Female Festive Costume

Late 18th — early 19th century

Brocade, galloon

Brocade, galloon, fringe

Gold embroidery, strung mother of pearl, colored glass, turquoise

Girls and women in varicolored sarafans, kichkas, kokoshniks and silk kerchiefs resembled fairy-tale birds with bright plumage. This impression was further enhanced by the glittering gold threads of brocade and the iridescence of taffeta and damask. Luxuriant collars covering the shoulders and fan-like pleats, or bors, around the hems of shugais and dushegreyas create the impression of outspread wings. The influence of urban, European fashion on folk costume should also be mentioned: early 19thcentury fashion, characterized by a raised waistline and graceful pleats falling from the shoulder-blade level, brought about changes in the tailoring of costumes for the wives and daughters of the merchant class and rich peasantry. Shugais were made by skilled tailors, masters of innumerable refined methods of patterning and sewing.

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