Tradition is a guide and not a jailer
W. Somerset Maugham
The processes of globalization in the modern world lead to the formation of universal culture and, simultaneously, to weaken local (regional) ethnic cultures. Integration of the latter into a single space is irreversible, so effective mechanisms for their preservation are required. Popularization of national elements through fashion is one of these mechanisms.
Roughly speaking, clothing exists in two main opposite forms: traditional costume and modern fashion. In traditional culture, clothing retains its original meaning, because it contains unique information that has been laid down over many generations. This initial meaning differs significantly from the meanings that modern clothing has received in the course of evolution. Additional semantic “layers” in the costume brought fashion, which took a prominent place in the European creative culture of the new time.
In traditional culture, clothing contains unique information that has been stored for many generations
Ukrainians are characterized by the predominance of emotionality over rationality, sentimentality and poetic perception of nature, which are fully reflected in the picturesqueness, patterns, rich decorative products of folk art. At the same time, Ukrainians are characterized by such contradictory features as individualism, creative resistance to others and, at the same time, fascination with artistic samples of other cultures.
The unwillingness to assimilate other people’s cultural patterns was the reason for the negative attitude to foreign fashion, ridiculing its supporters. This is clearly reflected in the plays of M. Staritsky “Not happened” (1881), “For two hares” (1883) and “In a fashionable way” (1887). They caricature characters who care too much about their outfits of fashionable styles, and all the positive characters wear national costumes. This perception of fashion prevailed in the Ukrainian countryside until the late 1960s. Most likely, the Ukrainians saw the changes in fashion as a symptom of social disorder, introduced by the rapid development of purchase and sale relations.
However, during the years when Ukraine was part of the USSR, the shortage of beautiful clothes of its own production led to a passion for imports, which were perceived as more prestigious and fashionable, although contraband, mostly outdated or low-quality items got into the country. Thus, at the mental level, a cult of imports has been formed, which is still manifested in the fact that Ukrainians prefer goods from foreign manufacturers. This is one of the main obstacles to the full development of the domestic fashion industry.
In terms of fashion, Ukrainians have formed a cult of imports on a mental level.
The development of national fashion is an important condition for the simultaneous modernization of the ethnic layer of culture and the preservation of its cultural identity. In modern society, fashion performs specific functions that are unique to it: it provides a monotony of cultural patterns, regulates the transition from the past to the future, supports the innovative nature of culture, and changes the prestige of artistic characteristics of objects. Thanks to all this, it can influence the perception, preservation and popularization of national traditions.
Although fashion, like art, is not nationally defined, it is impossible to fit it into the framework of a single ethnic culture, clearly highlighting national characteristics in its creations, but it can promote those elements that are perceived and evaluated by the nation as “their own”.
Fashion can use and promote those elements that are perceived and evaluated by the nation as “their own”
Wearing national clothing shows an individual’s acceptance of national values, pride in belonging to a particular ethnic group.
The activity of reviving folk costume and including its elements in fashionable clothing has always been and remains a means of expressing patriotic feelings, one of the levers of the development of national identity. Therefore, one of the most relevant fashion trends is ethnic.
When creating ethno-collections, most often there is a formal borrowing of samples of traditional costume without its deep understanding. In modern design, there are practically no dynamic design methods aimed at solving the problem of cultural imbalance between traditions and innovations. The novelty of this approach includes an art criticism analysis of traditional costume and modern fashion, their understanding in the context of the synthesis of traditional and modern layers of culture.
When interpreting folk costume by fashion design, traditional sources should be considered as a combination of utilitarian, semiotic and aesthetic functions, formal (constructive), material and technological qualities. For all these areas, the costume should be adapted to fashion trends, taking into account recent technological innovations. At the same time, elements of traditional culture act as meaning, while modern fashion is only a form that corresponds to such short – term characteristics as seasonal trends, bestsellers, and must haves.
Modern fashion is just a creative medium that contains seasonal landmarks: trends, bestsellers, and must have
The measure of proximity of a modern suit to the traditional source is chosen by the designer himself. However, fashionable clothing made in an ethnic style should never turn into a copy of a folk costume. The more subtle and delicate the association with the source of creativity, the more harmonious the result looks.
The main elements for the development of fashion clothing based on traditional ones are the principles of shaping, materials, and sewing technologies, finishing methods, semiotics and the manner of using things.
If in Soviet times, the state-approved fashion approved of externally decorative folklorism, at the present stage, the tradition, passing through the filter of the artist’s individual consciousness and adapting to the requirements of the time, turns into a new artistic quality that embodies the modern understanding of expediency and beauty. This is the principle used by many Ukrainian designers. They enrich world fashion trends with the use of national traditional components (a combination of colors, materials, ornamentation, proportions, compositional techniques, ways to combine costume elements).
Tradition, passing through the filter of the artist’s individual consciousness and adapting to the requirements of the time, turns into a new understanding of expediency and beauty
Traditional embroidery, merezhka, sewing, weaving, painting add artistic expressiveness, originality, and handiwork to fashion collections. Such preservation of connection with traditions can become the basis for standing out in the global world fashion, forming and promoting the Ukrainian style.
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