Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Soviet textiles from the 1920s

Revolutionary Costume by Lidya Zaletova et al (Rizzoli Publications, 1989) is my current coffee-table read - it's a pleasingly hefty study of Soviet clothing and textiles of the 1920s.

Soviet fabrics from this period rejoice in industrial imagery and symbols of progress - planes, cars, trains and construction sites. Maybe if Kraftwerk ever designed a range of fabrics they would look a lot like this.

This sample from the First Factory of Printed Cotton, Moscow, from the 1920s, shows a crane, factory and worker and wouldn't look out of place on the Liberty fabric counter.

I love this romantic vision of peasant life by Sergei Burylin from the late 1920s, although I can't help but worry that the gent on the cart is telling the ladies that their farm is about to be razed to the ground to make way for the railway, and they are all off to work in a factory to make automotive components.

Finally, it wouldn't be Soviet fabric art without at least one tractor. Here's Tractors by Sergei Burylin, from 1930. Bit of a sporty model, by the looks of it.

John Deere manufacture an astonishingly large range of tractor-related fabrics today, but none of them hold the same romanticism and sheer Joy of Tractor as these Soviet beauties.

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