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Ágnes FülemileInstitute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Hungary

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Abstract

Parallel with the emergence of modern national identity and culture, from the late 18th to the early 20th century an emphasized consciousness underlined the attempt to create a ‘national’ dress. In the court cultures of Europe, a shift in the style of representation from ‘international’ to ‘regional/ethnic’ and ‘national’ served the aim of updating the monarch's role. Royals reaffirmed their sense of belonging to their own ‒ or adopted ‒ nations through the conscious introduction of national elements into the dress code of the court. Royal courts also played a leading role in the myth-making process surrounding the so-called national style. The connection between power, prestige, and the dynamics of costume as a fashion statement is obvious in this process.

Abstract

Parallel with the emergence of modern national identity and culture, from the late 18th to the early 20th century an emphasized consciousness underlined the attempt to create a ‘national’ dress. In the court cultures of Europe, a shift in the style of representation from ‘international’ to ‘regional/ethnic’ and ‘national’ served the aim of updating the monarch's role. Royals reaffirmed their sense of belonging to their own ‒ or adopted ‒ nations through the conscious introduction of national elements into the dress code of the court. Royal courts also played a leading role in the myth-making process surrounding the so-called national style. The connection between power, prestige, and the dynamics of costume as a fashion statement is obvious in this process.

Around the second part of the 18th and first part of the 19th century, parallel with the emergence of national identity and various articulations and institutions of national culture, there also existed an emphasized consciousness in the attempt to create visual manifestations of national identity in colors, emblems, costumes, and other symbolic systems. The tendency to wear dress that represented not only social but national – and often political – identity was noticeable at various layers of society, from the royal courts through the nobility and urban middle classes to the commoners.1

The focus of the loyalty of societies which were dynamically distancing themselves from feudal values changed as a result of national awakening and embourgeoisement. The church and the feudal monarch started losing the unconditional loyalty of their subordinates. The cult of the royal houses based on an international tradition of Mannerist and Baroque triumphal celebrations2 could no longer be upheld without substantial loss of prestige, especially after the French Revolution. The fundamental legitimacy of international dynasties that had retained absolutistic power over gigantic polyglot multiethnic domains3 – accumulated since the early Middle Ages – had to be adjusted to the emerging idea of modern nationhood. The new romantic national “tradition,” as it was being “invented” by the modernizing societies, was contrasted with the sheer antiquity and untouchable “sacredness” of the dynastic image.

As an answer to the challenge, there were steps taken to revise and update the royal image. Monarchs attempted to regain loyalty through various formal gestures underlining national elements and sentiments. Local, regional, ethnic, and national traditions were revived, re-emphasized, or newly created in the court cultures of Europe.

Royals had suddenly discovered that they had a nationality, or at least displayed sympathy with the various nationalities of the crown lands of their empire through symbolic expressions. Habsburgs who spoke Italian at the court (Vehse 1856/II:144) and sent letters to family members in French4 realized that their mother tongue was German. The German Anhalt-Zerbst Catherine the Great mostly wore Russian-style ceremonial dress (Korschunova 1983: 10). The Hanoverians discovered that they were actually English. German princes found special pleasure in dressing to meet the romantic image of being, say, Scots, as Prince Albert did, or becoming Greek, such as Otto von Wittelsbach or the Danish Wilhelm of Glücksburg, the brother of Queen Alexandra, did.

The most manifest expressions of identity were visual ones, mostly expressed in the way national style in clothing was elaborated and introduced for certain special occasions at court. Costumes with national “attributes” were used as coronation, ceremonial, formal, and informal dress, military and civil uniform. Ethnic and national dress appeared as fancy dress at court balls, as negligee, hunting, or children's costumes of royal children. Royals were often portrayed in the traditional dress of the various crown lands of their empires. Popular images, mass-produced prints intended for the audiences of a particular crown land were redesigned with national attributes and became means of conscious royal propaganda.5

Through presenting a few highlighted examples, this paper discusses how sartorial expressions of national identity appeared in the representational practices of 19th-century European monarchies.

Revival of national dress

National costumes6 of 19th-century Europe can roughly be divided into two basic types: on the one hand, traditional ethnic dress styles of earlier periods were rediscovered; on the other hand, new romantic costumes, perceived as national, were created. During the compilation process, features of contemporary fashion were combined with fossilized formal elements of historical and peasant folk costumes. Let us highlight the process in more detail.

There were certain ethnic costume traditions (such as Polish, Hungarian, or Scottish) that possessed a longer history with deeper roots. These costumes, once worn by the feudal upper classes, aroused aristocratic and military connotations, having had a wide prestige and influence in their own societies for a long time. The heyday of these dress styles was the early modern period (16th and 17th centuries). By the early 18th century, they were gradually becoming unfashionable, provincial, and relegated to the peripheries of use. These nearly discarded conventional styles were rediscovered and reinterpreted when the need for the creation of a genuine national style arose during the national awakening. There are striking similarities in the major stations of the “success stories” of revived national costumes: in the widening or shrinking circle of users, the elaborated modes of use, and the changing meaning and symbolism of the dress.

Other romantic national costumes were the result of the contemporary compositional process of compilation. (On the Gaelic Revival and the invention of Irish national dress see, Dunlevy 1989:116.) The sources of borrowing were not only the above-mentioned ethnic dress traditions but also the international fashions of previous historical periods. Certain typical elements of a period costume (types of garments, cuts, decorative details like collars, ruffles, or sleeves, i.e., hanging or paned sleeves) were reinterpreted and combined with the prevailing fashion, often without the deeper understanding or accurate imitation of the structure (cut) of the entire original costume. These referenced fragments were enough to generate the idea of the “whole.” It was unimportant whether the highlighted historic elements were originally genuinely local or internationally fashionable. The fossilized historical or ethnic elements of the newly constructed fancy national costumes were usually chosen from the “Golden age” of the nation. Thus, the dress also supported the romantic mythmaking of an “invented” heroic past. These quasi-national dress creations, upon being codified by the wider society, started to be considered “authentic.”

The emphasis on certain historic periods in the dress revival (Baines 1981) mirrored the importance attributed to these highlighted periods in the concurrently construed historical narrative of the nation.7 Some people built the national gloire upon the pride felt over imperial successes,8 while those on the “loser's side” established a national sentiment of being ever-endangered and elaborated a ‘sweet sorrow’ lyric of mourning over the memory of heroic but lost struggles. The cohesion of national identity in these latter groups was usually stronger and demonstrated by more provocative visual manifestations. For them, the dress became a primary expression of their national identity and secessionist political ambitions. The prohibition of these powerful symbols only further sharpened their meaning of protest. The banned kilt and Jacobite badges of the independence movement of the Scots, or the prohibited Hungarian and Polish dress after uprisings against the non-native dynasties provided expressive examples of how dress gained a political symbolism in the 18th and 19th centuries.9

As soon as the political consolidation after the strained periods of conflict brought appeasement, the romantic national “tradition” of the crown lands was discovered by the court as a curiosity. It was “domesticated,” its protesting sharpness tempered, and the court took on the role of trendsetter and generous Maecenas. Royal support, backed by the political and economic prestige of an empire, popularized the national style rapidly and made it a widely accepted fashion not only domestically but often internationally as well. Thus, royal courts played a leading role in the romantic mythmaking regarding the so-called national style. The connection between power, prestige, and the dynamics of making a fashion statement are obvious in this process10 (Figs 1‒3).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

“Equipt for a Northern Visit. Folly as it grows in years, the more extravagant appears,” color etching by Charles Ansell Williams (c. 1797‒1850), published in London 7 August 1822 by J. Johnston. (Brown University Library, Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection) https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:232593 (accessed September 25, 2016). English caricature mocking the visit of King George IV (1762‒1830) to Edinburgh in 1822, which was the first royal visit to Scotland in almost two hundred years. The events of the visit were orchestrated by Walter Scott with splendid theatrical Highland pageantry. Both the King and the Lord Mayor of London wore kilts during the visit. The event brought on the romantic revival of the Scottish national dress

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Scottish regimental officers, c. 1835, colored lithograph (from a fashion magazine); officer in Highland uniform in a ballroom with smiling women in the background. Brown University Library, Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:229009/ (accessed September 25, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Nicholas Maximilianovich, Duke of Leuchtenberg (1843–1891) as a child in Scottish dress according to the fashion of the 1840s. Watercolor on paper by Vladimir Hau. Tropinin Museum, Moscow (Inv. no. G-128, donation of Felix Vishnevsky, 1971). He was the grandson of Nicholas I, the son of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna of Russia and Maximilian de Beauharnais, third Duke of Leuchtenberg. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicholas_Maximilianovich_by_W_Hau_1844.jpg?uselang=hu (accessed September 26, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Another source of inspiration for the dress revival was the newly discovered peasant folk art. The romantic search for ‘exotica’ found a rich source in folk topics. Folk elements were often reinterpreted and used merely as formal motifs, without following deeper structures.

For elite society, the ethnographic discovery of the ‘terra incognita’ of rural people in their own regions was a revelation. The surprise was especially suggestive in Central and Eastern Europe, where a colorful, genuine, and manifest peasant folk art flourished.

National awakening had a typical, specific character in East Central Europe within the spectrum of European nationalisms (Niederhauser 2003:142‒180; Sugar 1982:55‒102). In the agenda of modernization, ideological elements were particularly emphasized: culture-creation and ideology-building had very strong links to the interpretation of history and had preceded the real social and political changes of modernization. Visions of the past, regardless of whether they were true or false, served as a cornerstone of identity. It was also typical of national cultures in East Central Europe that there was a strong peasant or “folk” orientation (Hofer 1991). This was particularly true of countries or peoples without a long history of their own statehood and thus having lived under ethnically different ruling classes. For them, despite the existence of a high culture of an indigenous ruling elite, the main source of inspiration when establishing the forms of national representation was their own folk culture mixed with the heroic mythmaking of an often falsified, “invented” past (Especially the court and urban middle-class gala dresses of the new Balkan monarchies emerging from 400 years of Ottoman rule showed strong ties to their peasant culture).

Dress regulations at royal courts

By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the court wear of the royal courts of Europe, which until that time had been a formalized version of the current fashionable wear, started to lag behind the fast-changing fashions.11 From the beginning of the 19th century, regulated, uniform-like court wear was created for all strata of the strongly hierarchical court societies. Time after time court regulations were issued (in the name of the Chancellor's Office), prescribing the norms of court wear for the different categories of the court hierarchy. Peers and peeresses, knights of orders, maids of honor, gentlemen and ladies-in-waiting, different classes of civil servants, pages, etc., were all distinguished with special attire.

