Assiut Mask Project: Part 1 – Project Planning

July 1, 2020

Back in April, I started making cotton masks for my friends and friends here in the Bay Area. At that time, we had no idea how long we would need to wear these trendy fashion accessories.  I wrote a blog post about it and included a link to a pattern and some basic directions. Click […]

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Who’s That Girl in Assiut: Feiruz

November 9, 2018

During the 1950’s, the Egyptian movie industry was obsessed with Hollywood style musicals. Egyptian filmmakers developed their own style of musicals with dramatic action taking pauses for traditional songs and dances. Directors created opportunities for musical by setting scenes in entertainment venues, outside during festivals, or at celebrations. In this 1951 movie entitled Feiruz Hanem […]

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Assiut Cloth in Early 20th century Opera

August 8, 2018

In the early 20th century, costume designers chose assiut cloth operatic productions set in the Middle East.  Plays such as “Salome,” “Anthony and Cleopatra,” and “Lakmé” featured exotic costumes and sets that evoked an imagined exotic opulence of these far-away places set in the distant past. Above: Constance Collier as Cleopatra, 1906 Assiut shawls started […]

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Assiut Belly Dance Gig Dress

July 25, 2018

I often talk to dancers who are looking for that perfect gig dress.  The perfect garment to wear to shows, parties, and events. The Ideal dress has to fit loosely, without any compression at the waist. Ideally, it should be dressy, give a great first impression. Extra points if the dress is easy to get […]

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Mixing Faux and Modern Assiut

June 11, 2018

Swirl is my informal performance group composed of my proteges and myself.  For our spring performance at HaflAdira in Willow Glen, CA, we put together a set of coordinating costumes using a combination of existing costume pieces, faux assiut, and modern assiut.  Here’s how these costumes came together. Pulling From the Closet Before we started […]

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