Pitt Rivers Museum Review – Made for Trade.

The electric range of artefacts shown within the exhibition were shocking and unexpected. I feel this, as I am used to seeing exhibitions of objects which don’t usually catch my attention immediately. The exhibition also made me reflect on my own life and culture due to the wide variety of unusual objects. The stunning range of information on these unique objects lead me to thinking about the social and political backgrounds of the objects and how many of them would now be classed as socially unacceptable. This idea fuelled thoughts for my own project and how I would like to include these references to the past into my project.

After visiting this exhibition I have been able to decide on an idea for my own project, not just from one artefact, but from the exhibition as a whole.


Moodboard Fangling

I collected several images and did some watercolour palettes to help inspire my final design for my Melting Pot project, this is a photo of just arranging and rearranging. I’ll post a final image of my moodboard on my next post. I was quite strict using only certain images and colour palettes that would compliment my project, whilst remaining focused on what I want to achieve. I combined traditional and stereotypical Russian images, bearing in mind my project aims, with carefully thought out colour palettes.

When in russia.

For my Melting Pot project at uni, I asked my Dad to speak to one of his Russian colleagues on behalf of myself. I asked her about 70’s Russia and the social and political issues surrounding clothing and wanting to be and individual, but being forced by the government, to be the same. The lady he asked was really lovely, she went and almost interviewed her Grandmother about the things I was so desperate to find out, first-hand from someone who was actually Russian, and lived through the time of communism in the 70’s. She sent me a mini interview from her Grandmother and several lovely and shocking images. The images are quite strange not just because of the appearance, but because of the subject. The photo’s look like their from the 30’s and 40’s due to the style of the clothing and the actual condition of the photos, in the 70’s they were still yet to join the colour film community. The clothes look almost war-time as the style is quite the same amongst the people within the photo, without it actually being a uniform, but really it might well have been. She also sent me photos from her school’s archive which are a bit spooky because of the sepia appearance and uniforms. Again the photo’s look much older than they actually are. Right! I will now copy and paste the small interview and photos.

Key points which really effected on clothes’ style of that period and consumer choice were of course:
–          Political system and ideology (idea of equality; it was inappropriate to stand out for other people but at the same time people wanted to).
–          Socio-economic factors (closeness for import; pure local production in terms of design and variety; low income level)
Variety of clothes in shops was really poor in terms of design, colors, cloth or textile and texture. The choice was really bad especially in Russia regions. All children went to school uniformed. Grandmother mentioned that  all clothes which were available at stores were of dead colors, looked really boring and monotonous. So that was really cool if someone gets a suit made of  unusual for that time material with texture, pattern or tracery.
As a result courses of cutting out and sewing had become rather popular that time. Grandmother said that in every family she knew there was somebody who could sewing clothes at home. There were not so many lifestyle or design magazines in USSR that time J. So they could study some basic schemes for cutting of at courses. Also a lot of women could knit and crochet.
Another deficit was with materials and threads, choice was poor as well. If someone gets a chance to get to foreign country – they used to it to buy some things or materials or threads. And all these things were really different from ones’ available in Russia. It was very cool that time.
Almost all things represented at stores were produced locally in Russia (One of main factories that time was in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg). Textile industry was developing well some clothes was producing locally at textile mile of Yaroslavl.


Fear is Respect.


The post’s name derives from what my Russian friend once told me, it made me laugh, but also a tad disturbed. I chose to base my post around this particular poster as it caught my eye. The graphic imagery and selected colour palette is something i will consider for my own project and designs. I may also use Russian text and font within my project as I feel it will portray the social and political backgrounds which I have explored of being part of a group and not an individual.

And so it begins.

At uni we have been given a cultural based project, on which were to chose a culture(s) and then start to explore as much as we can about it, to grasp it fully! I chose to base mine around Russia, mainly Soviet Russia. I chose this culture as i have always been interested in Russia as a country but also the many political and social happenings, just within clothing. Through researching communist Russia and its clothing, I have uncovered so much underlying information which i was not even aware of. One of the things that has stuck with me was the term ‘STILYAGA’ this means ‘dandy’ with negative connotations. Basically if you dressed too stylishly you were not working enough! This is quite ironic, as I in fact writing this in my pyjamas. The image included is just something to help my project seem clear 🙂

img – http://traditionalrussiancostume.com/costumeinfo/view.php?go=sarafan1.jpg