Dresses of the last two Romanov Empresses.


The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (6th June 1872 – 17th July 1918). Before the Revolution, the Russian royal family lived surrounded by enormous wealth and luxury in enormous palaces. Incredibly some of the gorgeous gowns worn by the Empress have survived and can still be seen today…

You can still see the clothes that she wore at her coronation on the 14th of May 1896.

You can also see clothes worn by Alexandra’s mother in law, the Empress Marie Feodorovna (26th November 1847 – 13th October 1928).

The dress she wore at her coronation on the 27th of May 1883.

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40 thoughts on “Dresses of the last two Romanov Empresses.

  • Morag

    Bliss! Are the dresses in the Hermitage? Also very poignant how these things survive their owners. Thank you (I’ve book marked you).

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Yes, I think some are in the Hermitage and others in the Winter Palace. It’s amazing that they have survived such immense upheaval isn’t it? And in such fine condition too! :)

      Thanks so much! x

      • Poodle

        Thank you so much for making this website! It’s really helping me with an artifact project I’m doing for school.

  • Lori

    Wow! Beautiful dresses! I love the bright yellow one for some reason. Thanks for taking the time to find all these and post them for us to see. As much as I wouldn’t want to wear a corset, these dresses would be so much easier to hide the 5lbs Santa brought me for Christmas!

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Oh me too – I think I like the yellow dress most as well. It’s just so gorgeous.

      Haha, I absolutely agree – the corsets must have been hideous but they hid a multitude of sins! ;)

  • Naomi

    These are so beautiful. If only one could dress like this today.
    Where are the dressess? I would love to see them.

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      I wish we could dress like this now. It’s so feminine and flattering. :)

      I think most of the royal dresses are at the Hermitage but some are at the Winter Palace and other Russian museums as well. :)

      • misfitandmom

        Wowza! Although I wouldn’t want to wear all those clothes. I’d die from the heat and restrictions :)

        The closes I’ve got is Queen Marie of Romania’s coronation gown among other personal items. IIRC she was the granddaughter of Victoria and also related to the Czars. Very cool stuff, especially considering the collection is literally in the middle of nowhere Washington, http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/index.html (oh, and do look up the Stonehenge replica built by Sam Hill as well).

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Oh yes I absolutely agree – they are like works of art aren’t they and it does make one feel very dreamy and also sad to look at them, especially when you know who once wore them.

      xx

  • Gwen Vikkey Miao

    very nice pics. once again i’m dying to pay a visit to the Hermitage and the Winter Palace. Russia’s gonna be my next stop. I read a book Tsar Nicholas II and his family’s tragedy.

  • Valerie1755

    Just spectactular! If only some of Marie Antoinette’s dresses could’ve survived…

    Thanks for sharing this
    xxoox

  • Vicki C.

    What beautiful gowns! I love your blog. Thank you for posting this. It is amazing that these gowns survived all the turmoil that Russia has gone through since the early 20th century.

  • Sandfly aka traveller in time

    She really liked rosettes on her shoes didn’t she! : ) I often find it’s little things like that that I relate to most. It makes her more real to me. And shoes are such a personal item for some reason. Even more than dresses to me and I LOVE the dresses.

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Oh I totally know what you mean – I look for the little details too, because they are the things that are the personal touches and bring them closer to us. :)

      I do love the shoes too. :)

  • Aron

    Actually, Valerie, at least one of Marie Antoinette’s gowns did survive, albeit in a slightly altered form. I am not sure just where it is now, probably the Louvre, but for several months last year it was on display at the ROM (The Royal Ontario Museum) in Toronto. There is also a video of it online somewhere–probably you-tube–where the curators discuss preservation and display, the article’s history and the like. I beg pardon for any omission or misspellings; I am having some difficulty in seeing just what I am typing on this screen.
    The Romanov gowns are remarkable and so very very sad at the same time.
    ~Aron <

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Thank you! :)

      Yes, the dress that is said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette is kept at the Royal Ontario Museum – it’s been much altered but you can still see just how gorgeous it must have been once. :)

  • B

    Probably not historically accurate but for magnificent interpretations of the last two Russian Empresses’ couture dresses, watch the film “Nicholas and Alexander” and the costumes by Antonio Castillo…they are incredible and won a most deserved best costume Oscar.

  • Robin

    As exquisite as the gowns are, it’s even more fanciful to think about actually wearing one!

    How sinful would that be?!!!

    Imagine the party, the music, the people! And then, how gracefully you’d have to move about, and how royally you’d be treated. Aaaah…now that’s a dream!

  • Margaret

    Yummy ! Just lovely lovely. Really puts the fashion designers of today to task! My Grandmother was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. Her family was said to have been part of the Romanov’s inner circle. However much of her history has been lost to fear of speaking of the past for being found out. She was sent to the US for her safety at the age of 10. Looking at the sumptuous dresses here makes me wonder if she ever saw this kind of splendor. Thanks for making it available to see.

    • steve

      The photo of the pink gown on the stairs, along with the coronation gowns, show what was the “court style” of dress for women — it was decreed by Nicholas’ grandfather (I think) and was the required, by law, attire for women on court occasions or “on duty” in the palace. Usually a waist-nipping coat type of thing that opened in the front to reveal an underskirt (another bedazzling item) and had those slit sleeves like elongated petals. Reputedly very expensive; if you were some second-string lady in waiting you bought yours used and had it altered to fit. No matter the styles of the time — bustles, hobbleskirts, etc., the court gown remained the same.

  • Terri

    I have seen several of these dresses in person. The dresses themselves are glorious, however the shoes are nowhere near as attractive as they are in the photos.

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