Slovenski etnografski muzej

Številka revije 
Etnolog 16 (2006)
Bojan Knific
Članek v pdf obliki 
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The “present” in post-war research of clothing culture in Slovenia

Our review of older sources on clothing culture in Slovenia shows that the authors dealt intensively with material from the “then present” and that descriptions of life as it was actually lived and observed were quite ordinary. This was commonly practised throughout the 19th century in spite of increasingly frequent warnings that the “national treasures are vanishing”, suggesting a need to look back into the past, and this development strengthened in the 20th century, when there is hardly any comprehensive research of the present. Marija Makarovič, the author of the most extensive bibliography in the field of Slovenia’s clothing culture, addressed the attitude of people to dressing in the present, but mostly when drawing comparisons between the past and present conditions, or related to the phenomenon of using fashion items based on tradition in the present. Her informants, who are an important link in her research work, are most elderly people, and this is refl ected in her works (in the passages dealing with the present) as the attitude of the older population to dressing in the present. The younger generation is largely absent from her researches. The present is however much more present in the research of the “national costumes” than in that of general dressing customs. Attention is devoted to explaining the differences between “national costumes” and “folk costumes”, establishing the reasons for the phenomenon’s existence in the present, determination of the bearers of this development, the reasons for this kind of dressing up, and the changingfunctions of the “national costumes”. Of all treatments of dressing in the present, the most analytical (and often critical) approach is found in studies of performance folklorism, which includes dressing up in “national costumes”. These combine the past and present, and depending on their general orientation the authors more or less emphasise the meanings the phenomenon has. At the first major post-war exhibition of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum on the clothing image of the Slovene peasant population in 1966, the present was not mentioned. Another exhibition, opened in 1974, emphasised in the introduction that in including a presentation of the way of living of the Slovene peasants “to the present day”, the museum joined the endeavours of contemporary Slovene ethnology. This mainly involved comparisons between the dressing fashion of older and younger people, specific items surviving in the dress customs of people in remote areas, differences between men and women and the like, as well as dressing up in “national costumes”. A major shift occurred in the exhibition Belts and sklepanci in 1993, when the presentation of different forms of belts and sklepanci in the past was accompanied by a comparison with the belts of the contemporary teenage generation; similarly, much more attention was dedicated to the present in the exhibition Blue-printing blocks in 2000. In recent years, Janja Žagar has devoted more attention to the present. Beside trying to fi ll the gaps in the historical collection of clothes and clothing accessories of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, she endeavours to complement the collection with items from the present consumer society. This is in part evident from her book Pokrivala –Headwear, published in 2004, as well as from the present permanent exhibition in the museum.