Thamos – King of Egypt Costume

22 Dec

Mozart wrote incidental music, which is similar to the music you’d find in a film score, for a play called Thamos which is set in Egypt. The costume I made for the King of Egypt combines numerous Rococo and Egyptian fashion ideas.


Basically Thamos wears a Rococo waistcoat in the traditional Egyptian royalty color of white.

An outtake of Thamos in full costume.

An outtake of Thamos in full costume.

The upper part of the vest is decorated to reflect the linen wrappings found on mummies, but instead of Linen everything in this costume is made out of silk to hearken back to the Rococo when the play was written. Yes, I built the hat, too.

The costume is a mummy themed Rococo waistcoat.

The costume is a mummy themed Rococo waistcoat.

I made the vest slightly smaller than the model to make the front open to reveal the faux tattoo which I drew on him for the images.

The details on the collar are meant to look like linen wrappings.

The details on the collar are meant to look like linen wrappings.

The lining is a white brocade, but as a sneaky detail I added beaded lace to the inner collar. I just thought that having a little something that makes you wonder what’s going on in there would be fun. And unlike my early costumes, this attention to a detail near the face ensures that you can make it out in the final image! Woo!

The inner collar features beaded lace, which you only catch glimpses of.

The inner collar features beaded lace, which you only catch glimpses of.

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2 Responses to “Thamos – King of Egypt Costume”

  1. Roo Bookaroo December 22, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    Do you really believe that the King of Egypt would appear in naked arms to his subjects and foreign envoys?
    To me, this seems incongruous. More the style of a woman than the grandeur of a real king hyperdosed with testosterone and the will to conquer and control.
    To me, this costume does not project power and authority, more suited to a plaything such as I have seen at Studio 54 in Manhattan.
    It’d be worthwhile comparing this costume with those shown in Egyptian sources and documents.
    At least we know that the great Roman emperors did wear short sleeves with their tunic that covered the top of the upper arm.

    • tysonvick December 22, 2014 at 4:00 am #

      Yes, I do believe the Pharaoh would appear shirtless. Historically speaking, both the Kings and Queens of Egypt had transparent garments, white garments, headdresses, etc. All Historical imagery of Egyptian royalty depicts both upper body nudity and excessive ornamentation, unless the person is depicted in armor. This following image is an Historically accurate image of some Pharaoh costumes The Kings of Egypt and their Crowns

      My Fashion Idea was inspired by the late 18th century, and uses a waistcoat cut in the style of the 18th century. My modern influence evokes the traditional bead-work neck piece through body paint, and the crown is evocative of the real crowns seen in the above image, even including the snake. The real, Historical clothing of Egypt is quite a bit more revealing than any costume I have made to illustrate this play. I’ve actually covered up every character with more clothes than would be Historical. Rome and Egypt have few crossover fashions, as Egypt was a larger and longer lasting Kingdom than Rome, which appeared only at the end of Egypt’s Pharaoh dynasty. Rome’s fashion was mainly influenced by the Greek style, and the European ideals of modesty do not necessarily apply to the ideals found in Egypt.

      As to masculinity, in the play the character Thamos is young, boyish and attractive. All aspects of his character reflect youth or a novice on a journey. Masculinity is reserved for the evil Prince, Pheron, when he takes over the army, the true King, Menes, as he orchestrates a secret militia, and the true Queen, Tharsis, as she commands the Kingdom when she rises to power. All characters vie for the throne and manipulate Thamos by playing on his inexperience and good nature. And since he is a romantic lead, being attractive is not a drawback, but is a feature to enhance so that it becomes clear through illustration.
      Historical Egyptian Dress

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