The exhibition of the Slovenian School Museum on tour in the Intermunicipal Museum of Kamnik,
What should I wear for school?
The exhibition on dressing and appearance of teachers and students through time.
“What should I wear for school?” This is the question, more or less worriedly asked by young students who want to please in this certain period of their life. It often happens that it is very hard to choose among numerous shirts, trousers… Moreover, the right brand name, the fashion guidelines, the rules of an individual style, should also be considered, and there is more and more.
But was it like this in the old times? Do we ever consider that in the past people were asking themselves the same question, but with completely different meaning? Their question expressed their worry as children back then had nothing to wear for school.
The theme of the exhibition is more or less familiar to anyone, as it either reminds an individual of special clothing, which she/he wore to school, or she/he was totally indifferent to dressing and appearance. But even though we are all familiar with the dressing and clothing, the stories of the dressing and appearance of teachers and students are diverse and complex.
Experts, dealing with this topic, use several different terms, while the dressing appearance comprises everything that we dress or wear: in a narrow sense it means clothes, while in a wider sense it means also footwear, accessories, make-up, beauty culture, hygiene and even smoking.
The study of children’s and youngster’s dressing and clothing could be found in various presentations, while in the Slovenian School Museum we wish to put out the dressing appearance, which was and still is related to school – from both sides of the master’s desk: we are interested in both, the dressing of teachers and of students, through time. The exhibition is made up of two main units. The first unit is called “They were preserved to tell us…” and it shows the original dresses of teachers and students, which are, besides the Slovenian School Museum, kept by other museums and private collectors. The unit shows also the findings about the development, legislation and relation to the dressing culture in a school system, having been designed with the help of written and oral sources, pedagogical literature, school legislation and photographs.
As old attires are preserved only to a limited extent, and as we wanted to get to know the past dressing and clothing better, we added some reconstructions. The second unit of the exhibition is called “What would happen if they revived?” . We added a special, pedagogical, aspect to the exhibition, as, with the help of the Secondary School for Design and Photography, we carried out the project of reconstruction of old clothes, which were worn by students and teachers and were depicted in school photographs. The Secondary School for Hairdressing from Ljubljana accomplished similar stories by reconstruction of hairstyles.
The exhibition is on tour in the Intermunicipal Museum of Kamnik until May 2013.
Mag. Marjetka Balkovec Debevec, exhibition curator, the Slovenian School Museum