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High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 07:49 PM
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This came across my Facebook feed the other day; a nice short article about one of the more unusual articles of clothing in ancient Egypt - the bead dress.



Fashion trends are not just a modern construction. In ancient Egypt, looking fashionable was an important part of everyday life, especially for the elite members of society. One of the high class fashions was the bead-net dress. Although historians were aware of artistic depictions of females wearing bead-net dresses, it wasn’t until the 1920s that real examples were actually discovered.

article on bead net dresses



There are some nice links on the second page of the article that show other examples of this. There's also a very lovely one in the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

They are surprisingly heavy, though, since faience is a glazed clay material, and if you ever tried to move around in a beaded net you will quickly realize that it's not terribly flexible.




posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Thank you for posting this.

I saw these some time ago when I was looking for something else, and I'd forgotten them.
Arent they incredible?



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:03 PM
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I am all for these dresses making a comeback.

Walmart shoppers may disagree.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Awesome, the original sexy fish net dress.

Can we imagine her wearing it? It kind of rattles and swishes when she move.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:24 PM
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Oh oh... now I'm sexually excited by mummy garb... this might make life more difficult, or at least stranger.

Thumbs up for an "Egyptology " episode on Project Runway.. nice one Birdie!



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 12:31 AM
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I totally love this dress, and it knocks the socks off most of the totally uninspiring designs on the catwalk from famous, and pretentious, designers (Kanye West comes to mind)



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Ahhh, yes, the bead dress. I remember it well from the movie, "The Mummy."




posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

I think that is not a bead dress but that she is painted in henna and it was a way to show if she was been touched by somebody else.

meaning she was painted in gold and henna.



Looking at the dresses in the pictures I would not be surprised if some of the fashion makes a comeback, they are truly beautiful.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: marg6043

Either way...




posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 03:22 PM
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That's kinda hawt.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 03:31 PM
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didn't know that Victoria secret existed back then



posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 05:17 AM
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Not good enough Byrd.

We demand that you model one for us!

Harte



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: Byrd
Absolutely fascinating. Thank you so, so much for presenting this. One of my dreams is to visit Egypt (only 3 hrs or so from me by commercial jet) and visit some of its wonderful, historic sites, including some that are less well-known.

Yes, the Egyptians all those millennia ago were very conscious of clothing and its importance. And they loved to bathe, to wear perfumes and makeup -- and I mean the men as well, as you would doubtless know -- and the more I learn about their incredibly complex and integrated culture, the more they intrigue me.

I would love to learn more about their makeup. I know they considered it as something beyond adornment, but for me, as very much a non-expert, it has been a difficult item to research. I'd love to have a better understanding of the mentality behind what clothes and makeup they wore. Even after years of study, I know so little.

For example,iof a woman wore a beaded dress, did she wear it on specific days, like the equinoxes or solstices? And what makeup did she wear? Did she change her "standard" makeup?

They obviously knew of these days/dates. So besides being funereal wear, were these beaded garments ceremonial in "normal" life? Obviously they were heavy and not very practical; we know that for millennia, Egyptian women preferred knee-length (or longer) garments. But I feel that their society had a certain conservatism, which is however difficult to quantify.

And for me, because of my writings, I would prefer to quantify these aspects to a greater degree.


edit on 11/3/17 by JustMike because: I have no idea!



posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: Harte
I think you might get a polite but justified refusal!



posted on Mar, 12 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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originally posted by: JustMike
a reply to: Byrd
Absolutely fascinating. Thank you so, so much for presenting this. One of my dreams is to visit Egypt (only 3 hrs or so from me by commercial jet) and visit some of its wonderful, historic sites, including some that are less well-known.

I wish I could go back again. Once is never enough for those like us!


I would love to learn more about their makeup. I know they considered it as something beyond adornment, but for me, as very much a non-expert, it has been a difficult item to research. I'd love to have a better understanding of the mentality behind what clothes and makeup they wore. Even after years of study, I know so little.

Now that you mention it, we haven't learned much about it in our studies. This may be because not much is known or it didn't change that much over time (or at least the way they drew it didn't change much over 3000 years.) We do know the pigments used.

At one point they had tattoos (actually, they came back into favor during the Ptolemaic times.)


For example,iof a woman wore a beaded dress, did she wear it on specific days, like the equinoxes or solstices? And what makeup did she wear? Did she change her "standard" makeup?

They probably did have "party makeup" - but those bead dresses would have been worn only for certain occasions as kind of an "over-dress" for a fine linen garment. If you sat in one, you'd crack some of the beads, so it likely could only be worn standing up. There's a tale in the Westcar Papyrus King Sneferu who liked to be rowed around his private lake by women wearing only "net dresses" - speculation is that this might be these bead net dresses or something similar.

Another one, designed for a mummy, at the Louvre (the link has some nice detail in the article.)


They obviously knew of these days/dates. So besides being funereal wear, were these beaded garments ceremonial in "normal" life?

I don't see many images of them being worn by anyone; they are not worn in offering scenes that I remember.


Obviously they were heavy and not very practical; we know that for millennia, Egyptian women preferred knee-length (or longer) garments. But I feel that their society had a certain conservatism, which is however difficult to quantify.


In many ways they were very conservative, believing that the "old ways" were the ways of Ma'at - balance and harmony.



posted on Mar, 12 2017 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

I love it! I could seriously wear something like that.




posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: Byrd
Thank you very much, Byrd! Every bit of information I can glean as a lay person in Egyptology helps me a great deal. Even after years of reading and study, I know so very little.




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