Author Topic: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II  (Read 92998 times)

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Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2006, 12:11:19 AM »


This is the photo from the same sitting in 1897-98 with the addition of the tiarra that was used to make the etching from in 1905.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2006, 08:00:04 AM »


This is the 1905 etching included in "Nicholas and Alexandra, The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia,' as item 78.  

The heading that accompanies the etching states:

Portrait of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, 1905.
Signed and dated right. (engraver's name in Russian), 1905
Provenance: From the original Hermtage Collection (number)
Previous Exhibition: St. Petersburg, 1994, Cat. 66
(blurb by Pierre Gilliard about the Empress' beauty in 1905).
 
However you can clearly see the the 1905 etching, though flip-flopped, is an exact likeness of the Empress in the 1897-98 photo above.  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2006, 08:20:57 AM »


Well I finally figured it out, that is I finally read that it is the actual size of the scaned material that I have to be alert to.  My first scan was 8x10 and I believe it should have been about half that size which is what I reduced this to.  However I am leaving the other as you can see the details better.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2006, 01:52:24 PM »


This montage of the Empress includes another one of the gowns from the State Hermitage Museum book and I believe that it was created in 1902, though I believe the painting of her is done somewhere between the years of 1903-1906.  

You can see that the sage evening gown was made between 1901-03 because of the way the skirt, just like the fashion sketch from 1901, is cut in an inverted curve.  I would suspect that the gown was made in 1902 as the bodice blouson cut is a bit droopier than the 1901 fashion plate.  The introduction of the inverted curve that you can see so clearly on the Empress’ gown and in the fashion illustration was inspired by Asian design and mimicked the Japanese kimono which swept out in front of its wearer.  

Also the bodice of the sage evening gown is cut into a blouson design which the introduction of the new mom-bosomed corsets supported.  By 1900 the corset had changed form from its hour-glass circular waist shape in the 1890's to the new straight front corset with its elliptical waist line in which the center back dips two inches lower to center front creating the famous "Grecian curve."  You can see all of this going on by comparing the fashion plate with the gown.  

We know that the gown is constructed between the years of 1901-1903 because the inverted curve started to withdraw back and skirts fell into straighter lines by 1904.  However the blouson bodices continued to elongate their matronly droop reaching their extreme in 1906-07.  The era had reached its height in the adoration of "Mother."  In 1907 with the introduction of the "Youth Cult," that would dominate 20th century fashions, the matronly droop started to deflate and forming itself into a softened roundness, rose to all the way to a Princess/Empire waistline by 1908-09 where it would remain until the end of the socialist revolutions of 1917-18.  With great uncertainty the waist continued to hover in its high perch until 1923 when it suddenly flattened and fell to the hips where it remained until the stock market crash of 1929.  

Of course the skirt and sleeves had their own separate adventures, but I will save that story for another day as we need to get back to the lovely Empress at the height of her beauty in the final years of the Edwardian Era.  I believe that this painting of the Empress is probably painted between the years 1903-06.  I say that because of the fullness of the blouson cut of the bodice and its elongated droop and because the unseen hem of the gown hangs straight to the floor.  It seems more likely that it was painted closer to 1903-04.  Regardless, you can also see how Alix's beauty has softened into full bloom.  This is the era of her husband's favorite painting of her by F.A. von Kaulbach which is very similar to the likeness in this painting.  

The other thing is that you can see the transcendent beauty of the Empress, unmarred by the birth of Alexis and the anxiety over her sacred child that would eventually drain her freshness and ruined her health.  It is hard to remember that this period occupied half of her life in Russia.  The earlier period that these pictures belong to seem instead like a brief moment of very short duration but they are not as they represent a decade of her life in Russia, 1894-1906, (Even by 1906 her beauty was still transcendent though you can begin to trace her growing sorrow) during a time when she continuously awed the Russian Court and, for that matter, the western world with her loveliness.    

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2006, 10:05:42 PM »


The top corset is the popular hourglass "Swanbill" from the 1890's with it's circular wasp waist and divided bosom, called a "divorce."  The corset below is a straight-front corset from the 1900's with its elliptical waist line forcing the torso back into an s-curve and creating no separation between the bosoms, thus creating the mono-bosom look of the Edwardian era.  

Now one can see what was going on under the surface of the Empress's gowns in 1897-1898 vs. 1901-1903.  Straight lacing and tiny waists belonged to the Victorian period; where as the straight front corsets of the Edwardian era were less constricting as the straight front relieved the waist to some extent even though small waists were still the rage.  Had the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, with her hour-glass figure and 16 inch waist, not been assassinated in 1898 it is doubtful that she would have adopted the looser fitting straight front corsets of the 1900s.    

By 1907-1908 the ultra-fashionable started to abandon corsets altogether because of such fashion innovators as Paul Poriet and Lady Duff Gordon. Lady Duff's sister, Eleanor Glynn, wrote the first sex novel in 1907, "Three Weeks," which describes the adventures of a beautiful, anonymous Eastern European Queen who sires a male heir out of wedlock with a young English aristocrat because her brutal husband, the King, is impotent and she knows that her English bred child will rule her barbaric country in an enlightened manner.  

