World Costume for Theatrical Productions
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The most striking feature of Elven clothing is its lushness.
The fabrics are rich and tactile, selected for their ability
to interact with light. The pure silk velvets absorb light
in the depths of their folds and shimmer at the peaks. The
watered and matte silk satins shift subtly in color as the
fabric moves, and the cross-woven silk taffetas change color
completely when viewed from different directions. Ta'Loenthra
produces a much sought-after silk resembling veined marble
which is called marbrinus.
Jewel tones are the most popular, but any colors that harmonize
with the wearer and his or her environment are acceptable.
Garments are cut to enhance these qualities and are worn in
complex layers. Elaborate embroidery decorates the edges,
usually depicting interlocking organic patterns. Ceremonial
or official garments will often have a crest worked into the
embroidered motif. Gold and silver jewelry inset with precious
and semi-precious stones is worn by both sexes. Filigree work
is especially prized.
Although fashions vary by town and court, the most common
garments for women are long, tightly-laced cotehardies, worn
alone or under ornate sideless gowns. A heavily jeweled belt
sits at the hips over the cotehardie. The sleeves end at the
elbow and are finished with long tippets, with the closely-buttoned
underdress sleeves covering the arm past the wrist. Long mantles
and fur-lined pelissons provide warmth. Narrow fillets secure
Men wear a cotehardie as well, though theirs reaches only
to the thigh and is fitted throughout, with a padded chest.
The legs are fitted with hosen trussed up to the short paltock
worn under the cotehardie. Men also share with women the wearing
of an ornate hip-belt and tippets above the elbow. Whereas
the feminine neckline is low and broad, the masculine one
features a high collar.
Both sexes wear shoes with extremely long, pointed toes.
Garment edges are often dagged or foliated, and rows of closely-set
buttons serve as fastenings and as decoration. For ceremonial
occasions, house and family crests are frequently blazoned
upon the garments, which can also be parti-colored to display