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April 5th, 2013

06:35 pm - 1906 - The first Russian Duma photos
In 1906, Nicholas II under the pressure of the failure of the "simple" war with Japan in 1905 caved into demands and held the first Russian Duma (parliament) which was meant to be a first small step towards democracy overseen by the imperial family.  It ended up being the last great imperial occasion where everyone in the court dressed in their best-to-impress formal style and the public formal swansong of the Imperial court.  Below are some images from that event.

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February 23rd, 2013

11:04 pm - 1911 - Paul Poiret by Edward Steichen
In April 1911 the french magazine "Art et Decoration - Revue menssuelle d'art moderne" published an article called "L'Art de la Robe" by Paul Cornu and presented the dresses of the then cutting edge fashion designer Paul Poiret as artworks in themselves. This was a new way of looking at dress which had previously only been viewed as the work of tailors or women's frippery and not worthy of serious consideration by the world of art.

The article had line drawings by the artist Georges Lepape and was illustrated with photos of Poiret's fashions by the later-to-be-famous American photographer Edward Steichen on his first fashion photo shoot. Poiret usually preferred to display his fashions via the medium of artist sketches and in many respects this article is a departure for him with all the photos it displays of his gowns. This magazine is now scarce and the two colour photos that came with the issue sit loose in the magazine and were often used for framing or separated from surviving issues over the years. So, here's a peak at the beginning of the modern fashion magazine by one of the best of early 20th century fashion designers and photographers.

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February 23rd, 2011

10:25 pm - costume at Castle Howard

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Castle Howard in England used to hold one of the biggest private collections of period costumes. Unfortunately it was sold in 2003

This post will show some of the collection that used to be on display. I was fortunate to see some if while on holidays it before it was sold and it was indeed lovely....
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December 19th, 2010

08:57 pm - Surviving dress of the Empress Josephine of France
The Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon 1st was known, as much as Marie Antoinette was, for her love of fashion. She had Napoleon in despair at the cost of her bills for costly imported cotton dresses, delicate shoes and cashmere shawls. Despite this, very few items that actually belonged to Josephine have survived, but here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.

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Court dress belonging to the Empress Josephine. After 1810, Musee de Malmaison
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November 21st, 2010

11:53 am - Some 18th century fashion

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1740s Robe a la francaise (made in the Britain) - Hand painted sile moire faille, crocheted netting, cream silk fly fringe and polychrome flowers of silk floss.
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November 6th, 2010

07:07 pm - the jewels of Lady Lydia Deterding

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Lady Lydia Deterding painted by Philip de Laszlo

In 1980 a fabulous collection of jewels were sold from the estate of Lady Lydia Deterding. The sale included numerous signed pieces by Cartier and three major jewels of Russian imperial origin. She was born in Tashkent, Russia, and at the age of 16 married a Russian diplomat, General Bagratouni. In 1924 Lady Lydia was married to Sir Henri Deterding who owed his wealth to the oil industry. They divorced in 1936 and Lady Lydia spent the rest of her life enjoying the social whirl in Paris and her enormous jewel collection.
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October 31st, 2010

08:35 pm - Mixed costume pictures
c1760-1780, formal dress, France

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October 23rd, 2010

03:04 pm - c1825 Blue Silk Dress

silk dress c1825
silk dress c1825 - Killerton House, UK

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02:53 pm - 1886-87 evening dress by Worth

Worth dress 1886-87
Worth dress 1886-87 - Philadelphia Museum of Art

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February 7th, 2010

12:40 pm - 1860s - worth dress

worth dress An 1860s dress by the Parisian courtier Worth.  I've always admired this dress and found it in a book years ago on haute coutre and haven't seen it again since.  If you love the work of this designer then keep clicking on this image and you'll get to a high resolution version to drool over.

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