Features of the national costume

Ukrainian embroidered shirts at the peak of popularity not only in our country, but throughout the advanced fashion world. But even our most fashionable and curious patriots do not really know about their history. “Can an embroidered shirt be obscene?” We were surprised, rummaging through the archives. How not to be mistaken about the national costume, read the material 23:59.

“Putting on a vintage shirt with a belt simply looks beautiful, but in fact it is identical to if we went out in shorts and a bra: a shirt is the lower part of the costume,” – during the preparation of the “Outflows” project for the upcoming Ukrainian Fashion Week has many interesting stories. The storytellers are Maria Kvitka, an ideologist at the Center for Costume History and an employee of the Archaeological Museum of Ukraine, and Lyudmila Klimuk, artistic director of the workshop for the reconstruction of national clothing “Noble Odyag”. They are responsible for showing authentic clothing that will take place as part of the Outflows project.

The project itself is a simultaneous tribute to two trends. Global: during shows, any respected capital organizes an exhibition related to the topic – one or more Fashion Houses (worth recalling a string from Lanvin, Prada and Schiaparelli, Dries van Noten, Madame Gres, Alexander McQueen), or a historical costume – such as the recently opened "Shine and Poverty" in the Paris Museum d'Orsay, dedicated to the ladies of half the world. And the local trend: for the past two years, talk about national motifs in clothes has been conducted in Ukraine with Otell jealousy. "Outflows" is a curatorial project, reflection on the theme of an important, but unfamiliar to the general public ethnic color. The curator Marina Shcherbenko is responsible for the subtlety in reflecting the national in contemporary art, and the professionals with museum training are responsible for the authenticity.

“It’s important for us to show how to wear a traditional shirt correctly — complete with a different set of things, a base and a belt, jewelry and a hat,” says Maria Kvitka. On October 18, 15 female and 5 male traditional “mills” were assembled to display the “Costume History Center”, speaking in modern language – bows, from ten regions of Ukraine.

It is worth starting a conversation with historians, so after a while the national costume seems like an ideal sacred text: there is an abyss of meaning behind any decor and line. Embroidery is a charm, and it is done along the fence line on the hem, sleeve, neck and cut seams on the yoke or neckline – wherever the protective cover of clothing is interrupted. Hats are a marker of social status: wreaths in traditional culture were worn only by unmarried girls, as well as by their flowers. Poppy – so generally only during mourning – it was believed that this flower grows where blood was shed. The red color of embroidery is contraindicated during fasting: those who dared to wear bright things were called "a trick, like a sore." And by their colored shirts they identified either the “elder brother” or the nomads – in Ukrainian villages they used unpainted unbleached, in fact – pale gray canvas.

However, the main sore point of museum workers is cross-stitch, which overshadowed other traditional techniques of incredible beauty. Ironically, the cross is the most fashionable, but not the most indicative figure for the Ukrainian tradition, if you look at it in a historical perspective. He appeared at the end of the 19th century and at the same time gained loud popularity. Fashion for him began after the distribution of leaflets of soap “Brokar and Co” – the company of Henry Brokar, author of “The Empress’s Favorite Bouquet” (after which he turned these spirits into “Red Moscow”). Owning city dwellers were fond of needlework. To win their hearts, the perfumer added leaflets with a printed matrix of colorful cross-stitch to his soap. Simplicity of execution provided him with popularity. A light motive supplanted the more complex ones, while in the Ukrainian tradition about 250 traditional embroidery stitches are known. It took months to work for many, for example, Western Ukrainian shirts with tightly “clogged” sleeves were embroidered all winter four hands. Experts were already squealing at the anger of the day. The well-known ethnographer Olena Pchilka, the mother of Lesya Ukrainka, in the preface to the collection of authentic Ukrainian patterns of 1867, wrote about “ungodly roses and lapati leaves” that make “from the sleeves, even from the back, the shmatka is yogosok Moscow gauze, the most dumb relish.” Nothing seems to have changed since then. On the one hand – the tears of museum workers invisible to the world, on the other – an understandable human desire not to bother, but to be in the subject. The latter, by the way, explains the success of the March11 project, which was launched by the publisher of Playing Fashion magazine Robert Mishchenko: pale copies of the premium Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin find their consumer who craves the wildly popular vyshyvanka.

True, something has changed. Marketers talk about the evolution of consumption: being customer conscious is more fashionable and more correct than spontaneous. In an ideal world, everyone began to understand, for example, balamutes (river pearls) and kersetka (a flared vest with tucks on the back), to distinguish travel copies of shirts from originals, designers of any profile together took up and figured out how to convert tradition into modern understandable objects and things, and the “Outflows” were extended for the season, because the line stood on them, circling the Mystetskyi Arsenal twice.

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