Revolutionary Costume

Degli Atti Ciofi, Author, Lidija Zaletova, Author, Ciofi Degli Atti, Author Rizzoli International Publications $27.5 (193p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1053-6
Though workers' overalls would not appear to promise much in the way of high fashion, this richly illustrated, intelligent book reveals how the pressure of revolution transformed Soviet society, from hats to shoes. A striking amalgam of the monumental and the whimsical, the textiles pictured here--and the clothes constructed from some--may surprise readers with the impact of an epic cartoon. Their seemingly straight-faced patterns feature a child single-mindedly performing calisthenics, small airplanes flurrying through abstract skies with a businesslike air, and miniature masons soberly building a brick wall, yet in each case the repeated image may provoke a smile. While earnestly literal in one sense, the designs are also exuberantly functional, unleashing a potent proletarian imagination with unmistakable gusto. Brashly geometric garb--from smocks to suits to gowns--shows a similar industrial flair expressed in boldly charted angles, stripes and zigzags, and 14 essays by art historians and field professionals examine history, politics and craft. (Sept. )
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
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