Ask Morgana 065: Imperial Russia

kokoshnik4The five images in this post are from the last couple of decades of the Russian Empire. I hold no brief for the Imperial regime in Russia, just as I hold no brief for the Bolsheviks who snuffed out the bright spark of revolution and replaced it with grey uniformity and as great an oppression as that which had gone before, nor for the phoney democracy that masks oligarchy and autocracy in the modern gangster-state of Russia. But the Russian people I do admire and love. This particular post, however, foregrounds the privileged few who could attend costume balls. Each beautiful woman here is wearing the kokoshnik, a traditional Russian headdress, as part of an ornate costume epitomising Russian-ness. As always, photographs are proved to be a unique chronicle of time and place.

kokoshnik1

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna

kokoshnik4

Maria Lopukhina

Maria Lopukhina

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