Amalia Dress: History of a National Costume

Hi there! Today we will talk about the Amalia Dress, one of the Greek traditional costumes. The costume of Amalia is one of the values of great importance in Greek history. It is the most well-known and famous dress in Greek costumes. This dress, which is one of the symbols of the founding of modern Greece, has a significant place in Greek culture and tradition. Firstly, we will talk about the history of the Amalia dress. Secondly, the design features of this dress. Let’s have a quick introduction to the history of traditional fashion!

The History of Greek Amalia Dress

amalia dress

Modern Greece was founded in 1830. When the country’s new royal couple, King Otto and Queen Amalia, came to the throne, the country had a population of many different cultures. For this reason, it was very important to create a sense of unity and solidarity in society. It was necessary to gather the society in certain values and to make the spirit of solidarity felt.

The Emergence of the Amalia Dress

amalia dress

amalia dress

It was quite logical to meet this need with a dress tradition. Dress culture would help different segments of society connect and share the same ideology. In this way, the society would be able to continue its life in independence and interconnectedness. The fact that the royal family wore local clothes was a very important factor in symbolizing the political unity of the lands obtained after a great struggle. So, the Amalia dress emerged as a result of such a need.

Of course, it would not be enough for Queen Amalia to bring such a dress tradition. That’s why King Otto started wearing a costume called “Foustanella”. This costume also became a cultural dress for male citizens. People didn’t know from whom the Queen of Greece got help for her costume, which reflects both Western European and Greek culture.

However, the design of the dress is reminiscent of the history of Greece. For this reason, the design is a sign of thanks to the heroes who fought for Greece in the war. Wife of King Otto preferred to wear Parisian fashion in her daily life. But at official events, Amalia wore the dress. In this way, he showed awareness of this traditional and cultural life to the public. She even asked the women’s court to wear the Amalia dress.

The Important Strategy of Amalia Costume

amalia dress

Honestly, I could not imagine that wearing a court dress would have such an impact on the public. I think it’s a clever societal strategy. It is very logical to use such a method to gather the society around common values. Likewise, we can say that Greek society has seen the benefits of this method for many years. Like other cultural values, the national costume is a significant factor in creating social awareness in the public. But the important thing is to use this factor correctly. For example, it would have been a failure if Queen Amalia had not used traditional structure in the design of her Amalia dress. Also, if she had not verbally encouraged the people to wear and adopt this dress, such a consciousness would not have arisen in society.

Based on all this information, I think we can say that the royal couple really did a great job about their romantic folksy.

The Design Features of the Amalia Dress

amalia dress

amalia dress

The Amalia dress consisted of a long dress called the foustáni or kavádi. This dress fully embodied the Biedermeier style popular in Germany and Austria in the 19th century. Like the traditional kavádi, she had a low neck and a narrow bodice. The front of the dress was open to show its embroideries. A jacket called a kondogoúni or zipoúni was worn over the dress. The jacket’s textile was velvet. This jacket, which had a narrow cut, had gold embroideries on it. This look would be completed with a headdress called the féssi. This headdress included gold and braided threads. The hood has a thread made of pearls and sequins under the chin. Also, on church days, the féssi was covered with a black mantilla.

Textile Details of Amalia Dress

amalia dress

The Amalia dress consisted of silk taffeta, silk moire, or expensive brocade, woven from precious fabrics and decorated with flowers. The skirt part consisted of either a frilly double skirt made of gold thread or a single skirt.

In summary, we can say that the Amalia dress has great importance in Greek culture and is one of the symbols of its social structure. Amalia dress, which has a striking story in its history, has really been an important traditional value. But nowadays nobody wears Amalia dress. Foustanélla has not lost its connection with the Greek identity by keeping its place. On the contrary, the Amalia dress lost its symbolic effect in the past and remained as a dress worn only by girls on ceremonies and special occasions.

amalia dress
amalia dress

I hope you enjoyed our article with this historical content. Additionally, if you are interested in traditional costumes of different cultures, you can take a look at Quince Dress Article too! If you like the Amalia dress and want it to symbolically include in your wardrobe, this site is a great choice. However, to learn more about the local dresses, you can check out this video. See you in the next article.

Stay Stylish!

References for the Images

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