Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Russian Platok

In every country and every culture in the world, women traditionally wear shawls, scarves or headscarves which serve us as both unique accessory and warm cozy clothing item. In Russia, we have a few traditional types of scarves or shawls which we call ПЛАТОК (platok) one of them being the gorgeous colorful shawl traditionally made in Pavlovsky Posad, a town just 68 km (42 mi) East of Moscow. 

These amazing shawls are being made in Pavlovsky Posad for over 200 years. The artists first create a design for platok. Then the colors for printing need to be made by colorists. The wool which they use for the product is actually made right there, at the factory. They use Merino wool which is praised for its quality throughout the world. The craft of hand woven fringes is taught in local families from generation to generation. It may take up to 2 hours to make fringes for just one platok! All in all, it is a very long and sophisticated process. A lot of hand labor is still involved. 

If you'd like to familiarize yourself more with this old Russian craft, please enjoy the article in English and the wonderful video (also in English) which tells you about the unique process of making these beautiful wool shawls. There is the Russian website  which also has a link to 10 mins video which explains about the process step by step for those of you who understand Russian. I learned a lot from this video which helped me to appreciate this craft even more.

The ways to wear platok are endless. A headscarf is still very popular in Russia, and not only on older ladies (the way of tying a platok under one's chin is typically called "babushka" in English, which literally means "grandmother" or "elderly woman", but in a tender way - бабушка). And yes, our babushkas (elder ladies) look absolutely cute and adorable wearing such shawls! I am glad that the shawls came into fashion again though, and it is considered very chic by younger women and girls to wear them these days. Many women wear platok on their shoulders or around neck. You can also make a top, a skirt or even a dress out of it by using your imagination!


This blogpost would not be complete without sharing another birthday gift for Justin which is very much related to style and fashion. :)

Justin being very much into history, archaeology, airplanes and all sorts of adventures, is a big fan of an outdoorsy adventurous style ... fun and comfortable. The only problem we had was finding the right kind of shoes for him. Typically, he wears Ecco boots which are very comfy and stylish indeed. But what about variety? This Fall, he found the coolest pair of boots by Steve Madden. Even I fell in love with them!

I love the color, the shape and the different textures of these shoes - what a fun way to engage history into fashion! Another fun part of this story is, apparently, we bought this pair of shoes the same day when Steve Madden himself visited Nordstrom in Bellevue for a special event! The shoes were  delivered to the store particularly for the event. Fun-fun-fun!
You may read the whole story of Justin's new boots in his blog here!

Returning to today's topic, I have a few Russian shawls, but this one is my favorite - gift from my parents during their last visit here. I paired it with a simple dress with modest, classical lines and vintage inspired boots which I absolutely adore. The whole look was a bit vintage I thought. Just right for an antique mall visit!

Location: Tacoma, Fife

Platok from Russia. Dress by Mossimo (via Target). Boots by Josef Seibel. Tights by Hue. Earrings by Chico's.     


  1. This platok is a beautiful thing. When I lived in Belarus I had one too, black with turquoise roses, I wore it in winter time, not babushka way, but around the neck. I like the different ways of styling it that you show here. The dress is pretty too, and suits you well. Love your earrings and the ring.

    1. Black and turquoise is a gorgeous combo! We are so lucky to have many beautiful traditional crafts, aren't we? Such a platok is all you need to make an unforgettable statement... Thank you for mentioning my dress. It is quite simple, yet I like it. :)

  2. I just can't stop looking at this platok. I can't even concentrate on this awesome pair of shoes of yours.

    1. It's a stunner! Well you are closer to Russia than I am now - I am sure you'll find the most perfect platok in one of your trips to the wonderful European flea markets!! If not, there is always ebay - remember that! :) xxxx

    2. Once I'm in Poland I must check in one folk shop that comes to my mind. I hope I will be able to get one as beautiful as yours. I also have to go thru my grandma's closet, who knows? I think I saw her wearing one when I was a child. Hopefully she still has it, and will be willing to give away:) I may try to bribe her with some crochet stuff:D
      You absolutely planted platok in my mind!:) xxxx