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Russian Style

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Manifestations of the Russian style are a recurring motif in the vocabulary of Western fashion. Their spectrum ranges from rural peasant dresses to opulent, zibeline-edged Boyar coats and covers many stereotypes of equally Tsarist and Soviet Russia. Despite the fact that the Soviet Union existed as a hermetically closed entity, culturally isolated from Europe, French fashion repeatedly featured a Russian note. The second half of the 1960s experienced the popularity of the Zhivago look, while Yves

1868–1944: The Japoniste Revolution, the Deorientalizing of the Orient and the Birth of Couture

Adam Geczy

Source: Fashion and Orientalism. Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century 2013

Book chapter

Civilization! Read: ‘the era that has lost almost all its creative power…in jewellery as in furniture’; and in one or the other we are compelled to exhume or import. Import what? Indian bracelets of glass filament and Chinese earrings of cut paper? No. But more often the naïve taste that underlies their making.

Russian Constructivism in Dress and Textiles

Djurdja Bartlett

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Constructivism was embedded in immense political and social changes brought about by the Bolshevik Revolution. Its appearance in 1919 resulted from the merger of two parallel but very different artistic movements: futurism and proletkult. While futurism rebelled against bourgeois culture and lifestyle in a series of anarchistic practices, proletkult was a politically motivated mass movement that promoted a separate culture for the proletariat. In this context, for the constructivists, fashion was

Introduction to Dress and Fashion in East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus

Djurdja Bartlett

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The regions of East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus are known for their richly embroidered ethnic clothing. The varied styles of ethnic dress and the associated social practices throughout these regions were strongly influenced by both ancient traditions and highly diverse climatic and geographic conditions, ranging from subtropical to Arctic and from high mountains and rolling plains to northern oceans and southern seas. But the rich history of dress in this vast area is not confined to ethnic

Fashion under Socialism

Djurdja Bartlett

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The relationship between dress and Socialism started in Soviet Russia following the 1917 Communist Revolution. When Soviet-style Socialism was introduced in East Europe in 1948, dress became an important ideological and practical issue in the countries under Soviet political control. However, the styles of garments, and the discourses in which they were embedded, were not homogeneous in the Soviet Union and the East European countries during the seventy-two years of Communist rule. Both similarit

Siberia

Cunera Buijs

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The northern Asiatic continent, at some four-and-a-half million square miles (twelve million square kilometers), has twenty-five million inhabitants who belong to twenty-six different peoples. The clothing traditions among these groups vary greatly, because they were adapted to diverse natural environments, regional conditions, and the availability of materials. Their development was also influenced by economic structures as well as cultural and historical factors. Such foreign materials as silk

Soviet Underwear

Julia Demidenko

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Soviet-era underwear—both its manufacturing and consumption—were determined not only by fashion but also, to a great extent, by the ideology and political goals of the state and its economic priorities at different stages. As a result of the revolution of February 1917, underwear became simpler, and its assortment was reduced. Due to the devastation that followed the October Revolution of 1917 and the civil war, people continued to wear prerevolutionary styles of underwear.

Fashion Contests in the Soviet Union

Julia Demidenko

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1916, the first artistic contest for drawings and designs of contemporary women’s clothing in Russia was held. It was announced by the Union of Russian Women, which was under the patronage of the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, and the leading works were published in the journal Damskii Mir (Ladies’ world). The first prize was awarded to Rene O’Connell, a student who was at that time the wife of artist Ivan Bilibin, and the second prize to the artist Ivanitskaia-Panina. Both women presented work

Russian Fashionable Dress at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Elizabeth Durst

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Russia’s sartorial history beginning in the eighteenth century was one of eventual assimilation to an international Western standard, yet one that met with occasional collisions between native and imported traditions, particularly as Russia considered its national identity vis-à-vis the West. Throughout the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth century, the split between those who dressed according to folk customs and those who took their cue from Paris and London primarily reflected class divisi

Soviet State Cosmetic Company TEZHE in the 1930s

Jukka Gronow

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Soviet culture of cosmetics was born in the middle of the 1930s. A major reorientation took place in the cultural policy of the USSR that had a direct impact on the consumption habits of Soviet citizens. This turn coincided with the final consolidation of Stalin’s power in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s slogan from the year 1936, “life has become better, life has become more joyous, comrades,” summarized this new cultural mood. It formed a sharp contrast to the previous off

Roma Dress

Iulia Hasdeu

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Documentation mentioning the Roma’s presence in Europe dates from the fourteenth century. Originally from India and Persia, many Roma were located in East Europe for centuries, enslaved in Moldavia and Walachia. Following the abolition of slavery, many Roma migrated throughout Europe, mostly westward. Unlike those in the west, most East-European Roma are permanently settled, largely in Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the former Yugoslavian republics. Roma groups significantly differ from one anot

The Influences of Ottoman Culture

June Hill

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

From its initial base east of the Bosphorus in the early 1300s, Ottoman rule gradually extended across East Europe, replacing the Byzantine Empire as the region’s major power. In 1676, the Ottoman Empire stretched from Crete and Anatolia to Dalmatia, Poland, and the Ukraine. It was to be 250 years before the empire reverted to its founding state, culminating in the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. At the height of its empire, Ottoman products such as embroidery were fashionable in

