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Judit Pásztókai-Szeőke: Roman Toga in Pannonia – Myth and Reality
One of the most important research projects in the past few years is the Szombathely Iseum Project, which has attracted great academic interest. This interest, however, is a result of the site’s significance in the field of religious history, and its importance in industrial history is less well-known. This study aims to bring to the fore the importance of the unique archaeological material found at a Roman textile workshop in Savaria’s suburb in the context of fashion history. The textile tools as well as lead labels frequently used in contemporary service industry found at the site, dated to the years between 70 and 120 AD, suggest the operation of a complex, well-organised and well-managed workshop, which provided comprehensive services including the repair and cleaning of used garments. This workshop is likely to have offered Roman-style repairs to Roman-style garments for Roman citizens, who had settled in the newlyfounded settlement or within its administrative boundary. The term ‘Roman style’ refers to the fashion that these citizens brought from home, which was profoundly different than the local native customs and garments. The afore-mentioned lead labels were widely used to record details about the received items and the services requested, as well as to aid retrieval for the customers. It is conspicuous that in Savaria and other parts of the Empire they never mention the most emblematic Roman garment, the toga. In contrast, similarly to other provinces, citizens of Pannonia had a penchant for having themselves portrayed wearing this symbol of Roman citizenship originally from the Italian peninsula. The lack of references to toga is all the more interesting, because at the time of the workshop’s operation, Savaria was the capital of the provincial assembly, where locals mingled with Pannonian Romans at the annual celebratory events. The contemporary representations and the archaeological material unearthed at the site of the cleaning and clothing repair shop in Szombathely raise the question of the relationship between the images commissioned by Pannonian citizens and contemporary provincial reality.
Ágoston Nagy: Between Republicanism and Improving Looks. National Dress and Political Language around 1790
The topoi of Hungarian national dress emerged in literature to counter Emperor Josef II’s Germanisation efforts in the 1790s. Several authors, previously emphasising the importance of commerce and improving looks in general, turned their attention towards the preservation of national characteristics around this time. Attitudes towards national dress have gained a political edge as part of the Hungarian nobility’s resistance movement. The transfer of the national crown to Buda, the death of Emperor Josef II, and the National Assembly of 1790– 91 filled the country with jubilant sentiments. Political pamphlets increasingly focused on issues such as the constitution, language, religious tolerance and, first and foremost, national dress. The symbolic significance of national dress and the Hungarian crown is well illustrated by the significance attached to the uniform of the crown guards. The ideas about national dress, which became widely accepted and internalised by the resistance of the nobility in the 1790s, were originally formulated ten years earlier in the 1780s. These ideas fundamentally operated within the framework of the Republican political language, which emphasised masculinity, valour and simplicity in the discourse on national dress. In pamphlets expounding the importance of national dress the republicanism of Hungarian nobility three distinct aspects or argumentative techniques emerged, emphasising the nobility and simplicity of the forebears of Hungarian people: ‘Spartan Plutarchy’, patriotism for the ‘ancient constitution’, and the medieval idea of the Scythian heritage of the Hungarians. Republicanism among the Hungarian nobility associated foreign (mostly German) style with softness and visions of degeneration. This study interprets the political discourse about national dress and the crown guards’ uniform through the language of Republicanism and the agenda of “improving looks”. The study suggests that while in questions of the Hungarian national dress republican interpretations prevailed, the critique of the crown guards’ uniform was still fundamentally republican, but with elements like the agenda of ‘improving looks’ and economic rationale, which eschewed classical military values and found different criteria for the integration into political communities.
Csilla Kiss: „One of the Mightiest Weapons of Modern Thespians is Their Wardrobe”. The Influence of Hungarian Actresses on Fashion
Theatres have always had an important role as shapers of mentalities and social functions. Ever since female roles are played by female actors, they became role models both in attitudes and in culture and education. Whether they wanted it or not, actresses have always had an influence on their audience. Their clothes and mannerisms were imitated readily. Their profession meant that they were constantly in the public eyes and from the beginning of the twentieth century, their private life was shared with the news reading public, too. A large part of female theatre-goers wanted to imitate their favourite stage actresses, thus they bought the beauty products advertised by them, had their clothes made in the style of their idol’s stage outfits, and copied their hairstyle and even their mannerisms. Since it was first the stage outfits that women began to imitate in everyday fashion, the study of the actresses’ wardrobes necessarily includes these. Hungarian actresses became ‘fashion dictators’ in the modern sense from the second half of the nineteenth century. Their first field of conquest was lifestyle and the market for beauty products, probably because (besides aristocrats and the grand bourgeoisie) it was their name and face that was known by the public enough to be used to advertise certain products. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, middle class ladies began to copy the stage outfits of actresses. From the middle of the century, fashion salons began to use the most popular actresses as living advertisements and other professionals of the beauty industry, such as hairdressers, beauty product manufacturers and jewellers, also discovered their potential. After the turn of the century, nearly everything became marketable by actresses: cars, home decoration, sporting equipment, food and drink. While this trend has continued in the West without faltering, this phenomenon turned out differently in Hungary and actresses have lost their role as fashion influence after the Second World War.
