Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Laos Enosi: Clothing

This morning, I'm thinking about Laos Enosi. Or trying to, anyway.

Specifically, about clothing. This is more than just an aesthetic issue, and I really wanted to get some ideas fixed in my mind before I started showing off the continent, but, there ya go. The trouble with being the GM is that you can spend your life planning the game, and never get it "done" enough to play. Or you can start playing, and retcon or cope with some inconsistencies later. Even if you plan for years, there will always be something you forget, or leave out, or wish you had done differently.

The way a society dresses its people says a lot about them, and this is true for the Laos Enosi, too. There were several considerations I took into account as I started formulating ideas.

First, Laosian culture is fairly practical, though not absolutely so. The rich and noble classes do broadcast their wealth in their attire, with more ornamentation, embroidery, and work being put into their wardrobe. The working class wears certain garments for practical reasons that rich people wouldn't wear because, well, they don't have to work. Similar to the "white glove" idea in England--if you need to use your hands, wearing white gloves is a darn silly thing to do. Yet nobles wore them all the time--in a very real sense broadcasting "Look at me! I don't have to work! I don't even have to open my own doors!"

Second, there are two distinct species living in Laos Enosi: the humans, and the humanoid foxes. These two peoples have different cultures, different attire, and different attitudes, even though they have become mixed together in one nation. As a nationality, they face certain struggle. Unlike the black/white racial "division" in America, history doesn't show one group consistently oppressing the other--rather, they have a long and colorful history of both in-fighting and allying in different periods of time. For all their differences, the foxes and humans have more in common with each other than wth the other nations of Apagorevo. But that doesn't mean they are either identical, or always get along.

So, the foxes dress differently from the humans. Here are some sample images of the fox attire:

(These are for clothing reference, so no criticism of my art skillz, ok? Y'all can comment on the clothing designs all you want, however.)

The first two are femal designs; the last one is a male design. (I know there's a mouseover label command in html but I'm too lazy to look it up right now). The headwear on the two females is a work in progress. I haven't decided what to do with that yet.

As you can see, there's not a great deal of difference between the male and female attire. Both wear sandals with a "slip-off" design, loose, almost culotte-style pants, blouse-style shirts, and a kind of "over tunic" for lack of a better word. That thing the woman wears is particularly hard to describe in English; I will probably give it a Laosian name. I guess I could do that now. The "vest" the male is wearing is a "gileko." (pronounced with a hard g--Laosian has no soft g: gee-lay-koh). The woman's is a "sakaki" (sah-kah-kee). (NB: Any resemblence between Laosian and actual words in a real language like, say, Greek, is purely the result of my using an English-to-Greek transation website to produce them.)

The loose clothing accomodates the fox's fur. (Tight clothes and lush fur always sounded uncomfortable to me.) Both the salaki and the gikeko are usually made out of leather, sometimes fur, sometimes lightweight materials for summer wear. The sandals are because the foxes don't need clothing much for warmth or protection so much (we have fur!) and they're easy to get on and off. They wear sandals outside, but not inside, the same as Japanese tradition, and largely as a cleanliness issue. (Do you know how much neater your floor stays if you take off your shoes before coming inside?) Humans

The salaki and gikeko split in back at the waist to accomodate the tail. The salaki's snug, lace-up sides allow it to provide some support for the woman's breasts. (I should put princess seams on the salaki, or I may break down and put some kind of broad belt-thing around the rib cage for support instead of the simple style shown here.)

Men's shirts have looser "bat wing" style sleeves than the women's; the women have narrower arm holes to accommodate the fit of clothing around the ribcage to support the breasts. (I suppose I could just give the women bras, but that feels so wrong. And women's lib notwithstanding, saggy breasts are just plain uncomfortable if you ask me.)

The real reason that male and female fox clothing is so similar is that the foxes have relatively little in the way of gender-based roles. Males and females engage in much the same activities and careers, and regard each other as equals. (Incidentally, this is pretty much true for almost all of Sinai. None of the GMs at the founding had any real interest in gender roles or associated issues arising from the same, so gender is largely a matter of aesthetics, not functionality. Almost the same is true of races. I think everyone was sick to death of 'bad human' or 'evil oppresor' stories, so the whole subject was shoved out of the picture.)

Accordingly, they have the same practical requirements in attire.

I'd write more, but Trask wants to play Baldur's Gate. Maybe tomorrow...
Tags: apagorevo, art, gaming
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