See Russian National Costumes on Display at the Russian Museum
The Russian Museum has just opened a new exhibition dedicated to Russian national costumes of the two previous centuries. As one of the main centers of Russian culture the museum possesses nearly 5,000 items showing the way Russian men and women used to dress. However, it is the first time in the long history of the museum when these exhibits are shown in public.
Today the Russian Museum invites us to discover the bright world of Russian national costumes. The exhibition is composed of more than 400 precious items including various robes, glittering necklaces, richly decorated kokoshniks and shoes. Visitors will be impressed by the diversity of costumes on display — starting from everyday clothes up to ceremonial dresses from all over the country.
The truth is that at that time there was no such definition as »fashion.» Weavers were inspired by the colors of nature around them. Thus, each region had its own specialty. In Central Russia they preferred vivid colors such as red, for example. Red was the symbol of the sun and festivity since the dawn of time. In Voronezh, a town in the south of Russia, they admired black since it was the area of black soil earth.
The was a significant difference between costumes of the poor and the rich. A wealthy lady used to buy silk or brocade for her dresses. Her leather boots had fur trimming and her pinafore dresses were embellished with pearls and orphrey. Peasants tended to use home-made fabric. They could decorate their costumes with beads and feathers.
It will be also possible to see canvases of the prominent Russian artists showing Russian national costumes. Among the paintings on display will be masterpieces of Levitskiy, Malyavin and Makovskiy. The exhibition will not last too long — from March 5th until mid-May.