The women of little Paris: fashion as a society’s reflection in Bucharest, 1919-1939
My project will explore the fashion of the Romanian capital Bucharest, during the Hohenzollern monarchy between the two World Wars (1919-1939). I chose this time-frame because it was an era of significant economic, social and cultural change and saw major progress towards a modern state, particularly obvious in architecture, the arts and fashion. My aim is to explore the main characteristics and mechanisms of Bucharest’s society, as reflected in the mainstream women’s fashion of the interwar period.
Context and background
I will gather original material that has been infrequently used or left out of relevant research, and build a flexible research model in which visual and textual representations are synthesised with women’s fashion. I will also study fashion in interwar Bucharest as a phenomenon, intrinsically connected with the city's historical, social, political and economic background. Finally, I plan to establish a new research topic that is relevant to both Western and Romanian academics in the field of Fashion Studies (as a part of Cultural Studies, with an accent on Representation and Gender Studies) and producing an original work in this field.
Therefore, I will draw the portraits of modern and chic women from different classes and backgrounds- from the intimacy of their homes to social gatherings, on the street and boulevards, in the cafés, terraces, restaurants and parks- all coexisting in a capital that is old and new, oriental and western. I will connect the dressing codes, the fashion styles and personal choices to attitudes and behaviour, using fashion, gender and representation studies as tools. My study will be one of the first compositions of Romanian urban dress history between the two wars.