Monday, November 25, 2013

Treasures from the Silk Road

What a weekend. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I am back at work so that I can relax. I had quite the hectic weekend. From hosing a Tupperware party, buying a replacement laptop (ouch on the pockets) and going to the movies to seeing an orchestral performance of gaming music and a trip to the museum. While the former was wonderful (apart from the expense of a new laptop), it’s the latter that I am here to talk about. And in specific, dressed up for.
A few months ago, the exhibition Afghanistan; Treasures from the Museum of Kabul came to the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. I decided, it would be another occasion for the costumers guild to go and check it out. We decided on 1920s fashion as it was a period where western society was influenced and fascinated with “exotic” cultures. While we could have gone with an open theme for our costume choice, it’s nice to be there in a cohesive style of clothing.
The exhibition was amazing. The premise is that the Museum of Kabul was prey to Taliban bombing and most of its precious artefacts were either destroyed, damaged or stolen. Then, in 2005, vaults were opened in the palace to find stored pieces of treasure from the museum. Safely packed away. It was a huge discovery for the curators in Kabul. It means that the people were given back their culture. And I have to say it is a very beautiful culture. There was no photography allowed in the exhibition (a common thing), so I didn’t get any shots of the artefacts. Though, I have found a couple of photos of the pieces that we did see for you:
The items themselves come from the Silk Road. It’s part of Asia that was conquered many a time from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan. And as a result of the merging cultures, the pieces from this area a very unique. When you think back to ancient times, there always seems to be a clean cut between Greek / Roman / Indian / Egyptian culture. But in this area, there is a beautiful blending in art pieces. Images and statues of the Greek gods, done in Indian and Asian styles. It is truly incredible.

If you are in Brisbane, and can make it along to the exhibition, I highly suggest you do. It is well worth it. Be warned though, check the website for the running times and it is a timed event, so you will need to book ahead.

As for our outfits, as I mentioned before, we did the 1920s thing, and took a few snapshots in the foyer.
Mine, was a new piece. I love the fashion of the 1920s, but the low hip straight dresses are not the most flattering on me. So, this time, I looked to the beginning of the 1920s, where the waistline has not necessarily dropped, but the hemlines are starting to raise, haircuts are becoming shorter and draping very important. I found a few images of the sort of style that I would like my dress to bee and took it from there. I drafted up a pattern, mocked up the bodice to make sure I had it right and got onto it. My fabrics are a sheer silk cotton for the outer-dress with details of Swiss voile used for the cuff and collar. The slip underneath is also made of the Swiss voile. It’s finished off with a silk dupion sash and a purchased paper hat, decorated with silk ribbon and paper flowers. I’m rather pleased with how it turned out. In the end becoming quite delicate. And I am thinking I might even make a coloured slip to wear underneath for a different styling option.


  1. Very pretty Mel. Must have been such a fun and interesting day for you all. Glad you all dressed in a similar era, it has a more cohesive impact.

    1. And it really did. The staff at the museum thought it was wonderful.

  2. Gorgeous, love your new dress and from what I can see the art works are beautiful