All posts tagged: Russia

Rate the Dress: Maria Fyodorovna in blue

Once again I’m being bad and haven’t tallied up the ratings from last week (sorry, my life is eating me alive).  I’ll try to be good and get them up today though! This week I present to you Maria Feodorovna, aka Dagmar of Denmark, sister of the famously beautiful Queen Alexandra of England, and mother of the last Tsar of Russia, in something extremely feminine and lacy and ruffly and corsage-y.  We were talking about New Zealand designer Trelise Cooper (well known for her frills and furbelows) in my class this evening, so I guess I had such embellishments on my mind (though if this were a Trelise dress it would be made of three different patterned fabrics in pink and orange and teal blue all at once) What do you think of Dagmar in her version of 1870s regal grandeur?  I’m sure her lace would have cost a fortune, and I’m also sure it’s the reason the painting is reminding me of a toned-down Maria Christina.  In fact, with only her very fashionable velvet …

A historical account of the perils of dyeing

This story comes to you courtesy of the Grey River Argus, 13 June 1883. A lieutenant in the Russian Army, and a Count pardessus le marché, having paid marked attention to the prettiest girl in Moscow, her father, by profession a dyer, asked him if his intentions were honorable or otherwise. As the young nobleman’s reply was evasive (says an exchange), the worthy dyer naturally concluded that they were otherwise, and requested that he bestow his attentions elsewhere. The young gallant kept out of the way for some time, but at last passion got the better of prudence, and he re-commenced his flirtation with the dyer’s pretty daughter during the absence of her worthy sire. The inevitable occurred.  Papa surprised the lovers, and without much ado collared the young warrior, doused him in the first handy vat of dye, and then reasoned with him a posteriori. When the Count got home he discovered that neither cold water nor hot, neither spirits of wine nor benzine, neither soap nor silver sand, would remove his new complexion – …

Gosh Dagmar, you really liked your pearls, didn’t you?

I’ve posted about Dagmar of Denmark, known after her marriage as Maria Feodorovna of Russia, before.  While I was researching her I noticed something.  Maybe it was because of her rather impoverished childhood, maybe it was a family weakness for completely OTT necklaces, maybe it was because she had already cried her share of brides tears well before the wedding, or maybe she just liked the things.  Whatever it was, man, that girl had some pearl bling going in all her portraits! From Dagmar’s diary*: 6 June 1867: A man came today to take my portrait with the new camera technology.  How fabulous!  I knew exactly what I wanted to wear: my favourite bow headband and every single pearl necklace I own.  Also the bracelets.  I looked fabulous.  One of my ladies in waiting suggested that it might be a bit much as I’m not even 20, but I told her to stuff it.  The nerve! 25 September 1874: The happiest possible news!  The doctor has just confirmed today that I will be confined for …