01.06 – 01.09 2017

The Exhibition of plaid and striped fabrics from the Russian Museum of Ethnography is linked to the 20th Internation Conference “Fashion and design: Historical Experience – New Technologies”, which will be held on in Saint-Petersburg from May 30 to June 2 2017

In last decade the RME prepared a series of thematic exhibitions focused on one particular element of traditional clothing in the context of “anthropology of object” studies. Continuing this trend in museum exhibition activity for the first time the exhibition of plaid and striped fabrics in traditional clothing of the Russia ethnic groups present the unique RME collection of these materials dated to 19th-20th century.

If the history of plaid and striped fabrics in European fashion was frequently and comprehensively examined, the use of checked and striped textiles patterns among different ethnic groups of Russia hasn’t been the subject of specialized study and exhibition until today.

The RME storages keep the half-million of objects representing culture and daily life of peoples who lived on the territory of the Russian Empire in 18-20th. Therefore, the exhibition features more than 150 unique objects – costumes or their elements made of plaid and striped fabrics once widespread in different regions of Russia during three centuries. Linen, hemp, nettle, cotton, wool and silk fibers were used for making textiles with checked and striped patterns. Traditional techniques of pattern making were weaving, printing, patchwork, knitting and braiding. The presence of checks and stripes in textile ornamentation, their arrangement and color could indicate clothes’ regional origin, and tell about ethnic affiliation of their owner. The exhibition shows various kinds of the home made motley fabrics, Russian and Ukrainian textiles for traditional wrapped skirts poneva and plakhta, striped Bielorussian andoracs (sewn skirts), and Central Asian fabrics: two colored alocha with narrow stripes, kalami and becasab used for sewing robes and coats; Caucasus silk striped djedjims and aladji – the silk fabric with multicolored stripes that from the 17th century was known in Russia under the name of the Gyzylbash motley cloth.

It’s should be stressed that production and wearing of striped clothes also continue today, when modern designers, for example, Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gautier, Alexander Macqueen and many others create their collections using plaid and striped fabrics. In modern fashion striped and checkered patterns are one of the most popular trends. The striped and plaid items became signature attributes of the famous brand Burberry.

We hope that this exhibition will inspire further artistic creations and quests of modern textile artists and clothing designers, who face with the task to conserve and transmit traditional ornamental striped and checkered motifs to modern socio-cultural space.

The exhibition will be opened for visitors from June to September 2017.

The Project Coordinator:

Kalashnikova Natalia Moiseevna