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Exhibition Dedicated to the 160th Anniversary of the Birth of the Famous Russian Fashion Designer Nadezhda Lamanova Opened at RSAL

The vernissage of the exhibition ‘Nadezhda Lamanova: “Making Clothes Convenient and Beautiful”’ was held in the Blue Hall on 23 December. RSAL Director Ada Kolganova opened the evening by introducing friends of the library: Alla Solovskaya, project coordinator of the Nadezhda Petrovna Lamanova Virtual Museum; Emma Malaya, senior researcher at the State Central Film Museum; Irina Zhigmund, costume designer, stylist, and popular blogger; Nazim Mustafaev, Moscow shoe collector; and Olga Polikarpova, artist, author of books, creator of reconstructions of historical costumes, and teacher in the Stage Costume Department of the Moscow Art Theatre School.

Ada Kolganova said that the 1925 album with 10 tables of Vera Mukhina’s drawings based on Lamanova’s designs ‘Art in Everyday Life’ was provided by the State Public Historical Library of Russia specially for the exhibition. According to those tables, under the guidance of their teachers, students of the Studio School made reconstructions of Lamanova’s clothes of the 1920s.

The fashion designer sought to help her compatriots look beautiful at a time when there was neither good-quality fabrics nor elegant accessories in the country. Any woman could sew an outfit according to the models developed by the master—the options proposed by Lamanova were quite simple and practical. She proposed adorning clothes made of coarse calico and burlap with embroidered towels, old lace, and other homemade ‘treasures’.

Ekaterina Shumyantseva, Head of RSAL’s Department of Cultural Programmes, presented documents and materials in the exposition. In particular, she drew attention to the fact that for the first time Lamanova’s articles and photographs of her dresses in 1920s publications were shown. The fashion designer’s use of folk clothing details was displayed in the exhibition by late 19th-century clothing from RSAL’s collection and embroidery from a private collection.

The speeches of library guests revealed interesting details about the biography and creative path of Nadezhda Lamanova—the 160th anniversary of whose birth was celebrated on 26 December. Visitors deeply appreciated the exhibition created by the Library and its permanent partner, the Stage Costume Department of the Moscow Art Theatre School.