Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Beauty of Russian Court Garments from the Victoria and Albert Museum 2008-2009

Like many of  us in the design industry, I purchase many books.  If not a book on interior design or fashion, then most likely buying cook books and novels.  Today I received two Martha Stewart books and "The Magnificence of the Tsars;" a catalog written on behalf of the show at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 2008/2009.

This book is not large, and it is  bound in paper, but it has amazing photographs, some I share here..

The book highlights the Romanov Dynasty from Peter I to Czar Nicholas II.  The textiles are beyond beautiful and are often created in the finest French silk velvets with extravagant applique' of complex metallic embroidery.

This Suit (Kostyum), 1727-30 was made in France.  It is one of five suits made from silk velvet in Emperor Peter II wardrobe.  The heavy flora and fauna embroidery in silver on the cuffs and other portions of the garments used a delicate pink, which has since faded.

Here the applique's are visible on both the inner and the outer garment.

Another Coat and Waistcoat of Emperor Peter II, also made in France about 1885.  Garlands and flowers, leaves and fruit are woven to create this beautiful pattern silk embellished with silver thread buttons and trimmed with silver fringe and tassels.

This garment  from 2737-30 is called a Beshmet, a term originating from Turkey.  Garments like this were used for domestic attire.  This Beshmet is lined in yellow taffeta.  The red is satin and the patterns are woven in dark blue and white silk with fine gilt thread.

This waistcoat was generally worn inside.  They were made of a variety of material including wool, satin, silk taffeta, damask, velvet and brocade.  The example pictured above was originally crimson but has faded with time.  Some examples were lined in fur to be worn during the long winter months.

This heavily embellished coat and waistcoat was made in France from 1727.

Coronation Coat of Emperor Alexander 1, 1801 - Made in Moscow

Coronation Coat of Emperor Alexander III, 1883 - St. Petersberg; a much simpler approach.  I love this fine tailored tunic.

Coronation Coat of Emperor Nicholas II, 1896  St. Petersberg.

Fancy Dress costume for Nicholas II from 1905.  With Fabric from Moscow and embellishments and construction by the Imperial  Theatre Wordrobe Workshops.

 Detail of fancy dress inner garment.

Detail of sleve, Fancy Dress Costume of Nicholas II.

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