National Fashions: Festive Dress Exhibition
Festive dress depicts a culture like nothing else! Some of my best afternoons in Moscow involve happening upon an exhibition that is right up my alley when I least expect it. On a recent visit to the Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 (Музей Отечественной войны 1812 г.), a museum I had rather mistakenly neglected on previous trips to the city, I found out, to my delight, that there was an exhibition of traditional, festive national dress (Праздничная одежда народов России). As a fan of bright fabric, floral embroidery and all things “textiles”, I knew this was the happenstance of the day for me.
On display in the exhibition are various national costumes from the collection of the State History Museum, all designed originally for wear during celebratory periods such as Maslenitsa, for example. But it is not all Russian national wear. Although in English, the word “Russian” indicates a nationality, a culture, a language, a state all in one, in Russian, there are two words for Russian. Русский denotes Russian culture and российский is used for things related to the state. But to be rossiiskii is not to be russkii, and one may have Russian (rossiiskii) citizenship, but be of a different culture. This exhibition shows national costumes from regions and communities of other nationalities found within Russia: Buryat, Yakut, Evenk, Bashkir and Tatar to name but a few, making it a good way to see just how diverse and broad the cultures of Russia are.
The exhibition is beautifully displayed with full dresses and shirts, jewellery and headpieces, all with the most beautiful detailing and embellishment. If you have any interest in folklore, beautiful things, the history of fashion or if you have no clue what national dress across Russia may be like, head to the centre of the city this winter.
“Festive Clothing of the Peoples of Russia” (Праздничная одежда народов России) is on until 9th January 2017 at The Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 (Музей Отечественной войны 1812 г.), Ploshchad’ Revolyutsii 2/3 (Площадь Революции 2/3)
Metro: Ploschad’ Revolyutsii (Площадь Революции), Teatral’naya (Театральная), Okhotnyi Ryad (Охотный Ряд)
Ellie, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow