Fashion in Transition: Fashion and Clothing in the Early 1990s in Croatia, 2021

Svijet Magazine, 1991

The Center for Fashion and Clothing Research (CIMO) is implementing the project Fashion in Transition: Fashion and Clothing in the Early 1990s in Croatia for 2021 and is a continuation of the 2020 program which is realized as a case study through research, recording and analysis of the fashion situation in HR from independence to the end of 1995. Through the analysis of a number of texts and cases of visual representation in the press (photographs, drawings in newspapers, magazines), a synthetic image of fashion in a transitional context is achieved

In 2020, in the first phase of the project, the emphasis was on the pre-transition phase, for which an analysis of the fashion magazine Svijet (1989-90) as a fashion medium was conducted.

The presence and follow-up of fashion is present in all media but more in those of the magazine format. The important fact is that some of them have failed to adapt to the new transitional currents in their existing form, so e.g. The world lasted until 1992, and Start until 1990, and they disappear most often in the process of privatization or the emergence of new media companies.

At this stage, the project continues with the aim of exploring the relationship between fashion and the transition process from 1991 onwards. It is necessary to pay special attention to fashion phenomena, given the reality of the beginning of the war.

The research process would focus on research with a focus on different segments:

a. existing production: the transition and gradual disappearance of domestic fashion production is questioned, researched and analyzed, in the context of privatization but also the disappearance of the hitherto strong textile / fashion branch.

b. trade - import: it is necessary to observe the complex trajectory of influence through imports and the emerging market and media offer: import, the emergence of luxury brands, the emergence of new magazines:

c. domestic new brands: it is necessary to analyze how and to what extent new domestic producers appear, the emergence of new brands and author's fashion ventures, but also the process of re-traditionalization and mythization of some aspects of national heritage (case study: Croata kravata).

The process of transition in the countries of the Eastern Bloc and SFR Yugoslavia began with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In different countries, the transition takes on different manifestations and is carried out in different ways, and according to some theorists, the transition is a long process that is still going on. The main changes relate to the processes of democratization and changes in the former planned socialist economy towards a free market determined by privatized economic entities.

This change of orientation towards the modern and global will put the domestic textile and fashion industry in the background where a complicated struggle will take place to maintain production and a large number of jobs.

The sudden momentum of the private investment model represents a change of orientation which, instead of the domestic production present until then, is turning towards imported trade. The very strong textile industry in HR is slowly losing the battle in relation to the import of fashion brands from the West.

Extensive import of fashion information and fashion goods also brings new fashion practices that are reflected on the general social body. The focus of the research will be the study of existing fashion practices in relation to sudden fashion changes and their adoption and the presence of global fashion on our streets. The import of the latest fashion and well-known brands will significantly change the fashion image of Croatian society.

In this phase of the project, the forms of building a new fashion image and the meaning of visual media representation in individual and mass appearance are questioned, namely: body, appearance, fashion items, brands, origin (import), glossary of new fashion imaginary, new stereotypes, social image, typology, habitus understood as a wider (clothing) personal and collective space visible in representation in media culture. The focus is on exploring the visual representation of the social function of the consumerist-marked stereotype, the image of the subject / object within the development of consumerist practices and the culture of everyday life.

In this way, the dynamics of social and cultural transformation from the socialist to the neo-liberal capitalist model are explored. Consumerist new practices produce a strong change in social reality as well as a discursive coloration of the fashion contribution to the individual but also to public change in the public sphere.

We plan to conduct research on examples of representation in domestic illustrated publications in which fashion is presented (Nedjeljni Vjesnik), (newspapers, magazines, etc.) as well as indexing, elaboration, analysis and presentation of results related to appearance, clothing and clothing practices.

Since the early 1990s were determined by war, at this stage of research it is necessary to focus interest on this specific fact and look at fashion in that (atypical) context.

The project is part of the program for 2021 and is a case study through research, recording and analysis of the fashion situation in Croatia from independence to the end of 1995, through analysis of texts and cases of visual representation in the press (photographs, drawings in newspapers, magazines).


* The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, for 2021.

* Photos: private archives t.v.

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