The Turkish principalities, which have led a nomadic lifestyle all throughout the history, experienced great change in terms of cultural and social life, after they settled in Anatolia. The data relating to the clothes worn during the Ottoman Period are illuminated by the miniatures, illustrated travel books of foreign tourists and gravures.
In terms of dressing, the “ferace”s (a long coat worn by Turkish women) and caps worn both by men and women in the 15th century have the priority. It is understood that women wore a pointed cone shaped cap in the street. This cap took on a strap shaped posture like a fez towards the middle of the 16th century. This cap was supplemented by a cloth that reached down to the shoulders. Shoes are the supplementary of the outer dressing. Women, men, children and everybody else would wear the shoes called “mest”s. You would put leather shoes on this mest, when they went out.
As for the daily clothes worn inside the house, the main elements were the baggy trousers and cream colored long shirts. There were the caftans and the cardigans worn over the dress gowns, as well.
The dresses of the members of the palace were tailored by the special quality tailors of the palace. The Sultan would wear the sample clothing prepared by the tailor and multiple copies would be made if he liked it. The elegance of the women in the palace was complemented by belts called “cevheri” and the jewelry.
The European Delegates that had been visiting the Ottoman Empire from time to time as of the 17th century got some catalogues displaying interesting Ottoman costumes prepared. Thus, the Ottoman clothes were introduced to Europe and came into fashion for some time. Vanmour is one of the painters preparing these catalogues.
The Turkish way of dressing has left deep traces especially in Europe and the Balkans. The European way of dressing was influenced by the Turkish fashion in the 18th century. Turkish people made great contributions to the creation of trousers.
When we have a look at the Ottoman history, we realize that it is again the way the Sultans see things that defined the direction the fashion took. The Sultanate survived into the Westernization period too and some of the sultans were interested in the technology in the west and some in culture and arts. The Western influences on the Ottoman Empire that can be traced back to the 17th century gained a momentum during the Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730) and the Tulip Era in the 18th century. Westernization first started in the military clothes and jumped into the male and female fashion. The abolishment of the Janissary Organization (1829) during the reign of Mahmut II (1808-1839) and the decoration and dressing of its replacement, the newly established The Soldiers of the Prophet Mohammed with the Western technology is considered as the westernization in clothing.
The complete switch to the European style within the female clothing coincides with the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz ( 1861-1876). The most significant reason for this, as is written in historical resources, is the visit paid by the French Emperor and his Wife to Istanbul and the ball Abdulaziz prepared to honor his quests. The thing that the women in the ball, honored by all the women in the Palace, with Pertevniyal Valide Sultan –mother of the Sultan- taking the lead, were dressed in the European style attracted attention.
The period of radial change starting with the wars fought afterwards and the proclamation of the Republic had its effects on the fashion, as well.
Ataturk gives the first signals for the reform in clothing by showing the hat to the public during his visits to Kastamonu and Inebolu on 23 August 1925. Noting that “We should be civilized in every respect. Our ideas and mentality shall be civilised from head to toe. Civil and international clothing is well deserved by our people, we shall wear it. “, Ataturk took the first step towards the reform in clothing. Complying with the warning made by Ataturk, the Turkish people started wearing hat seven before the Cap Law dated 25 November 1925 and numbered 671 was launched. After that, robes and turbans worn by imams were banned, and the right to wear such clothes was limited to the imams only.
Thanks to the reform in clothing, the women got rid of the garment, which was prescribed by the religious traditions, covering their body from head to feet and started wearing modern clothes, whereas men started wearing hats instead of fez.
The young generation, especially the young people living in big cities, was really quick to adopt the western style clothing after the reform and started using it in their daily lives.
As the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s ran past, Turkey happened took a close watch on the fashion, even it was personally involved in fashion. Today, Turkey is in a position to be mentioned in the international fashion and textile sector.
Today, fashion is a lot more than just covering yourself with a piece of fabric, just to the contrary, it is a factor that reflects one’s personality and identity, and even, it is a way of communication. Brand is an important element in the communication between the teenagers. Turkey has achieved a great deal in fashion and textile in terms of both production and consumption. In addition to being a big industry, the traditional techniques are still kept alive today. It is possible to come across masters working with the old weaving machines in every corner of Turkey. Local embroidery works such as Buldan fabric, Chile fabric and Rize fabric are still available today.
Furthermore, the fashion designers of modern Turkey achieve great success worldwide.
