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Festive women's costume - foustan, from Razlog region

Beginning of the XX century

Festive women's costume - foustan, from Razlog region
Festive women's costume - foustan, from Razlog region

This costume is from the first decades of the twentieth century, as the new garment "foustan" shows a transition from the traditional to urban clothing. Due to her comfort and her effeminacy, she became a favorite garment in the Razlog region until the middle of the twentieth century.

In the photo, the girl is dressed in a white shirt (koshulya) made of woven woolen cloth with rich embroidery - "zapeski", of tulips and carnations on the bosom and sleeves, with hand-knitted lace, framing the sleeves and short at the skirt. On top is a brown fine pleated "foustan", made of factory colored cotton yarn, decorated with colored ribbons in lighter yellow at the skirts. It has a cut of a dress with a top fitted to the torso and a pleated skirt sewn to it, which emphasizes the woman's hips. In sunny weather, a play of light creates bizarre shapes when a woman moves in a pleated skirt. After the 1920s, the bosom was cut deeper and the decorated embroidered shirt was shown underneath, or a specially made velvet, satin or silk breastplate was placed, tied with ties through the neck. The oval or square bosom is trimmed with rich braided, wide and hand-sewn purl decoration. The two parts are connected by internal wire buttons, placed on a separate piece, whose triangular connections enter the shaped female bosom.

Празнична женска носия – фустан, от Разложко, нач. на XX век

It is belted with a double-breasted apron, called "futa na prachki", with matching colored stripes, complemented by small floral ornaments, and the sides are framed with short fringes - "pusheta". This "futa" was used until the middle of the twentieth century, as the side turgid fringes emphasized the festive type of clothing.

Празнична женска носия – фустан, от Разложко, нач. на XX век

She is veiled with a "kushak" - "sindzhirlia" with scarlet color and a chain of roses - hence the name of the veil, which is put in solemn occasions.

Празнична женска носия – фустан, от Разложко, нач. на XX век

The feet are worn with knitted wool socks, with red on the toes and heels, which is done to protect from evil eyes and to break the monotony of white. She is wearing slippers, as city girls wear. This is a festive costume for girls and young brides, and the difference between them is in the decoration with jewelry and buckles, which determine the status of the married woman.

Празнична женска носия – фустан, от Разложко, нач. на XX век

The shirt for girls and young brides is richly decorated because it is closest to the body and should prevent it from injury. The bride's shirt is kept for all life and is used to dress the woman at his burial to recognize with her husband in the "other world". It is one of the most ritually loaded parts of clothing, for this reason it is a lifetime. If the shirt is stolen, it can cause the most important magic to be cast on its owner, but it can also break magic. "Koshulya" is the old name of the shirt, and it is preserved throughout the Slavic world. The shirt of young women necessarily has a red color - a symbol of blood and life, while the embroidery in adults acquires darker colors. The young bride presents her future mother-in-law with a richly embroidered shirt if she is relatively young, but if she is already an old woman, the shirt is poorer in terms of ornamentation. The bride's shirt is made especially and when sewing, in order to strengthen the protective role, there are small defective stitches so that the woman cannot be "urochasana". The folk belief is strong and it is no coincidence that the clothing reflects these transmitted over the centuries knowledge about storage.

Girl friends from Mehomia, 1917


Model: Helena Kardzhieva from Razlog The costume is from the fund of the Historical Museum - Razlog

The project "Study of the specifics and richness of national costumes from the Razlog region in the light of cultural diversity" is realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the program "Cultural Heritage".

In fulfillment of the goals of the project we present some of the most beautiful traditional costumes, typical for the Razlog valley in the last 2 centuries.

We offer our sincere thanks to our hosts from the Historical Museum - Razlog, and to all local people who helped with the realization.

Special thanks to all participants and team members who took their time and with useful information, knowledge and valuable advice made possible the work on the project.

A reverence to the girls and boys from the town of Razlog, who stood in front of our camera and with their enthusiasm, youth and beauty revived for a new life the most beautiful costumes from old Mehomiya..


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