Europe

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Europeade avaEuropean largest folk festival Europeade shows the national costumes used throughout Europe. Here, visitors can find out something new about the traditional clothing, folk music and dances, old customs, and all the cultural differences between European countries. The festival lasts 4 days and is rather eventful. Even if you’re not a folk costume lover, you won’t be bored at Europeade.

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Ball gown avaWe’ve all heard about the grand 19-century balls. But how did the ladies dress for a ball at that time? Today, we are going to see how a lady in 1865 was preparing for a ball. What garments did she wear? We will see if she needed help with dressing up, what pieces of clothing she could skip, and even what tricks she used to spend less money but look fashionable and beautiful. So, let’s get started.

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Dark Age Europe avaThe Dark Ages, also known as the Early Middle Ages, is a period after the fall of the Roman Empire. The style of clothing at the time wasn’t much different from the previous years, because fashion trends didn’t change as quickly as they do today. But still, there were some peculiarities typical exactly for the Dark Ages. Both men’s and women’s outfits in Dark Age Europe were based on a tunic. Though, the male tunic was shorter, while the female one was longer and resembled a gown. But let’s talk about the Dark Age costumes more thoroughly.

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Undress avaUndress costume. What a provocative name for a women’s outfit! Especially, considering that it is originated from the 18th century. In this case, “undress” is a word used to describe casual garments. It's expected that costumes of that period are elaborate but seeing all the layers and how much work went to garments that were considered casual really puts into perspective how much fashion has changed.

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OtzittlWe are sure, some of you heard about the Ötzi – the mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 B.C. He was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps. Thanks to that mummy, scientist learned a lot about the life of prehistoric people. We’d like to show you how to make an Otzi the Iceman style backpack by your own hands. It could be a lot of fun.

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weapons avaFor many countries around the world, weapons (especially cold weapons) is a very important part of life. Historically it was a mean of surviving and a serious attribute of everyday life. That's why in a large number of countries, knives, daggers, and swords became a part of a traditional costume. The national attire of Scotland, England, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Lapland even today contains knives as a full-fledged part of the set. It is rather exciting to compare these knives and to find some peculiarities typical for the certain country.

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gagauz avaThere are about 250,000 Gagauz people in the world. Most of them live in Europe, approximately 150,000 in Moldova and 50,000 in Ukraine. Also they dwell in Turkey, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and even in US and Canada. Despite the small number of people this nation survives and keeps its history, traditions, cuisine, folklore, language, and traditional clothing. Many of their traditions are really interesting and outstanding. In this article you'll read about Gagauz clothing traditions and national costume.

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Korça avaSouthern Albania is the area with unique traditional outfits. There are some peculiarities common for all these regions, but other features are typical only for a certain area. And in this article, we will try to find out more about Southern Albanian clothing traditions and folk costumes and search for differences and similarities between the local garments. For instance, did you know that in Gjirokastër region of Albania people traditionally would rather spend money on gold embroidery than save or deposit them?

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Armenia avaThe national outfit of Armenia is ornate and beautiful. You can see the rich culture of this country in its clothing and jewelry. Armenia is one of those places where metal adornments are highly estimated – just look at the amount of jewels on local women; also, an important part of a men’s costume is a weapon, a dress knife – kindjal dagger. But these common accessories are far from the only interesting items in the Armenian folk attire. There’s much more to the traditional clothing of these proud people.

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Emma Marashlyan avaAt the Marashlyan Photo Studio (situated in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia), one can wear an Armenian costume, listen to Armenian music, and acquire knowledge about traditional Armenian costumes, while being photographed. This business serves its main purpose wonderfully: it brings money to the owners and popularizes the Armenian culture and crafts among ordinary locals.

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Infantryman avaIn the Middle Ages, war was a routine. There were so many wars that military fashion evolved quickly. What new garments appeared in the 14th-century army? What clothing articles did soldiers use at that time? What interesting facts do we know about the everyday life of these military men? Let’s find out on the example of an Austrian infantry soldier from the 1350s. The character’s name is Niklas, he’s from Vienna, and he’s a wealthy infantryman.

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Azerbaijani fabrics avaAzerbaijani tribal and rural women maintained their clothing traditions for a long time. The male folk clothing of South Azerbaijan is comparatively simple, designed in typical Caucasian style. Female costume of this area is rich in ornamentation and very feminine. South Azerbaijan was famous for its fabric production. Moreover, Azerbaijani traditional fabrics are colorful and often have funny patterns on them. It’s a pity, modern Azerbaijani women mostly gave up wearing clothing made from such fabrics.

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Zmijanje embroidery avaZmijanje embroidery is one of the embroidery techniques of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is rather unique, complicated to perform, and beautiful. But the question is, will it survive in the modern world? Is Bosnian youth willing to keep the tradition and learn to embroider when they have so many activities and entertainments to keep them busy? What can ordinary craftswomen do to popularize and develop Zmijanje embroidery technique? Let’s find out the answers.

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Bulgarian drawing ava2The traditional costumes of Bulgaria are rich in details: weaving patterns, various embroidery designs, and patterns on the fabric. The color palette is also bright and cheerful, though the number of colors is rather limited. All of those features make Bulgarian folk outfits potentially suitable and interesting for artists and illustrators. Have you ever tried to paint folklore clothes, even if just for fun? If not, you definitely need to try.

