Debate about womens apparel

Debate about womens apparel


For 2 debates on Friday 6th.  of March and Saturday 7th. of March, the topic will be womens apparel through history and many cultures.

Both events takes place at Culturehouse Metronomen, Godthåbsvej 33, Frederiksberg.
Friday 16.00 – 18.00 and saturay 14.00 – 17.00.
After the debates, there will be concerts at 20.30 at Culturehouse KUBE, Dirch Passers Alle 4, in very close proximity. Friday is Luna Ersahin Sextet and Saturday Radiant Arcadia. Please see Face Book post for more information.

 We primarily seek knowledge, about the development in womens apparel, depending on materials available, i.e. cotton, silk, skins/leather, wool etc. 

Which conditions have been present, to determine particular types of dress.

Practical details relating to ”tasks in hand”. Climate. Traditions. Law. Understanding of decency. Clothing as a fashion statement and marker of social status.

For example is it quite acceptable in large parts of Southeast Asia, to show a bare belly, cleavage and bare arms, while legs should be covered.
It is from India, by Romas brought to many places, and is part of the traditional womens wear among Romas, to this day.
It has however developed into long, wide skirts of wool, linen and other available materials in Eastern Europe.
There are also traditions for when you get new clothes, and how the clothes are treated, related to hygiene.
Married women will often cover their hair, with a scarf.
In Morocco, an earlier necessity has developed into an exclusive piece of jewellery, in other places, what was a practical need, grew into national costumes.

The everyday crafts of yester year, such as embroidery and lace, has become highly desirable handicrafts.

In Europe, there has, for as long as anyone knows, been guidelines, or even laws, for how women are supposed to dress.

There has been tight and wide dresses, many types of corsets, ”matrons caps”, and many other items.

To display wealth, through types of dress, has been known at least since the 13th. century. In reality, probably throughout human history.
Directives, where it by law, was designated what a person could wear, is known as far back as pharaonic Egypt and ancient Sumeria
So a persons social class could easily be discearned. Because clothing was recognized, as a poignant and powerful indication of social status, it has been used and abused everywhere, throughout time.
Clothing can determine a persons culture, economic status, social power, moral standing and much more.

There was, in Europe, for centuries, ”laws of sumptousnes”, as a way to control and supervise social hierachy and civic order, through the symbolic values that is clothing.
A persons visual representation was descriptive, standardised and regulated, down to the last detail.
The type of dress, length, width, the use of specific materials, colours, and decorative elements, and the number of layers in a garment, could be limited to specific groups in the community.
However, the lower classes have always rebelled, and challenged these divisions, and the laws were finally taken of the statutes in the middle of the 18th. century.

A clothing wise difference in social rank is also historically inter cultural. In China, yellow symbolized the center and the earth, and was only used by the emperor. 
In Africa, among the Hausa people, members of the aristocracy, would wear large turbans, and many layered garments, of expensive imported cloth, to increase their body size, and thus differentiate from the rest of society.
In Japan, the colours, the weave, the way it is worn, the size and stiffnes of the Obi, would clearly indicate the rank and social status of the wearer.

This is a very large topic, and we aim to start an open and interesting debate, with the intention of further future debates later in the year.
We invite everybody to participate, and please feel free to bring one of your own costumes/outfits, or a piece of clothing that has meaning for you, and share your thoughts and knowledge.
We wish to learn from and about each other, and about each others traditions.

There is free entry to the debates, and the possibility to purchase beverages.

The concerts in KUBE has a 100,- kr entrance, with a 20,- kr discount for debate participants.