Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saudi Arabian Traditional Textiles & Dress!

I recently found out about the Mansoojat Foundation Beyond being a Museum of Saudi Arabian costumes they also offer workshops, plan events and much more. I was so impressed by this Foundation that I have contacted them in hopes of working with them. The picture I attached is from their website. It is clothing from the Hudhey tribe.

When I was still a fashion college student I thoroughly enjoyed courses about historical and cultural dress and textiles. I was even a student member of the Costume Society of America. Plus I had the opportunity to work with the Kechuaymara Foundation in Bolivia to do research (for my international studies degree thesis) on the contemporary ethnic clothing and textiles of the Aymara. From my work with them I even got to associate with the Aid to Artisans organization.

I also enjoy visiting costume museums; one of my favorites was the Victoria & Albert museum in London, England. I remember one time while in New York City I was able to catch a great exhibit, historical haute couture designer outfits, at the New York City Metropolitan, it was great!

I think it's wonderful, that despite the effects of globalization on dress, that there are those that are interested in preserving and keeping the uniqueness of their cultural dress alive. It's even more amazing when they organize programs that teach the younger generations techniques for embellishment, textiles and garment construction/wear.

In fashion, history always repeats itself. But we can all learn from examing our heritage and glancing back into the past. I'd encourage you to learn more about historical and cultural dress (clothing & textiles) if you get a chance. Whether by visiting a museum, checking a book out from the library, attending a workshop/event or at least shopping in a boutique or shop that specializes in traditional items!

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