Unexpected Inspiration Series: Concordian Fashion


Earlier this week I introduced Concordia, the main country in the contemporary high fantasy series I'm writing, as well as its capital city of Silveridge. Today I'm going to talk about Concordia's people in a way that best describes them: with aesthetics and fashion.

Like with their architecture and cities, Concordians love color and pretty things in their wardrobe, too. Jewelry, embroidery, embellishment, you name it. Hair dye in unnatural colors is a common sight. Everyone has their own personal taste, but almost every article of clothing you’ll find will be colorful and embellished, even if it’s otherwise practical. (That top right picture is how I picture Concordia’s “practical.”) Pockets are a big thing here and any article of clothing tends to have multiple pockets sewn into them; bags aren’t overly common for daily activities, unless someone wants the option of even more pockets. Adair, my main character, wears a sling bag across his chest that’s made up of a bunch of pockets in which he keeps a dozen jars of paint and a handful of paintbrushes. Sol’s favorite vest is covered in pockets where he keeps little pieces of junk that could be useful in his inventions.

Another interesting fact about Concordian fashion is that clothing isn’t gendered, so the choice between, say, pants or a skirt is entirely based on personal comfort and occupation. By this I mean that some jobs and trades would make flowing skirts or floor-length coats impractical. Firedrake is always dressed to the nines and wears something like evening dresses or ball gowns whenever they’re not in costume. No one thinks this at all strange for daily wear. Concordians like to decorate themselves just as much as they do their homes and cities.

Artisans:

I mentioned Artisans a little in this post about Silveridge. On the flip side to Firedrake’s flawless style, Adair almost always wears old, grubby pants and shirts. This causes everyone he meets to doubt that he’s an Artisan because Artisans always dress the most over-the-top. Their current style is gauzy, lightweight fabrics in multiple layers, resembling something like robes or dresses of whatever length the person prefers, but almost always reaching the floor. They go in for long, full sleeves which is entirely impractical when they’re artists, so this means long ribbons or strips of fabric for tying the sleeves up as they work. They wear light shoes or slippers rather than heavier shoes or boots. While a lot of Concordians are going to go for nice hairstyles, Artisans take this to an extreme, too. Artisans of any gender typically have hair that reaches their waist or knees and this is done up in elaborate styles by their spouses or family members, just like the Artisans rely on family to help them dress in their ornate layers of clothing. As for jewelry, Concordians like shiny things and Artisans definitely like shiny things. They have a tradition of giving each other gifts at random of the creations they make and this often includes things like clothing, accessories and jewelry. Artisans display these gifts on their bodies as much as they display the non-wearable gifts in their homes. It doesn’t even have to be fancy gifts; they’re just as likely to wear something their child or apprentice or young family made as they are to wear something nicer. It’s more the thought that counts than what it actually looks like and you can bet an Artisan will be showing off that macaroni bracelet.

Protectorates:


Protectorates are the people who guard art and artists. (I talked a little about them in the post about Silveridge, too.) This group includes the sentinels who are the bodyguard/spouses to artists, so I’ll get into these next. The bottom middle and bottom right pictures are similar to how I picture the uniforms for sentinels of any gender. Usually sentinels can wear whatever they want, but on formal occasions they all wear the same thing, which is essentially a long, dark colored coat that’s trimmed in the color of their artists’ magics. More than just trimmed-- the artist’s magic is embedded into the garment so it also glows with the particular magical color of the artist. Only those with Artisan magic can see this glow, so it’s entirely unnecessary since the trim is that color anyway, but I think the artists like to show that this sentinel is theirs. There’s also a specific long braid that sentinels wear in public that designates their status as a sentinel.

This braid is a required thing for the Protectorates and there are other braids based on what you’re guarding, so it’s sort of like their badge. The braid, combined with much more practical and much less colorful clothing than everyone else wears, is generally a pretty good indication that someone’s a Protectorate. These pictures all make me think of what Protectorates would wear.


That's all for now, but I'd like to get into the fashion of the carnival performers in a later post at some point. Clothing really intrigues me!

CONVERSATION

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