Author Topic: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V  (Read 113315 times)

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Offline Kate_S

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #360 on: March 20, 2013, 11:31:16 AM »
Yes it has been a long term project.  I submit my PhD thesis at the end of this summer after 7 years!  Then we are moving on with the exhibition.  So far three venues have confirmed as wishing to participate - one in the UK and two internationally (better not give the game away until we have actual dates but it looks like being 2018 - these kinds of things take time!) Anyhow, I am meeting curators after Easter to start on a forward plan.  I am also then hoping to get some stuff published.  I have written a couple of articles which are in academic journals about her clothes if anyone is interested - one which is a detailed analysis of the Coronation dress and a second which is about some of her clothing choices based on a number of different factors.  A book is in the pipeline.........

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #361 on: March 20, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »
Yes there are some quotes that suggest Worth had a hand in the 'like-dressing' that the sisters indulged in during the Russian state visit in 1873 but other than that it was not a relationship that flourished!  None of her surviving garments are by Worth compared to Dagmar's and nothing in the wardrobe accounts bar one small order.  My theory is that Alexandra preferred some of the more unusual and lesser known couture houses which is why Morin Blossier were her favourite dressmaker from the 1880s.  She quite liked to be a little different I think.

Font of knowledge as always, KateS! Thanks for your insights into her wardrobe and clothing. It's good to have an expert on hand. How goes your work anyway?

Oops--just saw the previous post with the update. :)

Really ? Don't think Toria or Louise in later age was a sharp dresser...

Toria and Louise had very fine clothing. They just weren't cutting edge like Maud was--that's where her legacy lies. They, like Queen Mary, were more locked into a certain style--as was Queen Alexandra after a certain point. Nonetheless, they had very fine materials, tailoring and accessories.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 12:07:01 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline Kate_S

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #362 on: March 20, 2013, 12:28:59 PM »
Aww thanks GDE, it has been a labour of love and the number of garments that have appeared in different places has been amazing.  It still amounts to hardly a fraction of the things that Alexandra would have owned in her lifetime but they still have their tales to tell!

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #363 on: March 20, 2013, 12:50:35 PM »
I think the dresses of Alexandra will make a nice photo and research book. Looking forward to it.

Indeed Maud changed with the fashions but her sisters did not.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #364 on: March 20, 2013, 03:50:10 PM »
Quote
   I have written a couple of articles which are in academic journals about her clothes if anyone is interested - one which is a detailed analysis of the Coronation dress and a second which is about some of her clothing choices based on a number of different factors.   


I would indeed be interested - it has always saddened me that there are so very few of Alexandra's costumes left and we have only the many photos of the luscious outfits she wore over the years.  Was the sharing out of her clothes among her maids both during her life and at the end of it part of the perquisites system which essentially was part of the dressers' wages?  I know Prince Albert instituted reforms in the royal households which dismantled many of these perks, but some were likely to have remained.  I think at any rate I read somewhere that this is why so few royal wardrobes are in existence to any great degree except for relatively recent times.  In the early 1700s, the old Duchess of Orleans was complaining that every year, her wardrobe down to her linen was given up to her household officers, unless she actually bought items back! 

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #365 on: March 20, 2013, 05:44:38 PM »
Most only kept important dresses like wedding dresses and coronation dresses.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #366 on: March 20, 2013, 08:51:02 PM »
Most only kept important dresses like wedding dresses and coronation dresses.

And I suspect the reason might lie in these very ancient traditions of giving your wardrobe basically to your servants in part-payment of wages, rather than a lack of desire to keep at least some of them, for sentiment's sake or even for economy.  I also wondered whether the survival of much more extensive wardrobes from the Russian imperial family was due to the previous generations of serfdom where there would not have been such traditions. 

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #367 on: March 21, 2013, 01:23:33 AM »
I think Dagmar kept most of her dresses. Especially on special occasions because they have sentimental value. Whereas Ella's dresses (of which of much more value as she designed them herself) are even harder to find since they were dispersed during her lifetime.

Offline Kate_S

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #368 on: March 21, 2013, 01:15:47 PM »
No I don't think her decisions to gift items of clothing to dressers was a part of the perquisite custom but rather her desire to give things to those around her on a whim.  Some of the letters show that the dressers were quite overwhelmed on receipt of the garments.  One in particular was given a grey silk dinner dress which Alexandra apparently wanted her to wear but which the dresser, one of the Temple sisters, felt was too grand for her to actually put on.  This was cited in Georgina Battiscombe's biography and so is not footnoted very consistently.  The newly acquired garments in Los Angeles came via the family of Harriet Giltrap, a dresser who was with Alexandra form the 1880s until her death. 

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #369 on: March 21, 2013, 03:44:59 PM »
Thanks for the info. Alexandra's more elaborate creations came with her opening of parliament dresses and ball gowns. Those dresses had extensive beading and real and costume jewels sewn into them to create that breathtaking result...

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #370 on: July 19, 2016, 12:52:06 PM »
You seldom find the surviving clothes of Victorian royalty with them actually photographed (or painted) in them.  So I was rather surprised that the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection owns the bodice of the dress worn by Queen Alexandra, when Princess of Wales, to the christening of her grandson (Albert) Edward, on the 16th July 1894 at White Lodge, but does not seem to have put it together with the photograph which shows Alexandra wearing it.

The bodice (by Madame Froment, of Paris)


And Alexandra wearing it:





A closer look at Alexandra:


One wonders if the lace part of the bodice has discoloured over time as the colour doesn't appear really fit in with the sleeves and the skirt (the latter appears to be missing but clearly from the photograph was a match for the sleeves).  However, the sepia tones of the photos often lead one to assume colours and textures were much softer and more muted than they actually were.  But it's fascinating to see the costume part which has survived, actually being worn in a photograph.

Offline thebelgianhare

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Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part V
« Reply #371 on: June 20, 2017, 09:33:00 AM »
Good eye, I like stuff like this, a cogent link between then and now. It's a wonder any clothes survive from the period shows the dedication of the people who save and look after these items daily. In terms of history it is not from too long ago..but as we all know materials don't always last the stand of time! ...Half of my clothes become discoloured and dull in a few months let alone a hundred years! XD