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Bulgarian avaBulgaria is an interesting Balkan country. Historically Bulgarians are ancestors of Turkic-Tartar tribes mixed with Slavonic tribes. That's why the culture of this country has the features of Islamic Turkish world and a distinctive Slavic world. The same we can say about the traditional costumes of Bulgaria and its clothing traditions. Today the folk outfit of Bulgaria is a mix of ancient and modern pieces of clothing, Ottoman and Slavic garments, general and regional features. And this mix of opposite cultures and tastes is awesome.

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Lacework avaHandmade lace looks so beautiful. In the 18th and 19th centuries, such lace was one of the main decorative elements for clothing and interior design in Europe. Croatia has a very strong and long-living tradition of lacemaking. These lace samples are delicate, elegant, and skillfully made. Lace is still produced by hand in Croatia but, unfortunately, we can say this craft is dying these days. Croatian youth realizes that they can’t earn a living by making and selling lace. Hurry up to see Croatian splendid handmade lace until you still can.

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lefkaritikon avaThere is an ancient-long tradition on Cyprus to make so-called lefkaritikon lace embroideries. These masterpieces helped the country, and the village Lefkara in particular, to survive and develop throughout hundreds of years. The lacemaking made Lefkara as wealthy a town as, for example, Nicosia. Though, the life of lace traders wasn’t easy at all. They were trying to sell lace abroad, without talking foreign languages, without any previously established connections, and even without enough money for expenses at first.

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czech2 avaThe national clothing of the Czech Republic is very bright. It is a mix of different eras and styles. Shawls and kerchiefs on the head came from Gothic period when people began to wear various kinds of bandages that covered hair. Pleats and lace collars came from Renaissance era. Bell-shaped skirts and large puff sleeves came from Baroque era. And beautiful Slavic embroidery is typical for all Slavic countries but with some differences.

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Mourning dress avaMourning is a usual thing for humans because people die all the time. But these days, it goes easy on us – we don’t usually have such strict rules for mourning as were established in Victorian England, for example. From 2,5 years to eternity of mourning. Wearing only black dresses – sometimes made from coarse and scratchy fabrics, avoiding any social events, forsaking jewelry for years, etc. Though, all of this concerns mostly women, while men and children had more comfortable mourning rituals. But still, some kids, even little girls, could have black mourning clothing. One of such gowns we’ll show you in this article.

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Elizabethan avaThe Elizabethan era occurred in England in 1558-1603, when Queen Elizabeth I reigned in the country. This period is interesting because, for some time, England became the center of fashion in Europe. You might know that in the Middle Ages it was France, in the Quattrocento it was Italy, and now it was the British turn. And people were absolutely devoted to the idea of imitating Queen Elizabeth in their looks. Even men did it, wearing clothing of a very feminized silhouette. Oh, and the ever-present heart shape everywhere!

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Tudor dress avaThe Tudor era in England is a period between 1485 and 1603 when the dynasty of the House of Tudor reigned in the country. It was a time of elegant female dresses of triangular shape and odd male cube-shaped silhouette. The 1530s and 1540s are also characterized by a great influence of a French fashion on the English court attire. That’s when a so-called French gown and French hood appeared in England. And today, we’d like to show you a modern reconstruction of a French gown in all its beautiful detail.

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Victorian England avaHave you ever wondered looking at an old black&white portrait how those people looked in real life, how their outfits looked like, what was the color of their hair and eyes? We have, and often. That’s why we’ve prepared for you a collection of vintage photos colorized in modern time. These are portraits from the Victorian era (1837-1901). And these men, women, and kids look so natural after the colorization, so alive, just like on modern photos. Also, you can distinguish their clothing (cuts, patterns, colors, textures, etc.), jewelry pieces, accessories, hairstyles, and so much more.

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Corset avaIn this article, we will talk about corsets and, particularly, about how very tight corsetry harmed women’s health and even killed them in the Victorian era. The mid-19th century was a period when the most tight corsets were worn. And while looser bodices and stays aren’t dangerous and could be even useful, very tight corsets really can be the killers. But still, for almost 100 years, whalebone and steel corsets were a symbol of aristocracy, civilization, and affiliation to the culture of the British Empire.

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RuralEngland avaThe Victorian era in England lasted from 1837 to 1901. It was the period of political and social reforms and the Industrial Revolution. By the way, due to the Industrial Revolution, there was a tendency of people moving to big cities where workers were always needed. And in rural areas, life was poor and hard. These photos will help you see the real life in rural Victorian England in the mid-19th century. Ordinary people often wore worn clothing, patched and full of holes. But, of course, there were wealthier landlords, with their toppers, nice suits, and white shirts.

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Edwardian Era avaThe Edwardian era is a period in British history from the 1890s to World War I (1914-18). The kids’ fashion during this historic period is marked by natural flowing hairstyles, elegant and delicate outfits, and flowers as a decoration. By the way, for grown-up women, this era was the last time they wore corsets in everyday life. Step by step, the clothing of females, including little girls, transferred from artificial and pompous to natural and flowing. We’ve prepared 21 old photos (though, colorized in modern times) so that you could see for yourself how an Edwardian-era little girl looked like.