New Caledonian Fashion
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With the Dye Studio cementing itself as a key Caledonian export, clothing has become something of a staple within the Realm; and, as such, various styles will come and go as fashionable and... well, not so much. While members are not required to wear clothing at all, those that do might be interested in keeping up with the latest trends, as dictated by the Studio staff! Local seamstress Pippa is more than happy to whip up an outfit for your character, provided they have something of interest to trade. ;>
When designing your character's attire, please keep in mind 'Souls guidelines!
1. Traditional Old Caledonian Styles
Clothing is minimal in its presentation and inspired by organic elements; wools, simple patterns, and leathers with designs. Colors and patterns may vary slightly depending on ties to a specific clan or to one's upbringing within the pack. Cloak pins are traditionally worn to align with Courts of Dusk and Dawn.
1.1 Clothing Inspired from the Clans
- Menel: Are known for their more tribal inspired attire. It is not uncommon to find them decorated with items such as wraps and scarves.
- Aegas: Often wear clothing that is decorated or embossed with metals and leather. It is common for grand occasions for members of the Aegas clan to wear a leather breastplate crafted by their families.
- Taur: Known for their flowing robes, Taur are known for opulent clothing that accentuates their features and long flowing hair.
- Lorn: As more pious members of their society, members of Lorn are known for their high collared tunics and long sleeves. Men are often seen wearing tabard-like attire.
2. New Caledonian Styles
2.1 General Rules
- It is important to remember that fabric/materials are very limited, and VERY valuable. As such, most of New Caledonia’s clothing is seen as a symbol of status. The higher the rank of the character, the more likely they are to have something in the way of clothing. Some dress for daily use, while some only dress for special occasions (The Call to Court, Founder’s Day, or various feasts). It would certainly raise eyebrows to see a member of the Sistina with an outfit fit for the High King.
- Natural dyes are produced from the plants/roots surrounding the Dye Studio, and by various tradings with merchants. Note that currently the only colours that the Studio can easily produce are shades of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, and blue-purple. Pure indigo is much rarer, and is only brought in sporadically - as such, it tends to be reserved for higher ranks and official banners. Black is not a possible shade (though a very dark muddled brown is!), nor is pure white.
- It is common for characters to bring their garments to the Studio to re-dye them (in a process called overdyeing) instead of getting an entirely new garment made. This is especially the case with older garments whose dye has faded with time.
- Wool and wool fabrics are perhaps the most common material available. Their quality can vary depending on the fineness of the processing and weaving. Wool fabrics are regularly obtained from the outpost in Portland, where they are made on warp-weighted looms, often from New Caledonia’s own raw wool. Rough-woven wool is used for saddle pads and riding cloaks. Finer-woven wool is used for garments, particularly dresses. Note: New Caledonia does not currently have a large enough loom to create their own fabric on site.
- Cotton and cotton fabrics are available only sporadically, and are seen as almost entirely decorative (due to their little warmth). It is also often used for banners and flags.
- Pelts and leather goods are available on a rotating basis, depending on what is harvestable from the pack’s main stores. Caledonians can also skin their own animals and bring the hides to the Studio to be made into something.
- Cloaks are by far the most common garment worn by New Caledonians. They are often dyed in solid colours and embroidered with simple details and symbols in colourful thread, or lined with fur for extra warmth in the winter months. Ombre fabrics are also possible, but are less common. Cloak pins are traditionally worn to show allegiance to the Court of Dusk or Dawn, or mark a position in a Guild.
- Dresses are often various layers of square wool fabric layered on top of one another and fashioned with ornamental pins at the shoulders and sashes to give them shape (see: chiton). These dresses require the least sewing/tailoring and the most customisation between wears.
- Dresses can also be made in simple peasant styles (see: kirtle), with or without an undershirt. These require more sewing and can be fitted at the waist with a sash or belt, or anchored at the back or sides with laces. The holes for the laces are made with shears and supported with stitching to keep from fraying. As metal eyelets and boning are not possible with luperci hands, and their nature is very constricting, corsets are not possible.
- Vests, tunics, and trousers are also commonly worn, albeit in loose-fitting styles. Simple peasant-style tops are also common. Tight-fitting trousers and blouses with buttons are not possible nor practical for Luperci to make.
- Common symbols on clothing include: suns, crescents, and stars.
- Cloak pins are an easy way for members of the Realm to showcase their allegiance to the Court of Dawn or the Court of Dusk, or mark a position in a Guild. They are fashioned in the forges.
- Leather packs and bags are brought in from Portland, and are worn for standard use.
- For now, the Dye Studio only makes items of clothing, scarves, sashes, and simple cloth bags. These bags can be attached to a sash to be worn at the waist (see above).
- Leather breastplates and leather armour are outsourced from Portland, where they are adjusted in the Studio. These offer standard protection but are not custom fit!
- Hairstyles in daily life can vary wildly, depending on each Caledonian’s personal tastes and the nature of their work. Caledonians are free to express themselves as they so choose.
- For special occasions, it is common to see hair in elaborate, braided updos, handsewn together with needle and thread or secured with a wooden decorative comb. Members of the high nobility and above often tie ribbons or pieces of fabric in their hair that correspond to their chosen Court (indigo for Dusk, yellow for Dawn).
- Typically the higher you ascend through the ranks, the more complicated your hair style becomes for special events and occasions.