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Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe: A History in Layers

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Winner of the R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, 2013
Presented by Textile Society of America (TSA) to a publication judged the best book of the year in this field. The purpose of the Award is to encourage the study and understanding of textile traditions by recognizing and rewarding an exceptional study that fosters appreciation for the field of ethnic textiles.



Edited by Elizabeth Wayland Barber and Barbara Belle Sloan

In the past, girls from rural southeastern Europe spent their childhoods weaving, sewing, and embroidering festive dress so that upon reaching puberty they could join the Sunday afternoon village dances garbed in resplendent attire. These extremely colorful and intensely worked garments were often adorned with embroidery, lace, metallic threads, coins, sequins, beads, and, perhaps most importantly, fringe, a symbolic marker of fertility. Over time new forms of dress were added so that by 1900, a southeastern European village woman’s apparel consisted of millennia of layered history. Even today this dress continues to be worn on festive occasions and by older people in rural areas.

Lavishly illustrated, Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe features fifty stunning nineteenth- through twentieth-century ensembles from Macedonia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, and neighboring countries―nearly all from the Fowler’s excellent collection―plus one hundred individual items including aprons, vests, jackets, and robes. The lead essay by world-renowned textile scholar Elizabeth Wayland Barber traces this twenty-thousand-year tradition of dress in fascinating detail. Chapters contributed by Charlotte Jirousek, Joyce Corbett, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, and Barbara Belle Sloan provide insight into historical variations, commonalities, and influences within this complex region.

276 pages, 315 illustrations, 285 in color
Notes, appendix, bibliography, index
9 x 12 in
Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9847550-3-5, $35
Hardback, ISBN: 978-0-9847550-4-2, $60


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