This piece of garment was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli from Kerry Taylor Auctions, London in 2019 to add to and enhance The Zay Initiative Collection.
This is a silk Brocade women’s traditional jacket (Entari) with metal thread (Sirma)/(Tel_Sirma) Crocheted lace trimmings and high-side slits.
The field of the Entari has a floral arrangement woven with metal–gold and silver–green, purple, lavender, and shades of pink, silk threads over a (cobalt) blue silk base. It features heavy floral and foliage patterns particularly rose in rows of wavy vertical lines.
There are long slits on either side of the jacket which divides the skirt into three segments, thus making it an (üçetek_Entari). The edges and the cuffs of the piece are scalloped with Cutwork designs and are trimmed with a wide Crocheted needle lace (Oya) made of silver and gold Sirma.
The piece is lined with plain ivory cotton on the field with burgundy cotton strips of (Satin) weaved around the edges.
Prior to the widespread acceptance of European clothing in the Ottoman Empire, individuals – men and women – residing in urban areas, regardless of their faith or social standing, typically adorned themselves with three primary articles of clothing.
These included a calf-length cotton undershirt or (Gömlek), featuring long sleeves, which was worn over a pair of loose trousers known as (Shalvar). Additionally, they would wear a long-sleeved robe called an Entari, reaching the ankles or floor.
Additional layers were added as necessary, based on weather conditions, social occasions, and social status. These layers encompassed items such as waistcoats, short jackets like (Cepken) and (Yelek), extra Entari, as well as coats of various sizes and lengths.
Belts adorned with elaborate embroidery and ornate buckles, or just embroidered sashes as (Cummerbund) were utilised to accentuate the bust, waist, and hips, creating a defined silhouette.
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 sizable 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.
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