The world’ first turban designer Veroniqué Salagean reveals that the turban as we know it today was originally called the ‘dulband’ dating to the 1st century B.C by early Persians in modern Iran and Prygians in modern Turkey. There are also records of people in Ovid’s Metamorphosis wearing a conical cap (Prygian cap) covering the ears to enhance personal style. During the 1st century B.C a headdress was worn in modern Turkey named the ‘tülbent’ which is believed to be also worn in Egypt.
As fashions changed, a style of turban called the phakeolis continued to be worn by soldiers of the Byzantine army in the period of 400 – 600 as well by Byzantine civilizations as by depicted Greek frescoes from the 10th century in the province of Cappadocia in modern Turkey. It was in 16th century France where the headdress was actually given the title of the ‘turban’.
Turbans over the ages have formally been associated with the upper class, royalty and leaders who sported the look to display grandeur, wealth and elegance. As fashions changed, people created different shapes by encircling bands of cloth around the head which have been depicted in many paintings of the social elite between the 16th and 20th century. Veroniqué Salagean reveals an important truth: ‘A turban is essentially a couture piece made from hand that needs to have a base however throughout history what has been called a turban is often a headdress where fabric is wrapped around the head without structure.’
It has to be noted that till 2015 there has not been a single individual in the history of fashion specifically known for being a Turban Designer, though some noted designers have used the headwrap as part of complimenting their collections. As Ms Salagean sheds further light, the second designer to have a fashion house in Paris after Charles Frederick Worth was Paul Poiret. Historical records reveal that a famous reception called the Arabian Nights was held on June 14th, 1911, in Paris at the residence of Paul Poiret on the Rue d’Antin. At the lavish party Mr Poiret created and wore a turban adorned with an aigrette feather. According to Mrs Poiret, the idea of wearing such an audacious piece came about during their move to the sumptuous private residence on Rue d’Antin, when woman of the house, assailed by an onslaught, tied a simple triangle of fabric on their heads held on the back of the neck in a bun. This inspired Mr Poiret to create turbans for women to compliment his designs.
Paul Poiret and his wife Denise at their party
Another significant figure that made an impression upon the turban was Milliner Designer Madame Paulette, as her designs between 1939 – 1984 lead to great achievements with creations being worn by actresses and international royalty. In the book ‘Hats by Madame Paulette’ written by Annie Schneider there are many illustrations of her turbans that capture the essence of her work where creations display minimalist volume with simple elegance.
As we enter the modern era from the 20th into the 21st century many so called turbans have been placed on the international catwalks of Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Hermes and Marc Jacobs. But the truth is that these are actually headwraps as they have no solid base and are used to accessorise their fashion collections. Whilst being renowned designers these fashion houses are not specialists in Turban design and creation.
Oscar de la Renta catwalk 1991
Veroniqué Salagean, the world’s first turban designer has demonstrated great passion with turban techniques since creating 36 one-off couture turbans to be displayed online in the afternoon of 9th June 2016. After moving to London in 2012, her creative ability lead to couture turban making, inspired to implement her style into luxurious head wear that people can wear with pride and elegance has been the foundation of setting up VS Turbans. After painstaking research and studying fashion at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, one afternoon Ms Salagean found herself taken back to age 6 when her mother gifted needle and thread to make doll’s clothes from swatches that a passion was realised. Her silence in being creative acted as a reminder of the life purpose ahead yet her mother never wanted her to work in fashion as it was believed there was no future in the artistic field.
Instead Ms Salagean was expected to pursue a future in finance and economics. The turban designer reveals ‘I still don’t know how I completed my accountancy collage yet be creative in PowerPoint projects, winning many competitions, diplomas and appearing on two TV shows. Despite having such an ambitious streak, deep down I was actually really unhappy with the learning process. I kept pushing ahead with my university program but in the end I could not complete my studies. Instead I knew I had to follow my passion for creating turbans, to have freedom of expression and creativity. I adore each and every one of my turbans, seeing them beyond fabrics as my little babies of creation. I can say that now I am truly happy that I’ve been able to make a success of my creativity with turbans to become the world’s first turban designer. I truly pursue what I do from the heart.’
Veroniqué Salagean officially embraced the tittle of the World’s First Turban Designer when her first commission came in 2015 from a chance encounter with a socialite in public. The designer attests that it was then her classmate milliners addressed her as the one in Turban History to be known specially for creating just turbans. Then began public appearances where people would queue to have their picture taken with the designer in her elegant turbans and outstanding style. The journey to make VS Turbans an international luxury brand continues as Veroniqué Salagean follows her passion to make elegant and luxurious turbans that turn heads.