Starting from that period, court dress did not have to be adjusted to the latest fashion, but it did have to be dazzling, luxurious, rich in gold and silver decoration, and, most importantly, it had to follow the prescribed patterns to the smallest detail. Sumptuous silk, brocade, and velvet were used with rich gold and silver embroidery. Certain colors or patterns of decoration often referred to deep-rooted symbols of heraldic traditions (Figs 45).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Ceremonial dress of a lady-in-waiting in regal colors of the Neapolitan Bourbon court dating back to between 1850 and 1860. http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ci/original/C.I.54.12.1a%E2%80%93c_F.jpg (accessed September 25, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Ceremonial dress of a gentleman in regal colors of the Neapolitan Bourbon court dating back to between 1850 and 1860. http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ci/original/C.I.54.12.1a%E2%80%93c_F.jpg (accessed September 25, 2016). Although not carrying specific national features, only dynastic heraldic symbols, the costumes (on fig. 4 and 5) illustrate the general features of the period's court dress. The bodice is crimson faille silk and the train is royal blue silk with gold bullion and paillette embroidery in a design of Fleur de Lis and oak leaves, both symbolizing the Bourbon family. The costumes reflect the splendor of the court of the Bourbons, who reigned in Naples for 126 years. The owners, Prince and Princess Doria d’Angri, were Gentleman and Lady-in-Waiting of Francis II of Bourbon, King of Naples and Sicily, who left Naples on 6 September 1860 and was exiled to France the day before Garibaldi entered Naples. The Doria d’Angri couple followed their king into exile. Their robes are the only garments of this kind in existence today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (CI 54.12.1abc) Another set was destroyed during World War II when the Museum of Naples was bombed.

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

In Napoleon's brief 10-year reign, the honor hierarchy, the over-regulated etiquette, and the codified order of dress system was re-established (see Le Bourhis 1989). Military uniforms gave way to civil uniforms. An amalgam of former regal customs was mixed with the new aristocracy's ambitious need for grandeur, which revitalized the French luxury industry. Court artists (e.g. Isabey, David, Percier, Fontaine, Portalis) who designed the lavish pomp of the Napoleonic court became trendsetters for Europe not only in the Empire style but also in the designs related to dress regulations.12

The tendency to create a “regulation court dress” was coupled with the tendency toward “fossilization.” Providing a distinguishing quality and meaning for court and ceremonial dresses, certain elements of previous historical styles were preserved, emphasized, or readopted. This tendency toward preservation was more obvious in the case of men's wear. Fashions of the 18th century, such as knee breeches, vests, and cutaway frock-coats, were preserved well into the 19th century, along with accessories such as the cocked hat, bicorne, wig bag, still-cut sword, buckled shoes, and silk stockings.13

The ladies generally managed to keep up with the fashionable styles of the period. For them, accessories made the biggest difference. All over Europe, there were certain common essential elements that had to be added to a formal dress in order to create a “full court dress.” Ladies wore a full dress “en décolleté” with long trains attached to the skirt or to the shoulders, and some exquisite form of headdress, such as veils, lappets, plumes with ostrich feathers. Jewelry, gloves, fans, and bouquets were also recommended choices. (NB: these elements of “full dress” were still part of the conventional white bridal dress ensemble of the 20th century. The train appeared as part of the bridal dress around 1805.14).

The regulated civil uniform had three forms: “full dress,” “gala,” and “campaigne,” similarly to military uniforms. During events such as royal birthdays or weddings, New Year's Day, feasts held upon the conclusion of peace treaties, formal receptions or balls, courtiers (living within the royal household) and others (who just visited occasionally) were required to appear in what was called a “full dress.”15 Other, more regularly held events were the “levées” of the king, during which the gentlemen were presented, and the “drawing rooms” of the queen, in which the ladies also participated. Further special regulations applied to such occasions as when the court was travelling or went into mourning.16

Certain rational reasons for cutting back expenses motivated the 19th-century introduction of regulation court dress. This regulatory act aimed to stabilize and increase the circle of people who were able to attend the court regularly. (It was now easier to acquire a set of prescribed gala dress than in the earlier period, when the pressure of showing up in the latest fashion for each court occasion was higher.17 It was such a burden that many had not been able to afford it and had to withdraw from participating in the social life of the court.) Regardless of its original aim, the new “regulation court dress” was stunning, luxurious, and distinctive, further elevating the splendor of the court.18

Dress has always had an impact that was manifold. Not only did it serve as an attribute of social prestige, distinguishing its wearer from others, it also strengthened the internal dynamics of group identity. The introduction of the uniform-like dress – which very visibly marked the members of a privileged group – enhanced group cohesion as well.

For holders of various honorific orders, the order vestment was the representative ceremonial dress at court events.19 For army officers, the gala uniform remained the mandatory court wear.20

The 19th century was a golden age of uniforms in all European courts.21 The cult of uniform was a pronounced feature of the Habsburg court, where a Germanic “obsession” with uniforms was further stimulated by the personal tastes of Emperor Joseph II (1770‒1780) and later Emperor Franz Joseph (1848‒1916).22 In the Russian and British imperial courts ‒ since Empress Elizabeta Petrovna,23 Catherine II (Fig. 6)24 and Queen Victoria's time ‒, there were also variants of uniforms for the female members of the royal family for certain special occasions.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Cuff of the uniform of Catherine the Great (1762‒1796) in the color of the Preobrazhensky Imperial Guard regiment. (Costume Collection, The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg) Two-piece ensemble made of green moire silk, edged with gold passementerie and buttons. Over the long-sleeved green dress a loose coat was worn with a trained back and hanging sleeves

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Often ethnic traditions were incorporated into the uniforms (both parade and field) of certain regiments of the regular armies of multiethnic empires (i.e., Scottish in the British, Cossack regiments in the Russian, Tyrolian hunters, Polish uhlans, Hungarian hussars, or Bosnian infantry with their oriental fez in the Austro-Hungarian imperial army, as well as the new Hellenic Army of Greece or the Ottoman Army in the Tanzimat reform period, in line with the idea of Ottomanism as a form of unifying “imperial nationalism”). The most picturesque versions, the “quintessence” of ethnic military costume, were designed for the representative guard corps of royal and imperial courts.

Even the hunting costumes had not only regional but also ethnic references. For example, Franz Joseph I wore the Austrian hunting dress (a version of the Steireranzug), with traditional lederhosen breeches when hunting in the Austrian hereditary provinces and with riding pants and long riding boots when hunting in the Hungarian kingdom.

In the Habsburg court and household, while there were various kinds of military uniforms, order ornaments, civil uniforms, and liveries prescribed for male courtiers and employees, there were no such regulations regarding women's court dress. Apart from the prescribed trained dress, ladies at the Habsburg court enjoyed more liberty regarding their dress code than their counterparts at the Swedish, Russian or, say, Neapolitan courts, where the full dress of ladies-in-waiting was strictly regulated. Furthermore Habsburg women wore no military uniforms (The riding and hunting vestments were the most uniform-like, tailored wear for Habsburg women).

Some examples of the “Nationalization” of court dress

Prescribed court dress was introduced at the Swedish court in 1772 under Gustav III (1771‒1792) and his wife Sofia Magdalena. It was immediately named national costume. The dress, which soon became the civil uniform of state clerks as well, referred to the “Golden age” of Gustav Adolf Vasa II (1611‒1632) in style and at the same time expressed a sort of Lutheran puritanism. The most distinctive element of Sofia Magdalena's court dress was a black-and-white striped sleeve.25 Starting from this time, the black-and-white court sleeve became the most important attribute of the Swedish women's court dress (The sleeves were often tied down into two puffs on the upper arms). Later on, as a practical solution, the ‘court sleeve’ became a detachable accessory and added to the current fashion. It appeared on the Empire dress of the early 1800s, on the 1830s Biedermeier court dress, or on the formal evening dresses of debutantes in the 1930s. The court sleeve had a gold-on-white and white-on-white variation for weddings and grand ceremonial occasions (Bergman 1987:66–77). The same idea seemed to be strengthened by another source of inspiration: the influence of the Napoleonic court. Empress Josephine and Marie Louise and other women of the Bonaparte family can often be seen in representations in white Empire dresses with puffed sleeves with gold stripes of decoration. Given that French general Jean Bernadotte, Napoleon's Marshal of the Empire, was invited to the throne of Sweden (as Charles XIV John 1818‒1844), such influence is no surprise.

Another element of dress for the royal ladies was an ermine-edged long, hanging sleeve, which time after time re-appeared on full dress with or without the above-mentioned striped puffed sleeves. The hanging sleeve referred to the Renaissance fashion of the admired Vasa era, but at the same time it could be a possible influence of the contemporary Russian court dress (Rangström 1994:27) (Figs 78).

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

A knight of the Royal Seraphim Order of Sweden, 1780. White silk ceremonial dress with black lace decoration. Aquatint by J. F. Martin after J. A. Aleander. http://digitaltmuseum.se/011013851325 (accessed December 28, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Desideria, Queen of Sweden (1807–1876) in court dress, c. 1833. Pastel of Pehr Lindhberg after Fredric Westin. (Nordiska Museum, Stockholm, NMGrh 2171) http://digitaltmuseum.se/021046503751?query=022waVuv3JrP&pos=0 (accessed December 28, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

From 1870, when the Swedish court was opened for the upward-looking ambitious middle class, the aristocratic ladies, worrying about their social status, attempted to gain the exclusive right to wearing the court sleeves, but they failed (Rundquist 1987:4).

One of the most interesting examples of the nationalization of regulation court dress in the 19th century is the Russian imperial court dress.26 The first attempts to create a national dress started in the 1780s. To counter the de-Russification effects in the costumes of the era of Peter the Great,27 Empress Catherine II (who herself came from the Anhalt-Zerbst family) tried to re-Russify Russian court wear.28 In 1812, due to the Napoleonic war, enthusiasm for France decreased and attempts were made (albeit to little avail) to wear sarafan and kokoshnik at least as fancy dress at balls. (These two traditional garments – the sarafan being a sleeveless tunic and the kokoshnik a woman's headdress – were the two most essential elements in every attempt to transform an outfit into a quasi-traditional Russian costume.) Russian fashion, nevertheless, continued to follow the French style trends.

In Europe, on the other hand, as a sign of appreciation for Russia's role in re-pacifying Europe after the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, the Russian dress, which was easily adapted to the Empire line of dress, appeared on high society ladies. For example, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, the heiress presumptive to the English throne who died in childbirth at the age of 21 in 1817, is featured in several paintings and prints wearing a Russian-style dress, George Dawe's 1817 oil painting in the National Portrait Gallery in London being the most delicate. Princess Charlotte wore the blue silk dress when she was pregnant. On her left breast, the Star of St. Catherine of Russia can be seen. The actual dress is in the collection of the Museum of London. Gold fringe trims the hemline of the sleeveless sarafan. The most distinctive feature that resembles the Russian dresses of Catherine the Great and coincides with the Russian folk dress tradition is the vertical decoration in the center, a re-embroidered gold galloon lace trim on the front-opening tunic, along with little gold buttons. This vertical accent in the front of the dress is also in line with the fashionable decoration of Empire dresses of the time.

Princess Charlotte's choice of spouse in a minor German prince, Leopold Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, introduced the new romantic ideal of a marriage of love to the royal scene, an idea appealing to middle-class sentiments, replacing the mere dynastic political interest of earlier generations and preceding the latter Queen Victoria's love marriage to Prince Albert, the nephew of Leopold.2930 Leopold had an important rank in the Russian army since childhood, and, in fact, when Napoleon occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg, he took up a career and distinguished himself in the Imperial Russian Cavalry. This link might explain Charlotte's Russian dress chosen for her most important representative portrait (Fig. 9).

Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796–1817) around 1817. Unknown master after George Dawe (1781‒1829), oil on canvas. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Princess_Charlotte_of_Wales.jpg (accessed December 28, 2016)29

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The turning point in Russia came in 1834, when Emperor Nicholas I issued an edict meticulously regulating the cut, color, fabric, and trimming of the formal dresses of court ladies of different ranks. Starting in this period and lasting until the fall of the dynasty in 1917, this form of dress remained, in basic principles, the official court wear of the Romanovs. The dress consisted of a trained velvet open robe with a wide, low neckline, long hanging sleeve flaps, an undress of white satin, a bodice with short, puffed sleeves, and a rather full skirt. The color of the velvet, the type of the embroidery in gold or silver thread, and the length of the train indicated the wearer's rank.31 A veil with a kokoshnik for women or a semi-crescent headband for girls accompanied the dress. In a contemporary viewer's words, the new costume “is claimed to be a national dress; (…) it is something like a Frenchified sarafan…” (Korshunova 1983:22). This first Biedermeier version of the Russian imperial court dress was restyled in the 1860s, and with this final and more rigid form, it remained the official court wear of tsaric Russia until the revolution in 191732 (The Salon of Charles Frederick Worth also made pieces of Russian court wear33) (Figs 10‒12).

Fig. 10.
Fig. 10.

Alexandra Feodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia, 1798–1860), Empress of Russia, wife of Nicholas I, in court costume on an English fashion illustration. Engraving of E. Hargrave after H. Krüger. 1830s, Bobbs and Co. Court Magazine, London34

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 11.
Fig. 11.

Bodice of a Russian court dress of Maids-in-Waiting, second part of the 19th century. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Costume Institute, CI 53.46a). Bodice of scarlet silk velvet with Florentine neckline and falling sleeves. The outfit is completed with a red velvet trained overskirt, a white satin front panel, an underskirt encrusted with gold, a red velvet semi-crescent headdress with ribbons, an attached tulle veil, and a little red shoulder cape as an outer garment removed during ceremonies

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 12.
Fig. 12.

Imperial presentation photograph of Alexandra Feodorovna, Alix of Hesse (1872–1918), the Empress Consort of Russia, in full court dress in 1908. Digital copy of positive from original glass negative made by photographers Frederick Boasson and Fritz Eggler. In Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, George Grantham Bain Collection, Washington, DC. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ggb2004001137/ (accessed December 28, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The most folkish figure of the Russian court – most closely resembling a peasant look –was the court wet nurse who wore a silk damask sarafan. Wet nurses and nannies working for upper-class Russian families wore traditional or quasi-traditional sarafan and kokoshnik as a kind of work uniform, which was at the same time also the attribute of their profession.3435 A French traveler in 1839 remarked: “The national head-dress of the Russian women is handsome, but it has become rare; being now only worn, I am told, by nurses, and by the ladies of the court on days of ceremony” (Custine 1989:124).

At the Spanish court, it was also the wet nurse who was allowed to maintain the most traditional look. (The peasant imagery must have resulted from the association of fertility and nature with the nostalgic bucolic idyll of rural life.)

Although, strictly speaking, Spain is outside the scope of this article, it still provides some edifying parallels.36 From the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the so-called Maja dress found its way into wider national use. The Maja dress, which resembled the folk dress of Andalusia (with the big black tulle veil, the ‘mantilla’, hair combs, flowers, and fans), was strongly associated with the ideas of temperament, dance, music, and a stereotypical national landscape. It was adopted by the upper classes and then by the court as well, and it was consciously elevated to the status of Spanish national dress. Elements such as hair combs and the mantilla (as the court veil) were still used by Spanish royal ladies between the two world wars (Worth 1990) (Fig. 13).

Fig. 13.
Fig. 13.

Spanish middle-class ladies at a bullfight in Madrid with hair comb and mantilla on their head (National Geographic Magazine 1936/3)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Among the younger monarchies of the Balkans, the example of the Greek court represents the region most characteristically. During the 19th century, the decaying Ottoman Empire was gradually forced to give up its dominions in the Balkans. First Greece, later Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Albania were relinquished. The new royal dynasties of these young monarchies established a colorful court life, utilizing local traditions. Two countries founded native dynasties, while others invited their monarchs from European families.

In Greece, after the war of independence from Ottoman rule, the Bavarian prince Otto Wittelsbach became the first king in 1832. From the point of the balance of the European status quo, he seemed to be a neutral solution for the Great Powers to enter such a hornets' nest of Europe.37 From the very beginning, Otto, this romantic Bavarian prince, invested a lot on royal representation, and it was not the antique period he turned to for inspiration; rather, he introduced a folkish Greek-style court inspired by the peasant and urban dress traditions of early modern Greece. In his very first representations, Otto already appeared in ethnic costume, which was at the same time the military costume of his troops in which he loved to pose. Similarly to the presidential guards of today, the Royal Retinue founded by Otto wore folklorised uniforms (Figs 14‒17). A style of female costume was named after his queen consort, Amalia. Until the middle of the 20th century, variations of the Amalia dress remained popular as a middle-class Greek festive dress aimed at representing modern Greek national identity. The small fez-like cap with a tassel and a gold-trimmed bolero-like jacket called kondogouni (or libade for Serbs who have a similar jacket) were the most distinguishable elements of the Amalia dress. Simply adding these two garments to any stylish contemporary fashionable costume was enough to create a quasi-Greek dress.

Fig. 14.
Fig. 14.

Otto I, “König von Griechenland”. Half-length portrait in Greek national costume. Variations of the same image were produced around the time of Otto's coronation in 1832. Lithograph after I. N. Ludwig. (Library of Brown University, Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection) https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:225757/ (accessed December 28, 2016)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 15.
Fig. 15.

Portrait of Katerina Rosa Botsaris in 1841. Oil painting by Joseph Karl Stieler, ordered by the Bavarian King Ludwig I for the Gallery of Beauties at Nymphenburg Palace. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/KaterinaRosaBotzaris.jpg (accessed December 28, 2016). Katerina was the daughter of Markos Botsaris, the Greek hero of the Greek Independence War. After Turkish captivity, she returned to Greece, became one of the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Amalia, and as such, travelled in Europe in the company of the Queen, where her beauty and life story won her popularity

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 16.
Fig. 16.

Mrs. János Nákó, née Anasztázia Vuchetich, in the 1840s. Lithograph after Miklós Barabás, printed by Walzel in Pest. (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, Tkcs 3468). The Nákó family was a wealthy Macedonian family who moved to Hungary in the 1780s, received noble status, and had landed domain in Southern Hungary. Anasztázia came from a wealthy Serbian family. The couple and their daughter Mileva were famous patrons of the so-called Reform period, along with some other prominent members of the Greek and Serbian community in Hungary. On the representative portrait, the sitter chose to express her identity with the Greek/Serbian-style jacket and head gear

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 17.
Fig. 17.

Photo of Miss Europe, Aliki Diplarakou (Miss Hellas, 1930) in Amalia costume (National Geographic Magazine, 1930. December, illustration 19)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Otto I was deposed in 1862, and the Greeks invited Prince Wilhelm of Denmark (brother of the British Queen, Alexandra and the Russian Empress, Maria Feodorovna) to the Greek throne. Prince Wilhelm chose the name George I (1863‒1913) and married Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, who, upon arriving as a bride in Greece, secured the loyalty of Athenians by wearing a dress of blue and white – the Greek national colors (FinestoneMassie 1981:284). Under George I, an official court dress was introduced for the eight ladies-in-waiting to Queen Olga.38 The style of this dress reinterpreted the traditional, historical, urban bridal and festive costume of the Attic in a Europeanised version by adding a long, trained skirt, fusta, as a requirement of a court dress to the mantel, siguna. A golden bridal crown, kselitsi, a diadem with a golden shawl completed the outfit (Hatzimichali 1979:74‒75).

The dress was decorated with the work of famous Athenian golden tailors. The refined embroidery with gold thread required enormous technical skill. This technique originated from the Byzantine period and it was popular until the end of the 19th century. In the towns of the former Ottoman Empire, including those on the Balkans, artisan tailors and goldsmiths made local variants of urban middle-class festive dresses decorated with intricate gold embroidery and braiding. These dresses bore Levantine, Eastern Mediterranean features with deeper layers of a Byzantine heritage, together with a style inspired by the homogenizing force of Ottoman imperial influences. A wide international social layer of merchants – including several Balkan ethnicities who shared the Greek language and culture – traded textile fabrics and ready-made articles (such as the fez) all over the territory of the Empire (Antonijevic 1983).

There are many cross-national similarities in the gala dresses of the former Ottoman territories (see Gervers 1975, 1982). What is particularly interesting about these similarities is that, in a period of cruel and bloody uprisings against Ottoman dominance, the wearers of these international Ottoman-style clothes considered their garments as being nationally characteristic. In the Balkans, monarchs, rulers, aristocrats, courtiers, army officers and merchants alike wore them. They were definite expressions of national emancipation (see Schubert 1992, 1994).

The ethnic costume tradition of a crown land of a multiethnic empire was only seen on a few members of the royal family, most often on the children, the heirs or heiresses to the throne. The biggest sartorial freedom was allowed in the case of fancy and negligee dresses. For masquerades, original and quasi-original costumes (designed by professional artists of the court) were worn, or only some accessories as attributes were added. (Another aspect of this issue can be elucidated by the fact that royal children were often dressed for fancy balls in the costumes of the enemy during war times.39).

Queen Victoria's family, for instance – that is, most of her sons – can often be seen in Scottish costume in artistic representations. In the Victorian period, the Scottish highland dress became internationally fashionable for children for formal social occasions (Dunbar 1981:77–105) (Fig. 3). What the Scottish dress was to the English royal children was the Styrian or Tyrolean dress to the Habsburg children. But they were also dressed in Hungarian costume, for the Habsburgs were the ruling dynasty of Hungary as well. In addition, the Hungarian hussar costume was one of the most popular fancy dresses in Western Europe in the second part of the 18th and first part of the 19th century – for both men and children (Ribeiro 1977, 1984).

While Scotland and Hungary were non-native crown lands, often stirring hostility or instability, Steiermark/Styria was different in this respect: it was considered very “Austrian,” the real folk source of Austrian national identity. Archduke Johann40 (1782–1859) used to wear the “Steireranzug,” the traditional dress of highland hunters of his adopted homeland, Steiermark. He was interested in science, was a great patron of the arts, enjoyed nature and hiking, had a jovial connection to the people of the land, and married the daughter of a postmaster, thereby excluding himself from the succession. He was immensely popular – his story was very appealing to the sentimental Biedermeier mind. The cult around his figure was part of the elaboration of the romantic image of the Alps as the symbolic Austrian national landscape. The example set by the “Steirische Prinz” made the Styrian dress popular at the Viennese court and at all levels of society. Soon the state clerks also received a work dress designed in the Styrian style. In Austria, where free peasant groups received political representation in the Parliament, the regional costume was acceptable for social events not only within but also outside the provinces, and wearing it became a society chic. The wearers of this dress felt that they consciously and proudly represented their community and their homeland. Furthermore, the Steireranzug was an accepted wear for royal audiences by all ranks of civil persons, alongside the traditional regional costumes of other Austrian provinces and the general middle-class frock-coat with top hat (KuglerHaupt 1989:35). These antecedents explain why the traditional country styles have preserved their social prestige in Austria to this day (Fig. 18).

