaps is not unknown). Outerwear is about the same, though.
   Also, both sexes cover their faces relatively often. Honseli women will often wear veils for the sake of modesty, or formality, though it's not strictly a cultural requirement; and Honseli never fight with their faces uncovered when even remotely possible, making covering the face a universally understood way of signalling that fighting's about to begin. Most of their helmets echo the tagelmoust, and originated with an armored version of a cap plus cloth to cover the face.
   (Also note, Honseli men always wear their hair short, in something similar to the modern fashion; long hair is so distinctively feminine that it doesn't even have a cultural meaning when worn by men. Women traditionally held some of their hair up in the cap of a kasja, a probable partial explanation of why it's normally padded; and feminine hairstyles are meaningful in some Honseli cultures, though not in any in this setting. Honseli men seldom have significant facial hair, but those who do will normally grow an 'Islamically scruffy' beard -- though certainly not as a sign of humility.)

      Misli.

   Regarding the Misli, I'll begin by noting that they're a lot more significant outside the game's setting than in it... Within ASLOW, there's an enclave of them in Ayrum, and there's some of their blood in the Aimarines, but that's about it -- they're not going to show up too terribly often...
   The Misli are ultimately descended from proto-Galines, like everyone else in the Honseli cultural sphere, but a cold climate together with a lot of sun forced a certain amount of Inuit-type biological adaptations; they're stocky but fairly tall, with a "Far Eastern" skin tone; they have dark hair, and their eyes are dark with an epicanthalic fold. Culturally, they tend to be 'true techophiles' -- interested in knowledge, in technology especially, for its own sake, and seeing benefits from improved knowledge as a crass consideration, an embarassment rather than an incentive. (Galines interested in technology, by way of contrast, tend to be in it for the profit.)
   Unlike the Galines and Honseli, the Misli not only have pronounced differences in form between male and female clothing, their differences are instantly recognizable to Westerners -- shirts (or rather tunics -- woven in a single piece rather than buttoned down the front), coats and trousers for men, and blouses and skirts for women. Men's tunics are short, worn tucked into the trousers instead of loose over them as is more common in the Honseli cultures; their coats are long-sleeved, high-collared and skirtless, buttoned along the left side, in the Tibetan fashion. Their trousers are the standard "Asiatic herdsman's trousers," heavy, loose-fitting but not baggy; they're fastened to one side instead of in the front.
   Misli women dressed much like early-modern Europeans. Undergarments are primarily a corset with integrated petticoat (though remember that corsets weren't as stiff as we think of them until the 19th century -- it's probable that Renaissance corsets were 'boned' with hemp cording instead of Victorian-style whalebone). Clothing proper above this would follow its lines -- long skirts and low-cut bodices; sleeves closed at the wrist as seperate articles attaching to the bodice; a shift with very long sleeves worn when sleeves are, with the long 'undersleeves' primarily in the main sleeves but visible, sometimes puffed out, at the armpit. Headgear -- typically bonnets or turbans depending on the culture -- would be worn in sufficient cold; coats similar to men's, and similarly almost never skirted. Women's as well as men's clothing would typically button when applicable on the left side.
   Chinese-style boots, broad and with upturned toes, are the normal masculine footwear; women wear shoes recognizably derived from these, fastened across the instep and similarly upturned at the tip.

   In the context of ASLOW, this level of heaviness of clothing -- especially with the multiple layers of undergarments the Misli traditionally wear, which inspired the similar style in Peija clothing -- is completely unnecessary, and it shows. Misli in ASLOW will tend to wear light fabrics and a single layer of undergarments.
   Misli armor follows the lines of the body like their clothing, but is noteworthy for its heavy use of sliding-rivet ("lobster-tail") armor on the limbs, especially over the knees and elbows.

      Soltallines.

