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Vintage Assiut Robe with Basinah

As we move through the seasons of the year, my work on the next book continues.  We are so very pleased that Basinah of San Francisco has once again joined our team for several assiut looks. This August she appeared at Siren’s Fest wearing a vintage robe and hip wrap. 

This ensemble is composed of a vintage assiut robe and coin hip sash.  It’s worn over a black base layer of unadorned bra and a simple black panel skirt. Basinah styled the ensemble with flowers in her hair, sparkling earrings, and her award-winning smile. 

Vintage Assiut Robe

This robe started off its life embellished with crochet and coins across the front. This was a popular style for assiut belly dance robes made during the 1980s and ’90s.

In that era, the assiut industry was in decline, so this style can be difficult to source.  However, you can still sometimes find them for sale on the resale market in various states of repair.

When I acquired this robe in the ‘00s, it was in very poor condition. At some point in its life, a soda was spilled on it.  The result was a swath of corroded coins down the center of the robe. The crochet was ripped and torn and many of the coins were missing. After removing the coins, I was left with this lovely assiut robe.

Vintage Assiut Robe Evolution

After performing in this robe as-is, it’s become clear that it urgently needs some repairs and an alteration to achieve a better fit. While it is unclear how many owners this vintage beauty has had, this robe is going to get some TLC hand stitching a few holes, and open seams.  Then it will get a thorough soak in Orvis, a rolling pin treatment to seal in all the stitches.  Then we will meet up for a fitting for its next owner, the glamorous Basinah.

The final renovation of this vintage robe will appear in our next book “Belly Dance Costume in Detail with Assiut.”

About Basinah

Basinah is a San Francisco-based award-winning professional belly dancer.  She teaches workshops all over the west coast, sharing her retro-fabulous vintage Egyptian stylings. In addition, she is one of the founding members of the Asheq Collective.  Asheq is a multi-award-winning, San Francisco/Bay Area dance troupe. The collective is composed exclusively of professional dancers and choreographers.  Follow this link to her website for more details about Basinah.

Stay tuned for more blog posts featuring Basinah. Her next costume is cream with rhinestones and pearls.  And after that, purple assiut!

But now, I’m heading back into the studio to make some more assiut hair flowers.

Until next time – Happy Costuming and Dance,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
August 8, 2022

Watch Basinah in Action

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