EPOCHS OF HAESENI COUTURE
‘Ve Edlervik’ a painting by Fenika vas Ruthern
Lady Marjoreya of Vidaus
In celebration of Ehr Sigmunda 500
On this 17th day of Wzuvar ag Byvca of 500 E.S.
Research revised by atavistic Haeseni scholars & extant human chroniclers.
Research conducted over a period of four months.
II. The Early Kingdom
III. Ottonian Era
IV. Ruskan Renaissance
V. Contemporary Rus
VI. Amadean Couture
VII. Valdevic Era
VA BIRODEO HERZENAV AG EDLERVIK,
Upon this momentous occasion, the five hundredth year (500 E.S.) of the Sigismundic calendar - and conjunctionally the five hundredth anniversary of the ascension of the Prophet Sigismund. In tandem with the many years of Haeseni history and the continuation of Royal succession, new eras of Haense implore new trends of fashion - not only out of experimentation but also from necessity. And thus, new silhouettes are crafted bringing about a new era of style for the people of Hanseti-Ruska.
There lacks a proper written timeline of Haeseni fashion since the founding of the Duchy of Haense. However, many of the years prior to the elevation of the Dukes of Haense to Kings of Hanseti-Ruska are scarcely written of in such a manner and thus this compendium begins in the 1500s*, nearly fifty years following the beginning of the Sigismund calendar.
*For ease of reading, all dates within this document are in both the Imperial format and an approximate Sigismundic format.
The Dukes of Haense
Early to late 1500s | ~50 E.S.
In the times of St. Karl Barbanov, Haense was not yet a Kingdom, only a Duchy built up from the foundations of its Waldenic predecessor. For most of the earlier years of the Duchy of Haense, the realm was engulfed in war - namely the third Human-Dwarven war. A struggle between the Haenseni and the Dwarves for control of the realms mining and lumber left the Haenseni in economic strife though unlike the later ‘Great Fatigue’ the Haeseni people were easily excitable by their Duke and looked with elation unto the future of the Duchy. St. Karl was a fierce military leader and influenced his people as to be expected given how he is often portrayed in literature and soon after the Human-Dwarven war’s end, he began a conquest of pagans that had found a home deep in the hinterlands. This furthered the Canonist image of the Duchy of Haense, causing many canonistic motifs to appear throughout not only literature and art of the time but also within the pious fashions of the earliest Haeseni peoples.
Even after the pagan conquest, war and invasions continued throughout the regency led by Haenseni Lord Tarcell Othaman with the Dukes’ War shortly after. During this era of constant war and strife, and later occupation of the Ducal lands of Haense by House Kovachev, the Haeseni people struggled to find their own image and culture aside from their contentious relationship with many of their neighbors.
Men and women alike of this era often donned dark and muted colors alongside their armor, however, these times were far less accepting of women in positions in war and they were often relented to lives awaiting their husband’s return.
Still, most commonly in the time of Regent Tarcell Othaman, women donned a unique style of iron corset beneath their woolen frocks - likely due to the onslaught of constant invasions during the early years of the Dukes’ War. Alongside their iron corsets and woolen frocks, women adorned themselves with furs - albeit a far more humble depiction from what’s more commonly seen in modern times.
The Early Kingdom
First Kings of Haense, Court of Petyr I, Andrik II, Marius I, Stefan
Late 1500s to mid 1600s | ~200 E.S.
Following their elevation to Kings of Hanseti-Ruska, and likely a massive influx of citizens within their city, the people of Haense set out to establish a culture of their own - juxtaposed from the southern imperials. The fashion of this era is derived from the staunchly isolationist culture of Haense from their imperial liege lords, and the frigid winters experienced in their northern settlement.
The people of this era were rigid and firm in their somewhat unique style so much so that outsiders often remained that way, even in high-ranking consort stations. In this time, Queen Reza of Turov, was outcast from her husband’s court due to her friendship with Empress Julia of Oren and her contribution to the stylings of the era is minimal. Oftentimes the court of this era was dubbed a ‘Nest of Crows’ as their Ruskan culture was impenetrable by the outside empire.
The fashion is characterized as humble and simplistic. Most of the adornments, such as furs, hats, and coats, were strictly purposeful and even royalty donned less intricate ensembles.
