Something which puzzled me when looking at Paul Gilbert's article on the Pavlovsk exhibition of Alexandra Feodorovna's clothing, is the assertion that "The early 20th-century empress preferred loose, flowing, dresses, refusing to wear a corset"[my italics]. It seems clear however from photographs that she wore corseted gowns well into the 20th century, and even the sort of gown in Sanochka's beautiful picture would normally have been worn with the longer, less shaped corsets of the time. While I think Alexandra may possibly have worn flowing dresses in private and particularly in illness - tea gowns and the like - it doesn't seem likely to me that she would have abandoned them in public. For a woman of her modest, conservative views, that would have been tantamount to putting herself in the company of women such as Elinor Glyn, of very dubious reputation. It wasn't necessary to 'tight-lace' as it was called - a well-made corset was designed to give a woman a shape and could be very supportive to the back, and it would have been perfectly obvious whether a woman was wearing a corset, so not wearing one made a considerable statement.