   The Soltallines look about as Turkic as pre-Galines could be expected to become, and are famous in Honseli civilization for their physical beauty. Their home region is the southern half of the continent on which the Galines inhabited the north -- primarily open savannah (though with wildlife much more prosaic than Africa's -- the low biodiversity of the Honseli cultural sphere has potential to become a plot point someday), shading into primarily temperate forests towards the eastern ocean. The earliest Soltallines were "western," herders and hunters on the savannah, fighting with bows, spears and bolas, proud of their horses' ability to match pace with most of the game they hunted; the "eastern" or "forest" Soltallines hunted on foot and practiced rudimentary agriculture, but still fought on horseback, and were hardly less fierce for their change in climate, at least prior to contact with the Iradens.
   All Soltalline clothing emphasizes their height, slenderness, and tawny skin. Western Soltalline men wore slack trousers similar to the kasja's, long, long-sleeved tunics with heavily developed collars, broad belts, and capes worn off the shoulder, unexpectedly like the chalmys. They had a taste for elaborate headgear (many of them developed a "Plains Indian" system of feathered headdresses) and ornamental clothing in general; their quivers, worn by their swords on the left hip, always had elaborately decorated shoulder-straps. Their facial hair was Asiatic -- those who could grow long mustaches wore them, but they didn't grow beards easily or substantially at all.
   The forest Soltallines favored closer-fitting trousers, shorter tunics with heavier sleeves and lighter collars, and Circassian coats (http://www.chechnyafree.ru/index.php?lng=eng&section=bookeng&row=14); their headgear was typically similar to the Iraden cap (low-crowned and billed, with substantial ear-flaps and a long back). More decorative/ceremonial headgear tended to be the Plains Indian-type headdress or more-or-less naturalistic heads of animals in the Mexica ("Aztec") fashion.
   Soltalline feminine costume began as essentially the modern-form Vietnamese ao dai, though adapted to much more intense sun -- with more than one layer of the upper 'tunic', a long wrap, a shawl or headscarf instead of the Vietnamese conical hat, and cuffs halfway up the shins to pull the long trousers back up and keep them from dragging on the ground. Colors were always pale, to reflect as much heat as possible, though only unmarried girls wore white.
   In the east, the need for heavier clothing led to looser trousers with multiple layers of undergarments, closer-fitting tunic layers reaching only to about half knee length, a wrap more like a narrow blanket, and a very heavy cloak more like a buffalo robe. (Shaped coats were very much masculine clothing.) With time, Iraden influence (and Iraden sheep, as the Soltallines had previously had access just to flax and leather) led to the replacement of numerous layers of clothing by fewer but warmer ones. The heavy cloak was basically abandoned except as extreme outdoor wear, for conditions too cold and wet for anyone but the Peija; the trousers evolved into a divided skirt, then into a true skirt, in imitation of the look of the ao dai and out of a desire to distinguish masculine and feminine costume; and the wrap became significantly longer if narrower, becoming one of the definitive parts of Soltalline feminine costume.
   Later, and especially in more temperate or warm environments, there was a revival of the ao dai together with several new adaptations of it. In the first, the one for most, for normal, wear, the upper garment developed into a true blouse, with sleeve lengths ranging from 'puffs around the shoulder' to true long sleeves, and the wrap became almost auxiliary -- used to break up the otherwise-monotonous lines of the rest of the outfit. As to the other approach, young women wore ever longer and more extravagant wraps, less interesting and closer-fitting skirts, and shorter, shorter-sleeved 'blouses' with deeper necklines, until (in no more than about twenty-five years) they'd reduced the outfit as far as it could go, ending up with something close to the Indian sari -- complete with cutaway-backed choli and nivi-style draping -- via an unlikely sort of evolution. It became the iconic costume of young Soltalline women inclined to show off -- though it's obviously not something that evolved as a practical garment; and one can definitely tell, comparing a Soltalline 'faux sari' with an Indian sari proper, that the Soltalline garment is not a mainstream garment but more the Honseli version of a halter top.
   Neither of these outfits fully displaced the ao dai, though the transitional Iraden-influenced style basically went extinct.

ASLOW's versions:

   With these, I'll go from the northeast clockwise, saving Ajaria for last...

      Lun.

