Der Laden: Costuming

Figure 1.-- Here we see Esau with his grandmother in the family kitchen.

"Der Laden" has some important illustrations of childrens' clothes in it. One can see the Polish-Russian influence in the style of the blouse that Esau sometimes wears. It buttons up the front to a collarless neckband. Esau always wears short pants with suspenders and usually very long brown stockings that reach almost all the way up his legs. In the picture shown here, you can see the fastener on his hose supporter, obviously attached to a Leibchen. Esau also wears collared shirts and often a sleeveless vest. The film accuratly shows the shift that was taking place in long stockings colors. Brown-colored long stockings becames increasing common after World War I. This was especially the case in Germany as long stockings were so commonly worn by children there. The time right after World War I was a time when the style was changing from black long stockings worn with knee pants to brown or grey long stockings worn with much shorter trousers (what we now call shorts), so in this sense, we can detect an historical shift in the color of the long stockings worn by boys. But the stocking color in the film proper does not change. The film doesn't show "shifts in long stocking colors" although it implies such change. Esau wears only brown long stockings throughout, although he sometimes goes barefoot also. He wears the brown stockings in nearly all the scenes, not for reasons of formality but simply because this was the usual dress of rural boys in the eastern part of northern Germany. An additional point about "Der Laden". We can see the Waschknopff (the white button often sewn to the tops of long stockings in northern Europe which attaches to the elastic strap of the Leibchen) on the previous page. The white button was a cheaper, home-made alternative to the metal clasp that was always used on hose supporters in the United States and only sometimes in Europe. In the Swedish film, "Fanny and Alexander," Alexander's hose supporters have the metal clasp, not the white button (probably in part a reflection of his higher social class).


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Created: 8:44 AM 3/11/2010
Last updated: 8:44 AM 3/11/2010