Fig. 18.
Fig. 18.

Archduke Johann in Steireranzug in the Alps. Engraving of Blasius Höfel after the oil painting of Peter Krafft in 1818 (Az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia 1890:141)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The regional costume of Tyrol has enjoyed similar popularity. It received special symbolic value after the mighty valor of the uprising of free peasant militias led by Andreas Hofer against the occupying Bavarian and French troops of Napoleon in 1805–1809.

In the case of some ethnic dress styles, which also served as military costume of ethnic troops, the romantic associations of heroic military merits increased the expressive power of the dress as national or political symbol. Europeans donning a Greek dress during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire became a gesture of sympathy – as the poet Lord Byron's habits well demonstrate. Wearing Polish dress was not only customary among Polish émigrés who had to leave their partitioned homeland after a series of suppressed independence movements but was a means of protest for progressive individuals who disliked the rigid absolutism of the time (Fig. 19). National dress received a strong political symbolism around the time of the 1848 Spring of Nations, when a series of revolutions broke out in several cities in French, German, and Slavic territories, and in the Kingdom of Hungary.

Fig. 19.
Fig. 19.

Stroj Narodowy [national dress] – fashion plate of Polish national dress in 1848. Lithograph from a series by P. Pillori, Lvov (National Museum in Warsaw, Gr Pl 19676)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The example of the Hungarian noble gala dress as court wear in the Habsburg court

Bearing strong ethnic features, the Hungarian and Polish gala dress worn by aristocrats at the court was the traditional historical dress of noble orders.41 These two had the most characteristic national style in the royal court of the Habsburgs. Both had a long-established historical tradition.42

The distinctive style of the Hungarian noble costume gradually evolved in the 16th–17th centuries. Regardless of fashionable changes in the details, it had certain constant structural and formal elements that were preserved until the 20th century. The Hungarian noble women's gala dress adopted certain fashionable details of European dresses in line, cut, proportion, material, and decoration, but preserved and continued elaborating certain Renaissance elements. After a while, this conservative character was interpreted as a distinctive ethnic feature. These elements included a corseted bodice with lacing on the front, a chemise with voluminous, puffed sleeves,43 and an apron.44 Men and women alike wore a fur-trimmed felt or velvet coat called mente, which was hung from one shoulder and trimmed with metal (gold or silver) or black cord braiding or frogging. Distinctive forms of headdresses for both maidens and married women completed the outfit.45 The addition of a veil to certain forms of bejeweled headgear and a train to the skirt in the 19th century easily transformed the women's gala dress into an acceptable court wear. The veil and apron were usually made of the same tulle or lace. Gloves and fans were also required accessories.

The men's dress was basically an equestrian dress incorporating some oriental characteristics. The chivalric ideal of noble life – in which carrying weapons, riding horses, and hunting were noble privileges – defined the character of the men's costume which emphasized this militant male beauty and was used as a military costume as well. The men wore a dolman46 over a shirt under the longer, looser overcoat called mente.47 Over the dolman, a waist belt made of metal cord was worn or a long silk shawl wrapped around the waist in several layers. Tight-fitting riding pants,48 short or high boots, a special fur-trimmed cap with plumes, a sword, and a sash belt completed the outfit.

Intensive unicoloured or flowered silk, brocade, velvet, or fine broadcloth were preferred both in women's and men's costumes. Jewelry was an important part of both men's and women's gala dresses. Inventories and portraits document well the abundance of valuable jewelry used with the gala costume. (The 16th and 17th centuries were a golden age of goldsmithing in Hungary, a country of rich goldmines.) A popular decoration of Hungarian dress was lace made of gold or silver threads. Precious metal and silk cord frogging, passementerie, and metal buttons were considered to be the essence of Hungarian-style decoration.

Within the rather wide scope of its tradition, the Hungarian noble dress was a freely varied, flexible costume system with an elaborated symbolism that expressed rank, social status, family status, the age of the wearer, and the occasion of wear, similarly to the meaningful clothing systems of Central European peasant communities up until their disintegration in the 20th century. Throughout its history, Hungarian costume was welcome as court wear in European courts. Some of the court edicts reveal the special transitional, intermediary role of Hungarian dress between East and West.49

From the end of the 17th century, the Habsburg rulers of Hungary started to pay special attention to attending the crowning ceremony in a Hungarian-style coronation dress.50 As the unstable connection between the Habsburgs and Hungary started to improve, the earlier resentment on the Habsburg side against the national dress traditions of the Hungarian nobility started to recede. The elaboration of Hungarian dress as official court wear began with the reign of Maria Theresa (1740‒1780). Maria Theresa appeared in Hungarian costume on several occasions, most importantly at her coronation as Queen of Hungary. From this time forward, Hungarian dress became more prominent in the wardrobe of the Habsburg royal family. Maria Theresa was the first Habsburg ruler who seemed to be aware of the ‘public relations’ value of the display of Hungarian dress. From his early childhood, crown prince Joseph was attired in Hungarian dress.51 There are several engravings and paintings of Joseph and his younger brothers wearing Hungarian gala dress or uniform (Fig. 20).

Fig. 20.
Fig. 20.

Representative portrait of the son of Maria Theresa, Joseph II, later king of Hungary (1780‒1790), around 1745. Oil painting, copy by an unknown painter after Martin van Meytens. (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, Tkcs 5378)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Maria Theresa's conscious aim was to win the loyalty of the Hungarian nobility, which was apparent in many of her gestures. She opened the Viennese court to the Hungarian nobility. In 1760, Maria Theresa founded one of the representative lifeguard regiments of the court: the Royal Hungarian Noble Lifeguard. It was a special honor for young Hungarian noblemen (taller than 174 cm) to be members of the Lifeguard. All lifeguards wore the Hungarian Equestrian General Uniform with silver decoration, instead of gold, on scarlet-red broadcloth. Panther skin supplemented the uniform, which made it look flamboyantly exotic52 (Fig. 21).

Fig. 21.
Fig. 21.

“Königlich-ungarische Adelige Leibgarde,” Royal Hungarian Noble Lifeguard, c. 1820. Lithograph by Josef Trentsensky, Wien (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, TKcs 59_377 vIII.2‒19)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

It was in the mid-18th century when, following the process of organizing regular armies, the uniforms of regular troops were created and finalized. Consequently, the first edicts concerning Hungarian Hussar uniforms were issued in the mid-18th century. The uniform of the Hussar (light cavalry) regiments53 developed from the historical Hungarian costume of the nobility.54 From the early 18th century, these troops became gradually incorporated in the Army of the Habsburg Empire. It was largely due to the encouragement of Queen Maria Theresa that the number of Hungarian troops increased considerably. Maria Theresa's Hussar troops enjoyed extreme popularity. One obvious reason for the appreciation of Hungarian troops was that they often brought victory.55 The Hussar theme appeared in numerous branches of contemporary applied arts, from porcelain plates and figurines to popular prints and stage costumes (Ribeiro 1977:113). Similar to chinoiserie, images of Hussar exoticism were miniaturized in a typically 18th-century mode.

Following the Hungarians' example, light cavalry troops were soon established all over Europe. These troops adopted not only the military technique but also the style of the Hussar-uniform. The impact of the Hussar dress on the military uniforms of 18th- and 19th-century Europe is indisputable. Furthermore, another influence of the Hussar uniform was that braiding and frogging appeared time and time again on fashionable upper garments of men and women alike.

As a further gesture towards the Hungarians, in 1764 Maria Theresa founded “the most honorable order of the crown,” the Order of Saint Stephen, which had three classes. Besides the red-white-green colors of the tunic and the collar, the distinctive headdress and footwear gave the outfit a special Hungarian character (Fig. 22).

Fig. 22.
Fig. 22.

Emperor and King Franz I in the ceremonial robe of the Grand Master of the Order of Saint Stephen, 1804. Oil painting after F. P. Zallinger (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, TKcs 479)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Until 1814, the freely variable noble gala dress, the regalia of the Order of Saint Stephen, and the gala uniform of the Hussar officers (Fig. 23) and Royal Guards represented Hungarian clothing traditions at the Viennese court. In 1814, a regulated civil uniform for Hungarian courtiers who held offices and titles at the court was introduced for the first time. The Hungarian-style civil court uniform (“Gala-Uniform eines Geheimen Rates in ungarischer Adjustierung”) followed the basic composition and cut of the traditional Hungarian men's gala dress, and only the material, the decoration, and the accessories were prescribed. The color of the fine broadcloth was the same steel green as that of the Austrian civil uniform. (The mente, ‘dolman’, ‘kalpak’, and trousers were all of the same color.) The gold trimming also followed the pattern of the Austrian civil uniform. For high court dignitaries and for privy councilors, different musters were followed. Members of the diplomatic service were also privy councilors, therefore ambassadors of the Hungarian Crown wore the same Hungarian-style civil uniform in their official role for ceremonial occasions. The cut of this privy councilor court wear was updated in the 1860s, and it remained unchanged until the disintegration of the Monarchy in 1918. The same uniform reform was implemented in the army and in the representative guard troops, where the previous dolman was replaced by a newer, tailored upper garment called ‘attila’, one of the romantic inventions of mid-19th century tailors (Figs 2425).

Fig. 23.
Fig. 23.

King Franz I in Hungarian Field Marshal Hussar uniform, 1816. Oil painting by Johann Krafft (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, TKcs 2230)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 24.
Fig. 24.

Hungarian privy councilor's civil court uniform with accessories from the first part of the 19th century. Copy of a glass negative of gala dresses worn at the coronation of Charles IV, the last king of Hungary, in 1916 (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, XT 244)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 25.
Fig. 25.

András Pálffy, Captain of the Hungarian Royal Guard, in gala uniform in 1902. Oil painting by R. M. Arringer (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, TKcs 1903)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

It was at the Congress of Vienna in 1814 that Hungarian apparel received a wider publicity.56 After this event, fashion plates of Hungarian costumes appeared periodically in Western magazines as a curiosity. In Paris, the salon of Ambassador Count Zichy and later Count Antal Apponyi and his beautiful wife Teresa Nogarola popularized Hungarian costumes (Fig. 26).

Fig. 26.
Fig. 26.

Hungarian fashion plate in 1833. Copperplate by L. Kohlman (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, Honművész 1833. October 10. 55/V)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The style in the 19th-century Viennese court was international. The spirit of international imperial splendor was enriched with the curious exotic color of the non-Austrian nobles of the Empire, such as the Hungarians, Poles, or Croats. For them, the national costume was prescribed as court wear. It seems that the parallel presence of the international imperial style and native national styles stimulated each other. The studied “otherness” made each style exaggeratedly genuine in character. While the imperial court style became more and more fashion-forward, the national style became more and more conservative and conscious of its own traditions. Hungarian ladies in their antiquated garments delighted in posing as historic heroines, while Austrian ladies of fashion ordered their dresses from the chicest salons of Vienna and Paris. Hungarian men looked like colorful, passionate, oriental warriors, while Austrian men became the embodiments of precise, proper, doctrinarian soldiers and bureaucrats.

Sartorial symbols as means of manifestation of political and national identity have been well-known in Europe since the French revolution. In Hungary, a new revival of Hungarian dress started in 1790, when the unpopular Joseph II died and the Hungarian Holy Crown was repatriated to Hungary, carried in a ceremonial procession from Vienna to Buda, escorted by the Royal Hungarian Guard. A few decades later, a remarkable renaissance of Hungarian dress was seen at the coronation of Ferdinand V as King of Hungary in 1830 (Fig. 26).

The romantic revival of the Hungarian gala dress in the 1830s–1840s was an exciting and creative period in which new types of garments – though based on historic inspirations – were designed (F. Dózsa 1991). In the wardrobe of every noble family there were festive, everyday, and mourning versions of the national dress. Hungarian dress became widely accepted by all levels of society who shared in the awakening national sentiment. National dress, music, and dance were popularized at prestigious society events and through the channels of the theatre and the press. When the national style appeared in the lower classes, it took on several forms, according to occasion, social strata, and available materials.

The ‘Reform period’ concluded with the 1848–49 Revolution and War of Independence. The heroic struggle was eventually defeated by the Austrian and Russian armies. Hungary was punished severely. Two decades of mourning and passive resistance against Habsburg despotism commenced. Hungarian dress possessed a strong symbolism of resistance, and prohibition only served to strengthen its political significance. From the 1860s, with the relaxing of political oppression, Hungarian dress re-emerged from underground to see the light of day again. This second revival of national dress enjoyed wide popularity. All events of public life provided opportunities for the display of Hungarian apparel (Figs 2728).

Fig. 27.
Fig. 27.

A Hungarian Ball in 1860 with high society people dressed in national style costume. Lithography from the magazine Napkelet. (© MNM Hungarian National Museum T.1921 v63-15)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 28.
Fig. 28.

“Hungarian gala suit for festive occasions,” advertisement of a tailor's salon in Buda in 1857. Lithograph of J. M. Frank after Valerio. Whole-page illustration from the magazine Napkelet. Publishers: Tailor shop of Gáspár Tóth & Son, in Jankovics House, Uri street, Buda (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, T 1915 v40‒34)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

As part of the rising nationalism and pan-Slavism among the Slavic populations of the Habsburg Monarchy, variations of national dress were invented by the Slavic political movements in events leading up to 1848 and its turmoil. The Croatian “Illyrian” movement was launched in the 1830s. There were initiatives to find a distinctive Illyrian style in dress, accessories, and emblems. This newly invented national dress – which incorporated folk elements, national colors (red-white-blue), and Croatian heraldic symbols – was worn by the middle-class leadership of the Croatian national movement and the people of Zagreb (Fig. 2930). Still, the courtly nobility continued wearing the Hungarian gala dress for ceremonial occasions.57 On his official visits to Croatia, Franz Joseph always wore Hungarian military uniform to express his legitimacy as King of Hungary.58

Fig. 29.
Fig. 29.

A magyarhoni nők szövetsége [Ladies' Union of Hungary] 1860. Illustrated page of womens' magazine Divatcsarnok [Gallery of Fashion] 1860/49. Lithograph by Haske, Pest (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, T 1837). Three ladies in their national dress, a Hungarian (center), a Serbian/Greek (left), and a Croatian (right), holding hands. The poem talks about how in a happy country people should live in peace and invite others to unite and follow the example of the women – an important message following the ethnic conflicts generated by the Habsburgs among Hungarians, Serbs, and Croats in 1849. The women are wearing the fashionable crinoline skirt of the day, but special garments, considered attributes of national style, were added to the ensemble. Hungarian (full dress with laced bodice, puffed chemise, headdress with veil), Serbian/Greek (libade and fez), Croatian (a sleeveless vest called ilirska surka and a knit cap; existing objects suggest that it was usually made in the national colors)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 30.
Fig. 30.

Detail of a woman's overcoat in the Croatian national style, the ilirska surka. Middle of the 19th century. It belonged to the distinguished Zagreb Burgstaller family. (Museum of Ethnography, Zagreb, Etn. rb. 1972). It was made of fine white woolen Kashmir, lined with red silk, embellished with folk motifs on a red woven band, and buttons. Variations of the ‘ilirska surka’ exist with or without sleeves, using white, red, or blue, and the length and width are adjusted to the wider crinoline fashion of the time. There were variations of surka for men as well

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The pacification process between the Hungarians and the Habsburgs culminated in the “Compromise” of 1867, which transformed the Habsburg Empire into the dualistic state system of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. As a final act of setting back constitutional conditions, Franz Joseph (who had ruled Hungary since 1849 even though he had not been crowned) and his wife Elisabeth were crowned as King and Queen of Hungary. Empress Sissi, of pro-Hungarian sentiments, did not refrain from wearing Hungarian dress to annoy her anti-Hungarian in-laws. Her personal charisma and immense popularity – along with the fact that her costumes came from high fashion houses such as Worth, who created Elisabeth's coronation dress in 1867 – gave a boost to the success of the Hungarian costume in the 1860s (Fig. 31.).

Fig. 31.
Fig. 31.

The Habsburg Royal Family, Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth with their children Gisela, Rudolf, and Marie Valerie in Hungarian Costume, c. 1867, popular lithograph by an unknown Viennese artist (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, TKcs 6888). This popular lithograph is an imaginary portrait of the family. The Queen is represented here as being a “good mother,” even though she is wearing her coronation dress59

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 32.
Fig. 32.

The birthday of the ruler of the multiethnic empire. Princess Maria Valeria's children with their grandfather, Emperor Franz Joseph. (Illustration from the book Viribus Unitis. Die Buch vom Kaiser. 1893, Wien: Max Herzig.) Another happy family scene as the grandchildren are dressed in the folk costume of main peoples/provinces of the Monarchy. The boys are in Hungarian (csikós herdsman of the Puszta60) and Austrian dress (Steireranzug), the girls are in Czech-Moravian and Dalmatian-Croatian women's dress

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

59Many new outfits were designed at this time, and fashion and tradition were once again readily combined, especially in women's dresses (The crinoline version was perhaps the most balanced version of Hungarian-style women's dresses ever). (Fig. 33) Men's wear for everyday use was also open to the interplay of fashion and tradition. The pantaloons and western style men's suits were mixed with Hungarian-style decoration. On the other hand, the style of men's traditional formal gala dress was finalized and homogenized (That type of “classical” gala dress of the late 19th century remained unchanged and in vogue basically until the Second World War) (Figs 34 and 35).60

Fig. 33.
Fig. 33.

Hungarian Gala Dress of the Noble Majlath Family (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, T 1960.543.1‒5). It was worn at the coronation of Franz Joseph I in 1867, on the Millennium in 1896, and at the coronation of the last king of Hungary, Charles IV in 1916

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 34.
Fig. 34.

Group of Hungarian nobles in Hungarian ceremonial dress. The Organizing Committee of the Millennial Exhibition in 1896 (Photo by Strelisky, © MNM Hungarian National Museum 3833-1958)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 35.
Fig. 35.

Blue velvet mente and white silk brocade dolman, parts of a Hungarian nobleman's ceremonial dress from 1916 (© MNM Hungarian National Museum T 1990.54)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The 1867 coronation and the Millennial Celebration of the 1000-year anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest in 1896, at which the optimism of a rapidly developing empire was demonstrated, were occasions of grand displays of Hungarian dress (Figs 33, 34, 36).

Fig. 36.
Fig. 36.

Archduchess Clotilde in her Hungarian style ceremonial dress. Oil-painting by György Vastagh, 1880s, (© MNM Hungarian National Museum TKcs 486) Princess Clotilde of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1846-1927) married Joseph Karl of Habsburg Archduke of Austria, Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian Royal Army. (Her youngest brother was Ferdinand I of Bulgaria.) The family assumed a Hungarian identity and lived in Alcsút, Hungary

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Another aspect of the period was that decorative folk arts, textile work, embroidery, and folk costumes were discovered, exhibited, and marketed through the means of contemporary industrial exhibitions and world fairs. Often the highest circles of elite society had a leading role in popularizing folk art and initiating cottage industry movements, not only “salvaging” disappearing art forms but also as a form of benevolent social care in economically depressed regions.61 Patronage often meant that royalty and aristocrats started to wear pieces of original folk costume in photographs. Not to mention that images of royalty in regional folk dress were appealing to simple people, thus popularizing the dynasty (Fig. 32, 41). Art Nouveau artists soon integrated reconstructed folk motifs into their designs, including textile and fashion (Fig. 39). Middle class popularity and the rise of tourism was also part of the process.

From the turn of the century, the former demonstrative symbolism of Hungarian dress has gradually died out. The Hungarian dress lost its meaning of protest; instead, it added exotic and increasingly odd color to the Viennese court. When the queen was assassinated (1898), the widowed king never returned to the Gödöllő castle again and visited Hungary only on rare occasions. The age-old dream of the Hungarian nobility – real court life within Hungary – was thus never realized.

From the turn of the 20th century, Hungarian apparel was less frequently used and remained only an official wear for ceremonial state occasions, completely disappearing from everyday social life. In a gentleman's wardrobe, the Hungarian gala dress was just one suit among many other fashionable ones that social life required. Above a certain level of social rank (including lawyers, professors, higher-ranking state clerks), the wearing of Hungarian gala dress for official events was mandatory. (There is a close parallel between the history of the Hungarian and Polish nobility's national style dress in the 16th–20th centuries. A very similar logic of development, socio-historical context, stylistic periods, usage, and meanings characterize the two Fig. 37).

Fig. 37.
Fig. 37.

Emperor Franz Joseph I visits the Galician Diet in Lviv on his tour around Galicia in September 1880. Watercolor by Henryk Rodakowski, 1881 (National Museum, Cracow MNK III-r.a-12785) Members of the Diet are wearing variations of the Polish gala dress as official wear, https://zbiory.mnk.pl/en/search-result/catalog/310483 (accessed May 15, 2022)

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

The coronation of Charles IV and Queen Zita in 1916 was the last anachronistic, dazzling performance of the decaying Monarchy (Fig. 38). Two years after the coronation, the Monarchy signed the armistice. Charles IV disbanded the royal guard, the court disintegrated as the Habsburg dynasty was forced to resign. Hungary between the two world wars was a kingdom without a king. Some formalities of court life, such as Hungarian gala dress worn by the upper and upper-middle classes (Fig. 35) and representative guards (Crown Guards, Parliament Guards), survived until the end of World War II.

Fig. 38.
Fig. 38.

Herald Dress of the 4-year-old Prince Otto von Habsburg at the Coronation of His Parents, Charles IV and Zita, King and Queen of Hungary, in 1916. Photo of gala dresses worn at the coronation of Charles IV, King of Hungary, in 1916 (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, XT 252). The dolman with frogging and standing collar under the ermine-trimmed herald tabard and the fur-trimmed headdress süveg present Hungarian characteristics combined with imperial court style. The costume was designed by Gyula Benczúr, a distinguished painter of historical themes. The same artist designed the uniform of the newly established elite unit of the Buda castle, the Hungarian Trabanten Guards in 1904. The painter redreamed the 17th-century Hungarian military costume in a manner of conservative historicism of Millenary Hungary

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 39.
Fig. 39.

Hungarian Gentlewoman's Gala Dress of Countess Sándor Apponyi (née Countess Alexandra Esterházy, 1856–1930) at the Coronation in 1916. Photo of gala dresses worn at the coronation of Charles IV, King of Hungary, in 1916 (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, glass negative XT 186). The gala dress according to contemporary fashionable trends shows folkloristic influence. The pattern of silk embroidery on the velvet mente is in the Kiskunság style of peasant women's fur jackets

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

In the Interwar period, middle-class intellectuals and political leaders with gentry origins continued wearing Hungarian noble gala dress for official occasions. A simplified version for girls and women, called magyar ruha, which means “Hungarian dress” (white puffed-sleeve blouse, laced red bodice, white or red skirt with white or red apron, red headband, párta with national tricolor ribbon, and red boots), was popularly used by the public to express national sentiments on state holidays and official national events. The magyar ruha was often worn by stage and film stars of the 1930s–40s. Members of Hungarian émigré communities all over the world have been using the Hungarian dress as a manifestation of their national identity.62 This over-simplified expression of an erstwhile rich Hungarian sartorial tradition as an easily reproducible, cheap end-product has been firmly holding its position in popular culture until today. It seems that neither the tourist industry nor the vulgar characterization of anything Hungarian can diminish this strong visual stereotype (Fig. 40).

Fig. 40.
Fig. 40.

Photo portrait of children of the noble Bethlen family in the mid-1930s (© MNM Hungarian National Museum, F 201–526). The boy is in the traditional noble gala dress called díszmagyar, and the girl is wearing the simplified national dress, the magyar ruha

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Fig. 41.
Fig. 41.

Queen Mary of Romania in the 1910s with her husband Ferdinand I (Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 1914–1927) in Romanian traditional costume on a postcard. Photographic postcard in private collection. Mary was the daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Mary liked to pose in folk costume, and she was very popular at home and abroad. On her visit to the USA in 1926, she wore folk costume and was featured on the cover of Time magazine

Citation: Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 66, 2; 10.1556/022.2021.00038

Based on Seton-Watson (1977:148), Benedict Anderson suggests the term official nationalism to characterize the intention of 19th-century dynasties to nationalize the style of dynastic propaganda in order to neutralize national ideologies of embourgeoising societies as a means of preserving the power over multiethnic state formations. “The short, tight, skin of the nation” was stretched over the body of the empire (Anderson 1983:86). Official nationalism is “an anticipatory strategy adopted by dominant groups which are threatened with marginalization or exclusion from an emerging nationally imagined community.” Policies of official nationalism included: “compulsory state-controlled primary education, state-organized propaganda, official rewriting of history, militarism… and endless affirmations of the identity of dynasty and nation” (Anderson 1983:101). David Cannadine describes the period of 1877–1918 as the most intensive period of brilliantly orchestrated royal rituals and ceremonials in which the professional staging and image-making tried to disguise the naked truth of the political impotence of the monarchy (Cannadine 1983:108).

The adoption of national elements into the sartorial code of the pageantry of royal courts was part of a complex scheme of updating the style of royal representation and dynastic propaganda from the middle of the 18th century to the first two decades of the 20th century. There were conscious efforts to elaborate popular ways of maintaining the loyalty of the society amidst the rise of new forms of identities and competing displays of legitimacy of the modern Nation versus the Monarchy. Monarchs tried to preserve their ability to represent a conglomerate of nationally awakening peoples and maintain the cohesion and entity of multiethnic empires.

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Ágnes Fülemile is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest. She holds MA degrees in art history, history, and ethnography, a PhD in European Ethnology (ELTE Budapest), and an MPhil in History of Dress (University of London). She was a Fulbright fellow at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in 1993 and a visiting professor at Indiana University, Bloomington in 2006–2007. Her research interests include costume history, popular graphics in the 16th–19th centuries, folk costume in Hungary and Transylvania, social history, ethnicity and nationalism.

1

My interest in the topic was sparked by a Russian court costume I saw at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York in 1993, when I was a visiting Fulbright scholar there. Since then I have done research in several museum collections, studying 18th-20th-century material in London, Paris, Vienna, Graz, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, Zagreb, Bucharest, Sofia, Saint Petersburg, and Stockholm. Besides looking into objects of textile and costume collections, I also use different kinds of visual sources, such as prints, paintings, and photographs. A Russian version of this paper see: Fülemile 2017.

3

The empires of 18th-19th-century Europe (e.g., the Habsburg Monarchy) provided conglomerates of different political entities: each crown land or province had a different history of legal and administrative traditions and varying degrees of political rights and independence. In their modernizing attempts, the enlightened absolutist rulers introduced reforms from above, often “unconstitutionally,” without the consensus of the national diets of the crown lands. This method often caused resentment and a radicalized relationship between the ruler and the crown land. Other monarchs aimed for consensus, but they had to face all the hindrances of the conservatism of the feudal parliamentary systems of the crown lands. In their tactical balancing policy, the personal attitudes of rulers concerning national sentiments were especially influential.

4

See letters of Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II published in Arneth 1867-1868.

5

Printed representative portraits, group portraits, representations of ceremonial events, memorial medals, and commemorative engravings were issued on the occasions of royal visits, conclusions of treaties, opening ceremonies of parliamentary sessions, fairs, exhibitions, inaugurations of newly built institutions, etc. The more intimate Biedermeier representations of “happy” family events and idyllic genre scenes of royal couples portrayed as, say, Steirische lovers, or Tyrolean or Scottish hunters in paintings, prints, porcelain figurines, photos, and various products of the emerging souvenir manufacturing were indeed widely popular and appeared in the interiors of homes of various social groups, even the peasantry. On the role of prints in shaping visual concept of ethnicity, race and nationhood, see: Fülemile 2010.

6

The terminology in the costume literature is often inconsistent and can be misleading. The term national is often erroneously used as a synonym for folk or peasant costume, which is the complex system of traditional clothing in rural communities of the agrarian countryside before the urbanization of the clothing – a process that took place in different historical periods in different parts of Europe. It is important to make a clear distinction. The term ‘national dress’ should mean dress with specific local/regional/ethnic features, worn with the conscious intent of representing social, ethnic, and political identity: 1) of feudal ruling elites (NB: the original socio-political meaning of ‘natio’ before the rise of modern nationalism was connected with the pre-modern feudal class-consciousness of the privileged orders who possessed political rights and constituted the political “natio” of their crown land); 2) of constructed costumes intended to express modern national identities of various social layers of society in the 18th–20th centuries. In most cases these are singular gala outfits rather than complete systems of clothing. The term ethnic is a wider umbrella term that could refer to both of the above and emphasizes the distinctive peculiarities of dress traditions of various ethnic groups.

7

For example, in Hungary, the so-called kuruc period (the kuruc troops took up arms against Habsburg domination in the 17th century) was rediscovered by the romantic national awakening as a source of inspiration in the 1830s. The link from the “Reform Era” to the late 17th-century rebellion was based on the anti-Habsburg sentiments common to both eras.

8

For more on this, see Balibar's (1991:86‒106) seminal paper on the fabrication of a linear narrative of national history, on the “production of people,” national ideology and identity (both individual and community), and on the object of the identity of French and American “revolutionary nations” on which it became fixated.

9

The hotbed of the Habsburg Empire in the 17th and early 18th centuries – the Habsburgs' Scotland – was inevitably Hungary. The tensions created by overt Habsburg centralization culminated in a series of armed insurrections. Prince Ferenc Rákóczi's War of Independence (1703‒1711) was the most influential. After the insurrection was crushed, a severe period of punishment followed. Songs about the war were banned, and the main musical instrument of the kuruc troops, the tárogató (or Turkish pipe, a woodwind instrument), was burned: hardly any examples survived. It was also forbidden to wear Hungarian costume for a while: it had been the military uniform of the rebels and was thus invested with considerable political significance. The measures were similar to what happened in Scotland after the battle of Culloden, when Scottish national dress – also the military costume of the rebels – along with emblems, anthems, and bagpipes were all prohibited by decree from 1746 to 1782. The figure of Prince Rákóczi in his exile in Turkey was remembered by Hungarians in much the same way as Bonnie Prince Charles was remembered by the Scots.

10

One of the most plausible examples is the cult of the ‘tartan’ in the 19th century. See Cheape 1995.

11

The following literature was used regarding general trends in European court costume and culture: NigelMarschner 1987; Burke 1992; Campbell 1989; Cumming 1989; FinestoneMassie 1981; Mansfield 1980; Somerset 1984; Strong 1973. Various archive materials were used from the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from the Royal and Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace, London, and the Heinz Archive and Library of National Portrait Gallery, London.

12

If we think of Napoleon's diplomatic success in marrying Marie Louise, the daughter of the Habsburg emperor Francis II in 1810, it is perhaps no wonder that there are striking similarities between French and Austrian civil court uniform embroidery patterns.

13

Until the introduction of these garments at the English court in the 1820s, men still wore Tudor-style (!) underdress under their robes. It was part of the same dress reform in which George IV had finally permitted the abandonment of hoops under ladies' dresses, since these hoops, together with the high waistline of the period, looked very anachronistic and were targets of mockery. A similar process emerged at the Habsburg court at the beginning of the 19th century. The first regulation was issued in 1814, which prescribed an 18th-century three-piece suit with knee breeches, frock coat, and bicone hat as a civilian uniform for courtiers. The gold decoration on the frock coat was as precisely defined for the four different classes of civil servants as it was in the case of military uniforms. In 1836, the knee breeches were replaced by pantaloons. Later in the century, further regulations updated the cut as well, adjusting it to the prevailing fashion.

14

Straszewska (2005) analyzes two white wedding dresses with train made around 1805, from the collection of the National Museums of Krakow and Warsaw and brings parallels from other European museums. The attribute of wedding dresses is the train in the Empire period of 1804–1814 (ibid. 83‒84). The cut of royal and aristocratic ladies' wedding and court dress was identical.

