Continuing the Fashion in the Flanaess series (previous entries included the Flan and the Suel), this article looks at the Eastern Aerdi of Nyrond and the successor states of the Great Kingdom. Modelled predominantly after the dress of Byzantium, Eastern Aerdi fashion is arguably the most ornate in the Flanaess. Presented are male, female and unisex wardrobes.
Fashion in the Flanaess: The Eastern Aerdi
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
With the able assistance of S. Katherine Dammerung (aka SKDammerung)
Posted with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
The fashion of the Aerdi East is at once very simple and very elaborate. Typical garments tend to follow simple patterns. Decoration, however, is often very intricate and elaborate. Even simple garments can appear rich, even luxurious. Embroidery has nowhere reached a higher level of sophistication. Platinum, gold, silver and copper thread are regularly used in the finest garments and it is not unusual to see actual gems worked into designs. Eastern Aerdi designs have a highly stylized look that is immediately identifiable as "Eastern."
Because the Aerdi influence once covered all of the north-central Flanaess, Eastern Aerdi styles are widespread. While Nyrond and the successor states to the Great Kingdom best preserve Eastern Aerdi styles, these styles can be found being worn as far west as Veluna and Furyondy. In these latter two states, a unique local fashion, the Western Aerdi, has developed but Eastern Aerdi fashions are not uncommon despite this.
What follows is a male and female wardrobe that is common in Nyrond and areas of the former Great Kingdom. Historically, these fashions reflect a mixture of late Greek, Byzantine and early Gothic fashions. The look is, however, predominantly Byzantine.
Braccae: Braccae are simple breeches, often very loose and roughly cut. Braccae are an original item of Oeridian wardrobe that can be traced back to pre-Migration times.
Bliaut: - A tunic that is laced under the arms, the Bliaut is the accompanying garment of the Braccae. A variant, the Bliaut-shirt falls to the knee or calf. Worn together, Bliaut and Braccae are typical peasant garb, with a Chaperon (see below) in cold weather.
Dalmatic: A Dalmatic is a long sleeved, tailored tunic, that typically runs to near ankle length. It is the standard item of male dress in Eastern Aerdi fashion. Better Dalmatics are made of finer materials and may be fringed or striped but are not usually embroidered.
Tablion: - A Tablion is a square shoulder mantle than can hang from the mid-torso to knees, depending on style. While the front is always split, the back is solid. Tablion are always richly embroidered, bejeweled or made of sumptuous brocades, which may also be embroidered and bejeweled. The Tablion is a purely ornamental garment. It is worn over the Dalmatic or Kandys (see below). In a most elaborate presentation, the Tablion may be worn over a Dalmatic and under an open Kandys for a striking layered affect.
Kandys: - A Kandys is a long, full robe with tight fitting sleeves. It may be worn as a principle garment or as an overgarment. As an overgarment, it is typically worn over a Dalmatic and will be of a heavier material. Unlike a Dalmatic, a Kandys is usually decorated with elaborate embroidery.
Pelicon (minor): - A Pelicon is a shoulder mantle that falls to the ankle. It has no sides and may or may not be split in the front. The shoulder area and chest are often made of expensive fur. The same fur will then trim the open sides of the front and back of the Pelicon. While providing warmth, the Pelicon also functions as a purely decorative garment. A Pelicon may be worn properly in combination with any of the above garments.
Chemise: A simple shirt of varying length, often worn as an undergarment, the Chemise tends to be made of finer materials.
Diplax: A double draped, ankle length dress, the Diplax may cover the shoulders or be pinned to expose the shoulder joints and the neck. The Diplax is the typical garment of female attire in East Aerdi fashion and is of ancient origin. Among the noble classes, the Diplax may be variously fringed. It is not embroidered.
Palla: A Palla is a variant form of Diplax. It is always fringed. The double drapery of the Diplax is more subtle in the Palla as the drapes tend to run more vertically than the Diplax’ more horizontal drapes. Palla are, however, considered somewhat "matronly."
Cote: The Cote is a newer fashion being a proto-gown with the body and skirt cut as a single unit. There is, however, no train. Cotes can be form fitting or more loose. The Cote is generally made of a middle weight material.
Chainse: The Chainse is a variant Cote made of light weight material. It is for summer and indoor wear at home.
Sur-Cote: The Sur-Cote is another proto-gown, sleeveless with extremely deep arm openings, usually to the waist. The Sur-Cote is made of heavier material and is worn over the Cote, exposing and contrasting with it. The Sur-Cote may be elaborately decorated and embroidered. The combination of Cote and Sur-Cote can be extremely attractive if the garments are designed or chosen to best compliment each other.
Mantle-Cloak: A Mantle-Cloak is an outer-garment that may have sleeves or be sleeveless. Somewhat akin to the male Pelicon in that it serves both a practical and ornamental function, the Mantle-Cloak is generally more purely functional but can be fur trimmed to very nice affect.
Eastern Aerdi fashion has several garments that are worn bu both men and women, equally.
Chaperon: The Chaperon is a hooded cloak. The hood is close fitting, covering the chin and neck. A more open design is the variant Chape, which does not close over the chin or neck. Each is worn by every class. Nobility tend to favor the Chape, however, because is allows easier display of richer garments worn under the Chape.
Cyclas: The Cyclas is a rich and elaborate overgarment making heavy use of fur. Not quite a robe but not quite a cape or cloak, the Cyclas is a very flexible fashion that can be individually styled. In terms of its practical function, it provides additional protection from the elements. From a decorative perspective, it can function like the Tablion, being an opportunity for ostentatious displays of wealth.
Cote-hardie: The Cote-hardie is nothing less than a revolutionary garment. The Cote-hardie, along with the Cote and Sur-Cote, have made the greatest fashion impact on Western Aerdi fashion. A Cote-hardie has a close fitting, long waisted body with long sleeves. From the elbows of the sleeves hang tippets, long tails of fabric. A man’s Cote-hardie will be typically cut to the knee. A woman’s Cote-hardie will be cut to just above the ankle. In both instances, there will be a flare to the skirt of the Cote-hardie, not simply a fullness. With a typically high collar, the Cote-hardie embodies a fashion sense throughout its entire design. It may or may not be additionally decorated beyond the material of which it is made. In many cases, such is not necessary because the Cote-hardie is an essentially fashionable garment.