Centuries are passing by, yet beauty always manages to keep its ground and resist the flow of time. This is especially true in case of traditional gowns of Konavle region that are worn by a number of dedicated local residents. Nicknamed “The White Fairies of Konavle”, these women safeguard the cultural heritage with strength and determination. Every now and then, in atmosphere of wit and merriment, they gather on various events, reminding the attendants of how beautiful the past times were and the unique identity of Croatia’s southern lands.
Konavle can be found in Dubravacko-Neretvanska County, meaning it can easily be accessed by tourists visiting Dubrovnik. The central settlement is Town of Cavtat. The region has a diverse history, as it literally served as border between cultures of Europe and Orient. Even in distant past, the local attires were among the most recognizable features of Konavle, and a woman wearing one is drawn on the region’s official emblem. The local architecture usually includes stone houses, another thing people associate with Konavle. Close to Dubrovnik, yet spared from crowds, the locality is popular modern tourist destination as well.
The traditional gowns of Konavle have many forms- some were made for work, while others are to be worn during celebrations and important festivities. Interestingly enough, some local residents still wear them on daily basis, although younger generations don’t tender the practice as much.
That being said, modern technologies have come to aid, as social networks have connected various enthusiasts that share love for Konavle. The unofficial Facebook account of the region is blooming with content and might be a great source of inspiration and knowledge. Who knows, maybe the echoes of the time will influence the contemporary mindsets, and inspire fashion designers to make modern versions of traditional gowns of Konavle. It may be the next step in evolution of this attire.
Learn more about Croatian localities and their features in our Destinations Section.
Photo: Kate Becir