15

In the Habsburg court, three kinds of festivities took place every month that the court and the diplomatic personnel had to attend. “Firstly, the gala days, that is to say birth and ‘name’ days, when the court was admitted to kiss hands and to see the Emperor dine… Secondly, the ‘Toison days,’ when all the knights of the Golden Fleece, in their dresses, hats, and cloaks of crimson velvet, embroidered with gold, appeared at mass and at vespers. Lastly, there were the ‘devotions,’ exequies, festivals, saints' days, and such like” (Vehse 1856/II:144–145). See more on the comparison of various ranks of events and ceremonies at the Habsburg and Ancien régime French court by Duindam 2003, chapter 5: A Calendar of court life, pp. 130‒180, Ceremony and order at court: the unending pursuit, pp. 181‒220.

16

Depending on the level of the immediacy of kinship to the royal family, the extent of court mourning could vary between a few days to one year. There were 2–3 gradations of the intensity of mourning which gradually allowed for the return of more and more colors. It is an archaic element that white was also used as a color of mourning. Women wore black dresses with black, gray, or white shoes, gloves, fans, and tippets. At the Danish court, white was used dominantly as the color of mourning (Johansen 1990:12). In addition to their black suits, men were required to wear plain linen shirts. In the next gradation—while slowly coming out of mourning—black dresses with colored ribbons or white dresses with gold decorations were allowed.

17

For example, Empress Elisabeth of Russia (1741‒1762) had thousands of outfits and never put on a garb twice. She ordered her courtiers never to appear at court balls or formal occasions twice in the same dress (StrachanBolton 2016:15). Elias (1983) discusses how the court of Louis XIV became an instrument of control over the belligerent nobility, taming them into royal service. Pressure to attend the court was high, but it also had disastrous, costly consequences, which made them more and more dependent on the king's favor. The elaborate court ceremonies of early modern absolutistic monarchies marked the boundaries of who were in and out of the “gilded cage.”

18

A French traveler, Marquis de Custine, wrote in his travelogue La Russie en 1839: “The national dress of the Russian ladies at court is antique and striking” (Custine 1989:165).

19

The sovereign was the Grand Master of the honorific order, so he wore the ceremonial robe of the order on certain special occasions. In case of female rulers, there existed a female variation (Dame Grand) of order regalia of otherwise male orders (e.g., even though a dress sample has not survived, it is known from representations that Maria Theresa had a female regalia of the Hungarian Saint Stephen Order). On other occasions, royalty wore only the medals of the orders attached to their dress. Besides the male orders, female orders were also introduced (especially in the 18th‒19th centuries) to award the aristocratic ladies of the court.

20

At the Russian court, a special uniform for balls was introduced for officers eligible to attend court balls during the time of Paul I (1796‒1801) (Letin 2005:354). Participation at court balls was part of the service of guard officers (see more in Letin 2005:348‒363).

21

Uniforms during the Napoleonic wars expressed the masculine qualities of strength, valor, expertise, and power, whereas the lack of it suggested the opposite. According to an anecdote, at the 1814 Viennese Congress, Tsar Alexander, “without any reserve, expressed to many ladies his aversion to Metternich (…) and to Metternich's mother, who was still alive at the time, he said ‘I despise every man who does not wear a uniform’” (Vehse 1856/II:462).

22

Being “the Lord of War,” the Emperor and King Franz Joseph I had a rich wardrobe of uniforms, and he appeared in his favorite uniforms with great frequency. Only the ruler was entitled to use the Field Marshal's rank, and as such, he had the right to wear all the generals' uniforms. As the owner of certain regiments, he wore the colonel's uniform of that particular regiment, too. The Austrian Field Marshal Campaign uniform, the simple “Waffenrock,” was the daily work dress of the hard-working emperor. He often wore the Hungarian version of the Field Marshal Campaign uniform in his role as king of Hungary. For festive and ceremonial occasions, he wore the gala version. Such events were the coronation, inaugurations, opening ceremony and sessions of the Hungarian Diet, official visits to Hungary, and Hungarian royal balls. Other male members of the royal family also owned regiments, had meticulous military training, and served in different ranks of the army. In most cases, both on civilian and military occasions, the closest male family members also wore uniforms.

23

From the time of the daughter of Peter the Great, Empress Elizabeta Petrovna (1742‒1762) – who largely based her power on the help of the Preobrazhensky Life-Guards of the court – women in the imperial court of Russia wore women's variations of military uniforms. Costumes, paintings, and photos survived, showing female members of the Russian royal family in military uniform from Elizabeth's time to the end of the Romanovs' rule in 1917. Elizabeth even preferred wearing men's riding trousers and hunting dress. She introduced extravagant court balls where the courtiers had to dress the opposite sex (Talbot Rice 1970:136; StrachanBolton 2016:12).

24

Catherine the Great (Catherine II 1762‒1796) was also helped by the Life Guards Semionovsky Regiment. On the day of the coup that deposed her husband, Catherine dressed in the uniform of Captain Alexander Talyzin. From among Catherine's women's uniforms, a few ensembles survived. One of the two-piece ensembles in the collection of the Hermitage was made of green moire silk, edged with gold passementerie and buttons in the style of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment. (see detail in Fig. 6). At least 2–3 variations of the coat exist, with different sleeves and collars in green-gold and blue-red-gold (see Saint Laurent 1989:27, 28, illustrations. The book is based on an exhibit of Russian costume prepared by Yves St Laurent at the Musee Jacquemart Andre, Paris, 28 February ‒ 31 May 1989). Special thanks to Dr. Tatiana Korshunova and Nina Ivanovna Tarasova, Head of the Sector for the Applied Arts of the Department of Russian Cultural History at the State Hermitage. With their help, I was able to study the above-mentioned costumes in the collection of the museum in 2010. Tarasova was the curator of the exhibition Servants of the Imperial Court” – Late 19th-, Early 20th-Century Livery in the Hermitage Collection in 2014.

25

See Niclas Lafrensen's aquarelle portrait at the Nordiska Museum in Stockholm. http://digitaltmuseum.se/021046503095?query=Sofia%20Magdalena&pos=9 (accessed December 28, 2016) and Peter Krafft's portrait from 1782 with white-gold variation of the peculiar sleeve http://digitaltmuseum.se/011013852748?page=2&query=Sofia%20Magdalena&pos=32 (accessed December 28, 2016).

26

Concerning Russian court dress, see Onassis 1976; Matyjaszkiewicz 1987; Korshunova 1983, 1993.

27

Peter the Great – in his attempt to bring Russia closer to Western Europe – issued edicts on costume in 1700 which required “persons of every rank and station, except the clergy, carriers and peasants at the plough, to wear Hungarian- or German-style clothes, and forbidding Russian dress to be worn, or made, or sold” (Korshunova 1983:5‒6).

28

Catherine the Great issued several edicts to lend some national flavor to the regulation court dress. These gave directions concerning the materials, ornamentation, styles of full formal dresses and daytime clothes for ladies and gentlemen at the court. To boost the Russian textile industry, they decreed court dress to be made from brocades woven in Moscow and informal dress from Russian silk and broadcloth. On particularly important occasions, “ladies came to all assemblies in the Russian dress” introduced by Catherine II (Korshunova 1983:10). The "Russian dress" was a combination of fashionable and traditional features. It aimed to look like the traditional Russian costume with a veil and loose-hanging cape-like sleeves, but at the same time it was a French sack-back open robe worn over hoops.

30

“At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the romantic ideal of marriage as love affair spread into the English and German middle class. Due to the ascent of the constitutional state and the waning political significance of European dynasties, these ideas were increasingly embraced by members of ruling families. The nationalization of European dynasties corresponded to a privatization of princely marriages.” (Wienfort 2008:120).

29

The portrait of Ekaterina Ivanovna Karzinkina, the wife of a rich Moscow merchant in Russian dress from 1838 by Vasiliy Andreievich Tropinin (1776‒1854) shows almost an identical idea of blue dress, only following the fashionable line of the late 1830s. The portrait has variations in the Tropinin Museum, Moscow and in the State Museum of Fine Arts of Tatarstan, https://arthive.com/vasilytropinin/works/13137∼Portrait_Of_Ekaterina_Ivanovna_Karzinkina (accessed December 28, 2016).

31

Ladies and maids-of-honor wore green velvet embroidered in gold (with the same pattern as court officials' full dress uniforms) and petticoats in a white quality fabric of their own choosing. Silver cloth with silver embroidery was reserved for the members of the royal family. The maids-in-waiting of the Empress and royal princesses wore robes of crimson, blue, or any other color, with gold or silver embroidery. On formal occasions, ladies without court rank attended court in costumes of the same styles but differing in fabrics and trimmings (Korshunova 1983:21‒22). See Adolphe Ladurner's 1838 painting in the collection of Hermitage (Saint Petersburg) showing the White Armorial Hall in the Winter Palace with group of ladies dressed in court gown. https://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/portal/hermitage/digital-collection/01.+Paintings/336099/ (accessed May 15, 2021).

32

Details such as the fullness of the skirt or the style of the sleeve were changed. The bodice became pointed in the front and back, with a low waistline and hanging sleeves, completed with a white satin panel in the front, in addition to a detachable train attached to a waistbelt. See a green maids-of-honor court robe at the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/85436 and a red maids-in-waiting gown from around 1900 https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/108402 (accessed May 15, 2021).

33

Worth was the great fashion dictator of Paris in the second part of the 19th century. His couturier worked for the circle of the French Empress Eugenie and for all the notable royalty (including the Austrian Empress Sissi) and elegant high society beauties of the period. But there were also famous Russian designers, like Mme. Olga who specialized mainly in full court dress for ladies, or Nadezhda P. Lamanova.

34

There are quite a few accurate portrait representations of the court costume of the 1830–40s in Russian portraiture. See, for example, portraits at the Hermitage of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna by A. Malyukov from 1836 in yellow dress and red kokoshnik https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Alexandra_Fedorovna_in_yellow_Russian_dress_%281836%2C_A.Malyukov%2C_Hermitage%29.jpg (Franz Krüger's variation, which shows the same outfit in white), or the portrait of Sofia Orlova-Denisova from 1835 by Pimen Orlov https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Sofia_Vassilyevna_Orlova-Denisova_by_Petr_Orlov.jpg (accessed December 28, 2016)

35

Petrova (2010:102‒103, 102‒105 ill.) publishes archival photos of wet nurses posing for a photo with a baby in their laps from Moscow from the 1870s to the 1900s. All of them wear a spotless white shirt and apron, sarafan, kokoshnik, and necklace of beads. The tsaric court's kormilica had a similar look, only on a grander scale with higher quality materials and embellishments.

36

The weddings of Queen Victoria's several children and grandchildren—who married royalty all over Europe, from minor German dynasties to Sweden, Greece, or Romania—were always held in England, except for weddings that involved Russia and Spain. These two monarchies on the edges of Europe had strongly independent and influential traditions which even the English court had to respect, even though it had one of the most dominant court styles of the world (thanks for the information to Joanna Marschner, curator of the Royal and Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace, London).

37

Although it was first Leopold Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the widower of Princess Charlotte of Wales who had excellent connections with the British court, that was invited to the Greek throne, Leopold refused and accepted the crown of the new Belgian monarchy instead.