   Lunnais clothing puts a premium on warmth to an even greater extent than the traditional Honseli style, but it's together with a different aesthetic -- Lunnais are taller, stronger, more active than the Honseli proper, and their clothing reflects and emphasizes this. Soldiers wear a kantis with a short-skirted coat and a more tailored cut, with long trousers with a puttee-like wrap and knee-height boots instead of the 'knee breeches' and long stockings of the classical style. The kantis tunic is cut with a knee-length skirt divided in the front, broad shoulders incorporating shoulderboards, sleeves with a closely-spaced row of buttons from halfway down the forearm to the wrist, and a Mandarin collar; it's worn with a relatively broad belt and a sash for sword and quiver. Headgear emphasizes its wearer's height -- plumed shakos or bearskin grenadier-type caps are common (and it says a lot about how far the Lunnais are from traditional Honseli if they'll wear animal skins...). Civilian men will dispense with the buttons and shoulderboards, and will wear tall caps instead of shakos, but they're clearly in the same "paramilitary" style. (Also worth noting is that the Lunnais can and sometimes do grow beards and/or mustaches.)
   Armor is a cuirass with plate or splinted greaves and gauntlets, and mail or occasionally lamellar sleeves and leggings -- "lobster mail" is prized but rare, an import from Rapla or Ayrum. Lunnais shields are round and relatively small; they fight primarily with the lance, additionally using bows and the Circassian-style shashka and kindjal.
   The Lunnais kasja is tight-fitting and voluptously cut, worn with a Misli-style corset -- a garment less demanding on its wearer than the almost severe classical one, although an Ajarine, let alone a Peija proper, would despise them for trying to cheat this way. The ribbon sash is replaced with a low-riding belt, and the skirts are shorter -- half knee-length, an inversion of the usual relation of masculine and feminine Honseli tunics, cut in such a way as to emphasize the hips. The trousers are closer-fitting than the classical kasja's; footwear is normally boots, buttoned up the outer side (Lunnais value small feet in women together with the other aspects they emphasize, and a Lunnais woman will normally wear footwear a bit too small to be put on, and especially removed, without partially taking it apart). Also, Lunnais women don't wear anything like the kasja cap, but cover their hair with kerchiefs, or shawls if a kerchief would no longer look as graceful on them.

      Karachen.

   Karachine men wear something close to the classical kantis, although both the tunic and trousers are cut more closely to the body rather than falling straight, and the trousers, which are three-quarters length, halfway down the calves, rather than knee-length, can be 'buttoned in' on themselves and can't be tucked into the stockings. Shoes are fairly solid but still shoe-like. For riding, they'll add leather 'chaps' over the trousers, together with half-calf-height boots. Their preferred headgear is a turban tied in the Sikh fashion, ornamented with a central jewel or 'brooch' for an official and this together with a plume for a nobleman. (Note, though, that the Karachines almost never have facial hair, and when they do, generally in old age, it's generally a scanty beard growing straight down like those of the Chinese. And their skin's lighter than Indians', more 'golden' or 'tawny' than 'dark' -- do not think of the Karachines as Indian, turbans or no turbans...) Overwear is generally a Circassian coat -- complete with something like the double-breasted cartridge holder, although in the form of a raised area of vertical ridges, looking almost like rank insignia or something, rather than a means of carrying rifle ammunition.
   Soldiers generally use lamellar armor, preferring it over plate for increased flexibility; preferred weapons are the bow, saber and estoc, with jians or cruciform swords for fighting on foot. They generally have the edge in cavalry, and war's an aristocratic enterprise for them even by the standards of ASLOW -- they seldom bother with spears or pikes. All Karachine soldiers wear eagle feathers in their headgear and elsewhere in their clothing -- a soldier wears one feather per enemy killed or captured, plus any feathers he takes from a dead or captured enemy. (The Aimarines also follow this custom, as do the soldiers of Chelm and Kobulaiet -- and as the Chanurins themselves did prior to their unification of Ajaria, when they gave it up out of embarassment. Note also that the Honseli taboo on eating birds extends to killing them, so they're not hunting eagles for their feathers, they're plucking semi-domesticated ones. Ever try to pluck an eagle?)
   Karachine women wear a sort of re-rationalization of the sari: a long, close-fitting skirt fully covering the legs, with a form-fitting blouse -- the length and coverage of which vary based on the age and the flirtatiousness of the wearer. (Almost no married women however young will wear blouses without a true collar, the ability to be tucked into the skirt, and slits that just help it to be more manageable, but unmarried girls will sometimes favor deep necklines, very short sleeves, and blouses _just_ long enough not to expose the midriff while standing still -- sometimes all at once. They'll sometimes wear midriff-baring blouses, though normally with a sari-like wrap.) Their shawls and the hooded capes they wear in bad weather are clear echoes of the long wrap, the sari proper.

      Aimaren.

