The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio's virtual Russian Fashion exhibition.

Decorative Arts Center of Ohio Features Virtual Russian Fashion Tour

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As a part of their current exhibition Russian Decorative Arts From the Tsars to the USSR, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio has provided a virtual Russian Fashion Tour featuring Gayle Strege, the Curator of the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection at Ohio State University.

Russian Fashion

“The turn of 20th century fashion followed the art nouveau at the time period,” said Strege. “It was very much a F-shaped kind of silhouette when you look in profile. You had a very blouse-y waist and a blouses-y blouse above the waistline. There was a also a little protrusion out the backside, so you had a droopy front and a puffed out back.”

Another major theme of the fashion showcased within the exhibition is the influence of fashion modeled after aspects of military uniforms.

“The military influence on fashion is something that has been really obvious throughout history. With the Civil War, you start really seeing some of that military braid that’s used in men’s uniforms and buttons start showing up in some women’s dresses,” said Strege. “It’s something that kind of repeats itself every now and then, from silhouettes to color palettes in civilian clothing.”

One specific piece in the exhibition is a bright orange peacoat, which ties in with the Orange Revolution that took place in Russia and the former USSR in the late ‘80s.

“The Orange Revolution was really right after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. And then the dissolvement of the Soviet Union was 1991, so it was kind of a short time span in there and orange was adopted as the color of revolution,” said Strege. “Everybody had something that was an orange color, whether it was a scarf or a hat or even a coat like the one in the exhibition.”