Oh goodness I know I’ve posted this before but I se something new and beautiful each time I look at it.
“When the Empress wore cloth of gold (generally only at their coronation), the Grand Duchesses could wear cloth of silver. As most Empresses preferred cloth of silver (it was more flattering, and far less heavy), the Grand Duchesses rarely had the opportunity to wear it except at their weddings, when it was required. For other occasions, the Grand Duchesses wore velvet gowns in a color of their choosing, which was reserved for their exclusive use.”
Maria Feodorovna’s modiste made extensive use of pearls, fake, fresh water, or real, to decorate this late 1880s satin dress. Pearls are used to create a collar around the tapered square neckline that is shaped like an older milk bottle. Pearls are used to trim the skirt and sleeves the way ruffles or lace would be. The bodice is laced like those centuries earlier.
The pearl collars of Maria Feodorovna’s dress are ballasted using pearl matts draped over the back that reveal her collar. The satin train and over-skirt appear to emerge from under-skirt panels decorated with pearls while her bodice appears to end in a small pair of tails. Beneath her train lay the ruffled ends of her three petticoats. The patterns on the satin suggest this dress was a Worth.
Alexandra’s coronation dress.
The style of the dress was approved by Nickolas I (1834) as a court dress style.
The “creation” of the coronation dress started 1 year before coronation. The brocade for the dress was produced by Moscow company of Sapozhnikov brothers[ (A.and V. Sapozhnikovi). From Moscow the material was sent to St.Petersburg to Madame Olga Bulbenkova firm (official dressmaker for Russian court). Olga Bulbenkova made patterns, wich were sent to Moscow to the nuns of Ivanov Monastery in Kremlin. The nuns embroidered the patterns and sent them back to St.Petersburg for last “assembling”.
The dress consists of 3 parts (the total weight of the coronation dress is 10 kg (appx.20 pounds). The embroidery design was done by Maria Ermolova (maid of honor), she was an expert of embroidery art. By the way Aleksandra and Nickolai select her design from offered 3 designs.They didn’t know the name of author, because Maria Ermolova offered it as anonymos.
All process of creation of Coronation Set for Aleksandra was under control of Maria Ermolova also.
The shoes were made by Ivan Egorov’s shoe store from the same brocade.
The coronation robe-mantle’s (“PORFIRA”) weight is 13 kg (26 pounds) is the same as Nikolai’s and Maria Fedorovna’s, was made from light gold brocade with ermine on silk lining. 7 persons should help to keep this robe, for this case there were done 7 special “handles” on the lining. It was very hard to keep the robe and the train of the dress at the same time.