Part of an ensemble with seven other pieces that are also part of the collection (ZI2018.500640 ASIA, ZI2018.500640a ASIA, ZI2018.500640b ASIA, ZI2018.500640d ASIA, ZI2018.500640e ASIA, and ZI2018.500640f ASIA).
This piece of garment was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli as a set of ensembles from Jade Bréval, an independent collector from France in 2018 to add to and enhance The Zay Initiative collection.
Ms Jade Bréval who had travelled for over 15 years in and around Türkiye had collected items such as this from shops and individuals in small villages and towns that she visited.
This is a women’s calf-length tunic shirt or chemise (Gömlek) made of thick ivory crushed cotton with thin Indigo stripes on the sides and under the sleeves. The sleeves are long and tapering.
It has a round neckline with ivory needle lace (Oya) trimmings which reflects on the cuffs of the sleeves too. The piece is possibly machine stitched with its fall hemline picoted. The piece is stained in a few places. It is worth noting that this piece is thick compared to the other Gömlek in the collection (ZI2018.500642b ASIA).
This kind of chemise would often be worn over a pair of trousers (Shalvar) and beneath a long jacket (Entari) and a short waistcoat with full sleeves (Cepken). At home, women would usually wear it as is with just the Cepken on top.
At its peak, the Ottoman Empire spanned three continents and served as the crossroads between the East and the West – the Fertile Crescent, the Levant, Eastern Europe including the Balkans till the southern edge of the Great Hungarian Plain, Northern Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean.
After the conquest of the Arab world in c. 1516-1517 CE its control over the Middle East lasted for four centuries until the early 20th century with the onset of WW I and the Arab Revolt. These four hundred years witnessed many instances of mutual Arab and Ottoman cultural influences and exchanges. Through areas such as social life and art – decorative and performing –we come across several instances of Arab and Turkish culture blending together through the centuries. Just as European fashion was often inspired by the French court this socio-cultural blending between Ottoman Turkey and the Middle East was clearly reflected in its fashion and material culture.
Thus, while emulating Ottoman fashion as the mark of class in the Arab world was one side of the puzzle adapting Eastern European fashion particularly Balkan as part of mainstream couture culture because of the sizeable Balkan population within the Empire was another. Therefore, it is not surprising to find several articles of clothing and their terms similar between the two cultures.
- Cangökçe, Hadiye, et al. Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun Son Döneminden Kadın Giysileri = Women’s Costume of the Late Ottoman Era from the Sadberk Hanım Museum Collection. Sadberk Hanım Museum, 2010.
- Küçükerman, Önder, and Joyce Matthews. The Industrial Heritage of Costume Design in Turkey. GSD Foreign Trade Co. Inc, 1996.
- AĞAÇ, Saliha, and Serap DENGİN. “The Investigation in Terms of Design Component of Ottoman Women Entari in 19th Century and Early 20th Century.” International Journal of Science Culture and Sport (IntJSCS), vol. 3, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 113–125. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/91778
- Parker, Julianne. “OTTOMAN AND EUROPEAN INFLUENCE IN THE NINTEENTH-CENTURY BRIDAL COLLECTION OF THE AZEM PALACE, DAMASCUS, SYRIA.” Journal of Undergraduate Research: Brigham Young University, 18 Sept. 2013. http://jur.byu.edu/?p=6014
- Koç, Adem. “The Significance and Compatibility of the Traditional Clothing-Finery Culture of Women in Kutahya in Terms of Sustainability.” Milli Folklor , vol. 12, no. 93, Apr. 2012. 184. https://www.millifolklor.com/PdfViewer.aspx?Sayi=93&Sayfa=181
- Micklewright, Nancy. “Late-Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Wedding Costumes as Indicators of Social Change.” Muqarnas, vol. 6, 1989, pp. 161–74. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/1602288. Accessed 13 July 2023.
- Micklewright, Nancy. “Looking at the Pst: Nineteenth Century Images of Constantinople and Historic Documents.” Expedition, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 24–32. https://www.penn.museum/documents/publications/expedition/pdfs/32-1/micklewright.pdf
- Ozgen, Ozlen, et al. “Henna Ritual Clothing in Anatolia from Past to Present: An Evaluation on Bindalli.” Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings, 2021, https://doi.org/10.32873/unl.dc.tsasp.0122.
- Hickman, Patricia Lynette. “Turkish Oya.” University of California, Berkeley, Dec, 1977. https://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/envi/turkish_Oya_v2.pdf