Westernized NEP Fashion

When the Bolsheviks finally won over their external and internal enemies in 1921, they had no resources left to implement their avant-garde social and cultural programs. In 1921, with the approval of Lenin, the New Economic Policy (the NEP) was established. By recognizing private ownership and entrepreneurship, the NEP signaled the return of capitalistic practices and a bourgeois way of life. In the NEP circles of newly-rich Russian capitalists, Western fashion experienced a true revival. The designer Alexandra Exter was instrumental in starting the Atelier of Fashion (Atel'e Mod) in Moscow, founded in 1923 by the Moskvochvey textile company. It was supposed to fulfill two tasks: supplying prototypes for mass production and catering to individual customers. In reality, Exter and her colleagues dressed the new NEP bourgeoisie in highly decorated, luxurious clothes. The aesthetics of the Atelier of Fashion was laid out in a fashion magazine Atelier, of which only one issue was published, in 1923. During the NEP period, the Western-style flapper dress found itself in the company of jazz and Hollywood movies, as attitudes toward the Western bourgeois urban culture shifted.

In 1924, Lamanova was put in charge of the artistic laboratory that supplied prototypes for the Kustexport, the craftsmen's association founded in 1920 in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Trade to export folk art. She and her collaborators (Vera Mukhina, Alexandra Exter, Evgeniia Pribylskaia, and Nadezhda Makarova) agreed on the approach of putting Russian folk motifs on current Western women's wear, and her folk-embroidered day dresses received the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Applied Arts in Paris in 1925.

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