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MASKARELI, Draginja (2019). МОΔΑ (Fashion in Modern Servia), Belgrade: Museum of Applied Art. ISBN 978-86-7415-217-1, soft back, fully illustrated in colour and b/w, 143 pp., bibliography, no index.

This is a catalogue to an exhibition held at the Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade from November 2019 to the end of January 2020. The text is in Serbian with an English summary. The exhibition is based on items in the collection of the museum and includes a wide range of items for women from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition at the back of the book there are a few items for men, but not many.

For historical and geographical reasons there are items of Ottoman and Balkan styles, as well as West European fashions. Some of these garments were worn together. In addition, a wide range of accessories are illustrated including hats, glasses, hair combs, shawls, parasols, belts and footwear. The boots, shoes and slippers show a wide range of influences, including knee-high boots decorated with Central Asian suzani-style embroidery and ankle boots in the French style.

The whole exhibition stresses local, national as well as international forms worn by urban women in what is now Serbia. Not a remote part of Europe, but a cross-roads between Asia, the Balkans and Europe.  

Recommendation: A book that will be of interest to anyone intrigued by fashion, and what may now be called fusion fashion, the combination of various traditions brought together by political, economic and geographical reasons. A visually inspirational book.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, March 2020.


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