Decoding Dress

Macedonian Embroidered Dress

People have always used clothing to make personal statement. For centuries the color purple was associated with certain European royalty. Today people might use a T-shirt to inform others of their favorite sports teams or bands. Wearing a handwoven garment might bespeak a wearer's love of handmade clothing. 

Until the 1950's women living in Macedonia used a literal "dress code" to communicate information about themselves to others. Women would weave their dresses and then embellish them with intricately beautiful embroidery that told others not just of a woman's social status but also her age, marital status, and even what village she came from.

For those interested in learning more about the dress codes used by Macedonian women, or for those who would just like to see what these exquisite handwovena and hand embroidered dresses look like, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico will have an exhibition devoted to these wearable works of art from October 1 through January 16.


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