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Fashions
- Allanak Fashions
- Tuluk Fashions
- Others
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The Fashions of Zalanthas: A Look at the Two Major Cities’ Fashions
and Smaller Cultures

In general, Zalanthan fashion shares similarities with Middle Eastern and North African styles. Zalanthas is a desert planet, comparable to some of Earth’s great deserts; temperatures commonly reach temperatures of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. There are, however, various environmental and cultural differences between Zalanthas and Earth that have shaped Zalanthan fashion into something unique.

One of the three major merchant houses, House Kadius is not only a mercantile concern, but also a political power. Moreover, they have the first and last word in fashion. Yet, as much as this house dictates fashion, fashion also dictates the way Kadius does business. What can be bought in Tuluk is not necessarily available in Allanak. Kadius can change fashion, but not tradition, and the aesthetics of each region are deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the populace. If a group comprised of both Northern and Southern people were to meet in middle, an observer would be able to recognize their original location simply studying their dress.


Allanak's Fashions

Allanak is a rigidly traditional society, and this has affected the city's trends in fashion throughout the years. For example, the modesty of one's attire is considered before comfort, despite the high temperatures citizens must deal with daily. Even among nobility, style is the priority. While the body may be covered almost entirely, Allanaki fashion can nonetheless be provocative. Less bare flesh, yet more of the wearer's figure, is revealed. Hemlines are low and collars are high. Arms are sometimes left bare, though the lower a garment’s neckline, the longer the sleeves.

Even among nobility, comfort is sacrificed for frivolity and whimsy. In fact, the more radical and hindering the style, the more successful its reception. For example, shoes that one could not possibly walk in demonstrate that a noble has sufficient resources for a carriage or palanquin. Likewise, sleeves whose cuffs extend past the fingertips do little to inconvenience someone accustomed to having all tasks performed by one's servants.

Despite the strong southern emphasis on modesty amongst commoners and flamboyancy amongst nobility, the intense heat of the desert is omnipresent, and concessions are necessary. Both nobles and commoners are equal in their struggle to stay as cool as possible. To this end, loosely woven and light fabrics worn in layers are utilized as daily wear to ward off the worst of the sun and sands. Many types of overgarments are worn in long layers, protecting the flesh from the harsh rays of sunlight and the pervasive heat.

Commoners often look to nobility for examples in most aspects of life, and fashion is no exception. The styles of commoner clothing available, while simpler and cheaper, often imitate that of nobles. For example, while nobles often wear ornately decorated silks and other lush fabrics, commoners wear cottons, sandcloth or other inexpensive textiles. Another difference in commoner attire is that it tends to be looser, more comfortable, and less hindering, in order to be practical for everyday use.

Some clothes unique to Allanak include wrapped pants, long tunics, Kalasiris, long kilts, and many types of over-garbs, often worn in layers, are also commonly seen in the South. Green, particularly pale green, is generally considered an unlucky color, due to its associations with sorcery, and blue is perceived as a particularly somber color, associated with mourning and tears. Leatherwear is thought somewhat lower class, reserved for guards, hunters and other plebian military types.

While the weather on Zalanthas is consistently hot and sandy all year round, fashion has its seasons. Frequently, the Kadian shops will change their selections in response to an event or whim. One month, purple might be the rage and the next everyone must have blue. However, the one staple of the Allanaki wardrobe is the color white. Trims may change, and colors may go in and out of style, but white is always in fashion.


Tuluk's Fashions

Tuluk’s slightly cooler atmospheric and social climate is reflected in its clothing. Soft lines, flashes of skin, and elaborate ornamentations characterize northern clothing. Styles are comfortable and at times revealing. The artistic community has made its mark on the rest of society, and fine, elaborate craftsmanship is prized.

Cotton, with its shine and ability to take dye, has become the dominant material in commoners’ clothing, while the secondary choice is linen, although those who can afford it will opt for silk. Clothes are decorated with bright floral or fauna patterns. Solid colors may be accented with elaborate stitchings. Both upper and lower classes appreciate lace of varying quality.

Typical items of Northern style include billowing pantaloons, low-cut shirts whose hems skim the waistline, and sarongs that show a flash of leg. Kilts and pteryges that leave the legs bare are also popular with men and women. Women’s dresses are often made from sheer panels that reveal the skin beneath. Overgarbs' materials are lighter, thinner, and layered, to catch every breeze as well as ward off the harsh heat.

Though, as a rule, the clothes are not as austere as their southern counterparts, the higher social circles see a greater degree of conservatism. Even the most risqué (noble or otherwise) would not run bare bottomed through the streets. A knee-length skirt is more likely to be worn with a short-sleeved shirt than a corset.