38

See e.g. the photo of the court dress of Queen Olga's ladies-in-waiting at https://polyglotty.tumblr.com/post/167725141443/europeanafashion-costume-worn-by-queen-olgas and https://teatimeatwinterpalace.tumblr.com/image/84441672062 (accessed March 21, 2019.)

39

There were deep-reaching traditions of courtly triumphal representation in the way ethnic dress was used in certain Mannerist and Baroque ceremonies and entertainments of the courts, such as triumphal processions, carousels, equestrian ballets, masked balls. More about the role of dress in creating visual stereotypes of ethnicity (Fülemile 2010a).

40

He was the son of the Habsburg Leopold II (1790‒1792) and one of the younger brothers of Francis I (1792‒1835).

41

More on the court dress of the Habsburg Monarchy, see The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1980; Cone 1980; Kugler – Haupt 1989.

43

Chemise sleeves worn on festive occasions often had two layers, the upper layer being a sheer, transparent tulle.

44

The apron remained an indispensable part of the Hungarian women's gala dress from the middle of the 17th to the 20th century. The apron was made of soft cambric (batiste), silk, or bobbin lace and edged with embroidery and lace.

45

The maidens wore a crescent-shaped beaded headdress called párta as a traditional sign of virginity. (The use of párta had been widespread among the Hungarian peasantry as well.) Women wore women's párta or koronka around their buns and bonnets. Married women often wrapped veils of fine sheer materials around the bonnet. More on Hungarian ethnic dress see, Fülemile 2010b.

46

The dolman, made of broadcloth, silk, velvet or brocade, was a long-sleeved, tight jacket with a standing collar, decorated with passementerie, metal or silk cord frogging, clasps and buttons gilt with enamels and semi-precious stones. From the waist to the hem, it flared at the side seams, the right front panel overlapping the left in the form of an elongated triangle. The tightness, the length, and the decoration of the dolman varied according the changing fashions. The cut changed radically and became tailored, similarly to Western European men's upper garments, by the second part of the 18th century.

47

The mente was often made of the same material as the dolman and with similar decoration. The cut was loose and wide from the waistline. The length of it varied from ankle to waist, according to the fashion, occasion, preferences, age, and taste of the wearer. It was either worn over the shoulders or with the arms in the sleeves. There were types with short sleeves, long sleeves reminding epaulettes, or no sleeves at all.

48

The trousers had a peculiar cut so there would be no seams between the horse and the rider causing chafing. They had a front opening covered with a flap and fastened only with a belt. Their decoration varied by fashion. The shorter the dolman became, the fancier the trousers' decoration.

49

At the Ottoman court, acceptable forms of dress for official visits in the 16th and 17th centuries were Turkish or Hungarian dress. Envoys and delegations on their way to Constantinople stopped in Hungary to have outfits made by Hungarian tailors and bootmakers. Peter the Great, in his attempt to replace Russian dress with European in the early 18th century, had prescribed Hungarian- or German-style clothes for persons of every rank. They thought it closer to their oriental tastes, even if it was considered only a close approximation of Western fashions. In Western European courts, the Hungarian dress was seen as an exotic but acceptable form of court wear. The love of pomp, color, fur, and jewelry was often commented on by westerners as peculiar features.

50

Starting with the coronation of Joseph I in 1678, all kings and queens of Hungary appeared at their coronation in Hungarian dress. Hand in hand with the development of uniforms in the 18th century. The coronation costume of the king became the military gala uniform of Hungarian field marshals after the coronation of Leopold II in 1790.

51

According to an anecdote, in 1746 Pope Benedict XIV remembered that he had yet to send his godchild, now five years old, the consecrated swathes. When the Nuncio Serbelloni handed them to Maria Theresa, the Empress, angry at the delay, replied that “her son needed neither swathes nor point-lace; for he had put on the Hungarian trousers” (Vehse 1856/II:274). On the other hand, Joseph disliked wearing Hungarian costume and stopped showing up in it as soon as it became his own decision upon becoming a co-ruler as Holy Roman Emperor in 1765.

52

The guards had high court gala uniforms (Hofgalaadjustierung) and court service uniforms (Hofdienstadjustierung). The latter was more decorated. This quality expressed the importance of the service and the fundamentally representative nature of the service.

53

Hussar troops existed from the late 15th century. Besides Hungarians, there were also Polish and Croatian light cavalry troops present on the battlefields of Europe. The Hungarian tactics – together with the special horse bridle, equipment, and saddlery – proved to be the most promising for the future. For a long time, the hussars formed irregular free troops. The first regular Hungarian hussar regiment (“Nádasdy hussars”) was established in 1688.

54

For a while, uniforms remained open to influences of high fashion. This process can be observed by comparing the longer, tight-fitting, fur-edged uniforms of the late 18th century to the spencer-like high-collared uniforms of the first part of the 19th century. Both the Hussar uniform and the men's gala dress followed these trends. In fact, there was certain amount of individual freedom with the officers' gala uniforms regarding the choice of fabrics and richness of decoration up until the middle of the 19th century.

55

When the young Maria Theresa became Empress of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1740, she immediately found herself in the midst of the War of the Austrian Succession. In September 1741, Maria Theresa appeared at the Diet of Hungary dressed in her Hungarian Mourning Costume with her baby son, Joseph on her arms and asked for the help of her “generous Hungarian orders.” The nobles kneeled in front of her and offered her their “life and blood.” As the military support of the Hungarian noble orders, the Hussar regiments participated in many of the wars of the House of Habsburg. The military technique of the Hussars was based on fast decision-making, personal bravery and individual initiatives. The surprise achieved by their unorthodox style must have been the reason for their success.

56

One of the most spectacular entertainments of the Congress was an equestrian ballet, the Carousel, at the Spanish Riding School. There were four quadrilles of 24 ladies each, dressed in different colors. Green was the color of the Hungarian, crimson of the Austrian, black of the French, and blue of the German ladies.

57

Though Croatia kept its relative independence, it was a kingdom within the kingdom, a crown land of Hungary from the late 11th century until 1918. The Croatian nobility had largely merged with the Hungarian nobility, shared political and social identity, and basically with minor variations accepted the Hungarian-style noble gala dress.

58

On Croatian national style noble dress and Illyrian dress revival in the 19th century see: Fülemile 2020.

59

This is one of those provincial, idyllic, and idealized images that popularized the royal family among their Hungarian subjects, who until the “Compromise” were rather resentful of Franz Joseph. The costume was a good way of presenting the family as having a Hungarian identity (and probably good business for the Viennese artist). See also Fig. 32.

60

Inasmuch as the Alps symbolized the stereotypical Austrian landscape, 19th-century genre representation romanticized the Great Plain, along with the free-spirited herdsmen in their bunting-sleeved shirts and trousers, as the epitome of stereotypical Hungarian landscape and national character.

61

Kalotaszeg is perhaps the most “famous” Hungarian ethnographic region of all. The creation of the fame of Kalotaszeg folk art is exemplary. A noble lady established a network of local home industries and publicized their products. Empress Sissi, wife of Franz Joseph, ordered a whole trousseau in Kalotaszeg style for her daughter Marie Valerie. The queen's example was quickly followed by high aristocrats, Princess Esterházy being the first after the queen. Franz Joseph personally visited the region. Kalotaszeg embroidery was featured at world exhibitions. Artists and intellectuals flocked to the region, among them Walter Crane, the English pre-Raphaelite painter. Kalotaszeg became the most important source of inspiration for Hungarian Art Nouveau artists as well.

62

Miniaturized representations of Hungarian dress on kitschy dolls are among the most precious “memorabilia” of both individuals and community houses and churches everywhere in diaspora communities.

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  • Elek BARTHA (University of Debrecen)
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  • Miklós CSERI (Hungarian Open Air Museum, the Skanzen of Szentendre)
  • Lajos KEMECSI (Museum of Ethnography)
  • László KÓSA (Eötvös University, Budapest)
  • lldikó LANDGRAF (Institute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities)
  • Tamás MOHAY (Eötvös University, Budapest)
  • László MÓD (University of Szeged)
  • Attila PALÁDI-KOVÁCS (Institute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities and Eötvös University, Budapest)
  • Gábor VARGYAS (Institute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities and University of Pécs)
  • Vilmos VOIGT (Eötvös University, Budapest)
Advisory Board
  • Marta BOTÍKOVÁ (Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • Daniel DRASCEK (Regensburg, Germany)
  • Dagnoslaw DEMSKI (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Ingrid SLAVEC GRADIŠNIK (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
  • Dmitriy A. FUNK (Moscow, Russia)
  • Chris HANN (Halle, Germany)
  • Krista HARPER (Amherst, MA USA)
  • Anya PETERSON ROYCE (Bloomington, IN USA)
  • Ferenc POZSONY (Cluj, Romania)
  • Helena RUOTSALA (Turku, Finland)
  • Mary N. TAYLOR (New York, NY USA)
  • András ZEMPLÉNI (Paris, France)

Further credits

Translators: Elayne ANTALFFY; Zsuzsanna CSELÉNYI; Michael KANDÓ
Layout Editor: Judit MAHMOUDI-KOMOR
Cover Design: Dénes KASZTA

Manuscripts and editorial correspondence:

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Institute of Ethnology
Research Centre for the Humanities
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
H-1453 Budapest, Pf. 33
E-mail: actaethnographicahungarica@gmail.com

Reviews:
Mészáros, Csaba or Vargha, Katalin review editors
Institute of Ethnology
Research Centre for the Humanities
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
H-1453 Budapest, Pf. 33
E-mail: meszaros.csaba@btk.mta.hu or vargha.katalin@btk.mta.hu

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

  • Bibliographie Linguistique/Linguistic Bibliography
  • Elsevier GEO Abstracts
  • International Bibliographies IBZ and IBR
  • SCOPUS
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • CABELLS Journalytics

 

2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor

not indexed

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

not indexed

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
7
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,1
Scimago Quartile Score Cultural Studies (Q4)
Demography (Q4)
Music (Q4)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0,3
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Music 77/153 (Q3)
Cultural Studies 630/1127 (Q3)
Demography 103/124 (Q4)
Scopus
SNIP
0,000

2020  
Scimago
H-index
6
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,127
Scimago
Quartile Score
Cultural Studies Q3
Demography Q4
Music Q2
Scopus
Cite Score
29/78=0,4
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Cultural Studies 482/1037 (Q2)
Demography 83/109 (Q4)
Music 61/147 (Q2)
Scopus
SNIP
0,216
Scopus
Cites
39
Scopus
Documents
21
Days from submission to acceptance 29
Days from acceptance to publication 236

 

2019  
Scimago
H-index
5
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,142
Scimago
Quartile Score
Cultural Studies Q2
Demography Q4
Music Q2
Scopus
Cite Score
23/79=0,3
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Cultural Studies 508/1002 (Q3)
Demography 83/104 (Q4)
Music 60/142 (Q2)
Scopus
SNIP
0,568
Scopus
Cites
28
Scopus
Documents
28

 

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
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Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Language English
Size B5
Year of
Foundation
1950
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
2
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia
Founder's
Address
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1216-9803 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2586 (Online)