I recently discovered the House of Babani label, and I am amazed!
Founded by Vitaldi Babani, a Middle-East born Frenchman, in 1895, the House of Babani was originally an imports store specializing in items from the East. (I imagine a turn-of-the-century Pier 1 sort of idea.) However, as time went on the brand began to represent a line of clothing as well. Marvelous, luxurious, glorious clothing inspired by the Eastern imports that was once the store's bread and butter.
Babani worked with Fortuny and also oftentimes reproduced Middle Eastern garments in more luxurious materials to present to the Western market. For example, Barbani would turn a humble wool garment into a luxurious piece by switching out the wool for velvet in the reproduction. Many of his pieces are quite obviously Middle East inspired, and I LOVE them!
Can you see how he may have been influenced by traditional Middle Eastern and North African garments? Which Babani gown is your favorite? Which Middle Eastern/North African garment is most striking to you? Did you know traditional Middle Eastern clothing looked like this?
There's not a whole lot of information out there on the House of Babani, but here are a couple links if you'd like to delve deeper!
|traditional bedouin abaya with embroidery | House of Babani gown, c. 1920|
|Antique Turkish black garment, c. 1840 | Babani gown, c. 1920s|
|Babani jacket over Fortuny Delphos dress | Traditional man's cloak made of white goat's hair from the Al Baha tribe in Saudi Arabia|
|Traditional Kuwaiti wedding ensemble | House of Babani evening coat, c. 1925|
|Babani dress, c. 1926 | Antique red velvet Ottoman outfit|