‘Imperial Women’ reborn in the 2010 Myras Collection
The Myras 2010 Collection was inspired by ‘Imperial Women’ – women of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, such as the Ottoman Sultanas Hürrem and Kösem and the Byzantine empresses Theodora and Zoe, whose power, loves, and beauty left their mark on history. Atasay has dedicated its Myras 2010 ‘Imperial Women’ Collection to the 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture.
Istanbul, one of the oldest cities in the world and a bridge between two continents, played home to two great empires, the Byzantine and Ottoman, each of which wielded hegemony over the Mediterranean and held dominion over three continents.
Atasay’s Myras 2010 ‘Imperial Women’ Collection resurrects and reinterprets the works of art passed down to us from these two empires. In particular, the Myras 2010 Collection pays homage to the Byzantine and Ottoman imperial women, whose names have survived down through the centuries.
Myras, a brand whose designs embody Anatolia’s rich cultural heritage, has dedicated its ‘Imperial Women’ collection to the 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture. This collection was created by the Atasay Design Team in consultation with the fashion designer Özlem Süer and the archeologist and editor Nezih Başgelen, and under the direction of Özgül Sokullu.
Magnificent and Stunning Imperial Women of the Palaces
The Myras 2010 ‘Imperial Women’ Collection’s inspirational sources are Topkapı Palace (the stage for many important historical events during the Ottoman’s reign over three continents), Haghia Sophia (which retains its ability to amaze), and the Ottoman and Byzantine imperial women (the Byzantine empresses Theodora and Zoe and the Ottoman sultanas Hürrem and Kösem), who had great influence over everything from affairs of state to art and left their mark on history through their power, their loves, and their beauty. They also left their mark on the places where they lived and the clothes and jewelry they wore.
The breath-taking designs in the Myras ‘Imperial Women’ Collection echo Byzantine and Ottoman imperial cultures, and includes: a ring inspired by the jewelry of a Byzantine Empress; a ring inspired by the ‘zehgir’ ring worn on the thumb when shooting an arrow and containing the portraits of the Byzantine Empress Zoe and the Ottoman Sultan Hürrem; and a necklace inspired by symbols of power that decorated Ottoman thrones.
To live the heritage embodied in the Myras 2010 ‘Imperial Women’ Collection, just go to one of Atasay’s 115 stores in Turkey.
Women of the Byzantine Empire
Theodora, the daughter of a Hippodrome official, married Emperor Justinian I. She was her husband’s greatest assistant throughout his 38-year reign between 527 and 565. It is said that she independently set up many charitable institutions and pushed through important legislation dealing with women’s rights.
Zoe, an ambitious woman, was the daughter of Emperor Constantine VIII. She married four times, and though she shared power as empress, she was much loved by the people. Famous for her profound religious faith, she is remembered as a woman who was preoccupied with her beauty.
Women of the Ottoman Empire
Hürrem Sultan was the wife of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and the mother of his successor, Sultan Selim II. She enchanted Süleyman with her beauty and she became the first woman to officially marry an Ottoman sultan. She was intelligent and talented and received special education in the palace. Has sultana, she brought great credit to Süleyman and she was active in corresponding with foreign kings and queens and sending them gifts. Her portraits invariably depict her wearing her jewelry and displaying her unique dress style.
Kösem Sultan became one of the most famous and influential women in Ottoman history. Also known as Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan, she was the consort of Sultan Ahmet I and the mother of Murat IV and Ibrahim I.
Kösem’s eldest son, Murat IV, was 11 years old when he ascended the throne and, in the early years of his reign, she, as the ‘naibe’ (regent), exercised the powers of the sultan – the only woman to have done so. It is said that the well-educated, talented and beautiful Kösem Sultan loved her husband Sultan Ahmet I very much, was passionate about clothes and jewelry, and had good fashion sense.
Topkapı Palace Treasure
The Topkapı Palace treasure, the Hazine-i Hümayun, has been since Ottoman times, one of few truly great treasures in the world. An interesting aspect of this treasure, which evolved and grew over several centuries, is that it has been kept and displayed in a pavilion built by Fatih the Conqueror, the founder of the palace, for an uninterrupted 540 years or so and well into the Republican era.