He was born in Bursa. His father was a soldier. His devotion to fashion was a result of his being influenced by his sister, who was a tailor. He started his career in fashion by sewing a hat and established a workshop in a garret in Beyoglu towards the late 1950s. Both his fame and his workshop grew in a short time.
Yıldırım Mayruk, who has the experience of years in the profession, sets his collections on show in international centers such as London, Abudabi, Tel-Aviv, Alhain and Haifa and also in Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Antalya and Diyarbakir.
: The well-known fashion designer Cemil Ipekci, born on 5 August 1948 in Istanbul and famous for his ethnical designs, graduated from the department of design in “The Royal Academy of Art” in 1971 and worked as a stylist in the field of ready wear between 1972 and 1975. He established his own fashion center as of 1975 and started creating his unique designs in his boutique called “Tzagne”. He moved his boutique to Nis in 1979 and operated two boutiques, one being in Istanbul and the other being in Nis, until 1984.
While all his designs created during the last 10 years bear the traces of the Ancient Anatolian Civilizations, Ipekci made a glamorous return to the modern night fashion and the transition period, during which he once more took a break from his ethnical works during the 90s, came to an end with “Suzeni” in 1992.
Black has a special meaning for Ipekci. The famous fashion designer, who says that black has a distinct mystery among the pearls, beads and fringes, shall certainly include this color in his collections. The successful fashion designer, who has devoted many years to this profession, has went on leading the Turkish fashion world with his designs bearing Ottoman effects for years.
Established her own brand called "Dilek Hanif Line" in 1990. She designed ready wear collections targeting the modern women, while she worked in a small workshop. In time, her collections were displayed in the elite storerooms in Turkey. When she understood that designing tailor made “couture” clothes was more for her, she opened the couture workshop and showroom in Tesvikiye. And as of 1988, she completely abandoned ready wear collection and focused on her couture works.
Her first couture fashion show took place in Hagia Eirene on 8 April 2002.
She had her second big fashion show on 20 January 2004 during the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. Dilek Hanif is the first Turkish fashion designer to present her “couture” collection within the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.
Bahar Korçan dressed up celebrities, won awards and became well-known internationally. The fashion designer, who focused on her designs in the company called “2BM”, was affected by this profession during her secondary school years.
She was 17, when her career in the fashion world started with Vakko. Later, her name became a brand itself. This fashion designer, who places comfort to the front in her designs, prefers using cotton, silk and fabric.
Arzu Kaprol, who made her name known with the fashion shows she presented in Europe during many ready to wear clothing fairs of great significance, is a fashion designer that prefers working on ready to wear clothes. Apart from the Arzu Kaprol brand in Turkey, she also designs the female collection of the Network brand which belongs to the Boyner Group. The Designer Arzu Kaprol thinks that one should not keep up with the fashion; everybody should create his or her own fashion. She met Kaprol fashion at her mother’s house. And then, she graduated from the Mimar Sinan Universtiy, department of “Fashion Confection” and went to Paris to go on with her education. The uniforms of the Turkish Armed Forces were also designed by Arzu Kaprol.
Rifat Ozbek, who established his own brand in 1984, created a cultural taste in the globalizing fashion system with his interest not only in Turkish culture, but also in the Indian, African and the sub-cultures. He dressed up many celebrities from Madonna to Diana Ross, Janet Jackson and Princess Diana.
Rifat Ozbek, who was born in Istanbul, went to England to study architecture. Then, he studied fashion in the design school Central Saint Martins’, which is known as the kitchen of the star designers in London. After spending 33 years in England, he lived in Milan for some time but he did not lose contact with Turkey during all those years abroad. Then, he moved to and settled down in Istanbul.
He is one of the leading names in the field of male fashion in Turkey. People from news presenters to famous business men and even to politicians wear his clothes with great pleasure. His diner jackets attract great attention not only in our country, but in the West, as well. Faruk Sarac is the fashion designer bringing Ataturk’s clothes to the podium. The fashion designer, who also became the center of attention with a collection featuring the clothes of 36 Ottoman emperors, was born in Urfa.
The collection creator and designer Gonul Paksoy, inspired by the things such as the carpets, clothes, shoes and bags in her collection, which consists of the things she collected from different parts of Anatolia, produces modern things of today.
Among these products, two-faced bags (a combination of raw silk and leather), necklaces (a combination of glass and gold), clothes (raw silk, embroidery and fabric), coats (a combination of leather and silk, Ottoman Style), skirts (a combination of velvet and raw silk), jackets (raw silk and silver embroidery) can be listed. And the talismans add a different taste to her collection.