Other Cultures

Blackwing

These tribal elves tend to wear the sandcloth and leather look, and the females of this tribe wear may well be reckoned some of the sexiest on Zalanthas, particularly the bare midriff blouses and leather thongs many of the women affect. Generally, Blackwing work tends to lack ornamentation, save for embroidered scorpions, anakore, or other deadly desert creatures, except for that sold to outsiders, which does feature some beadwork and embroidery.

Cenyr

Clothing is often adorned with carved beads made of semi-precious stone or intricate blown glass, often marbled in exquisite colors made from mineral dyes gathered from the Red Desert.

Luirs

Luirs tends to have no set style, being a melange of practical nomadic wear. Generally leather and sandcloth are de rigeur, predominantly leather. Many of the Tablelands nomads who trade there wear batik, which they create with wezer wax. The fabric they produce is generally in shades of golds, browns and orange, and features patterns of desert creatures and cactus flowers.

Red Storm Village & Red Storm East

There is a noticeable lack of fashion in both villages. Constantly struggling with poverty and survival, the people of these village make do where they can. Clothes are passed around for years until they finally fall apart, and even when that occurs, uses for them can be found. Desert colors dominate. The style (or the lack thereof) usually consists of long layers in light colors.

Tan Muark

White and blue are favored colors of most Muark. Leather is often tooled. Ornamentation tends towards tasteful (or a reasonable approximation thereof) excess whenever possible. Clothes sold to non-Muarks tend to be flamboyant and showy.


Glossary of Fabrics, Clothes, and Styles

Fabrics

  • Cambric: closely woven white cotton fabric with a slight gloss to one side, primarily used for shirting.

  • Canvas: A rugged, heavy material made from plied yarns, possessing body and strength, along with an even weave. Usually manufactured in the grey state, but some is dyed for different uses. Employed in tents, bags, sacking and footwear.

  • Coir: A thick yarn spun from seed husk fibers, primarily used in netting and ropes.

  • Cotton: Cheap and generally readily available, cotton is a favored material. In the northlands, vegetable starch is employed to create a cotton fabric with a stiff glossy surface, usually floral printed.

  • Damask: Made of cotton, linen or silk. A very durable, reversible fabric with a figured pattern woven directly into the surface. Holds a high lustre, particularly the linen, and hence is often employed in wall hangings and ornamental cloth items.

  • Escru wool: Generally taking dyes extraordinarily well, escru wool is used both for knitted goods as well as for creating a thick and durable felt material.

  • Fur: Fur is generally not employed on Zalanthas, since it is HOT, except for trimming and ornamention.

  • Hemp: Only seen in the northlands, this fabric is made from thick grass fibers. Usually tan or dark brown, it is difficult to bleach, but can be dyed bright or dark colors.

  • Lace: The skill of manipulating threads into scenic knotting and weaving has been honed to a high art in Tuluk. The finer the threads and the weavings are, the more expensive the lace is.

  • Linen: Harvested from flax plants, linen is much more durable than cotton, but fails to take dye as well. The gloss of its weave is considered elegant by some, and generally this fabric is only seen in the north, particularly among the Tan Muark.

  • Sandcloth: A very loose weave of cotton, often used for desert wear, but is incorporated into some daily wear too.

  • Silk: There are actually two forms of silk on Zalanthas. One is harvested from the cocoons of caterpillars indigenous to the Grey Forest, while the other, a heavier, glossier thread, is spun from pymlithe blossoms. While not as durable as other fabrics, silk is prized for its rarity, its luster, and the brightness of its color.

  • Velvet: Used only as trimmings or small decoration, this material is difficult and time consuming to make. Not a popular choice for most, despite its asthetic value, due to its heat-retaining properties.

    Leathers and Furs
    Common types of leather include:

  • Braxat: Extraordinarily tough and durable, though a not particularly attractive greyish color, often used in armors.

  • Carru: Supple, brownish leather, which used to be fairly scarce, now making a comeback.

  • Chalton: sandy, tan hide

  • Duskhorn: Light brown pelt, horns used for decoration and armor

  • Erdlu: Smooth, scaly hide

  • Escru: A source of wool

  • Gizhat: Fine silken fur, a popular source for weavings

  • Gortok: Tough, usually mangy hide. Used mostly by lower-class commoners in Tuluk

  • Goudra: Supple, grey hide, usually found in the north.

  • Greth: source of snakeskin and feathers

  • Gwoshi: Tough hide, primarily employed by Blackwing.

  • Gurth: Plated shell, popular choice of cheap armor.

  • Jakhal: Difficult to acquire. Scaly hide.

  • Jozhal: Rare. Glossy, prismatic hide, often used for belts, shoes, and ornamental items.

  • Quirri: Black, glossy fur.

  • Raptor: Yellow hide, with maroon stripes.

  • Rat: Of varying grey and brown hues, the rat skin is used by the poor.

  • Silt Horror: Grey shell and rubbery skin.

