Our impressions of what the ancient Egyptians wore have largely been shaped by modern-day films, but are these perceptions accurate? Or was the reality much more varied and complex?
People have always been obsessed with shoes, and ancient Egypt was no different, producing a fine collection of footwear that was not only functional but surprisingly beautiful as well.
When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, he triggered a period of profound cultural and social change. As traditions evolved, so too did clothing, reflecting a society caught between the familiarity of the past and the appeal of the new.
In the late Roman and early Byzantine eras, clothing became a means of self-expression incorporating everything from depictions of faith to rich colours, elaborate embroidery, and even amulets meant to protect and bring good fortune.
From fabulous ivory carvings to lavish textiles with intricate gold embroidery, everything the Fatimids left behind points to opulence and abundance on a scale we can only imagine.
An exploration of the colourful, varied—often complicated and elaborate—daily clothing in Mamluk-era Egypt.
From gossamer-thin cottons to fine linens and heavy brocades, Mamluk fabrics set the standard for textiles throughout the region.
Of all the fine fabrics produced in Egypt during the Mamluk era, the sumptuous silks were perhaps the most renowned and coveted throughout the medieval world.
Throughout the Ottoman Empire, the urban wealthy adopted and adapted clothing and other images of prestige fashionable in Istanbul.
Egyptian fashion drew inspiration from places as far away as China and Japan, and in turn, influenced everyone from European royalty and nobility to Polish tailors and Venetian glassmakers.
In the early twentieth century, dress became a signifier of ‘modernity’ in Egypt, often vying with ‘traditional’ clothing in both urban and rural settings.
Shahira Mehrez has dedicated her life to preserving Egyptian costume history. Here, she takes us on a tour of her unmatched collection of regional costumes.
The untold story of Reaya El-Nimr, who dedicated her life to documenting Egypt’s regional and traditional costumes.