Beautiful interiors and ladies made up in the style of the past.

 © Text and photo Laila Duran

When I first started to think about how to present the Norwegian embroidered bunads in the best way, my first thought was to make sure they were shot in the right settings. The bunads were often inspired by the embroidery on rural cloting but they were made, and at first mainly used, in the cities. This is why you will find some spectacular interiors in the new book “Broderte Bunader”. Work from famous artists and carpenters, such as Kinsarvik, are found in several museums and even some private homes. I have been very lucky to get access to these rooms, and sometimes even large apartments.

My second though was to give the models a look that would bring to mind the way the ladies were photographed at the beginning of the 20st century. Photography was new then. Many went with friends on week-end trips in their finest costume and everybody wanted to have their photo taken. The ladies with their hair all done up, and most of them in a shy pose, in front of the camera – I love that. For this reason you will find my models resembling in style the ladies from past times.


A peek at one of the bunads in the new book “Populære Bunader”

 © Text and photo Laila Durán.

More than thirty different bunads from eighteen areas in Norway are shown in the booklet Populære Bunader. There is a map for every bunad and a short historical summary including the year the bunad was designed and put in to production. Here are some of the pages.

This beautiful embroidered bunad was designed by the painter and artist Alf Lundeby. He was born in 1870 and is famous for his naturalistic paintings. His work is exhibited at Nasjonalmuseet/Nasjonalgalleriet in Oslo.

The bunad is originally from Lillehammer and is called the Lundeby bunad, named after the painter Alf Lundeby who designed it and later presented it to a lady friend at the beginning of the 1930s. The bunad was not supposed to come into production, but it soon became popular throughout Oppland and Sør-Odal.
-  The artist was inspired by the stylized embroidery on folk costumes from the 1700s and transferred the patterns to the bunad. It has a tight bodice and pleated skirt, which was common in folk costumes in the south of Norway in the 1800s. The same embroidered design is used over the whole dress, but the colours can vary leaving room for personal taste. With the bunad, which is made in blue, black or off-white cloth, there is a matching small cap and an embroidered pocket. It is used with a white shirt trimmed with lace and a jacket with no embroidery.

American readers can pre-order the book from Vesterheim Museum book shop: Norwegian and Swedish reader can order it from:


New web-site:

 © Text and photo Laila Duran.

The new web-site is now available. I will in time for the releases publish pages from the books and write some more on the topic of embroidered bunads. The release of Broderte Bunader is on May 2nd at Sunnmøre Museum, Ålesund.

For the first time the embroidered bunads of the 1900s is put into their historical context. The book explains why and how the first embroidered bunads were designed at the turn of the century, the emergence of a new look, and the new role of the bunads in the interwar period.
-  As one of few in Norway doing research on bunads, cultural historian Anne Kristin Moe has studied the history of the embroidered bunads from the time of the embroidered folk costumes, until later in the 1900s, when the bunads where inspired by designs of wood carvings and rose painting. Never before have so many of the most famous Norwegian bunads been shown along with the originals that inspired their designs.
-  The book shows hundreds of Laila Duráns wonderful photographs of both old and newly made bunads. Now you can see the bunads in a way never presented before – in the historic interiors where they once were used, and in the magnificent Norwegian scenery where they often were presented nearly one hundred years ago. The new images are now shown along with historic photographs never previously shown to the public.

© Duran Publishing in cooperation with NORSK FOLKEMUSEUM.