Popular styles for women of this era include long flowing frocks, oft lined with fur, clasped with belts that were likely made of leather or gold depending on its wearer’s status. It was common for noble ladies and common folk all the same to layer their frocks with woolen outer coats, most often dyed to be darker colors such as blue, red, or brown.
Men of the early Kingdom of Haense dressed just as simply to their female counterparts, oftentimes seen in armor adorned with some sort of fur - likely hunted in the years prior. At public proceedings, both formal and informal, men remained clad in their armor that was oftentimes made of darkened steel; however in the comfort of their own homes they would exchange their sheathing for woolen tunics similar to the fairer sex.
Otto I, Otto II, Otto III, Karl II, Franz II, Sigmar II
Mid to late 1600s | ~230 E.S.
Despite their isolationist tendencies, the people of Haense were eventually influenced by their imperial liege lords. In a time where the Kings of Haense were wed to foreign royals, commonly of neighboring vassals to the vast Orenian Empire, the Kingdom’s culture saw much of its traditions and day-to-day life influenced by Oren whether they liked it or not. Most notably during the time of Eleanor of Lotharingia, raised to Queen consort from her union to St. Otto II of Haense, the fashion saw lots of change as she was a catalyst for the Imperial influence. Much of her own influence likely came from her sisters, Empress Claude of Oren and Queen Marie of Courland, known for their unions of monarchs across the empire in rapid succession and thus, imperial fashion was brought into Haense quicker than ever before.
Following the largely upsetting union of King Stefan I to Elizabeth of Courland only a few generations prior, historians believed the reign of St. Otto and his queen, Eleanor, to be similar; however it was vastly different given Eleanor’s familial differences to the loathed Queen Elizabeth. On her coronation alongside St. Otto, she was crowned in tandem with her husband - being the first Queen to ever be crowned with the King - donning a wide-set gown of Banardian descent. While this was a bit too extravagant for the humble Haenseni people, the style managed to influence them some. Later the Queen went on to boast many imperially inspired gowns furthering the infusion of Orenian fashions into the Kingdom of Haense.
This era saw influence from both the Empire of Man, and the pertinax, but also from the Haute-Lotharingen style of Heartlander fashion.
This era’s stylings are identifiable through their corseted silhouettes for women. While fur was still somewhat popular, the people of this era found their warmth in layers and woolen underdresses beneath extravagant overcoats. Oftentimes overtop of their underdresses, women of this era would wear intricately decorated ‘foreparts’ which were triangular pieces of fabric placed where the skirt opened in the front. However, this tradition was mostly reserved for royalty and high nobility as these were difficult pieces of clothing to craft and wear.
Similar to the women of the country, Haeseni men began to shift their style to closer align with their imperial brothers. Juxtaposed from their forefathers, the men of the Ottonian Era donned more formal vestments in exchange for armor. However, the vestments of Haeseni men still greatly differed from imperial fashion, unlike the women of this time period. Where men of the Empire traded in their trousers for breeches worn typically over hose, Haensemen continued to wear long trousers accompanied with flowing coats.
Late 1600s to late 1700s | ~300 E.S.
This era, being the second longest of Haeseni fashion to date, saw the Kingdom’s departure from Imperial fashion and shift toward a distinctive style of their own. Following a long string of queens born to staunchly imperial houses, and even some of those who had previously rebelled and were married only by war-ending treaties, came a slew of Haeseni-born queens with only two being from foreign nations. However, unlike their predecessors, Grand Princess Valera of Adria and Queen Milena of Adria were of raevir houses, whose culture was somewhat similar to what Ruskan culture would later become.
During what many historians note as ‘The Great Fatigue’ Haeseni national pride sank, the Haeseni Royal Army saw lower numbers than it had for years and what people believed to be a hopeless situation caused a drought in Haeseni nationalism.
This was a relatively short era when it comes to fashion of the Haeseni people, seeing as consecutive reigns of queens Milena, Maya, Viktoriya, and Isabel - each compounding on one another - the Haeseni image returned to, and even surpassed, what it once was. In modern times we view this as foreshadowing for later independence gained under the reign of King Josef I and his wife Isabel of Valwyck. Following this fashion changed very little as the people of New Reza remembered their time in the empire and were reluctant to change their dress for some time, though it would be a slow burn from this point on to the culturally unique Haense we know today. The name of this era is derived from the later Queen Annika’s interest in the ancient folk-kingdom of Ruska.
