Author Topic: OTMA - smoking, make up and clothes  (Read 102873 times)

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #255 on: April 05, 2009, 01:27:57 PM »
Does anyone know whether the white gowns with the beading along the edges that OTMA wore in the 1914 formal portraits still exist or not? I searched around the forum but only came up with someone's observation from about 4 years ago that they likely still existed somewhere, but there was no source given. If this has question has been asked before and answered, direct me to the right place.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #256 on: April 05, 2009, 01:33:32 PM »
If they still exist, they are mostly in the costume archive in the Hermitage museum. That is where most of their clothes ended up.
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Offline nena

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #257 on: April 05, 2009, 01:37:38 PM »
Or even at Livadia, but most likely like Robert_Hall say.
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #258 on: April 05, 2009, 03:45:07 PM »
But if they do still exist, don't you think we would have seen them by now as they are rather prominent dresses, being that they were worn by OTMA for well known formal photos?  I guess I'd just love to see them.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #259 on: April 05, 2009, 07:02:49 PM »
They very well have been displayed in   exhibitions. at the Hermitage.  Many gowns and uniforms have,  since the change.
 These are always   short lived, ad the fabrics are very fragile and need  special care. The clothes are rotated for preservation. Also, many were used to wrap the  other treasures during the evacuation  from the siege. There are all sort of scenarios  about this.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #260 on: April 05, 2009, 07:26:34 PM »
I am just surprised if they survived they haven't been publicly seen, to my knowledge, which is limited. I would like to see the beading on the gowns. I was looking at one of the formal pictures of OTMA today and the beading struck me, that it would be interesting to see it in a modern photo. Maybe Sarushka knows something about what happened to these gowns, since she's defintely the OTMA expert here.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #261 on: April 05, 2009, 07:40:49 PM »
IA, did you not read my previous post, in answer to your question?
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #262 on: April 05, 2009, 10:43:46 PM »
Yes, I did. That's basically what people have said about them in this thread, but I don't think you were refering to these dresses specifically. I meant in all three of my posts ONLY the 1914 dresses with beading they wear in the 1914 photos, which I believe they also wear in the 1913 formal photos, not any of their other clothes. Since no one seems to know specifically about these specific dresses, I guess my question is answered then.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #263 on: April 05, 2009, 11:02:52 PM »
I would think then, that the only way to find out about those dresses specifically would be to contact the  costume archiveist directly and ask them.  Then, wait for an answer. I can understand  your interest.  They are iconic in our iamges of the IF, especially  the GDs. The uniforms  and heavily emboideered and beaded tend to last longer, whereas those  look rather fragile and  coming up tp to 100 years old, are, like I said,  very fragile. Fabric is the trickiest  to preserve.  I will be in Amsterdam to see the new Hermitage exhibition and if I get the chance, will ask someone about them. Interesting search.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #264 on: April 05, 2009, 11:09:19 PM »
So you would just e-mail the costume archivest listed on the Hermitage website (which I just visited tonight to see if the gowns were mentioned anywhere and they aren't that I could find)? Thanks for the suggestion, I'll do that. I agree, the 1913-14 gowns do look fragile. The court gowns shown on this thread look sturdier.Then again, the summer dresses that OTMA wore in childhood also depicted on this thread seem fragile too, and they survived. I looked for the e-mail on the website for the costume archivest and couldn't find it- would you know it? I could just e-mail them anyway, you can e-mail them with information request in general.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 11:24:45 PM by imperial angel »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #265 on: April 05, 2009, 11:23:34 PM »
Exactly. And, if at all possible,  enclose a picture of the exact dresses/gows you are inquiring about. Yes, some of their children's clothes did sutvive, they were packed way and sent into  archival storage when they outgrew them.  I have seen a some  on exhibit, in the children's museum im Moscow I think.  They are extremely fragile and look about ready to fall apart though. They are handled by expert curators and are only on display for limited times.
 Good luck in your search!
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #266 on: April 05, 2009, 11:27:14 PM »
I will just e-mail them in general then, and they will refer it to the right person. I did note they had many gowns on the Hermitage website that belonged to other women in the 1910s- 1912 era that looked a lot like OTMA's gowns in the 1913-14 pictures, so if those survived, maybe OTMA's did too. Update: I e-mailed them using the general e-mail provided for information requests since I couldn't find a specific one for the costume archivest. I wasn't able to send a picture since you couldn't send attachments, but if they follow up and aren't sure about which gowns I will send a picture. These gowns are fairly well known, anyway.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 11:41:49 PM by imperial angel »

Offline markjhnstn

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #267 on: April 06, 2009, 04:25:41 AM »
I'm still amazed sometimes when i look at photos of clothes or the AP today etc and realise that it all really happened. It was not some huge work of tragic fantasy fiction that I've watched on tv or read and re-read the novels of but real-life events of the past.

A world long gone.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #268 on: April 06, 2009, 07:40:26 AM »
I'm sorry, I don't have much of any information about the girls' clothes in general or those dresses in particular. All I can tell you that might be of help is that the woman seen here with OTMAA's clothing is Tamara Korshounova, a curator at the AP:



Not sure if she's still there, but it might be worth an inquiry.


Incidentally, this image was posted by Lisa Aubrey in a another thread some years ago:



It's by Brisac, and came from the Alexander Palace in 1917, so could have belonged to OTMA. I don't think it's a match with the dresses in the 1913 or 1914 sessions, but it's similar enough in style and construction that there's reason to hope that more dresses may have survived.


I meant in all three of my posts ONLY the 1914 dresses with beading they wear in the 1914 photos, which I believe they also wear in the 1913 formal photos, not any of their other clothes.

IMO, the dresses are different in the 1913 and 1914 sessions.

In 1913, the Little Pair's dresses had beaded kaftan-like sashes and a cuff of beading around each sleeve that isn't present in the 1914 portraits. You can see the sleeve details here on Maria's dress. The sash is much more difficult to pick out in B&W, but if you can find a careful colorization of this 1913 pose, it should be visible along the waist and down the front of Anastasia's dress, running alongside Aleksei's sailor collar.

In 1914, the Big Pair had tassels on their sleeves, and a triangular panel of embroidery on the bodice. The tassels show up nicely in this 1914 profile of Tatiana, and the embroidery here, below Tatiana's brooch.

I thought perhaps that in 1914 the Little Pair are just wearing the Big Pair's dresses from 1913, but now I believe they're different. In this 1913 pose of the Big Pair, you can see that the beaded pattern on the bodice of Olga's gown is circular, with something like an upside down tulip pointing to the waistline. Yet the Little Pair's 1914 gowns have a pattern of horizontal festoons across the bodice -- seen clearly here.

That said, the Little Pair's 1914 skirts are similar enough to their sisters' 1913 gowns that I wouldn't be surprised if at least part of Maria and Anastasia's dresses in 1914 were in fact made over from the Big Pair's 1913 gowns. So you may be looking for a minimum of SIX dresses:

2 - Little Pair 1913
2 - Big Pair 1913/Little Pair 1914
2 - Big Pair 1914
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 07:45:00 AM by Sarushka »
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: what happened to OTMA's clothes?
« Reply #269 on: April 06, 2009, 08:11:18 AM »
Thanks so much, that's very helpful! That gown does look quite a bit like theirs. I didn't realize they were different gowns but now that you point it out, I see it. Who made these dresses by the way? Many of the evening dresses that are a bit like their 1913 and 1914 gowns that are on the Hermitage website are Russian made, but the gown you posted that looks more like theirs was French made.