Razia Sultan (1205–1240) was the first female Muslim ruler in South Asia. Remembered as a brilliant general and politician, she reigned as the fifth Sultan of Dehli from 1236 to 1240. The illustrations above give a glimpse of how she’s depicted in popular culture: comic books, children’s books, and the 1983 movie Razia Sultan, with Hema Malini in the title role. We especially love the costuming in the movie, which has Razia swathed in chiffon and pearls at the same time she’s wearing her helmet.
The pieces we suggest, from left to right:
1. Anarkali style churidar. You can make any kind of Anarkali suit work, but ideally it should have long sleeves and as full a skirt as possible, like this one. Cinch the dupatta around your waist as a sash.
2. Medieval Norman helmet. This is the closest we can get to the Turkish helmet, which wasn’t all that different from the Norman helmet of the same era. The conehead look was very popular.
3. “Sultan” headpiece. You’re going to put this on over the helmet, around the base. The two pieces together will look more or less like the kind of thing Razia wears in the movie.
4. Curled-toe shoe covers.
5. Gold armor wristlets.