Stretching from Europe, through Asia, to the Horn of Africa, the Ottoman Empire was synonymous with eccentricity, grandeur and power. Diwani was the most famous and grand of all Ottoman scripts, and used predominantly by Ottoman royalty
The script is characterized by its lively curvature, which is accentuated by a slight slant; its tight coiling glyphs, unraveling slightly towards the ends of words and phrases. Diwani’s uniqueness was cemented by unconventional letter connections, which had never before been seen, and made it difficult to read. Its complexity was ingeniously intentional; Diwani had been developed as a secret code, which could only be deciphered by special officials in the intrigue-ridden Ottoman court.
Inspired by the script’s own intrigue and drama, Silsal revives the calligraphic code with the Diwani Collection. Colourful orange and greens hues, reminiscent of the Ottomans’ opulent fashions, embolden the theatrical confidence of the script. The distinctive curve and signature slant are discernibly exaggerated, while decorative designs festoon spaces between words.
Silsal’s Diwani collection aims to both decipher and celebrate the mystique of the cryptic script, once reserved for only the most elite members of society. In doing so, it revives the opulence, confidence, and spectacle of the Ottomans, tempered with a touch of modern minimalism.