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Nickbouton Blog

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Nick Bouton is an award-winning user experience (UX) developer and online community architect based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has over 14 years of experience in web application design and development, ranging from consulting to product work.


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Bags, '' 3

Due to the influence of these exhibitions, bridal headdresses in the form of a crown/kokoshnik became popular in Western fashion of the 1920s: it is impossible to list all the famous brides of the world who got married in the 1920s in variations of Russian headdress. It is, perhaps, sufficient to mention that Queen Mary, Elizabeth II's grandmother, was married in a headdress reminiscent of a Russian kokoshnik.
The freely interpreted kokoshnik become a feature of everyday wear. Jeanne Lanvin created a collection of hats in the shape of Russian headdresses, and in the early 1920s, the house of August Bonaz in Paris produced plastic kokoshniki. This staggering success in the West compelled many Russian ¨¦migr¨¦ fashion ateliers to start producing them. The house of Caris in Paris, which made designs exclusively in the Russian national style, created a collection of kichki, kokoshniki and povoiniks (a head scarf worn by married Russian peasant
Below right: The English Princess Mary on the day of her marriage to Henry Laceless, the Duke of Heirwood, in a bridal ensemble with a tiara shaped like a Russiankokoshnik, London, 1922.
Above left: Olga Baklanova,Bags, a Moscow Art Theater actress who became a Hollywood star, in a Russian costume, Hollywood, 1929.
women). Variations on motifs from the Russian headdress and the Russian boyar costume also appeared in the early 1920s in the designs of such famous ¨¦migr¨¦ fashion houses as Yteb and life.
All through the long years of emigration the kokoshnik remained a certain symbol of old Russia. It was a feature of Russian stage costumes and it could be seen in small Russian cabarets from Constantinople to Harbin and at performances by famous ¨¦migr¨¦ theater troupes--from the Bluebird in Berlin to La Chauve Souris in Paris and New York and Maria Kuznetsova's Private Russian Opera in Paris. There was no star who did not perform in a kokoshnik: Anna Pavlova,Intimates & Homewear, Olga Baklanova, Alexandra Balashova, and Tamara Karsavina all wore one. Many of the creators of these fantastic headdresses used the original drawings of the artist Sergei Solomko
Above right: Hope Hampton, an American film actress in an evening dress beaded in a double-eagle motif, 1924.
Above left: Lidia Lipkovskaya, a famous soprano, in a costume from the opera Tsarskaya nevesta [The Tsar's Bride], St. Petersburg, c. 1914.
Above center: Ekaterina Kudryavtseva, a cabaret dancer, in akokoshnik she made, Paris, c. 1927.
Above right: Mary Pick ford in a Russian kokoshnik, Hollywood, late 1920s.
In the early 1920s, before Soviet Russia was recognized by world governments, the attitude toward Russian ¨¦migr¨¦s was one of warmth tinged with sympathy. Various private and government foundations were organized in Europe and America to support refugees. They organized charity shows, concerts, and sales to raise money. A Russkaya izba (Russian Hut) was organized in 1920 in King's Hall in London, consisting of Russian choral singing, folk dances, and balalaika players. The London public responded to the concert with enthusiasm. British Vogue wrote about it in January 1920: "The concert was over before we had a chance to come to our senses. As we left, we took away a feeling of strong sympathy for Russia in our hearts. Was this not an appeal of her people? Could we allow its partition as a nation?'' 3
Similar activities to help Russian refugees were organized in the Paris Grand Opera with the participation of Alexandra Balashova, Vera Karalli, and Maria Kuznetsova, stars of the imperial Russian stage. Exhibits of Russian craft arts--held by the ¨¦migr¨¦s themselves in Constantinople, Paris, London, and Prague--were another form of aid.
Witnessing the triumph of the Russian style, many ¨¦migr¨¦s began thinking about establishing their own small private enterprises of "Russian fashion." Ateliers and workshops were opened in Berlin and in Paris. By 1921 France had accepted nearly 150,000 Russian refugees. After chaotic Constantinople, sleepy Sofia, and provincial Belgrade,
Below left and right: Drawings from the French magazine L'Art et la mode showingkokoshnik-style hats from the Parisian atelier Nandine, 1923-24.
Below: A dress and bat in the Russian style designed by the house of Lanvin, Paris, 1923.
Right: A headdress in the Russian style worn by Leonora Hughes, designed by the house of Lanvin, Paris, 1919.
glamourous postwar Paris seemed like the real capital of the world to Russians. But life in this splendid city was not easy for them. Vladimir Zeeler, the editor of the guide Russkie vo Franttsii [Russians in France] wrote: "Every Russian needs work today. Long gone are the days when some people had something left over from the resources that they had taken out with them, when everything that one had brought in the hopes of a speedy return, was spent. The black days for the emigr¨¦s soon came, in which, while searching for work, they were forced to confront many obstacles and limitations which did not alleviate but made the objective of finding work much more difficult." 4



Posted: 01:59, 14/5/2012
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Jewelry, wore nine or ten emeralds