   Aimarine men wear solid trousers, long-sleeved tunics (although close-fitting, cut to emphasize the breadth of the shoulders, and with turned-down collars), and knee-length robes crossing below the throat, like a short kimono with close-fitting sleeves. They wear Chinese-style boots, upturned at the toes but without a long peak; the boots' upper parts are loose enough for the trousers to be easily tucked into them, but can be 'folded over' on the side facing inwards (i.e. towards the other leg) and buttoned shut. Headgear is rare -- the occasional Karachine turban, more often rounded hats like those worn by the Ayrunine Misli (see below).
   Aimarine women wear a fairly loose, almost knee-length skirt, trousers sufficiently close-fitting to be better called hose not covering the feet, a blouse a bit looser, 'puffier,' than that worn in Karachen, opening below the throat (and with sleeve length varying based on personal preference, but few young women will wear sleeves longer than halfway down the upper arm), sometimes a sort of vest fastening below the bosom down the waist (normally rigid and tight enough to act somewhat like a corset) with a deep but narrow 'neckline', and occasionally a kerchief over the hair, more often a hairband or other such means of mostly controlling the hair.
   The characteristic non-combat outfit of the Karachine (to-be-renamed) Fish Speakers is a stylization of this style of clothing -- the Fish Speakers were originally recruited in Aimaren, after the Karachine conquest and before they split back off. The Fish Speaker version of this shortens and reduces the skirt dramatically, making it completely flat, very close-fitting, and hardly longer than the hips, worn a little bit higher than the top of the hose, held on the left side by a brooch and covering only halfway across the hose on the left leg. (The hose are now true hose, covering the feet as well as the legs, but have slack at the ankles like Indian churidar.) The blouse is form-fitting (although closed below the neck), and sports slits up the bottom quarter after the manner of the ao dai; the sleeves are elbow-length, and the headdress is simplified to just a headband, always embroidered and sometimes sporting feathers to commemorate battlefield successes.

      Ayrunine Misli.

   The Misli of Ayrum wear a coat with broad, cuffed sleeves and skirts reaching halfway down the calves, buttoned along the left side of the chest but solid below that, with a Mandarin collar; the right side of the coat is cut such that it runs downwards from the collar to the buttons underneath the left arm. (In the interest of symmetry, the coat sometimes bears a similar pattern running to an equivalent position on the right arm.) Trousers under this are loose-fitting and not even remotely tailored, normally padded to a certain amount; shoes are simple but solid, with upturned toes. Hats are round, broad and crownless, similar to the tam-o'-shanter. (The riding version of this splits the coat's skirts from the waist downwards.)
   Ayrunine Misli women dress in a much more understated manner: long-sleeved blouses able to be opened at the neck, dresses with integrated sleeves (low-cut, but always worn over a blouse), short cloaks about half waist-length (with full-length cloaks worn over rather than replacing them in cold weather), and boots buttoned along the outer sides (the Lunnic style clearly originated here). They use corsets, normally significantly tighter than those worn elsewhere in approximate imitation of them. They'll cover their hair with a kerchief or shawl if necessary, but not routinely; young women normally wear their hair in two braids, unlike the free-flowing styles ubiquitous elsewhere in the setting.
   Ayrunine Honseli costume is more or less the same as other Western Ajarine styles; see below for these.

      Sivas. (This country needs a rename in a hurry...)

   The Galine Sivaic masculine style, originating from and focusing on Rapla, shows some Ajarine influence, and probably had some effect on Lunnic clothing. They wear long-sleeved kaftans, buttoned down the front (although normally left unbuttoned below the waist), with broad bands of contrasting cloth (or areas in which the kaftan was turned back) outside the buttoned area, with voluminous shirts with broad, flat collars. Headgear is not universal except when weather requires, and is typically in the form of a hood, Phrygian cap, or a peaked cap of the worn by early Russians or the Norwegian nisse (though this third type tends to have less of a peaked hood and a fairly large area that can be turned up -- sometimes reaching from the ears to nearly the top of the head, looking like a very broad headband). Trousers are close-fitting, worn with puttees and with very high-topped boots, reaching above the kneecap and buttoned facing outwards from halfway up the calves to the top.
   All that need be said about Sivaic Galine women is that they dress like Bavarians. Who says that only Soltallines can enjoy flirting with and/or scandalizing Honseli? (Outerwear is normally a coat similar to the Sivaic kaftan, though often cut to still show the bare throat; headwear for sufficient cold will normally be shawls and scarves. Also, they were the ones who transmitted corsets to Lun.)
   Sivaic Honseli show heavy influence from the Galines, and the other direction basically doesn't apply. The typical Sivaic kantis is lightweight, worn with a kaftan-like coat (or sometimes a Circassian coat, showing Lunnic influence), and often with a fez instead of a kantis cap or turban; and Sivas is perhaps the only place in known civilization where one can see that least likely of sights, a kasja with cleavage. (Although most Sivaic Honseli women have some Galine blood, few have the broad shoulders and full bosoms necessary to dress like a Galine woman and not look like they're wearing a pillowcase. Note also that they consistently use corsets, normally less tight-fitting than those used in Lun.)

