The Celebration of Heritage in Soviet Fashion: The Case of the Perm Fashion House
Thus far, regional Soviet fashion houses have not attracted much attention from social science. This paper attempts to remedy this gap in the body of knowledge about Soviet fashion. The folklore based Soviet design is also poorly investigated unlike “petit bourgeois Soviet official dress” explored by Bartlett. The main focus of the paper is the role of folklore heritage in Soviet fashion design, which is explored by examining the specific case of the Perm Fashion House. The case study relies on archive documents from the Perm Region State Archive and interviews of ex-designers of Perm Fashion House, Elena Oborina and Leonid Lemekhov, which were conducted in from May to November 2017. The findings of the paper reveal Soviet state legitimized limited part of the Per-Revolution Russian cultural heritage namely folk decorative motifs and applied arts disregarding other kinds of heritage as sources for designers’ inspiration. In the Late Socialism period, a folk-inspired design was the top-down initiative promoted in design colleges, fashion magazines, but not available for mass production. The results also show the designers creating collections for an inner market had more freedom than the ones designed for international trade events.