The dresses and, implicitly, the kokoshnik, can be decorated with precious stones in accordance with the level of wealth of the particular individual. In this regard, I will cite an instance that once struck me--Olga Zinovieva, the wife of the leader of the nobility in one of the districts of the Petrograd province, wore nine or ten emeralds, each the size of a robin's egg, as buttons. In my day the diamonds worn by Countess Shuvalova, Countess Vorontsova-Dashkova, Countess Sheremetyeva, Princess Kochubei, Princess Yusupova, etc., were particularly remarkable. 2
To be sure, the court kokoshniki that
have been preserved to this day in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York only remotely resemble their peasant prototypes. In form they are closer to the Italian headdresses of the Renaissance.
Russia's new interest in its national antiquity was widely cultivated by Slavophile historical novelists, opera composers, architects, and artists. The historical canvases of such artists as Vassily Vasnetsov, Ilya Repin, Mikhail Nesterov, A. P. Ryabushkin, and Konstantin Makovsky acquainted the public with the boyar--pre-Petrine--costume, albeit in stylized form. The works by the artists of the Abramtsevo and Talashkino crafts workshops helped to create an unprecedented interest in Russian folk art and costume, inspiring numerous crafts exhibits and the creation of folk art museums, and prominent figures such as Princess Tenisheva, Shabelskaya, and Stanislavsky became great collectors of Russian antiques.
The imperial Bolshoi and Maryinsky theaters especially did a great deal to popularize traditional Russian costume. Frequent productions of Russian operas with historical and folkloric themes, such as Sadko, Prince Igor, A Life for the Tsar, Rusalka, Snow Maiden, and Mussorgsky Boris Godunov, as well
Above: Ekaterina Geltzer in the costume of the Tsar Maiden based on a sketch by Korovin for the ballet Konyok Gorbunok [The Little Humpbacked Horse]by Pugni, Moscow, c. 1912.
Right: Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich in a masquerade costume as a stol'nik [table server at the imperial court], St. Petersburg, February 1903.
Opposite, top left : George Dow, Portrait of Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales, in a Russian costume, 1817.
Opposite, top centr : Franz Krueger, Portrait of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, in a traditional Russian costume, 1830.
Opposite, top right : Vladimir Makovsky, Portrait of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, in traditional Russian costume, 1912.
Opposite below : A portrait of an unknown woman wearing a kokoshnik, Pskov, late 1870s. Photograph by Dmitriev.
Overleaf : Russian emigres in masquerade costumes at a patriotic soiree. Far left : Elena Shreter,Jewelry, Belgrade, 1934.
as the ballet The Little Humpbacked Horse in stage sets designed by the talented artists Korovin, Solomko, and Ponomaryov,Tea, were some of the examples of this pan-Slavic focus. At the turn of the century, the Moscow Maly Theater, with its productions of plays by Alexei Tolstoy and A. N. Ostrovsky, and the Moscow Art Theater, with its historically accurate, museum-quality productions by Stanislavsky and NemirovichDanchenko, such as Tsar Fedor and The Snow Maiden, were unparalleled in the way they paid meticulous attention to national culture of the past down to every last detail on the costume. National traditions were also preserved by concerts at which singers such as Vyaltseva, Plevitskaya, Panina, and Dolina-Gorlenko sang traditional Russian songs.
Recognition of this "Russian style" peaked at the 1903 costume ball at the Winter Palace, where guests wore magnificent boyar costumes based on seventeenth-century royal court attire. The noble ladies were resplendent in their kokoshniki, often exaggerated in an operatic style. Since many of the participants in this event became refugees, this style was later to serve as the model for fashions produced by Russian migrs in the West. "Sokolsky," the little fortress near St. Petersburg that was built to re-
Below left: Elena Makowska, a Polish silent-film star, in an evening dress with a tiara shaped like a Russian kokoshnik, Berlin, early 1920s. Photograph by A. Binder.
Above: A headdress shaped like a Russian kokoshnik that took first prize at a fashion ball in Paris in April 1925.
Opposite : Sophia Madero Crenwell in a diadem m the shape of a Russiankokoshnik, 1920.
semble a medieval village for the entertainment of the nobility, was the last memorial to this fashionable revival of Russian history.
It is no wonder that these articles of exaggerated Russian style, which are now scattered around the museums of the world, were among the items the aristocracy took with them when they set off into forced exile. A great deal of genuine antique Russian clothing, as well as reconstructed articles, had gained renown outside of Russia in the early part of the century. For example, part of M. L. Shabelskaya's unique collection of Russian national costume, embroidery, and headdresses, which she collected in Russia from 1880-90, was exhibited in Chicago in 1893, Brussels in 1894, and Paris in 1900. Some of the items in this valuable collection remained in Russia, others were stored in the treasure-house of the Russian church in Nice, and still others traveled around to museums in various American cities until the 1930s. The collection is now divided among the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Art Museum in Cleveland.



