During the ceremony the performance “Framed Female Silhouettes” will be presented by Amra Latifić, assistant professor at the Faculty of Media and Communications, actress and writer and Jelena Stojanović, communicologist and multimedia artist
Author of the exhibition: Draginja Maskareli, curator at the Textile and Costume Department, MAA
Clothing of the Serbian bourgeoisie had transformed in the nineteenth century from Oriental costumes to European fashion dress. European impact on the dress of Serbian bourgeoisie became evident from the mid-nineteenth century and predominant in the 1890s. This process can also be noted on nine dresses kept in the collection of women’s costumes of the Textile and Costume Department of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade. They were worn by female members of Serbian bourgeoisie as wedding dresses or in other wedding-related events such as engagement ceremonies. The preserved dresses dating from the 1878 – 1914 period include bindalli dresses characteristic for the Ottoman costume, dresses made in Serbia after European fashion as well as dresses made in Europe (Venice, Vienna or Paris).
The oldest bridal garment kept in the collection dates from 1878. It was worn by Draga Kandić at her wedding to Ljubomir Kovačević, historian and politician. This dress was acquired for the collection thanks to Milica Rakić, their daughter and wife to poet and diplomat Milan Rakić.
Engagement dress worn by Elena Ristić was made in 1909 in the Parisian branch of the British fashion house Redfern and it was the first item of European haute couture that found its way to the collection of the Museum. This fashion house was highly appreciated for the elegance of their evening dresses whilst slightly conservative creations were designed for women who proved their place within social elite by their mode of dressing. The Redfern House had many members of royal families but also artists and other members of the trendy world as their customers.
Lady members of the Serbian bourgeoisie availed themselves of services rendered by local dressmaker’s salons. They took great care to have their mode of dressing resemble those of European fashion centres as close as possible and not to be behind the current trends. The salon of Berta Alkalaj was among the famous dressmaker’s salons active in Belgrade in that time. It was in this salon that in 1911 the elegant beige wedding dress of silk and lace was made for the wedding of Danica Paligorić to the infantry major Nikola Jorgovanović.
Traditional Oriental mode of dressing is represented by bindalli dresses worn by members of Serbian families in Kosovo and in Vranje. In Turkish, the term bindalli means “thousands of branches” and it bears its name from the rich decoration in shape of flower branches in bullion embroidery technique. This type of dresses was used on solemn and wedding occasions and was characteristic for the Ottoman costume at the turn of the nineteenth century and the local Christian population adopted it.
Collection of wedding dresses kept in the Textile and Costume Department of the Museum of Applied Art is not a large one, but has been assorted during systematic collecting in the past sixty years since the foundation of the Museum. This work was focused also on creation of as complete as possible collection of items covering the mode of dressing of Serbian bourgeoisie. In that context the collection of wedding dresses, which in addition to usual representative functions cover also the ritual ones, is a valuable source of information not only on dressing fashions but also on entire cultural history of the middle class society in Serbia in the second half of the nineteenth and at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The exhibition “Wedding dresses in Serbia in the second half of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries, from the Collection of the Museum of Applied Art” will be displayed in the “Inkiostri” Gallery within the permanent display space “Trace in the Wood”. The public will be offered opportunity to see one of the Museum collections and in the same time to have a different and new encounter with the existing permanent display. With this exhibition the Museum joins exhibitions which would accompany the annual meeting of ICOM Committee for Costume to be held in Belgrade from 25th to 30th September 2011 organised by the Ethnographic Museum (for more detailed information please visit the website: http://www.etnografskimuzej.rs/icome.htm.
“Wedding Dresses in Serbia in the Second Half of the 19th and at the Beginning of the 20th Centuries, from the Collection of the Museum of Applied Art”