Two weekends ago our day outing fell short of expectations by a mile. The following weekend’s outings exceeded expectations by a mile, and then some.
On Saturday we caught up with Slovak friends at a newish market in Bratislava, like a market would be if Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s had a baby and decorated the nursery with a hipster food court. Croatian wine, French blackberry preserves, smoked pork products (our nod to living in Central Europe) plus a bag of dried-and-fried chicken feet for Clayton Theodore (gross, yes) and more all found their way into the shopping tote we had been (wisely) advised to bring along.
Our choice for lunch was the Hummus and Couscous Bar. For a mere €5 one could embellish their pureed chickpeas (or couscous) with everything from Shawarma to Falafel, and even both if that is how you roll.
After lunch we bid our friends Dovidenia, and decided to take in an exhibit currently running at the Slovak National Gallery on “Slovak Fashion from 1945-1989.”
The exhibit was an extremely well curated history of “domestic garment production – from the cooperative manufacturers focused on the individualised, almost custom, fashion through the massive segment of ready-to-wear clothing to the studio work of designers fighting to speak from the early 1980s.”
Fashions for the workplace and the Haus Frauen; and mobile shopping for workers in the farming cooperatives.
Women were encouraged to make their own clothing, with Dorka patterns being all the rage. In the 1980’s the German Burda patterns and fashion magazine were introduced; the magazine was expensive, so it was common for women to share the periodical.
For Cold War diplomats, Tuzex was the department store. For Czechoslovaks, it was also the department store…for window-shopping.
Proof that the 1980’s was a terrible decade for fashion, be it in America or behind the Iron Curtain.