Clothing Design and Ornament Function in the Constructivist Fashion of the 1920s-1930s

The development of clothing of the 1920s-1930s and its role in the formation of new productivist art are considered in the article. At the beginning of the 20th century, the world underwent not only enormous changes but also the loss of self-identification, both on a personal level and on a social level. The Russian Avant-Garde of the early 20th century became the prototype of not only new art but also claimed to have created a unified system of values. Artists turned their attention to clothing as a new widespread form of language. At the same time, finding a functional application to their creativity was the task. Reconstructing the role of clothing in human life was part of the “life building” concept of the early 20th century. The implementation of this idea was seen in the creation of a universal formula not only for creative work but also for life. The utopian idea of the unification of clothing formed the basis for the creation of anti-class functional working clothes. The project of creating universal clothing for mass production is a vivid example of the practical embodiment of the new productivist art. The search for a new form of dress, as a new cultural code, seemed an extremely attractive idea both from an ideological and artistic point of view. The new concept of universal clothing for work and sports transmitted the idea of creating a person of a new world - the builder of a new life. At the same time, denying fashion as a gender-oriented art form, constructivists tried to use concise forms, avoiding decoration and deliberate embellishment. The creation of innovative clothing for mass production also brings up the subject of the appearance of a new canon of the image of a woman, which changed not only the idea of an aesthetic ideal but also its role in society. At the same time, laboratories, which in their work synthesized the trends and challenges of the new time already existing in the world of Western fashion, were working. An attempt to unite Western fashion trends, national traditions, and mass production can be traced both in the practices of constructivist artists and in the works of artists who collaborated with Atelier of Fashion. New interpretations of folk traditions, as part of the search for self-identity, influenced the inclusion of a number of ornamental techniques in the artistic practices of the early 20th century. On the example of the creative work of V. Stepanova, L. Popova, and N. Lamanova’s design, different approaches to the formation of new dress are compared. The article analyzes how the transformation of the approach to clothing design becomes an indicator of sociocultural, political, and ideological changes.

Foundation privee Maison Burganov
Номер выпуска
  • 1 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
Ключевые слова
working clothes; constructivism fashion; soviet fashion; Atelier of Fashion
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