Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dress of the Week: Catherine II's Uniform Dress

My recent trip to Russia has turned my head a little. I can't help but browse The Hermitage Museum collection in search of pretty treasures. And so today's Dress of the Week is Catherine the Great's uniform gown.  

Catherine was not a fashionista, but she was a clever woman and a pretty sensible monarch. Even before she came to the throne, she was on very friendly terms with the army. As an Empress, she had to reaffirm this connection through dress. She owned quite a few uniform dresses, many of which are now in the collection of the Hermitage Museum.         

The Hermitage archive, unfortunately, does not give any details about this 1789 gown modeled after the uniform of the Life-Guards Cavalry Regiment. It seems to be a heavy fabric dress similar to a redingote with large buttons and gold trimmings and a light red or pink petticoat. The dress looks so very comfy for a stroll in the parks of Tsarskoye Selo or rallying the troops when you're planning to deposit and assassinate your husband. A very versatile gown.     

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