  • Snake: Snakeskins, comes in a wide variety of sizes, hues and quality.

  • Tandu: Somewhat stiff, brown leather.

  • Tembo: Usually only employed in the northlands, a striped leather.

  • Yompar: A reddish brown scaley leather

    Articles of Clothes

  • Sandals: Generally worn by anyone in the north. In the southlands, such are worn only by gladiators and/or slaves.

  • Mantle: A sleeveless garment like a cloak, but much shorter, between hips and mid-calves.

  • Aba/Abaya: Simply put, an aba is a huge rectangle of fabric, with sides sewn up; slits are left for the arms and head. The garment is wide enough to extend halfway toward the wearer's elbows. This may or may not have an opening in the front. Abaya is the same, except this design has short sleeves that extend just past the elbows.

  • Belts and sashes: Generally made of cloth, bone, silk or leather and tending to be substantially narrower in the south; made of woven cloth, or leather and cloth in the north. Buckles may be made of horn, tortoiseshell, or wood in the north, where they tend to be larger than their southern counterparts of stone or bone.

  • Bisht: A robe-like, sleeved garment typically worn by men. When worn closed, one side overlaps the other. It fits loosely, comes in one size and may have to be hemmed to fit.

  • Buttons: In the north, they can be made of wood, horn, leather, tortoiseshell, or some types of semi-precious gems. In the south, while most are made of obsidian, they can also be made of bone, clay, semi-precious gems, chitin.

  • Caftan: A loosely cut, ankle-length garment, open at the front, with long, wide sleeves, usually bound with a sash. Formerly favored by nomads due to its practicality in desert situations, the style has also been adopted by some city-folk.

  • Cloak: Cloaks are loose outer garments, with or without sleeves, which cover the body from the shoulders to the hips, knees or ankles. They can be collarless, but are often made (particularly in Allanak) with either a high stiff collar, a flat collar that sits on the shoulders.

  • Cowl: A piece of material attached to a garment at the neck, which can be used as a hood or left draped at the back or front. Whiran robes in Allanak are traditionally cowled.

  • Culottes: Divided skirts, favored by Tuluki field workers. These are very wide trousers that give the appearance of a skirt, appearing in varying lengths.

  • Djellabah: A long shirt, approximately knee-length, with wide sleeves. A nomads' favored desert wear. Usually made of cotton or wool and trimmed heavily with ornamental braid. City folks have adopted this look also, adapting it to adhere to their fashions.

  • Duster: Long, lightweight coat, made of wool or leather, which envelopes the body from neck to ankles and features long sleeves whose cuffs can be tucked inside gloves and a high collar. A favorite of those who often encounter sandstorms.

  • Dyes and Colorings: The southlands tends to rely primarily on mineral based dyes, producing great brilliancy of color, but tending to fade fairly fast. The northlanders, by contrast, employ more vegetable dyes, producing softer hues, but in a wider variety of longer-lasting colors.

  • Feathers: Often worn in the hair. Both southern and northern superstition dictates that any item made of feathers must feature an odd number.

  • Jerkin: Hip-length vest-like protective garment, with or without sleeves, which fastens at the sides or shoulders. Often cut with slits in the sides.

  • Kalasiri: A long, one-piece form-fitting dress. Usually either high-necked, or assymetrically-cut, one-sleeved. Anklelength garment. Typically worn by Allanak nobility or upper class.

  • Kilt: A one-piece wrapping that resembles short pants beneath a skirt. A favored piece amongst men for the freedom it offers. Worn by men of all castes in several regions.

  • Pteryges: A knee-length cloth or leather skirt (armor), reinforced by slats of bone, leather, stone, or wood - depends on the region. Some non-combatant citizens may don this as a part of daily wear - primarily in the North, however.

  • Thobe: A long, one-piece overgarment. It covers the body completely from head to toe, with string-ties for a snug fit around the face. Worn mostly in the south (due to its effective deterrement of sand).

  • Wrap Pants: A pair of pants that stops below the knees; strips of cloth wrap around the lower leg tightly to deter the blowing sand. Although prevalent throughout the known world, this is a preferred choice of legwear in the southern deserts.

    Reference Table for Easy Viewing
    NorthSouth
    FabricCotton, Linen, Sandcloth, Silk, LaceCotton, Sandcloth, Silk
    StylesLoose, Lower Necklines, Shorter LengthsTight, Tailored, Tapered, Wrapped, Layered, High Necklines (little skin exposure)
    PrintsFlorals, Animals, BatiksGeometric, Stripes, or none
    TrimsBeadworks, Feathers, Semi-precious GemsEmbroidery, Bands of Solid Colors, Patterned Hems


    Submitted by Barzalene, Ghardoan, and Gem, based on document by Sanvean.
    Compiled by Ashyom.
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