At the earlier period of this time we see the humble notes of Haense return as much of the nation’s funds were sent into the war. The aforementioned ‘Great Fatigue’ had a very negative effect on national pride and fashion alike as the presumed hopelessness of the Haeseni situation caused a lull in the previously staunch isolationist qualities of the Haeseni people.
Throughout the war, and until the mid 1700s, this era continued the exchange of armor for more formal attire in men and a high waistline in women.
However following the Haeseni independence in the late 1700s, a rise in uniquely Haeseni fashion began. Still different from what fashion we know today, and even from the fashion of the Contemporary Rus era, groundwork was laid to accommodate a smooth transition between the once imperial vassal, to the culturally unique Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska.
The 1800s | ~400 E.S.
Following the Kingdom’s separation from their imperial liege lords there was a short period where the people of New Reza were reluctant to dress differently than they had prior and their fashions reflected heavily their - now simply neighbors - Orenian counterparts. This short period of time saw high ‘empire-style’ waistlines accompanied by minor utilizations of fur as the climate of New Reza was far warmer than the later Karosgrad or Valdev. However, with the union of Queen Annika and King Heinrik a new force had taken hold of the courts and the new queen’s personal interest in the ancient Kingdom of Ruska - much like the future Queen Amadea’s personal heritage - influenced the court greatly.
This new trend, and later staple of Haeseni fashion, spread quickly across the Kingdom as Annika was well liked and her influence held in high regard. Different from her successor, Annika’s Contemporary Rus style was far more ornamental and boasted dark colors throughout the nobility and common folk alike. Alongside this, colour played a very important role in fashion due to a notable decree by Queen Annika detailing the specific meanings the colours had throughout the court, though this decree was often taken in extreme directions by the fiercely competitive courtiers of the Nikirala Court.
Throughout this era the court remained a cold place, many decrees were issued under the purview of the Mistress of the Wardrobe at the time that often stifled creativity among those who had little influence on these decrees as many simply abided by the rules put in place by the Queen’s Council.
Following Annika was the revered Queen Emma, often monikered ‘the Golden’ due to the extreme success she saw during her reign alongside her husband Sigismund III. Most notably during Queen Emma’s reign she established the Karanina Accord which saw little change in fashion, of course, but was a pivotal moment in Haense history as it sparked a rise in women in positions previously held only by men. In tandem, this era saw a rise in influence from the council as a whole within the Kingdom and the rise of the Grand Lady as a seat upon the Aulic Council.
Emma also established the wildly popular Lifstala season which transcended the Haeseni court and even went on to influence the Imperial Augustine Court with their ‘Social Season’. This was vital to Haense’s rise as an international power as it marked their, now, strong sense of national identity and was a pivotal moment since the independence of Haense from Oren as it further established the crow nation as its own entity and a force to be reckoned with.
Men of this period often donned furs far more than their predecessors in New Reza. The coats remained elongated though the colors of the lower class began to dull as the aforementioned decrees grew in frequency. Opposite the men with their elongated coats and furs-a-plenty, sashes became wildly popular throughout the Nikirala Court as well as - due to their impending ‘golden era’ and the rise of Haeseni national pride we saw an opulence in the fashion of ladies at court akin to the Empire. In the earliest stages of the Contemporary Rus, during the time of Queen Annika and Princess Royal Katarina, ladies donned corseted bodices with structured fabric skirts, though the sleeves differentiated it from the Ottonian predecessors.
The latter portion of this period of Haeseni fashion history was dominated by Emma’s influence as she was widely beloved and her style and demeanor was often sought after among noble ladies of the Kingdom. During this time, juxtaposed from the styles of Queen Annika’s court, the ladies donned light colors and floral motifs saw a peak across men’s and women’s fashions. Across both distinct halves of this era fashion of the men remained mostly uniform as armor saw a rise once more since the Kingdom’s separation from the Empire and in tandem with the widespread national pride.
Amadean Era | Hanso-Rhenyari Fashion
Late 1800s to early 1900s | ~450 E.S.
