Author Topic: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories #1  (Read 159716 times)

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Offline Sarai

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I was just thinking about the clothing that the girls wore in their childhoods. They were always dressed so beautifully and elegantly. Here are just some random thoughts about this subject. Firstly, I am interested in learning more about how making their clothes worked. I imagine that seamstresses must have gone to the palace to get measurements and then some prestigious firm would have made their clothing, using the highest quality materials. I recall reading about their little coats made of the softest goose down and also seeing a pretty pink summer dress for one of the girls (not specified who) in the N&A exhibition catalog book. Who was responsible for making their dresses? What materials were used and what styles were followed (i.e. did Alexandra follow her own classic taste or go along with whatever was en vogue at the time)? What was the cost for such children's clothing?

I know that their clothing followed a more or less seasonal schedule, wearing white flowing dresses in the summer, sailor suits in the autumn, warm coats in the winter, and white dresses with coloured sashes in the spring. I like that the Empress was frugal enough to have them use hand-me-downs, with dresses passed from oldest to youngest, and the hems adjusted as necessary. She seems to me to be so much more like a regular mother than an Empress by doing that. Heck, I know regular people nowadays who would not even do that.

Finally, I recall reading a caption under a photograph of the girls as small children that they were "too elegantly dressed to play." They always seem to be dressed exquisitely, though, so I wonder whether they were allowed to just play in their fine dresses or changed into something else. On the other hand, I do recall seeing pictures of them in simpler clothing such as cotton type dresses or simple long skirts and blouses that seemed more suitable for romping. There is a picture that comes to mind of Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia laying in the dirt on some kind of makeshift swing, looking dishevelled and messy but loving it!  :D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 09:57:58 AM by Alixz »

Thomas_A.

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2004, 05:02:54 PM »
Many upper-class people thought that Alexandra had no taste ar all. She dressed how she liked to - how she felt comfortable and although her dresses were made by the most famous designers of the days she did not even care for the "last trend".
For each season she ordered about 50 dresses from Paquin or Worth in Paris (Nicholas payed about 10.000 rubel each month!).
She loved silk dresses in white, violett or creme and big hats from Bertrand in Petersburg. Her socks were from Swears and Wells in London.
Her prefered designer was Madame Brissac in Petersburg who also made dresses for the Grand Duchesses. (From Greg Kings "Alexandra" and E. Heresch's "Alexandra")

I suppose the girl's dresses were made or silk, muslin and maybe brocade like Alix'. You may be right with cotton for the more simple spare-time-dresses.

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

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2004, 05:43:13 PM »
Thomas:

We should be careful what might have originated in "My Empress", that phony book about Alix whose 'facts' have wormed their way into later author's accounts.

Nicholas did not receive bills for Alix's dresses.  They were paid out of her personal accounts. The total budget for the clothes of the Empress and her daughters was 40,000 roubles per year.

Bob

Thomas_A.

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2004, 04:25:49 AM »
Bob. Sorry but these information are from Greg King's book and the one of Elisabeth Heresch which was - as far as I know - never published in english.

I don't know a book with the title "My Empress". By whom is it?
If my entry should upset anybody anyway, I'll delate it of course.
Just tell me!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Thomas_A. »

elisa_1872

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2004, 07:59:05 AM »
Hi Sarai,

I wonder can anyone here read Russian, and translate it? Because in the nice book on "Toys for the Tsar's Children" there are numerous items of the children's clothing, with descriptions written underneath them, in Russian. The passages could be also a little help with your question! The clothes include, Alexei's dressing gown, various little undergarments, coats, lace ruffs, and dresses belonging to the girls.

Elisa :)

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2004, 09:27:23 AM »
"My Empress" was a fake book claimed to have been written by a 'Marfa Mouchanov' (sp) - it is full of lots of details about daily life that weren't true and combined with 'facts' one coulld gleen from newspaper and magazine articles.  This book was assumed to be true for many years and it was used as a resource by other authors.  The latest to fall for the book was Caroly Erickson and her research staff who use "My Empress" extensively in her recent book on Alexandra.

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

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2004, 09:29:20 AM »
I am assuming that most or all the baby clothes came from Alexandra's 'Hope Chest" in the Pallisander Room where she kept many of her keepsakes, baby shoes, gowns, etc.  They were at Pavlovsk last time I was there.

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2004, 11:22:11 AM »
From what I've read on this website, I believe I'm in the minority in liking Carolly Erickson's writing style.  For me, her books are lively, well-written, and read like novels. And until her bio of Alix, I've always felt they were well-researched. However, in using the so-called "Marfa" as one of her major sources, I think Erickson made a major mistake. Considering that most Romanov biographers have cut a wide swath around "My Empress," I have to wonder why Erickson leaned so heavily on that book.  Maybe she thought she was on to something no one else had discovered?!

Sergio

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2004, 09:24:50 AM »
Sarai,

At the "Historical Boy`s Clothing" website you can find Royalty Pages - a review of children's clothing styles worn by European royal families, including Russia: http://histclo.hispeed.com/royal.html.

But to access those pages you have to pay a small contribution.

Offline Olga

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2004, 02:03:33 AM »


I imagine they would be (left to right)

Maria Nikolaevna
Anastasia Nikolaevna
Olga Nikolaevna
Tatiana Nikolaevna
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by olga »

Offline Olga

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2004, 02:09:08 AM »


Baby pants of Tatiana Nikolaevna
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by olga »

Offline Olga

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2004, 02:12:11 AM »


Baby pants of Maria Nikolaevna

Offline Lisa

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2004, 07:34:45 AM »
GREAT GREAT GREAT , Olga!!!
Thanks you! I love the little pants... ;D

Offline Martyn

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2004, 07:54:33 AM »
Those little dresses are exquisite.  Am I right in thinking that they are of fine muslin worn over little coloured slips?
The quality of the work in these garments is exquisite; lovely tucking and insertions and very nice broderie anglaise.
Were these dresses for everyday use?  They really make one regret the simplicity of modern clothes; having said that it must have been something of a chore having to iron them, not that Alix would have had to worry about that......
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline lilavanderhorn

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Re: Imperial Women's, Men's and Children's Clothing & Accessories
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2004, 08:11:16 AM »
I can imagine that Tatiana is looking at all of this now and is humiliated at her undies being on display on the internet!   ;D


As for the clothing, I love it.  I am a vintage clothing collector myself and I cannot imagine anyone having the patience and creativity they had back them to create these beautiful outfits.