samedi 3 août 2013

Fashion History Of The Turban

By Cathy Mercer

For centuries, the turban has been a staple part of many cultural and religious dressing styles throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In some societies, the way the headdress is wrapped, as well as its color may have significance as far as social standing or status within the faith. In the Western world, it has become something of a fashion statement.

Traditionally, this garment is made by taking a long cotton, silk or linen scarf and winding it in a particular way around the head in order to form a covering of a designated design. As time has passed, the term has broadened to include almost any close fitting cap without a brim that may be worn by anyone. Some are even being sold as solid form hats that simply slip on.

This interesting piece of fashion was first introduced to the Western world in the late 17th century and was basically only worn by those of a particular faith or culture. In the early 20th century, sirens of the silent silver screen began to wear them as exotic head pieces. By the 1930's, this type of covering was being sported by many a socialite as a symbol of great breeding, high education and extensive travel experience.

Wearing a turban became the height of glamor and the pieces were being made from expensive fabrics and embellished with precious stones and jewelry. It was believed to give a woman an exotic and mysterious appeal. Stars of the stage and screen were wearing coverings that were so extensively adorned that they actually began to look like priceless crowns.

The average woman was not to be left behind in this trend. Sporting a plainer version made from linen or cotton, the housewives of the 50's and 60's were able to look beautiful and keep their hair under control while going about their daily routines. Other versions made from absorbent terry cloth, became the perfect fashionable towel substitute for drying one's locks after a shower or swim.

The style gurus in the 70's transformed the wrap into a new type of hat. They were manufactured as ready made pieces that could simply be slipped on and hair was allowed to flow loosely out from beneath the covering. The adornments became larger, though a little less lavish, as was the trend of the era.

Throughout the next few decades, the popularity of this headdress lost its mass appeal and its popularity faded quite a bit. However, in recent years, there seems to have been a resurgence of this fashion choice. Women are wearing even more variations on the style than ever and they have become the covering of choice for many individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from hair loss.

Still used as cultural and religious standards, the turban is also a major fashion statement of the Western world. People have come up with new and creative ways to wind a scarf that makes the covering not only beautiful, but practical as well. They have become the covering of choice for many, especially since they can be purchased in the no fuss, ready made hat format.

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