site.btaArchives State Agency to Present Exhibition Portraying Fashion in Bulgaria from Mid-19th Century to Mid-20th Century

Archives State Agency to Present Exhibition Portraying Fashion in Bulgaria from Mid-19th Century to Mid-20th Century
Archives State Agency to Present Exhibition Portraying Fashion in Bulgaria from Mid-19th Century to Mid-20th Century
Archives State Agency Photo

An exhibition portraying fashion in Bulgaria in the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, will open on 16 May at the Archives State Agency (ASA) in Sofia. Over 120 photographs, garments and accessories, selected by ASA, will be on display until June 15. 

In the period between the two world wars, Bulgarian society took a keen interest in fashion. Trends were learned from numerous fashion, household and art magazines, brochures were published. Lecturers travelled around the country to acquaint curious audiences with their views on the benefits and harms of the fashion craze, the organizers said.

The exhibition will display previously unseen dresses, formal menswear and accessories from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s - such as women's portable boudoir, hats and boxes for hats, most from the collection of Bulgarian historian and writer Simeon Radev and his wife, artist Bistra Vinarova.

Photographs dating back to the wars of Bulgarian Unification (1912-1918) show ornate XXL hats, dresses with a tourniquet to add volume to the hips, and corseted waists.

"The World War I changed the situation radically. Shortages, including of fabrics, led to minimalism. The length of skirts and scythes shortened dramatically," ASA said.

Separate panels illustrate women's, men's, children's, bridal, court fashions, accessories, uniforms, sports, beach and carnival wear, as well as hairstyles over these 100 years. Special attention is paid to famous designers as well as fashion influencers of the time, among them the names of Laura Karavelova, Sultana Racho Petrova, Dora Gabe and Elisaveta Bagryana.

Many of the issues discussed sound contemporary - the financial aspect of obsessively following trends, the imposition of unhealthy beauty standards. In 1936, Dr. Zahari Zahariev published an article in a pamphlet, decrying the trend that pushes women to strive for excessively thin bodies with "gaping ribs, flat chest, thin arms and legs, narrow pelvis," which he said did not rest on the "sound biological basis of natural requirements."

Post-World War II photographs up to the 1950s show residual glimpses of "bourgeois" elegance amid a decline in fashion, which, in addition to harsh economic conditions, was also due to the government's dislike of previous habits and lifestyles, ASA said.

/RY/

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By 12:34 on 17.06.2024 Today`s news

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