Why is it only in the recent years that we finally are looking back into ourselves, our heritage and culture. The truth is that it is far more complicated than accepting that Fashion has nowhere else to turn after recreating almost any previous trends only to look into the somewhat revival of folklore for new inspiration. Traditional Costumes are historic elements; they convey our living culture and thus should be considered a cradle of knowledge and art. They are works of Art; A different kind of Art but nevertheless of utmost importance. Fashion is an expressive Art. We express ourselves but at the same time clothes reflect our social and cultural environment. Women during war had to replace men at work so the wore pants and cut their hair short as even shampoo became a scarce necessity. A social circumstance brought fashion up-side-down at times where women could be in pin-up posters but could not really show their legs. Here and now we are ready to look back into our handmade, unique craftsmanship, to the work of our grandmothers just a century away and re-discover who we are and how we got here. We are at the dew point of history of truly accepting the importance of our identity and finding ways to preserve it in new forms and designs for future generations. Fashioration aims to develop critical skills and competences in youth connected to fashion and tradition along with solving challenges for a more sustainable future.
We will be focusing on 4 Balkan Countries with very rich tradition& eventful History. Costumes are an integral part of our identity and in contemporary times we need to analyse our common challenges, opportunities & needs among the participating countries.
This project is focusing on critical thinking. A critical eye and an investigating mind that will research and decode past times, people and techniques connected to dressing habits in the Balkan countries an area that was left in-transit of its identity during different Rules and Occupations. Traditional Costumes are our living culture but are not Fashion trends and Styles as they never were. In their time they conveyed much of a person’s social character and a conservative one too.
Traditional Costumes were not based on change as Fashion is and therefore have survived until nowadays to teach us about our past.
Mika Panagou-Costume Designer, researcher