Sultan’s Outfit

About Project

“Padişahın Esvabı” adlı proje, 36 Padişah, 6 Valide Sultan, 1 Şehzade, 1 Çengi ve 624 yıla ait. Kendi kültürümüze sahip çıkmak ve yeni nesile iyi yapılmış işler bırakmamız gerektiğine inanmaktayım. Projemiz, üzerinde çalışıp ve araştırdıkça büyüdü. Öncelikle Osmanlı dönemine ait bütün kıyafet verilerini ve 624 yıllık Osmanlı ve Selçuklu dönemini incelemeye başladım.

The project titled “Padişahın Esvabı” (Sultan’s Outfit) is composed of 36 Sultan, 6 Valide Sultan, 1 Şehzade, and 1 Çengi clothes over a 624-year period. I believe that we must take care of our own culture and leave good works as heritage to the new generation. Our project grew as we worked on it and continued research. First of all, I started with examining all the clothing data of the Ottoman period, and the 624-year Ottoman and Seljuk period.

We had to identify, investigate, and adapt the costumes and accessories included in the book named “Padişah Portreleri” (Portraits of Sultans) correctly, and present them in a chronological order. I bought “Tesavir-i Al-i Osman Padişahın Portresi”, the exhibition book sponsored by Türkiye İş Bankası. We checked the book and, we learned that some portraits of some of the sultans were made later than the periods they lived in, and some of them were painted only as portraits, and further in the book we the paintings were “Miniature paintings” by miniature artists in various periods.

We visited the palaces, museums, mosques and tombs in Istanbul thoroughly; we took pictures of some major details. We also saw the weapons exhibited at the museum sections of Topkapı Palace, and Dolmabahçe Palace, and at the Military Museum, and then we focused on our work.

Access to the data of a 700-year-old empire required extensive research. We received help from the experts for the project to reflect the reality of the period to the finest detail. We called Dr. Filiz Çağman, the Director of Topkapı Palace Museum to guide us in our research into the sultans’ lifestyles. Hülya Tezcan of the Clothing and Fabric Section of Topkapı Palace Museum gave us access to the museum’s archives where we found information about the original embroidery and decorative patterns of various caftans, entaris (loose robe), shalwars, mintans (shirts), jackets and trousers.

It was very hard to cut the fabrics to form the Kaftans to their original patterns on the cutting tables in our workshop. I think it is not possible for the modern man -in terms of time and patience- to knit and sew such fabrics like the people who spent efforts on them 700 years ago. We used approximately 50 meters of cloth per costume namely the caftans, inner shirts, loose robes, shalwars, and quilted turbans. The historical show represented my 700-work interpretation. The Sultan and Valide Sultan costumes shown by 43 male and female models and introduced by Cihan Ünal are the property of Faruk Saraç Moda Foundation where they kept. The project was first introduced at the fashion show held in Hagia Irene of Topkapı Palace in 2006, and at Çırağan Palace on April 6, 2009.

Faruk Saraç

> Date: April 2000

> Location: Çırağan Palace