High fashion isn’t typically something we think about when thinking about Ancient Egyptian culture and times. During that time period, however, there were various people in the wealthy and royal culture that shaped the fashion of the future. OROGOLD examines the high fashion of ancient Egyptian times, read on to learn more.
When we think high fashion, we tend to think of New York fashion week, old Hollywood style, chic Paris, preppy London, and luxurious Milan. What most of us overlook is the fact that there was a time long ago in Ancient Egypt where women such as Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Isis ruled the country and the fashion world while adorned in gorgeous dresses, jewels, and gold.
Egyptian linen was the most widely used material for those in royalty and positions of power, as well as civilians. Egyptian linen is completely different from the typical linen we see and think of today. The material was made exquisitely, and with much care in the crafting of the material. It felt like silk, and was extremely soft. The wealthiest people who wore the finest clothes always had pure white linen, as it showed a sign of their royalty or wealth. Most of the Egyptians of the ancient time period were hard working and poor, and wore garments which were dyed to mask the appearance of dirt and stains. To wear a garment of white signified the fact that the person wearing it merely relaxed all day and simply enjoyed life.
Most of the expensive garments the Ancient Egyptian Queens and Kings wore were frayed at the edges for flair, and they also paired their clothing with head dresses and many jewels, necklaces, and gold. Many of the accessories worn by the rich and famous residents of Ancient Egypt contained depictions and artifacts such as scarab beetles, scorpions, falcons, and other important aspects of Egyptian culture.
Aside from their elaborate clothing choices, high fashion in Ancient Egypt also entailed expensive wigs. Men and women alike wore these wigs along with head pieces or head dresses. Many of these head dresses contained gold and jewels.
To correlate their expensive looks and tastes, the Ancient Egyptians also rid their bodies of hair – much like we do today. Although they wore wigs, and the women had long hair underneath, keeping hair from existing anywhere else on their bodies was important to both the women and men of Egypt.
Aside from the clothing and personal hygiene preferences of Ancient Egypt, the makeup both the men and women would wear looked elaborate and glamorous. They lined their eyes in dark black patterns to shield them from the sun – somewhat like modern day sun glasses. They would also use a sort of ancient hair gel to keep their wigs in place and looking perfect all the time. For perfume, fragrance cones were used daily. They were placed on the person’s head and throughout the heat of the day, the cone would melt and run down the body of those who wore them, perfuming their skin with luxurious fragrance of various kinds.
Hair was worn in elaborate styles even when wigs were used. The women of Ancient Egypt were known to have long hair and typically wore their hair down and straight, however; sometimes, they were known to wear it in braids as well as other beautiful styles.
While we will never fully know the extent of the high fashion world in Ancient Egypt, we do know that even though the days of old occurred passed long ago, some of the same styles still live on today – which shows how much of an impact the Ancient Egyptian culture has had on the world.
The Queens and Kings of Ancient Egypt paved the way for the fashion world of today – and we are forever thankful for it.