Wednesday 22 November 2017

Turbans through time

Maria Fusco

The humble turban has taken many style twists over the centuries, from the early days in the Sudan to the ancient Persians who fashioned themselves a conical cap with bands of cloth.

Actress-turned-European-royal Grace Kelly triggered millions of copycats when she championed the turban in the 1950s, along with the legendary war-time singer Carmen Miranda, whose signature was a flourish of fruit on top.

Ironically, it was men who made turbans popular in Europe in the 17th century. Akin to putting on their slippers in the evening, men took off their heavy wigs at night and covered their heads with a comforting turban.

Women always treasured turbans because of the camouflage they provided, especially on bad-hair days. In France, turbans are called cache-misère or "hide misery". They have also endured in the world of art, worn by Lady Hazel Lavery and in Jan Vermeer's 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'.

It was Miuccia Prada who re-introduced the turban to the international catwalk in 2006, and the decision by 'Sex and the City' stylist Patricia Field to send Sarah Jessica Parker's character off to the desert with a glam, metallic turban in this year's 'SATC2' has injected new life into the humble headpiece.

French couturier Paul Poiret introduced the famous maharaja turban to the chic Parisian salons in the early years of the 20th century and it became très chic for evening wear.

And it still remains the height of fashion. Indeed, Elizabeth Taylor (78) is reported to be wearing a $3m, jewel-encrusted turban to her nineth wedding, due to take place later this year to LA talent agent Jason Winters, who, at 49, is 29 years younger than his bride.

Irish Independent

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