1/12/2009

Slavic Inspiration





The slavic speaking countries, like Russia, Romania, Poland etc., developed a folklore style, which inspires the fashion industry repeatedly during the winter shows with its rich pattern and tradional elements for colourful coats, blouses and skirts.
It is a style which actually seems to fit the winter season. It tells the stories of old fairytales with hard russian winters, (colorful) wooden churches and small dark wooden houses warmed by the oven. These houses are shown to be filled with rustic hand-crafted furniture and fabrics which women use to weave in the rural villages.
Such fabrics are generally made out of wool and linen and the folk costumes are filled with ornamental embroidery, which varies according to age, gender and region of the wearer.
The textile patterns and colors also vary regionally, with color schemes often based on specific combinations of red, dark blue, black, and white.
This style has greatly influenced the fashion industry. I
ts exploitation for designing the intereriors of a house has not been the highlight until now.
But still you can try to adopt some of these ideas in order to change the outlook of your house. Although may be not as a complete decoration but you can set some accents like an embroidered pillow in a well-known white and red scheme or a table cloth, or even a rug, which can help to maintain a russian or general slavic inspired feeling adding a bit of cosyness into house while you are prepared to face the dark, cold winter days.

One of the most unusual music videos filled with such inspiration is “Sun Zara” from a Bollywood movie called “Lucky”. It tries to transport the style and tradition into a romantic dramatic feeling and its really beautifully filmed:



And even when the world is fascinated and inspired by the rich history and the nostalgic feeling the folklore art can create, the people who are living there are not much into it.
For example, the russian interior. Initially it got influenced by chinese laque furniture and then the Russians developed it further with their own ideas. The huge castles of the Tsars were at first filled with an all over french design, which got replaced by the soviet ideas of uniformity and function.

The furniture wasn't imported from anywhere else but it didn't even followed their own traditions and style. It was heavy, industrial made and everyone had similar pieces standing in their houses.
After the political changes taking place in the 1990s, the people orientated themselves on an all-western look. Everything had to be new to be good and were therefore cheap copies of western designs.
Nowadays they try to look back and ponder, whether what the world like in their ancient designs and they try to create a look, which is in between: a blend of old traditions, western culture and very modern technology. It is a very fascinating idea and I am already eager to see the outcome.





Following link will direct you to an interesting article I found in the NY Times. The four pictures above were taken from there:-
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/13/garden/13russia.html




There are other contempory polish folk style furniture (like the retro and folk inspired shelf and chairs), which you can find at the link below :-
http://www.proteindesign.pl/furniture/index.php




If you are interested in watching other music videos related to the theme described above then please try “Tatu-All about us”, the European Song Contest winner “Ruslana- Wild Dance” and out of the crazy 1970s: “Boney M- Rasputin”. So Enjoy. =)



While trying to find some images for this post, I came across two graphic artists, Yelena Bryksenkova, a young student and Vania Zouravliov, a well-known artist, who according to me are at the oppposite end of the same rope. Their work depicts the russian folklore themes and their pictures have really impressed me. So I thought they are worth each an extra post.

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