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Fashionable clothes with symbolic significance

Handmade clothes and accessories celebrating national style enjoy increasing popularity in Belarus
The Belarusian State Economic University’s Department of Economic Sociology has conducted online research to discover how people feel about ‘old-fashioned’ embroidery. While such work was once associated with grannies, there is a growing trend to acquire skilfully made items.  According to the poll, ‘handmade’ is most often associated with gifts, clothes and accessories. Most view such items as original and unique, with their own spirituality and designer concept. Respondents don’t refer to quality, or distinguish bad from good, but agree that all such products are attractive in being unique and in having symbolic significance.

69.3 percent of respondents state that patriotism guides their choice in buying clothes with national Belarusian symbols. In turn, 49.5 percent appreciate unique designer elements and 31 percent believe such items to be fashionable; 29.4 percent think that these pieces help them stand out from the crowd. Women tend to appreciate not only national Belarusian symbols in clothing but handmade elements, and a great number of respondents have found handmade articles on sale widely at Minsk ethno-shops and specialised fairs. All those questioned state that social networks are the most popular and efficient method of distribution, with Internet forums and social networks creating a range of advantages.

National ornamentation popular among youngsters

As regards prices, 52.9 percent of respondents believe them to be moderate — taking into consideration economic costs and the symbolic value of handmade goods. The authors of the poll wished to discover how people wearing clothes with national Belarusian symbols are viewed in Belarusian society. According to the results, they are viewed as supporting national traditions (49.7 percent), as trying to attract attention to their personalities (21.7 percent) and as interested in fashion trends (20.6 percent).

By Veniamin Velikhov
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