Szilvia Czingel: Fashion Visible and Invisible. Modern Underwear in Hungary
The study examines the adoption of modern underwear fashion in Hungary as well as its impact on urban and rural lifestyle. The main focus is the influence of the large-scale social and cultural changes on certain types of ladies’ underwear in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The new feminine ideals and the revolution of underwear is closely related to Art Nouveau, which completely reinterpreted the female body. These ‘revolutionary’ ideas, albeit somewhat delayed, eventually reached Hungary and were first embraced by a narrow aristocratic elite in the 1920s, and later, in the 1930s, by the middle classes as well. However, in the meantime, nearly none of the new ideas penetrated the Hungarian rural society. The underwear fashion of the peasantry caught up with the new trends adopted by the bourgeoisie with a significant delay. The eventual adoption of certain elements of the underwear styles of urban middle classes worn with traditional folk garments brought about one of the most momentous transformations of traditional rural culture. Domestic help, which was an important transmitter of culture in general, played a significant role in the gradual spread of new fashion in the decades between the world wars.
Hajnalka Fülöp: Authentic Folk Dress in Folk Dancers’ Outfits
The re-discovery of Hungarian folk dance and the resurgence of the folk dance movement during the last twenty-five years of the twentieth century continues a trend which had started nearly a century ago and developed in several waves. In the early period, folk culture, which was associated with the peasantry, became a subject of interest typically for the elite. In the past few decades, however, urban youth discovered it for themselves, created their own subculture and identity. In the early period of the folk dance movement, many urban young people chose to wear authentic peasant garments in their everyday life. By now, however, this style seems to have lost its function as an identity marker. What happened to the collections of peasant clothing since the 1970s, how were these items integrated into everyday urban wear and how do the collectors use them now? The author explores this subject by examining the ways in which the story of these objects indicates the story of their collectors, changes in their mentalities and other factors. The research entails interviews with folk dancers and choreographers belonging to three generations. Their backgrounds and professional careers are just as similar as they are different. The study provides a survey and analysis of their wardrobe to find answers to the questions about these collections and their collectors. The personal clothes of folk dancers can be observed and interpreted as a collection of professional equipment. Collecting certain items of clothing is not hinged on personal life and temporal aspects, but instead it depends on the dancers’ repertoire, which results in a regionally, geographically defined collection. Most of these items were used for performances. The proportion of fashion items and folk elements appearing in everyday wear indicate the importance of the clothes as status-markers (e.g. ’folk dancer’, ’folk dance teacher) for the individual. The folk dancers’ understanding of the culture of peasantry, which includes the knowledge of folk garments, as well as their day-to-day dance practice had such a profound impact on their values and beauty ideals, especially in the first generation, that some of them completely broke away from the fashion of their own time and created their very own idiosyncratic style. While in this new context the authentic items of their wardrobe necessarily lost their original function, at the same time they also acquired new, nuanced meanings.
Balázs Tangl: The Role of Military in the Urban Development of Kőszeg between 1867 and 1889
Kőszeg, which was one of the most important towns in Hungary at the beginning of the eighteenth century, later not only lost its commercial significance to the rival town of Szombathely, but also descended into an industrial crisis. The decline was further exacerbated by the delays in joining into the nationwide rail network, consequently the town, which has traditionally been the military centre of the county, turned its expectations to becoming home to large Habsburg army garrisons. While military revenues provided a steady income for the town, a wide array of Kőszeg communities also indirectly benefitted from activities, such as quartering privates and officers, letting buildings (storage and infirmaries) for military purposes, and providing consumables. Following the quartering reform of 1879, however, the county chose Szombathely to build the future Habsburg cavalry barracks, which were finished in 1889. This was a blow to the number of army personnel stationed in Kőszeg and had a serious impact on the town’s finances. At the same time, the ensuing crisis forced the town to find new opportunities, which brought about a discernible, albeit initially rather humble, new wave of development by the turn of the century.
Források és olvasatok
Éva Deák: Painted Costume Series. Clothes and Identity in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Transylvania
The paper studies hand painted, subtitled costume series from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Transylvania from the angle of fashion history. Deák first briefly introduces the least known of such series: the costume book from the University Library of Graz, the series of the Library of the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, the 116-piece series held at the Romanian Academy Library; and the shorter series at the Lipperheide Costume Library of the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin. The images feature typical members of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Transylvanian society. As the social status of the depicted persons was of utmost importance, their outfits were designed to express their status as accurately as possible. In addition to the clear indication of class, the images were also expected to reflect the internal stratification within social groups. The costume series not only met these expectations but also served as a medium to transmit and perpetuate them. Besides indicating rank, the depicted outfits also provided information about their wearers’ occupation, gender, marital status, age and occasion, as well as national or regional identity. The handpainted costume series provide a glimpse into typical articles of clothing and accessories, as well as the use of textiles, colours and the level of decorative detail.