A Modern Take on Historical Folk Dressing
While searching Europe for young, under-the-radar designers, Clothia's team has discovered amazing talent out of Russia. Across St. Petersburg, Moscow, and elsewhere in the country, there is amazing, creative emerging design talent.
One interesting thing we noticed is that many of them place a lot of emphasis on the sleeves of their garments. Whether voluminous or extra long, the sleeves are the focal point for many of these designers' work so we decided to investigate!
The style comes from historical Russian costume, specifically a women's garment called a sarafan. Originating in Persia before being brought to Russia and adapted to the various climates and geographies of the region, you may recognize the modern version of the sarafan from folk dances and matryoshka (the wooden stacking) dolls.
The long sleeves often served as a signifier of the wearers' wealth - the longer and more ornate the sleeves, the wealthier the family of the wearer. The sleeves would then be pushed up and become quite voluminous (like we see on the Sharuk balloon sleeve dresses below) or they would be slit up the front allowing the hands out, similar to a cape.The extra long arms also had a function: to protect the hands and arms from the elements!