October 23, 2015

PERESTROIKA & my Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat

Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
photo by Styrous®


Twenty five years ago this month, on October 3, 1990, I produced a fashion show for the Patricia Montandon gift store, PERESTROIKA, to benefit Save The Children at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco, California. The store was, and still is, located on Pier 39.  

Perestroika fashion show program
photo by Styrous®




The music for the opening of the fashion show was the Russian National Anthem (Государственный гимн Российской Федерации) which was written by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov (1939) with the words by Sergey Mikhalkov (2000). Here is the link to the "National Anthem of the USSR" recorded in 2004 and sung by The Red Army Choir, (the Alexandrov Ensemble) on YouTube which you can listen to while you read the rest of this article (also a link to it below).       

The end of the Soviet Union started with The fall of the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin and on November 9, 1989, people nicknamed Mauerspechte (wall woodpeckers) using various tools to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts in the process, and creating several unofficial border crossings. During the time after, a deluge of all things Soviet flooded the West, uniforms, badges, buttons, hats, etc. During the height of this influx the fashion show was staged as a promotion for the opening of the PERESTROIKA store which had stocked up on many of those items.    

One of the perks I got for producing the show was this Soviet Medical Officer visor hat. The hat went with a dress uniform.     

Soviet Union Infantry Medical Officer 
dress uniform
photo from CollectRussian.com
 


This is a vintage 1990, USSR (Soviet Union) Infantry Medical Officer Military Hat with visor and enameled badge. The hat comes in at a whopping circumference of 11.5" x 12" top and a height of 6" in the front.  That's some hat!    



top of the Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
photo by Styrous®

Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
photo by Styrous®




The badge in the front of the hat, which is  34 mm x 28 mm, is bronze, with hot red and white enamel. It features a Red Star overlaid with the Soviet hammer and sickle (Russian: Серп и молот) which is a Communist symbol that was conceived during the Russian Revolution. At the time of creation, the hammer stood for industrial laborers and the sickle for the peasantry; combined they stood for the worker-peasant alliance for socialism and against reactionary movements and foreign intervention.   

Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
w/hammer and sickle badge on brim
photo by Styrous®


The colors of the patches/insignias on hats and uniforms identified the branch of the service and rank of the officer wearing it.  

Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
w/hammer and sickle badge
photo by Styrous®

Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
hammer and sickle side button strap holder
photo by Styrous®




In 1917 Lenin and Lunacharsky held a competition to create a Soviet emblem. The winning design was a hammer and sickle on top of a globe in rays of the sun, surrounded by a wreath of grain, and under a five-pointed star, with the inscription "proletariats of the world, unite!" in six languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani). It originally featured a sword, but Lenin strongly objected, disliking the violent connotations (ummm . . . ). On July 6, 1923, the 2nd session of the Central Executive Committee (CIK) adopted the emblem.    





Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
photos by Styrous®





The hat was manufactured in 1990 in the city of Odessa or Odesa (Ukrainian: Оде́са, [oˈdɛsɐ]; Russian: Оде́сса; IPA: [ɐˈdʲesə]) in the Ukraine. The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1440. 


Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat
interior lable 
photo by Styrous®

Perestroika (Russian: перестро́йка; IPA: [pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə]) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s, widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.            



Links on the Web:            
         
Save the Children website

Soviet national anthem on YouTube        

The Soviet Infantry Medical Officer visor hat is for sale on eBay     






Styrous® ~ Friday, October 23, 2015

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