A brief history of the fashion turban

Navy Satin Turban for Chemo Patients

Traditionally the turban was worn for religious reasons and as Amber Butchart (as seen looking gorgeous in my silk Lucy style turban in photo above) states in her book “The Fashion Chronicles” in the Ottoman empire “headgear signified gender, ethnicity, religion and status and was a feature of Turkish dress even before the Islamic period saw the adoption of the turban.”
The turban is seen worn as a fashion item in the Dutch painting Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by artist Johannes Vermeer in 1665, the painting features a girl wearing a turban tied around her head, though in the book of the same name, if I remember rightly, the piece of fabric is tied around her head in a somewhat random manner.
During the 18th and 19th centuries the turban grew in popularity & during the Regency period a turban could be a statement of wealth with jewels adorning them to accentuate the point.
Fashion designer Paul Poiret, revived the ‘oriental’ turban as a fashion statement during the early 1910s. Poiret loved to visit the Victoria and Albert museum and would take inspiration from its collection of antique turbans. Then in the 1920s with the invention of cars the turban grew in popularity again as a way of controlling women’s hair whilst travelling. Turbans were often made of satin or velvet and adorned with feathers or brooches, the perfect accessory to a flapper dress!
After the war the turban became popular amongst Hollywood actresses, for example Greta Garbo. In the 1950s Marlene Dietrich was also known to have worn turban designs created by Christian Dior. I named my scarf turban after Sophia Loren who was an avid turban wearer. Then our very own Queen Elizabeth II wore many different fashion turbans during the 1960s & 1970s. It was the 1970s that I think was the height of the turban fashion was with Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Elizabeth Taylor & Joan Collins all regularly photographed wearing some fabulous turbans.
The turban then had another fashion peak when in 2010 Sarah Jessica Parker wore a turban by Ralph Lauren in Sex and the City 2. Since then turbans have become a fashion staple with many different celebrities endorsing many different fashion designers & milliners’ creations.