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Fashions of the Known Worlds

The reality of fashion in the Known Worlds is a complicated one indeed, with each world having dozens of variations, or more. Each House and Guild having their own styles within these. And of course the easiest to pin down, Imperial Fashion, the Courtly styles that have rose to prominence with the Empire.

Imperial Fashion

Imperial fashion is fundamentally, the purview of Nobles, and to nobles Court is as much a battleground as any battlefield, it is just a battlefield of appearances instead of blades. Nowhere is wealth displayed quite so prominently as it is in the Imperial Court, though the Courts of House Princes can come close. This is where nobles come to shine, and outfits can sometimes cost as much as a fief's income for a month or more. Elaborate gowns with lengthy trains and cloth of gold and silver, and other far more exotic materials such as silks from the Garden Worlds or even fabrics looted from the Caliphate or traded illicitly from the Vau (Of course, such fabrics are inevitably family heirlooms if anyone from the Church asks).

Uniforms festooned with medals both earned and invented. Austerity is frowned upon. The fashion of High Court is fundamentally modest by nature... most of the time. Though the Decados, al-Malik, and Hazat often push the boundaries, especially when trying to include their traditional fashions in the design as so often happens. And of course sometimes the more libertine young nobility of any house may be daring as well.

House Hawkwood

House Hawkwood's fashion is the template for Imperial Fashion. And as such, they tend to dress in modest gowns of Victorian style cuts for women, or military style uniforms most of the time. Of course, the uniforms are only cut in the same way as the House Military unless they hold actual rank in it. Though they may well be just as elaborate. In general, Hawkwood's fashion is considered the most classic, and practical throughout any climate, which combined with Alexius as Emperor easily sets the trends.

The Hazat

The Hazat is similar to Hawkwood, though a more flamboyant and less modest, as befits the passionate house. The women more likely to wear outfits which are easy to move in given the more martial nature of the house. The men less likely to wear uniforms, as technically almost all Hazat are in the military. Instead, they will wear flamboyant, though practical outfits. And some elements of the house push the boundaries nearly as much as House Decados.

House Decados

House Decados tends towards the shocking. And modesty is not a word in their vernacular. They tend towards leather, pleather, pvc, and such things in black, and tight, with a lot of skin for both sexes. In modern terms, their outfits wouldn't be out of place in modern trendy industrial dance clubs. By modern, real world standards, think Lady Gaga, Bjork, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, and you might not be far off.

House al-Malik

House al-Malik is a combination of the exoticism of the Arabian Nights and India, as well as Lawrence of Arabia. They can seem immodest, yet are often very carefully designed to be anything but (Or exactly that), and very luxurious in how they do things. Some of the more libertine types may even dress similar to a simple guilder!

House Li Halan

House Li Halan tends towards Robes by many definitions. But what constitutes robes is a very different story. The women tend towards a combination of Asian cultural outfits, Kimonos, Ru Qun, Qi Pao... and fashions more like the Hawkwood ones. While the men do towards robes similar to those wore by Qing Dynasty nobles and scholars in Earth's China, with the more martial trending towards Hawkwood style uniforms. Still others will dress in a more lush fashion similar to the courts of Byzantium. That said, while Li Halan outfits are often some of the more simple in cut, they are also often the most elaborate in how they are embroidered, and how they are decorated, and especially in fabrics used. What a Baronet or Knight wears in House Li Halan is often the same fabric a Count in any other house paid a fortune to have.

House Justinian

House Justinian depends on the sub faction. Those of the Traditionalists tend towards extremely modest outfits, very much like the Hawkwood Imperial Fashions. The Young Turks tend towards uniforms and military cuts similar to The Hazat, with a strong influence form the Yathrib branch.. While the Yathrib branch is something of a combination of al-Malik styles and more militant ones. Definitely influenced by the tropical desert climate.

House de Moley

House de Moley tends towards conservative fashions as well, similar to the Yathribi Justinian, though it is still practical given the heat of the planet, and quite militant in design. There are also elements of the medieval crusades. After the fall of Giliad during the invasions, the influx of tropical pearl-city based De Moley into Akko brought with them a penchant for flowing robes and loose fitting garments of light cloth.

Other Fashion Notes

Finally, of note to the Mush is Yathribi fashion. Particularly in the Crusader fiefs. Akko and its environs are tropical, near desert environments. So outfits that define Yathrib tend to be something of a mesh of al-Malik and whatever house the member is from due to the desert clime. Also, as it is a military state, armor is quite common as well, though keep in mind how hot it is!

Overall, however, Nobles are unique. As much as they will cleave to fashion at times, they are also unique individuals who walk a fine line trying to stand out. This can mean some will stick to fashion as trying to fit in and be recognized, while others will drastically differ to stand out and create gossip. Such is the conundrum of the nobility, as what will work for one will create a scandal for another, often within the same house. And this in turn is the thing that makes the nobility turn.

Guilders will tend to a wide range of fashions, much more individualistic, and looking to modern fashions with sci fi and medieval elements is not a bad start. In general, they will not be as elaborate or expensive as the Nobility. However, a notable exception is the Charioteers, who sometimes try to be as flamboyant as possible, including things such as personal holo projectors that help give auras of light and such.