What inspires the Helai elves' style of dress? Is there any cultural meaning in the way they pattern and decorate the fabric?
Linen is what the plainsfolk wear. Linen and wool, from the times when the Helai weren’t dying clans but an united horde of ~60,000.
They wear loose, light-coloured clothing as it helps with shielding their bodies from heat and the harmful sunlight both. Their patterns tend to be angular, strictly geometric and abstract. There is no habit of telling stories through clothweaving - those stories will be preserved through song. However, the more red can be found needlepointed into someone’s clothing, the more decorated a person they are. This is why the elders of the Enclave, as well as the elders of their settlements, faculties of research, as well as warlords (a gender-neutral title among the plainsfolk), forge masters and keepers (the respective leaders of the three clans) tend to have a lot of red in their clothing.
There are the songribbons - geometrically patterned belts of cloth, hand-woven and imbued with song magic. Whether the magic is real or not, the custom among the Taralindi is that if you believe that it will help, it will. If you believe in the songs woven into the fabric, it will help. The more complex the patterns, the more complex the song and story, and all the spirits and the will and the wishes of the weaver/loomworker ride along with the warrior.
A standard item that at least the Taralindi plainsfolk wear is a sort of a shawl that hangs around their neck. The longer the shawl, the older its wearer. When a Taralindi hela dies, they are burned, dressed entirely in red.
The exception is made for the unprecedented newcomers: the city elves and Dalish elves from the east who have come to live with the Ander clans. They are allowed to be buried according to their old customs, but their children are considered helai, and will be burned in red cloth.
Disclaimer: The Helai clans are still very much a work in progress and they’re still rather loosely connected to the DA canon. Thus, there will be discrepancies and shit that just don’t match up at all with older information.
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Galra culture is superficially similar to Egyptian and Celtic culture. Much of Doom is covered in desert (so say I, since we never get see much of it and there wouldn’t be a civilization there if it was all an empty waste). The traditional Galra costume resembles Egyptian robes, with many pleats and geometric patterns. More modern clothing, thanks to the advent of space exploration, added pants, high boots, and dark, heavy fabrics and colors. Concerning religion, the Galra are druidic and polytheistic, with reverence for natural spirits, legendary heroes, and varied regional deities.
Galra druids are sorted into orders depending on their sect and powers. Haggar belongs to an order of “naturalists,” who are both scientists and worshippers of nature spirits and forces. She brings Lotor up in her beliefs, which hold all life as sacred, and emphasize inner and outer balance. (Good preparation for the future Paladin of Water.)
Dawn Clements ( part of Saatchi ‘Paper’ exhibition)
Alongside the simple geometric patterns I’ve found myself making sketches of room settings, focused around fabrics / materials / clothes with geometric patterns / floral patterns - juxtapositions of colour and pattern - want to make large scale paintings of them - still keeping with my usual theme of patch-working bits of paper across the wall and building / spreading the painting across the wall - expansive - on paper again - fragile - disposable - still enjoy doing messier large-scale paper paintings, but like the thought of having a series of more finished canvases too.