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Societatea urbană românească, sporturile şi modelele lor în secolul al XIX-lea

Limba de redactare română
Excerpt Urban Society, Sports and Fashion in Nineteenth - Century Romania
Around 1800, the members of high society in the Romanian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia still had a very sedentary lifestyle: boyars spent most of their time indoors, lying lazily on divans and sofas, drinking huge amounts of coffee and smoking many pipes and hookahs per day. Only later in the afternoon did they venture out in their horse-drawn carriages, and in the company of their spouses. Younger boyars went about on horseback, but the use of comfortable, sent like Tartar saddles and stirrups excluded any suggestion of sportsmanship. Hunting was also practiced, but it was less a sporting event than a means of earning one’s lunch. Only around the 1830s did horse-riding and hunting become sporting activities as such. And, in order to practice them, a person of quality was well aware that the appropriate outfit was required. Frock-coats (obligatorily red in later periods), white breeches, riding boots, top hats or jockey caps, gloves and a whiplash became the required accoutrements of the sportive fop. Ladies, too, soon adhered to this dress code. They had specially designed dresses - worn without the customary hoops and underskirts - boots and a hat modelled on the male version, usually a top hat with a lengthy, flowing veil. Women used side-saddles. Princess Marie of Romania, for instance, was passionate about horse-riding and the accompanying fashions, as she described them in her Story of My Life. As honorary comander of the 4th Cavalry Regiment (“Roşiori”) she gracefully wore the regimet's red uniform in parades.
Hunting also required its own special wardrobe. Tweed suits in grey and brown, with green collars, upturned sleeves and pipings were the most commonly worn, with a soft Tyrolean-style hat, solid boots or leather gaiters. In summer, the outfit was a lighter, linen suit, straw hats or cloth caps with visors.
Target shooting associations, established in the 1870s, had their own special uniforms, not unlike the hunting garments, but accessorized with specific insignia and badges.
Fencing was also widely practiced by elite men, but the padded vest, wire and gloves were only worn indoors. In matters of honor, dueling required the adversaries to confront each other in manly fashion, either in shirtsleeves or with nude torsos. The painters Theodor Pallady and Alexandru Satmary were famous for their fencing matches.
The 1870s also saw the emergence of skating. Skating associations in Bucharest and Jassy organized competitions and festivals on ice. This did not require a special outfit, apart from skating boots and loose, comfortable clothes. The heir to the throne, Prince Ferdinand and his wife, Princess Marie, used to skate alone in the Cismigiu Garden, in Bucharest.
Around 1890 - 1895, cycling appeared and made special sartorial demands on its practitioners. Men wore jackets, with trousers tied at the bottom or with knickerbockers and a cap with visor. Women wore spencer, with mid-calf culottes and wide-brimmed hats with a multitude of bows and ribbons. Laced boots were worn by all. The poet Alexandru Macedonski and the painter Stefan Luchian were among the famous practitioners who did not hesitate to enter cycling competitions. Forest walking and mountaineering - Queen Elisabeth's favored outdoor activities when the royal court went to Sinaia for the summer - required light, apple clothing. Women wore a light top with a shorter skirt and a soft felt hat modelled on the men's or a beret with a tassel as sported by the Queen herself. Men jackets, knickerbockers with woolen socks and narrow-brimmed hats, shoes and long walking sticks completed the look.
Motoring brought in new fashions. As the earliest cars were open two and roads were potholed and dusty, both driver and passenger had to be well protected. Over their day dress - usually a tweed suit with boots or gaiters – men wore ample dusters, heavy leather gloves and cloth caps with visors and goggles. Women had similar dusters and over their very large hats they wore voile nettings that covered the whole of their faces against wind and dust. In the early days of, pioneering pilots, such as Aurel Vlaicu, George Valentin Bibescu and Jean, wore similar clothing, minus the duster, until a proper uniform was fully designed for them.
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