Egyptian fashion – how the influence of the past creates the fashion trends of tomorrow.
Not many of you know that for many decades established fashion designers from all over the world, have been drawing inspiration from Ancient Egypt.
Egypt’s cultural heritage and unique designs are the sources of some of the world’s most stunning fashion collections ever created.
Egypt has been, and remains, one of the most powerful reservoirs of inspiration, touching so many aspects of the fashion world.
From the material choices in apparels, shoes, embellishments and accessories, to the make-up styles often found in the world’s most celebrated fashion shows and catwalks.
In a previous article published here on WTVOX, the cycles of fashion were investigated explaining how the fashion industry depends on constant renewals of materials, styles, and trends.
That is why, with its beautiful history in materials, patterns, and styles Ancient Egypt has been a huge influence in the design of contemporary fashion and it will remain a pillar of influence in the world of fashion for many years to come.
Below, I’ll introduce you to some contemporary Egyptian fashion trends, as I’m sure you’ll see them influencing the world of fashion.
Egyptian Fashion – Light Garments
In some sense, Egyptian fashion has always been about practicality. Due to the country’s hot climate, Ancient Egyptians had to create and wear mostly light fabrics such as vaporous types of linen, distinguishable for their transparent, sheer style.
The main aim of those garments was to create a unique style while retaining comfort and easiness to wear.
Modern day Egypt holds the same values of comfortable fashion styles, however, the materials and the styles have changed a bit.
One of the brands I feel represents the best Egyptian fashion right now is Civil Clothing.
The brand offers casual clothing that features fashion-forward styles, without sacrificing comfort.
While the new pieces are made out of a variety of fabrics aside from linen, all styles retain original Egyptian flavour and the flowing elements so well suited for the hot and dry weather.
Egyptian Fashion – Embroidery And Jewellery
The Ancient Egyptians’ discovery of gold has urged them to adorn their bodies with all kind of lavish jewellery in some of the most innovative designs.
Soon, wearing gold became a symbol of status in Egyptian society. In fact, the amount of gold worn on the body was a clear indicator of the wearer’s social class.
Queen Cleopatra remains a perfect example of Ancient Egypt’s glamorous fashion style. Aside from her unequalled beauty, history records often mention her obsession with golden accessories.
Part of her charm was attributed to her elegant fashion style, and the extravagant amount of gold jewellery she wore as depicted by Elizabeth Taylor in a 1963 film.
Cleopatra’s image has been one of the most powerful sources of inspiration in the times of modern fashion and haute-couture collections, as reflected in the choice for embellishments, beads, and gemstones.
Elie Saab’s Spring 2017 collection remains one of the most acclaimed collections to date, for paying homage to Egypt’s golden age, through the uniqueness of the ornaments gold pieces of jewellery on display.
Egyptian Fashion – Sandals
It is not only gold that made Ancient Egypt such a source of fashion inspiration. In those times, most Egyptians were walking barefoot. Sandals were worn only on public events or, very special occasions.
Even in those times, Egyptian sandals were made from different materials. Leather was the material used for the upper class while the lower part of the society had to wear sandals made of woven palm and papyrus.
Now, with the advent of vegan fashion, it seems the things have changed a bit. But, I guess that’s a subject for a different article.
Long before the sandals were made popular by the Roman soldiers across Europe, Ancient Egyptians were adorning them with gold precious stones.
However, the trend has evolved into a mixture of Roman with Egyptian styles, in what we nowadays know as gladiatorial footwear. Long straps wrapped around the legs, adorned with coloured glass.
Egyptian Fashion – The International Stage
Sadly, the last ones to understand the gold mine of inspiration lying at their feet were exactly the native designers.
However, in recent years Egyptian designers have begun making waves in international fashion shows and events, with Farida Temraz as one of the more famous representatives of Egyptian fashion in 2018’s edition of the New York Fashion Week.
Inspired by and upholding so many elements of Egyptian culture, Farida’s evening gowns were portrayed by fashion critics as pure haute-couture, from embroidery to the overall style.
Farida Temraz does not carry the Egyptian fashion flag alone. There is Okhtein, a new fashion designer endorsed by the international pop star Beyoncé.
Or, Aboul Enein, who became worldwide famous after showcasing his unique collection at the 2016 edition of London Fashion Week.
Egyptian fashion has come a long way, from its ancient roots to where it is nowadays.
As the past is one of the main predictors of the future, Egypt it was and will always be a force when it comes to upcoming fashion trends.