Despite the greatly influential Queen Emma, and her Ruskan fashion, the Haeseni people later began to follow their new queen’s fashions as she - upon her union to King Karl III - began to take power within the court. Amadea of Susa, as her name suggests, was of House Basrid; though she was originally of House d’Arkent as daughter to Baron Wilhelm Carrington, she was later adopted by her mother’s family. Although she was wed in a time where tensions between the Empire and the Kingdom of Haense were on the rise, her childhood under the care of both Queen Emma and Empress Anastasia made it so she was viewed as a worldly and well-learned woman as opposed to an outlander as imperial queens were before her.
While her blood carried with it only a small fraction of Basridi influence, her features juxtaposed those of her father and claimed strongly to her mother’s house and culture, Rhenyari. As she was well-learned in matters of her matrilineal culture, the Rhenyari way of life found a home within the Haeseni court easily. Following her nuptials to, at the time Grand Prince, Karl Sigmar, Amadea’s influence at court was great alongside her mother-by-law, Emma of Jerovitz. Following the death of King Sigismund III, and in tandem with Karl’s ascension to King of Haense, many courtiers began to emulate the style of Queen Amadea. However, unlike the widely known Rhenyari fashions, Hanso-Rhenyari fashion was unique to only the northern region the dual kingdom was nestled within. It is important to note that this was less of a cultural shift and should be viewed more so as a trend for the courtiers of the palace.
The Amadean Era consisted of silhouettes that boasted long flowing skirts, oftentimes layered over a tighter fitted woolen underlay. To withstand the cold climate of Karosgrad, the ladies of Haense often donned fur-lined coats over their silk, linen, or bamboo-derived fabric gowns. A popular trend of the Rhenyari culture was drapery; oftentimes women of this era would layer themselves with many of the aforementioned fabrics in true Hanso-Rhenyar fashion.
Unlike the previously mentioned eras, the Amadean era saw little change with the stylings of the lords alongside their ladies. The men of this era often wore just as they had before, with elongated coats and fur pelts still dominating the styles of many Haensmen, noble and common alike.
Since the reign of Sigismund III and Emma of Jerovitz the Kingdom of Haense had only increased in power, becoming now a true world power since the fall of the Empire of Oren. Throughout many years since their separation from the Empire, Haense has had a fierce battle with their Horenic counterparts - a power struggle of sorts - in population, military power, and even national pride. Even though Haense had likely grown far stronger even before Oren’s fall, it was the Harvest Confederation and the continuous instability in the south that acted as a catalyst to secure Haense as a world dominating power. This series of events, in conjunction with various movements and workings within the court, Haense’s culture and might flourished.
Thereafter with the establishment of the Hyspian Viceroy during the reign of King Georg I, only adding to the wide array of cultures boasted within the modern Kingdom of Haense, and supported by the reign of Queen Amadea just prior to her son’s tenure as King of Haense, the new city of Valdev sports a wide variety of cultures influencing its constantly evolving fashion.
However, in more recent times, with the reign of King Aleksandr II and Queen Amaya of Venzia, the city of Valdev has shifted somewhat closer to its Ruskan roots, though in a different way than prior. Juxtaposed from the strict courts of queens Annika, Emma, and Amadea, Haense’s current Queen, Amaya of Venzia, heartens a far more lax environment in the Crown City of Valdev. With influences of her own familial ties, the Scyfling House Colborn, Amaya brought about a new era for the Haeseni people.
Silhouettes of this era are identifiable by the influences of Queen Amaya’s Scyfling Bunad. Characterized by a corset-like bodice, usually worn over a white tunic of sorts, accompanied by an ornately embroidered skirt. While this style has remained somewhat unique to House Colborn, with the wild popularity of the Scyfling Queen, small intricacies of the house’s fashion have found their way into the wider Haeseni fashion. Still, more so now as the winters - and even summers - have become harsher than ever before, fur is a popular addition to any ensemble be it formal or informal.
The male fashion of this age, similar to their female counterparts, is very relaxed with still very militant influences. Armor plates are commonly seen in combination with flowing coats.
IV JOVEO MAAN,
HER LADYSHIP, Marjoreya Vasiliya vas Ruthern,
Scholar of the Esrova Prikaz
HER EXCELLENCY, Roslin Annastas Baruch,
Lady Palatine of Hanseti-Ruska, Duchess of Valwyck, Countess of Ayr, Viscountess of Voron, Baroness of Gant, Laval and Riveryn, Lady of Jorenstadt, Guardian of the Hanseti Coast
HER ROYAL MAJESTY, Amaya of Venzia,
Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Thurant, Venzia and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera.