Beginning 20th century
Cotton, silk, lace
Marie Konecny Vavrik
Czech Center Museum 4920 San Jacinto St. Houston, TX 77004 President’s Hall
The traditional folk costume was donated by Marie Konecny Vavrik.
Moravian Bridal Costume
The kroj is a traditional folk costume worn by the people of the Czech Republic, known for its colorful design and many layers. There are different types of kroje depending on the situation. Folk costumes used for special instances such as celebrations like festivals or weddings are very colorful and complex, and are made up of many layers. Kroje used for everyday work, on the other hand, were modest and bland in comparison. This particularly ornate and colorful traditional Moravian folk costume was reserved for one occasion: a wedding.
The bridal kroj is composed of various layers and different materials. The full, pink skirt with gold flower embroidery is made of silk, while the white, puffy sleeves are cotton. Delicate lace makes an appearance on the ends of the sleeves, around the collar that covers the top of the vest, and at the bottom of the skirt. Both the vest, which covers the white shirt underneath, and the belt are embroidered with various types of colorful flowers. Not all kroje are as complex as this one, however, the bridal costume was created for a very special occasion, so it is made up of expensive fabrics and intricate details.
Kroje differ from region to region in the country. For example, Bohemian kroje were made of more expensive materials like silk, and soft colors to emulate the wealthy. Moravians, however, had less wealth and thus used cheaper fabrics than Bohemians to make their costumes. Even though the people of Moravia were less wealthy, they used more embroidery and bright, vivid colors. Their skirts were fuller are decorated with more Slavic patterns than those of other regions.
Each variation of the kroj is significant as it represents the culture of a specific area. The costume ties people to their ancestry, ethnic identity, and shows the pride they have for their region.