In the famous seduction scene, the Queen is laying on a tiger skin wearing an un-corseted green chiffon evening gown in order to seduce the young man.  The scene became the standard for two decades of cinema vamps and sirens and soon this poem was circulating from drawing rooms to beer halls:

Would you like to sin
With Eleanor Glynn
On a Tiger Skin?

Or would you prefer
To err with her
On another fur?
  
The novel created an enormous scandal in 1907 and was banned in many cities in America and Europe until the 1930's.  It was rumored that the anonymous Queen was draw from the life of the Crown Princess Marie of Romania, but stronger speculation suggested that the beautiful anonymous Queen was none other than the young Empress Alexandra of Russia including a veiled allusion to the true paternity of the little Czarevitch who was only three years old when the novel came out.  

For whatever reasons, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna Sr. loved "Three Weeks" and found it's author, Miss Glynn, fascinating.  The Grand Duchess invited Eleanor Glynn, I am sure to the great annoyance of the young Empress, to be her guest in St. Petersburg several times in 1911 in order to write a novel about the Russia Court, "His Hour."  

Miss Glynn tells us in her biography how, upon returning from her first visit to Imperial Russia, she was almost kidnapped and murdered in Warsaw.  She saved her own life by attracting the attention of the police by yelling out the window of her speeding coach.  Though she escaped unharmed, she found to her amazement when she got to the train station that her tickets had been booked only as far as Warsaw and she had to rely on the generosity of a British acquaintance who lent her the funds to return to England.  

Well I have gotten a bit off course here but I thought it was an interesting bit of Russian social history of the period.    
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by griffh »

Offline griffh

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2006, 06:18:33 PM »

I have thought that it might be a good idea to start with 1894 and the engagement picture of Alexandra to Nicholas taken in Coburg during the marriage of Alix's brother, Ernie to Nicky and Alix's mutual cousin, Ducky, or more properly, Victoria Melita.  Starting here documents the gradual inflation of the leg-o-mutton sleeve which will reach its ultimate dimension in 1896 during the Coronation year and pop into a puff in 1897 to dimension to nothing by 1900. 

I have included a Worth gown from the same season as the engagement.  You can see that,although, Alix's gown is not as chic as the French creation, it does have the same attributes of fashion, such as the fur trim and the leg-o-mutton sleeves.  Oh and just to say that my post #22 was meant as an explanation of what became post "26.  Thanks...Griffh


Offline Sarushka

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2006, 07:28:02 AM »
I believe this also belonged to Alix:

THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2006, 07:33:11 AM »
Other views of ceremonial fashions:


THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2006, 07:41:49 AM »
Now I venture into the realm of speculation. These are unlabled in my collection, but I belive they COULD have belonged to Alix:


If anyone can help me identify for certain who these belonged to, I'd appreciate it!
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2006, 07:48:55 AM »
This last group looks to my eye more typical of Marie Fyodorovna in terms of size, cut, and style, but I'm no expert, so I'm putting them up for debate.


THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline gogm

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2006, 11:37:28 AM »
For reply #32, I believe the left gown is a 1900 evening gown for Alexandra. The ones on the right, left center, and center are for Dagmar. I cannot confirm the middle right one. The gold one dates to 1898. The one with green velvet dates to the 1890s. The purple/lilac dress dates from the 1900s.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2006, 11:57:02 AM by gogm »

Offline Ortino

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2006, 11:39:29 AM »
The dress on the far right of Sarushka's first post (#32) was a Worth creation owned by Marie Feodorovna, not Alix. ;)

I don't profess to be an expert either, but I would imagine that most of those were indeed owned by Marie--the extravagance and bold colors befit her personality. Of course though, there were other women who could afford dresses like these and these may therefore belong to neither Alix nor Marie. This one for example was a Worth owned by Zenaida Yussupova made of silk, lace and paste:


This dress, also a Worth owned by Marie Feodorovna, is similar in style and color to the one on the far right of Sarushka's second post (#33), so perhaps it also belonged to her. The second one to the left in Sarushka's second post is absolutely gorgeous. I want it for myself.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 03:15:18 PM by Alixz »

Offline gogm

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2006, 12:06:29 PM »
According to the Hermitage, the dress to left on #32 is
" Evening Dress of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna
N.P. Lamanova's Workshop, Moscow
Russia. Early 20th century.
Velvet, chiffon, satin, lace and chenille; embroidered and decorated with applique. L.: bodice 30 cm, skirt 154 cm"

Offline gogm

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2006, 12:36:54 PM »
For reply #33, I don't have anything on the one to the left. The next is a visiting dress for Dagmar from 1880 or so. The next is another visiting dress for Dagmar (I don't have the date). The next all black is also Dagmar's from the 1880s.
In the bottom row, the one to the left is an evening gown from the 1880s. The middle is a day dress from the 1890s and the right is Dagmar's from 1894.

The undated dress may be from the late 1880s or early 1890s. The sleeves are barely ballooned.

Offline Bev

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Re: Designs by Worth and Other Haute Coutures: Part II
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2006, 03:31:47 PM »
1 - Alix- Lamanova, 2 Marie- Worth, 3 Marie- Worth, 4 Marie- Brisac, 5 Marie- Worth
for #33 1,2 same dress Marie- Worth, 3 Marie- Blassier, 4.Marie- Worth, 5 Marie- Fromont, 6 Marie-Worth, 7 Marie-Worth

Blasier, Fromont were French, Brisac and Lamanova - Russian