“She clothed herself with garments which the Kharites and Horai had made for her and dyed in flowers of spring–such flowers as the Horai wear–in crocus and hyacinth and flourishing violet and the rose’s lovely bloom, so sweet and delicious, and heavenly buds, the flowers of the narcissus and lily. In such perfumed garments is Aphrodite clothed at all seasons.”
I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), “an international non-profit volunteer educational organization…devoted to the research and re-creation of pre-seventeenth century skills, arts, combat, culture, and employing knowledge of history to enrich the lives of participants through events, demonstrations, and other educational presentations and activities” (www.sca.org). I have a Hellenistic Greek persona in the SCA and enjoy re-creating the clothing and accessories of this culture. An SCA persona is not a character created to act or reenact a fictional or historical narrative. A persona simply provides a starting point for research, clothing, and activities based on the historical time and geographic location a participant is interested in. In practice, most SCA members are interested in many cultures and time periods and experiment with different clothing styles, arts and science activities, and martial activities throughout the duration of their participation.
I became interested in Hellenistic Greek culture and clothing in 2014. I lived in Arizona at the time so wearing sleeveless, loose-fitting clothing had a predictable allure. I did enough research to get a general idea of clothing and accessories, but I wasn’t focused on using period-accurate fabrics, dyes, garment construction, or garment designs and embellishments. I was concerned about the bulkiness of most modern linen and wool fabrics so I experimented with lightweight synthetic fabrics, rayon challis, silk, and lightweight cotton. I also experimented with modified chiton and peplos designs to create a narrower garment in light and medium weight linen that would mimic the silhouette, if not the drape, of Greek garments.
I now have a fully developed Hellenistic Greek SCA persona. This helps me focus my research on a more specific location, time frame, and lifestyle. My persona would have lived in Pella, Macedonia, from 229 to 168 BCE. I would have been a wealthy hetaira, a devotee of Aphrodite, and a patron of the arts. My approach to creating clothing and accessories for this persona has evolved over time. My current goal is to improve the historical accuracy of everything I create through better research, more accurate garment construction, and the use or creation of more accurate fabrics and design elements. In creating this site, I am not attempting to provide another resource for general information about Greek clothing and accessories. I am simply sharing my personal adventures in research and projects in case this might be helpful to others interested in this topic. I look forward to learning more through collaboration.