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"I still venture to retain the narrow silver round it, put twice without any bow, & instead of the black military feather shall put in a Coquelicot [poppy red] one, as being smarter; - & besides Coquelicot is to be all the fashion this winter. - After the ball I shall probably make it entirely black."
*Turbans became fashionable in England after Napoleon went to Egypt in 1802, precipitating an Oriental influence in French fashion which quickly spread across the Channel and beyond -- 'Ladies Bonnets and fashionable Turbans,' were being advertised for sale in Sydney by halfway through 1804. In fact, anything vaguely Oriental was fashionable at the time (shawls, jewellry, etc.)
Turbans, which took on a life of their own, became exquisite confections of silk, jewels, fringe, tassles and feathers.Three basic forms were used, and most women had them pre-made as a sort of hat, instead of trying to wind thier own anytime they wanted to wear them.
The "Bubble" Shape
Self explanatory, this type was created by twisting scarves together into a round shape. Many colors could be used on the same turban, which, along with feathers and jewels, provided quite an exotic flavor. These were often set onto jewelled headbands for easy wear. The "Desert Turban" was more faithful to it's eastern counterparts, and was much larger, covering most of the hair.
More of a hat than official turban, this style was much smaller than its counterparts and resembled the pillbox hats of the 1950's, only draped. These small versions of the turban ususally sported a feathered or jeweled cockade in the front. Even this small decoration could get out of hand though, as fashion plates of the time display.
The Saque style
Based on the hats popular with the citizens of revolutionary France, the Saque was almost more of a bag on a band than a real turban. Nethertheless, it is still classed in the turban catagory. With jeweled or beaded bands and tassels, these were a far cry from those worn by the "Common" people of the revolution.
*From Austen and Authenticity, by Kerryn Goldsworthy.
For instructions on making your own turban, click here.
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