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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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 avaArmenian traditional dress is rather modest. Women thoroughly covered their body and head with clothes, but the cut and style of garments were very feminine and elegant. Also, they used a lot of delicate silver jewelry, with which the local females embellished their headdresses as well. These headdresses we will study and analyze in this article. For example, did you know that married women in some regions of Armenia wore such a complicated headpiece that they didn’t take it off for days? And they weren’t allowed to be without this headwear even with their husbands.

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Replicas avaThe national costume of Armenia is gorgeous. It takes a lot of time, skill, and love to make these garments. Analyzing any vintage folk garment from any corner of the planet, you’ll see that there is a deep meaning behind the cut, design, decorations, color, etc., because people used to take their clothes very seriously. And Armenian authentic pieces are no exception. We’d like to show you a few outfits – modern replicas of authentic Armenian costumes – and share some facts about the local clothing traditions. Let’s dive into it!

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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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Belarusian clothing avaBelarus is one of those countries with a rich Slavic heritage. The folk costumes of this country are bright and beautiful, they look rather regal even. Here are the major features of Belarusian national male, female, and kid outfits. Also, we’d like to share with you a few interesting facts about Belarusian traditional clothing and its peculiarities. Particularly, why did the local brides wear embroidered shirts with whitework? what did people do with old, worn clothes 100 years ago? how did the traditional kid garments look like?

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Belarus avaBelarusian embroidery is one of the main folk clothing crafts in this country. It has deep and old roots and represents the traditional beliefs of the local people. The most interesting thing about Belarusian embroidery is that there are specific patrimonial symbols embedded in the patterns. They serve as a connection between different generations and show the affiliation to a certain family. It’s fascinating how ordinary embroidery patterns can be so meaningful and important.

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Folk dance avaThe national attire of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unique and interesting not only thanks to its diversity but also because it got some features from Balkan, Oriental, and Mediterranean cultures. It’s a curious mix of different traditions, styles, and symbols. But all in all, the local folk costume looks beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s out of everyday use. But that’s understandable – people don’t make their clothes by hand anymore, and natural materials are much harder to produce these days than modern synthetic fabrics. Still, authentic folk costumes of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be seen at folk festivals, which is wonderful.

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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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Moravia avaMany Czech folk costumes look rather bizarre, especially women’s outfits with their baroque exaggerated shapes – puffed sleeves, short and very wide skirts, giant ruff collars, large headdresses, etc. But in the Moravia region, the traditional dress often appears more natural and usual to our eye. Both male and female attire are still charming, unique, and elegant; they reflect the local culture and lifestyle. And, of course, the folk costume varies from district to district or even from village to village, which is so typical for Slavic countries.

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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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Queen Elizabeth I avaEuropean monarchs often were trendsetters in fashion. The clothing designs and even little details of kings and queens’ apparel were meaningful. And so their courtiers often imitated their appearance and outfits, thus, kings and queens influenced fashion, sort of like modern celebrities sometimes do. One of the most famous trendsetters of the European Renaissance was Queen Elizabeth I. There were a few well-recognizable features of her dress, and today, we’ll find out about some of them.

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Queen Victoria coronet avaVintage royal jewelry worn by kings and queens – what can be more fascinating and exciting! Many of those jewels are worth millions and are passed down the generations for hundreds of years. But it’s not only their financial value that attracts our attention but also the real-life romantic or horrific stories of these pieces. Let’s look at one of the British royal jewelry items from a museum collection – Queen Victoria's magnificent sapphire and diamond coronet. What is its story? How did it survive to this day? And how many generations did it see?