Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Freebie! Max Tilke

Just like with Braun and Schneider, I have another free link to an extant book of costumes for you all. Furthermore, it comes from another German (danke schoen, boys!)- ethnographer and artist Max Tilke (1869-1942). If you're interested in Middle Eastern or Asian traditional dress, this will surely become one of your favorites.

A Caspian Woman's kaftan
While the book was published in 1922 (a little past our period), Tilke himself was a man of our era and the hard work he did constructing this wonderful resource is irrefutible. Tilke spent years studying, documenting, and painting actual garments from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, and the Middle East and put so much care put into these plates that you can easily understand how these garments were constructed. Close ups of hardware such as brooches or even samples of the textiles are also included for better overall effect. One of the other large merits of this book are the vibrant colors Tilke used- see steampunks, you can use more than brown and black!

An atooshi- an Aino-Japanese garment woven from bark.
Whether you're looking for inspiration, help with construction, or even just vocabulary (Tilk lists this as well in his plate descriptions) this book is for you!

Here's the link:
Oriental Costumes and Their Design, courtesy of the University of Indiana


  1. So cool! Thank you for posting it! I can't wait to spend some time browsing and getting costume inspiration :)

  2. Thanks for the link! I,ll use this for my art references!

  3. The illustrations in Tilke's books are awesome. I got a copy of one of his books for free when I worked at a library. It contains the clothing of "all people and of all times" as it states, Unfortunately the book is falling apart. I might just frame the illustrations.

  4. Woooow! Thanks so much for the link :) such beautiful detail!

  5. Mmm, tasty tasty reference art.