women out-and-about in Telemark, dressed in these costumes as their everyday attire. National costumes, and specifically, the craftmanship of the bunad, can be bountiful sources of knowledge from earlier days. It reveals clues about lifestyles along the coast and village residences; about flora and fauna. About the cultural heritage and cultural influences of former times; musings from the European continent and great powers further to the south and east. The cultural heritage we see today is the result of man’s relentless pursuit and ability to innovate and foster change. This is reflected in the adaptation of traditional costume over time. There is a resurgence of intrigue and popularity for use of bunads in modern-day Norway, remarkably so during the past 20 years. Not everyone, however, wishes to evoke all of the traditions of the past. Some wish to modernise the use of the bunad, while still keeping the aesthetics close to its roots.
Of course Bunads are not cheap, but they are bespoke, meaningful and built to last for generations. One of Norway’s most famous producers, Norsk Flid Hiusfliden, says “this is the exciting aspect of costumes: they live longer than those that they are made for. It is one of the few things which you never throw away, a heirloom which will be inherited and used again.” Pictured, Norsk Flid Hiusfliden’s Blå Trønder-
b u -
nad, from the Trondheim region; Norway’s most popular bunad on 17 May last year according to Norskflid.no. Photo: Lars Botten / Palookaville
Such examples can be found in the ’bunad tie,’ a product available for 93 percent of the male population opting away from a traditional bunad, or even females wishing to put a twist on their 17th of May celebrations. Designers from Sptzbrgn have created an ’old craftmanship meets new tradition’ bunad. Their ’costume ties’ are embroidered handiworks, where the artwork and costume mimick traditional and geographically-connected designs of some of the most famous and beloved womens’ bunads. Bunad slips are faithful to the core values of bunad culture, yet highly original. Each are hand-made and each tie uses Norwegian materials used to create traditional bunads, using fabric and bulky wool that is carded, spun and dyed in Norwegian tradition. Recreations of the traditional bunad will likely continue, as new designers experiment with carrying on the symbolic nature of traditional costume, while dressing themselves for modern day celebrations. Norwegian bunads will increase in popularity as with trend, and new adaptations of their cultural heritage will find its way into oncoming design. Spring, and especially May, is a time when the Norwegian bunad is in full bloom. At a high season for national romanticism and celebration, a beautiful time awaits us.
T H E L I ST t rd TH E TENTH ISS UE
Published on May 2, 2016