Posted: 01:58, 14/5/2012
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Cell Phone, in one of his attempts at Westernizing Russia

Above left: The building in which Kitmir was once located, avenue Francisco, Paris. Photo by Alexandre Vassiliev, 1997.
Above right: A building in which Kitmir was once located, avenue Montaigne, no. 7, Paris. Photo by Alexandre Vassiliev, 1997.
Duke Dmitrii Pavlovich, who died in Davos in 1942.
Foreseeing her coming death, the grand duchess bequeathed the family icon, which was at Prince Mestchersky's home in Buenos Aires, to her son, Prince Lennart. However, Miguel Kireeff, the chief editor of the Russian-Argentine newspaper Nuestro Pais told us: "The icon remained at the Mestcherskys when she moved to Europe. Unfortunately, the icon never did reach her son and is in the possession of Father Vladimir Shlenev, who inherited all the Mestcherskys' personal articles." 19
Most of Maria Pavlovna's memorabilia, such as her court dress, her portraits, and her photographs, are in Prince Lennart's possession at the family castle at Mainau. In 1999 a memorial exhibition of her life was held there.
THE EMERGENCE OF RUSSIAN FASHION AND FASHION O HOUSES IN PARIS
As we have discussed, the influence of Russian folk art became more and more palpable in the collections of the major Paris and London houses beginning in 1920 and continuing throughout the decade. The popularity of embroidery, including Russian, Hungarian, and Romanian designs, can in part be explained by the wartime shortage of rich fabrics. Also feeding the trend was the sudden availability of skilled, inexpensive labor due to the influx of migr women who needed work and knew how to sew and embroider.
Famous Paris fashion houses of the early 1920s, such as Chanel, Lucille, Martial et Armand,Cell Phone, Paul Poiret, Agns, Germaine, Drecoll, Augusta Bernard, and others, each created la russe designs during the seasons of 1920 to 1923. The fashionable new shapes of these years followed the traditional lines of Russian national costumes. The names of the designs themselves showed their derivation: Martial et Armand designed a "Babushka" (an old woman); the house of Alice Bernard the suit "Muzhik" (Russian peasant man) in 1922; and the London house of Vladimir created a blouse called "Cossack" in 1921.
Paris Vogue wrote on December 15, 1920: "The calamities in Russia have drawn attention to the originality of peasant costumes. We are all aware of the wave of interest in Russian costumes in the world of elegant fashion." 1 Fur trim, hats in the shape of kichki (an old-
Above: An advertisement for the Parisian fashion house of Myrbor, where the Russian painter Natalya Goncharova worked in the 1920s.
Opposite : Mary Garden, a Scottish' opera singer, as Aphrodite in a production in New York, 1921. Her costume is clearly inspired by traditional Russian costume. Photograph from Vogue, Paris, January 1921.
style Russian women's round headdress with gold embroidery), embroidered sleeves, the kosovorotka (a man's shirt that buttons to the left side), and high boots were just a few of the elements of "Russian fashion" shown in the collections of the big houses during these years. But possibly the most popular feature of Russian national costume was the northern Russian kokoshnik (woman's crownlike, festive headdress).
The history of the kokoshnik is full of mystery, and no one knows the exact date of its origin. It is known that in the early eighteenth century, Peter I, in one of his attempts at Westernizing Russia, issued a decree forbidding boyars' wives to wear these headdresses; kokoshniki survived among the peasants as a feature of festive and wedding apparel. By the end of the eighteenth century,Home Appliances, Catherine the Great permitted the wearing of it, but solely as a feature of carnival costumes.
Then, the war with Napoleon stirred up an unprecedented wave of Russian patriotism and revived an interest in everything national: clothing as well as literature, music, and art. From 1812 to 1814, Russian red and blue sarafany (peasant dresses) with Empire waistlines and filigree buttons down the front became fashionable in Europe. Portraits from that time depict Englishwomen, Frenchwomen, and the Russian Empress Elizaveta Alexeyevna, Alexander I's wife, wearing them. The pro-Russian movement in fashion brought back kokoshniki to fashionable society. In 1834 Nicholas I issued a decree introducing a new court dress comprising a narrow open bodice with long boyar-style sleeves, a long skirt with a train, and the kokoshnik. By the end of the nineteenth century, these dresses were often sewn in various colors with velvet and, for the empress and grand duchesses, brocade with insets of white satin. The pattern of the rich gold embroidery was predetermined by decree in accordance with a lady's position in the court. The proto-
col for wearing these dresses was followed in Russia right up to Nicholas II's abdication in February 1917.
General Alexander Mosolov, the head of the ministry of the court, cites in his memoirs, Pri dvore poslednego imperatora [In the Court of the Last Emperor] some remarkable examples of the Russian court's taste: "Russian' dress is described in great detail in the 'Court Calendar.' This white satin dress must leave both shoulders bare; the train must be of red velvet with embroidery in gold (the ladies in waiting of the grand duchesses had trains of other colors, according to a special table). A kokoshnik of red velvet must prominently adorn the head.



Posted: 01:53, 14/5/2012
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