What Russian empresses wore- exhibition in Moscow

haljina carice Aleksndre Fjodorovne

This year in Russia was celebrated 400 years of dynasty Romanov. The celebration was done by unusual exhibition “Russian empresses: fashion and style. From the end of 18th to beginning of 20th century”. The clothes that used to decorate Russian empresses was exhibit in Exhibition hall of Federal archives inMoscow. Russian empresses, wives and mothers of Russian princes, were first of all women who loved luxury clothes. They followed fashion trends but often they determined them. Luxury of their clothes, fashion accessories and jewellery haven’t left anybody indifferent , circling the picture on Russian empire.

Clothes from collection of Hermitage museum and Memorial house Gatchina as well as archival documents, pictures and graphics and jewellery are exhibited examples which drew lots of attention. They are living proofs of Russian history, like decree signed by Peter the Great (1672-1725), from 7th January 1700, where he signed “the dressing in Hungarian way”, by which really starts new era in life of this spacious country. For the first time in history the decree was exposed from 1718, “ On gatherings” or “On order to gather in private homes and on persons that participate in such gatherings” with the personal signature by emperor. On the exhibition also are presented very interesting documents which proves that Russian empresses sometimes used to participate themselves in clothes creating. Catherine II (1729-1796) in the letter from 1781 to one noble describes the suit that she wants for her grandson Aleksander, with the accompanied drawing.

Evening gowns and unusual hats, albums ofParisfashion and jewellery presented on the exhibition bring closer far history and give us unforgettable touch with the lives of Russian royalty. The example of one of luxury dresses is the one by Aleksandra Fjodorovna (1872-1918) with the scow of four meters. That dress is worn few years- as the empress figure was changing they fixed it, as the small holes on the side of dress testify.

The exhibition shows the taste of empresses. Elisabeth (1799-1826),the wife of Aleksandr I (1777-1825) didn’t stand pink colour so refused every time to wear anything with that colour on.Aleksandra Fjodorovna loved strict and simple shapes and often refused to wear folds and flounces. Marija Fjodorovna (1759-1828) wife of Paul I (1754-1801), despite her title of empress behaved as typical mother in law forbidding to future empress Elisabeth to wear the flower print on dresses. But, Elisabeth was very modest, she loved simple white dresses and her favourite jewellery were pearls.

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