      The Harsenyi. (Not yet implemented, but they'll be coming presently. Nomadic, Gypsy-type.)

   Harsenyi men wear a doublet of sorts, sleeveless, buttoned down the front, and with knee-length 'skirts' not joined in the front, along with a long-sleeved shirt or tunic (with loose arms even when close-fitting elsewhere), a belt (typically leather with a small metal disc over the buckle, and buckling in front), and the normal Honseli-type trousers; their shoes are always upturned, and they frequently wear Iraden caps but never turbans or other headgear.
   Women wear a similar sleeveless doublet, but opening only halfway down to the waist, with a solid and much heavier, ankle-length skirt; it's pulled on over the head rather than buttoned, and is worn with a much smaller belt. They wear blouses similar to the tunics mentioned above, but looser-fitting, ending at the waist, and often shorter-sleeved; the doublet, and often also the blouse, are often cut with a fairly deep, though seldom very broad, neckline.
   Most Ajarine dancing girls are Harsenyi, but their performing costumes are the traditional Honseli style -- not at all related to Harsenyi clothing. The main garment is a sort of two-piece leotard, the upper part fairly low-cut (especially on the back), the whole of it worn with decorated articles somewhere between arm- and legwarmers and bracers/greaves. The 'bracers' run from just below the elbow to the wrist, with a triangle of material reaching across the back of the hand with a hoop for the two middle fingers; the 'greaves' are more or less just that, following the lines of the calves closely, covering the calves but leaving the feet and ankles bare. The 'greaves' normally have wide fringes sewn onto the outer side, and the 'bracers' are worn with small scarves, normally silk or a similarly light fabric, tucked or sometimes sewn into them facing the lower side of the wrist.
   Of course, this isn't something worn outside the context of performing -- too cold, for one thing. Dancing girls will dress in more normal fashions outside this sort of context; they tend to favor East Ajarine clothing, though often replacing the rather uninteresting trousers of the kasja with churidar.

      Ajaria.

   And lastly, there's Ajaria. Ajarine clothing is primarily split along east-west lines, similarly to the cultural divide -- there's little cultural borrowing from Lun in the east or Aimaren in the west.
   Both eastern and western Honseli men wear the kantis, but with small differences exaggerated in the neighboring cultures. The Eastern Ajarine kantis has a tunic close-fitting around the waist, making the belt more ornamental than practical, and is ordinarily padded in the shoulders; footwear is boots more often than shoes, and sandals are unknown. Western Ajarines wear, over the tunic, coats similar in shape to Circassian or even frock coats, though "under-tailored," loose in the characteristic Peija style; their trousers are closer-fitting, more nearly tailored, than the usual Honseli style, and their undershirts are more shirt-like, often including Mandarin collars (especially in Ayrum). Kepis are occasionally worn, as well as Honseli-style fezzes (mentioned above) and the traditional Iraden cap (more popular in the east) and turban (more often found in the west, and tied Persian-style with a tail reaching the small of the back -- the Karachine use of turbans is probably meant to distinguish them from Chelm).
   Almost all Ajarine Honseli women wear the kasja, but the styles of the east and west are tremendously different, much more than men's clothing. The western kasja is close-fitting to the body; the skirts of the upper garment are close-lying and reach the knee, looking almost like a skirt, and the outfit is worn with a corset, generally just tight enough to have an effect while leaving the observer wondering whether it's really present (as even the western Ajarines share a certain amount of the scorn Honseli women originally had for attempts to cheat in one's appearance); the cap is often omitted or replaced with a kerchief or shawl. The eastern style is much more the 'natural' look of the Isles themselves -- a top untailored but with little slack cloth, tied tightly with a ribbon-textured sash at the waist, slightly 'skirted' to enhance the narrow Peija hips, and sleeves a little too long and partially covering the hands (though this is an affectation only of young women, and not all of them); close-lying but untailored trousers; and the traditional sort of cap, padded and without flaps below the band.



Did you type that out? *eyes hurt from reading*

MasterAssassin3

  • Guest
Re: Clothing styles of ASLOW. (Warning: Ocean of text.)
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 04:22:56 PM »
Wow... that must've taken quite a while to write