Dress of the Yakut People

Elena Karpova

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Yakutia (also known as Sakha) is the largest republic of the Russian Federation, forming part of the vast region of Siberia and covering almost the entire northeastern part of the Asian continent. Many northern ethnic groups live in the territory, which is almost the size of India. The Yakuts represent the largest group, followed by Evenks, Chukchi, and Yukaghiris. Historically established ties among these groups are reflected in similarities in their way of life and cultural traditions, includin

French Travelers Writing on Russian Dress

Raisa Marduhovna Kirsanova

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Among many French travelers who described Russia’s native attire were artists, politicians, and historians. The most popular memoirs were those of Louis-Philippe de Ségur (1753–1830), French ambassador to Russia under Catherine the Great. The count stated that in Russia, “red” (krasniy) is equivalent to “beautiful” (krasiviy), because, observing the predominance of red in peasant festive dress, he perceived it as the color of national holidays. Court painter Vigée LeBrun (1755–1842), who emigrate

Russia: Urban Dress up to the End of the Nineteenth Century

Raisa Marduhovna Kirsanova

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

During the eighteenth century, Catherine the Great, and her father, Paul I, had firmly suppressed the fashion trends arriving from France into Russia. All European monarchies saw their power threatened by the revolutionary events in France. New fashion that rejected all previous symbols of social hierarchy was perceived as external evidence of revolutionary ideology. Catherine the Great was caught between two fires. As a foreigner on the Russian throne, she tried to infuse her rule with the natio

Georgia

Irina Koshoridze

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The history of Georgian ethnic dress is closely related to the history of textiles in this region. Simultaneously, the nature of the country, ethnic differences between the regions, the political orientations of the different regions, contemporary fashions, and foreign influences also played important roles in the formation of this dress.

Sámi

Desiree Koslin

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Sápmi, the Subarctic region of North Europe and West Russia, is home to the Sámi people, estimated to be a population of about seventy-five thousand to eighty-five thousand in the early twenty-first century. Distinctive dress is an important marker of Sámi identity. Traditional Sámi dress shares many features with other Arctic and Subarctic peoples. Garments and footwear were made from the furs, skins, sinews, and organs of mammals, birds, and fish. Current Sámi festive dress is a source of pride

Early History of Dress

Liz Mellish

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Evidence of the early history of dress in East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus can be found in the material culture that has been discovered at archaeological sites within the region. This evidence includes several categories of artifacts that cover a wide span of time. The oldest discoveries have been small fragments of woven cloth and imprints of woven fabrics on pottery; in addition, evidence of necklaces and decoration patterns has been found on certain small statuettes dating from Neolithic

Valentina, a Russian Designer in America

Bella Neyman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Valentina Nikolaevna Sanina Schlee was a Ukrainian-born fashion designer. Known simply as Valentina, she was one of the most important American couturiers, having dressed many of the stars of Hollywood and Broadway. A chance encounter with Georgii (George) Matveyevich Schlee in 1919 at the Sebastopol railroad station, while escaping the Russian Revolution, changed the course of her life. With George producing theater and Valentina pursuing acting, the Schlees were married in 1921 and came to Amer

Russian Fashion Designers in the Twenty-First Century

Bella Neyman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Traditionally, when it came to fashion, Russians looked to the West. However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, a new generation of Russian fashion designers emerged that has been responsible for changing the role of fashion in Russian culture. It was only in September 1998 that the first issue of Russian Vogue was published; the cover read, “In Russia, at last.” In the twentieth century, women, regardless of their economic status, relied on portnichy, or dressmakers, to make their cl

Fibers and Textiles in East Europe

Margaret C. Perivoliotis

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Traces of natural fibers thousands of years old have been located all over East Europe. Originally fibers were natural ones from plants and animals, but during the twentieth century, synthetic fibers expanded the repertoire. East Europe encompasses a broad variety of regions, with diverse local textile traditions. The most important regional variations are in design, style, color, and particularly embroidery; vegetal motifs and gold embroidery are frequent. The red, white, and black colors of Sla

The Production and Retailing of Fashionable Dress in Russia, 1700 to 1917

Christine Ruane

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1700, the tsar Peter the Great decreed that the court, government servitors, and urban residents must replace their traditional form of dress with European clothing. While this revolution in dress had an immediate social and psychological impact, it also created a serious economic problem. While the court could rely upon artisans in the Kremlin workshops and Moscow’s foreign quarter to create their new wardrobes, there simply were not enough individuals trained in the art of European design to

Early Noble Dress in Russia

Oksana Sekatcheva

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Early Russian dress in the period from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century is widely regarded as a dress of national identity and is generally termed “historic Russian costume.” Its development was completed by the middle of the sixteenth century, and it existed almost unchanged until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was officially ousted in favor of European dress during Peter the Great’s reforms.

Russia: Ethnic Dress

Pamela Smith

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Russian Federation is by far the largest country in the world, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea in the south. The majority of its ethnic Russian population lives in the part generally known as European Russia (bounded to the east by the Ural Mountains)—still a vast area that comprises 40 percent of the continent of Europe. Within its territory are many different climate

Geography and Climate: East Central Europe, the Baltic Countries, Russia, and the Caucasus

Pamela Smith

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Central and East Europe extend from northern Germany to Russia’s Pacific coast. The expanse occupied today by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia is punctuated only by the Ural Mountains. A wooded upland landscape covers the Czech Republic, rising eastward into the Carpathian Mountains. Much further east lie the Caucasus Mountains. For centuries the great plains offered easy access; evidence of Scythian dress has been found in southern Siberia, including shirts of Sib

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