For the past twenty years, Alla Denissova has been working on a very special project: The Mobile Natural Museum of Russian National Costume.
The Mobile Natural Museum of Russian National Costume is a collection of costumes and consists of three sections: the historical, antique and modern collections. The idea came to Alla Denissova more than twenty years ago after she saw people in Austrian national costumes in Vienna, which impressed her. If you look at the invitation cards to the famous Viennese balls you will find the following in the dress-code column: evening dress or national costume. She thought: “If you don’t know what to wear – put on a national costume and you’ll be accepted in any society”.
When Alla thought about why Russians don’t wear their national costumes she understood that they know them only as museum exponents and clothes of fairy-tale heroes or folk group costumes. But to Russians – modern people – they don’t seem to relate at all.
Then she decided to tailor her own Russian costume and realized that she didn’t even know what it looks like. Today you can find a lot of information on it. But twenty years ago, she found only a couple of books on the history of Russian costume. The best exponents are kept in museum storages and are very hard to attain.
Up to now she has more than a dozen of costumes from different regions of Russia and even more are coming. All of them replicate the most beautiful museum exponents and contain modern and ancient materials and items.
She frequently shows her collection in Austria and other European countries. Presentations took place at the Hofburg palace in Vienna at an evening for the Russian industry, the conference of BRICS countries at the Trade Chamber of Austria, the Russian Science and Culture Center, receptions at the Russian Embassy, the UN in Austria, at the Pierre Cardin Miss Fashion 2011 in Paris and so on. By the way: The Tambov costume from the historical collection is now exhibited at the Pierre Cardin Fashion Museum.
All presentations attracted big interest in the Russian costume. She named her project “The Mobile Natural Museum of Russian National Costume” because you can interact with the costume, put on the exponents, dance and sing, take photos. The costume – while walking in it – helps you to understand to what place you are related to: For example “My father is from Archangelsk, my mother from Ryazan, I was born in Novosibirsk, studied in Moscow and live in Prague. What is closer to me?” The costume helps you to recall your roots. Alla has seen such events quite often.
Sooner or later everyone comes to realize the necessity of deep self-identification. Especially for women, with many transformations taking place in their lives. And each one at a certain stage of life understands that the words “aura and life energy” are not just words. The quintessence for Alla Denissova became the Russian National Costume. It has everything: style, proportions, ancient symbols. Anyone who tried on her costumes got a sense of relief and good health. The costume attracts them like a magnet.
Then Alla developed the modern collection for contemporary women with the correct harmony of today’s proportions. These are not a seasonal fashion and not a creative interpretation of the Russian style. It is a developing tradition of the Russian costume. Alla makes her modern costumes depending on the age, marital status, body form and ethnic self-identification of the owner. The costumes can be casual, for festivals or ceremonies like weddings. The material they are made of is of very high quality manufactured in Austria, Italy, France, Germany. All costumes are unique and exclusive. She wants her Mobile Natural Museum of Russian National Costume to encourage Russian people no matter where they live to know, love and wear their national costume.
RUSSIAN TRADITIONAL COSTUMES
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Fotocredit: Dina Lee