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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 elaborate coiffures.

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 heraldic colors.

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