Romanian Fashions in the mid-20th Century

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Two Types, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Eddie Derbyshire

    Eddie Derbyshire Practically Family

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    Maybe for skiing? Or similar outdoor pursuits. That collar looks as if it turns to fasten up in the cold?
     
  2. willyto

    willyto One Too Many

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    1,137
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    Barcelona
    This thread is fantastic. Real clothes worn by common people.

    It's good to have this perspective of the fashion of that era that is not from wealthy and aristocrat people.
     
    PeterGunnLives likes this.
  3. MisterGrey

    MisterGrey Practically Family

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    It's also important to remember that, while the idea of the suit as we know it may be a largely Anglo invention, and much of what we consider "proper" style has its' roots in English aristocracy and the military, that doesn't mean different concepts of style didn't evolve in other parts of the world. Many of the suits appear ill fitting or strange by our standards, but unless we can dig up a 1930s Roma etiquette guide, there's no way for us to know what was considered "appropriate" in this time for these people. Several of the design choices, particularly the more dramatic lapels, appear to be intentional rather than the result of tailors making do with what they have. Rather than try to contextualize these pictures by Anglo-Saxon standards of proper dress, I think a more appropriate approach would be to understand what we're seeing as a glimpse at Eastern European/Romani concepts of proper dress as they evolved independent of Western influence.
     
    PeterGunnLives likes this.
  4. PeterGunnLives

    PeterGunnLives One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Yes, these pics are great. I think the earlier comments about "badly dressed" are really unfair. Especially for rural denizens of a poor locale, those ladies and gentlemen looked WAY better put-together than the average Joe or Jane I see walking down the street or in the mall with ripped jeans or sweatpants!
     
  5. Michael A

    Michael A I'll Lock Up

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    6,158
    Wow, great pictures. And some of those clothes I would certainly wear today.

    Michael
     
  6. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    Location:
    UK
    Your point is important and valid, but don't confuse "Roma" with "Romanian". There were, and probably still are, many Roma people in Romania, but they are a sub-group of that country's population.
     
  7. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

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    Hm, independent of Western influence? I disagree. They are wearing the standard fashions of the 1930s, high waisted full trousers, wide peak lapels, pointed collars, with perhaps some German influences, and some exaggerated cuts which take the trends of the time to an extreme, which is typical of the excesses of fashion in every time period.

    Some of the suits look shabby because they were worn frequently by people who had few clothes to rotate. If they were pressed, you'd have a far different picture.
    And I don't think there is anything worn by these Romanians which exhibits some kind of mysterious etiquette that was alien to the Anglo-Saxon standards.
    Except that some of them might not be accepted in a fancy restaurant in London because their boots are muddy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  8. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    3,220
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    Short question: I gather there is already a book? "Foto Splendid. The Costica Acsinte Collection"

    Anybody got it?
     
  9. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

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    I contacted Popescu about it. He offered to send me a sample of the English version free, in exchange for a donation of my choice.
    Unfortunately, it never arrived. :(

    Is it on sale online?
     
  10. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,220
    Location:
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    I dunno. I can't read romaninan either. Is 30 lei = 6,67 € as an online convertor is telling me? Mini-Book?
    It says 20x23cm but not the number of pages. I don't get it.

    PS: On german amazon it's listed as sold out. But this means it was offered once?
     
  11. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I agree that these are fantastic photos, precisely because --as already noted-- they show real people as they really dressed in a distant time and place.

    These photos immediately made me think of Patrick Leigh Fermor's trilogy of books in which he gorgeously describes his "walk" from the Netherlands to Constantinople in the mid-1930s. The books capture the intense joy of being a young man lighting out across Europe between the wars. Anyway, it has been some years since I read the trilogy, but I believe it is in the second book, "Between the Woods and the Water", that he meanders through Romania. When I saw the photographs in this thread, it immediately made me think that these were exactly the type of people that PLF often found accommodations with. Although he often managed to find lodgings with aristocrats or in monasteries, he just as often found shelter with shopkeepers or farmers. Anyway, these photos took me back to those beautiful books. If you are interested in being mentally transported to southeast Europe, including Romania, in the 1930s, you cannot beat these books. PLF is an excellent traveling companion to follow from the comfort of your armchair. After his epic walk, he went on to become something of a legendary character for his other true life adventures.
     
  12. Denton

    Denton One of the Regulars

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    280
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    This is such a great thread, and the Acsinte archive is a wonderful resource. I always want to compare Acsinte to Mike Disfarmer in the U.S. and Seydou Keita in Mali. What they have in common, as I understand it, is that they are all brilliant artists working on small commissions from ordinary local people. For a small fee, they will create a portrait of anyone who comes into the shop.

    Disfarmer's work has been discussed elsewhere on this website, but I don't remember if anyone has mentioned Keita. I saw a great exhibition of his work a few years ago in Massachusetts. Here's an example:

    [​IMG]
     
    PeterB likes this.
  13. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    The "Worst Cut Jacket Ever", was actually not originally intended to fit like that; check out the bottom edge of the jacket, its angling, and the weird cross-over; it was a super dramatically upward angled peak lapel single breasted jacket, or possible a DB, but with a much narrow cross-over, that was poorly adjusted to cross over more on someone with a much narrow frame, or who lost a lot of weight. You can also cross-verify that the suit was originally cut for someone with a much broader/bigger frame, by virtue of the oddly bowed trouser crease which only happens when you have trousers taken in drastically, but do not bother to adjust the trouser crease to suit this structural adjustment. Also, if you look at the girl on the far left; you can just make out that she appears to be pregnant. Very cool! :)
     
  14. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    My Grandfather used to wear his Summer sports jackets with jodhpur riding breeches, riding boots, suspenders or a belt, and super big collar sports shirts (with the looped collar button - camp style shirts). That was on the border of Poland and Hungary. It's a Great look. Do it! I've done it before, and only gotten compliments, especially if you wear a pocket watch in your breast pocket of your jacket.
     

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