As I was observing the main photo, which is from Konrad Parol’s 2011 spring/summer collection entitled “Ember,” I began to imagine the dress of medieval solders.
One image that came to mind was the Tapestry of Bayeux, which depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 AD, the embroidered designs of which describe the styles of the time.
Examining carefully Konrad’s design, I detect something called the hauberk—a shirt of mail.
Notably, the hauberk was also worn later in the 17th century by King John II Casimir of Poland, Konrad Parol’s place of origin.
The hauberk was composed of interlocking metal wire, forming a mesh-like shirt of chain that extended to about the knee.
Similar to Konrad’s design, the legs were also wrapped tightly in some sort of protection, typically mail.
During the 11th and 12th centuries in Northern Europe, there was a slit in both front and back of the hauberk, enabling the lancer to mount a horse.
Similar to Konrad’s designs, the 11th-century head piece was typically conical, first appearing as a mail hood known as the mail coir. Later, this head piece evolved into the cervelliere and, then, the bascinet.
The cervelliere was simply a round, close-fitting metal skull cap, which later evolved into the bascinet. The bascinet was a type of conical helmet with flaps of mail that covered the back of the neck and sides of the head.
Interestingly, the mail was invented by the Celts sometime around the 6th-5th centuries BC.
On the contemporary menswear scene, the coat of mail has been appearing increasingly more on runways around the world.
Photos Copyright Konrad Parol.
Photo right, Bayeux Tapestry Public Domain.