24 October 2007

Fez

I like a good Fez just as much as the next chap. The Fez originated not in the Muslim world, as some would have it, but in ancient Greece. The Byzantine Greeks, of whom Robert Byron wrote so eloquently and passionately in The Byzantine Achievement (1929), were devoted to the Fez. The Ottoman Turks appropriated the style during their conquest of the Balkans in the 19th Century, and it is the Turks with whom the Fez is most commonly associated. The Fez has long been worn by certain military units, especially those recruited from colonial populations in Africa, the Near East, and India. Today the Fez remains an underappreciated item of headgear, and, sadly, is used in popular entertainment to ridiculous effect to indicate a comic character or situation. Should you wish to purchase your own Fez, inquire with your local haberdashery. I acquired my first Fez as a gift from a young Syrian Muslim woman with whom I was once romantically involved. Pair your Fez with facial hair accessories, as in the photo above, or with tobacco accoutrements such as a pipe or cigar. I like to wear my Fez whilst sporting a Viyella robe and pirate slippers from Stubbs & Wootton.

2 comments:

Paloma Pax said...

My boyfriend used to wear Fez at home when I met him first time... Later he became my husband and nowadays the old fez is ust part of our decoration - the statue of Alexander the Great is wearing it...

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Speaking of Alexander, women in ancient Greece wore the veil, which may surprise some who think it is an Islamic feature. It is my contention that Islam not so much as conquered Byzantium, as absorbed and inherited it.