Cover image for Beauty in exile : the artists, models, and nobility who fled the Russian Revolution and influenced the world of fashion
Beauty in exile : the artists, models, and nobility who fled the Russian Revolution and influenced the world of fashion
Vasilʹev, Aleksandr, 1958-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Krasota v izgnanii. English
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2000.
Physical Description:
480 pages : illustrations, music ; 32 cm
Reading Level:
1200 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TT505.A1 V3713 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



An account of the artists and aristocrats who fled Russia after the Revolution and went on to play roles in European and American culture and fashion. The book includes documentary source material and photographs of film stars like Greta Garbo wearing couture designed by Russian emigres.

Author Notes

Alexandre Vassiliev is a fashion historian, a costume and set designer, and a collector of antique clothing. He graduated from the Moscow Art Theatre Studio before moving to Paris in 1982, where he established his international career. He lectures regularly around the world on the history of fashion, costume, and theater design and writes for the Russian editions of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Before and after the Russian Revolution, thousands of Russian emigres fled for their lives to the European capitals. The wealthiest and most cultured of this very wealthy and cultured set arrived (and usually remained) in Paris, often bringing with them pieces of the lavish life they led in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and beyond. Their exotic patterns, often inspired by oriental themes, sometimes in the form of curtains and sofa covers, were the last vestiges of the court life they once held so dear. Many of these emigres had to find work for the first time in their lives, and they turned to what they knew best--the world of fashion. This comprehensive work shows in astonishingly beautiful photographs the fashion and influence that the emigrecommunities had on the rest of the world and on what the rich and famous would wear for decades. Vassiliev's work not only chronicles the world of their fashion but also is a comprehensive look at emigrecommunities themselves. --Michael Spinella

Library Journal Review

This unique, first-of-its-kind treatment of the influence of Russian migrs upon women's fashions during the early 20th century is breathtaking in depth and scope. Enhanced by over 840 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, the text describes successful accomplishments of dozens of Russian houses of couture prolific during the 1920s and 1930s in Paris, Constantinople, Berlin, and Harbin in far-off China. Forced to support themselves, noble Russian refugees employed what they knew best: elegance, style, and good taste. One, Valentina, found success in the United States, dressing Garbo and other film actresses. Characteristic Russian decorations and embroideries derived from Slavic and Eastern sources excited wealthy clientele who had been primed for things " la Russe" even before the Revolution by the dazzling exports of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Art Moderne, the Russian version of Art Nouveau. Erte, the fashion illustrator, and beautiful and elegant women who modeled added to the richness of culture contributed by Russians to the modern history of fashion. The author is himself a costume and set decorator and fashion historian. This absorbing book is essential for all public and academic fashion and design collections and will be of interest to Slavic and Russian studies students. Very highly recommended.DTherese Duzinkiewicz Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. 6
Note from Prince Nikolai Romanovich Romanovp. 7
1 The Ballets Russes and Russian Fashionp. 9
2 Russian Fashion During World War I and the Great Exodusp. 37
3 Russian Constantinoplep. 61
4 Russian Berlinp. 83
5 Russian Harbinp. 109
6 Russian Emigre Handicraftsp. 135
7 The Kitmir House of Embroideryp. 151
8 The Emergence of Russian Fashion and Fashion Houses in Parisp. 181
9 The Paul Caret House of Fashionp. 215
10 The TAO House of Fashionp. 225
11 Yteb House of Fashionp. 233
12 The Fashion House of Irfep. 265
13 The Bery House of Fashionp. 285
14 Ardanse House of Fashionp. 295
15 The Valentina House of Fashionp. 307
16 The Hitrovo House of Lingeriep. 317
17 The Adlerberg House of Lingeriep. 335
18 The Laure Belin House of Lingeriep. 345
19 Russian Emigre Fashion Illustrators and Fabric Designersp. 363
20 Russian Beauties of the 1920sp. 387
21 Russian Beauties of the 1930s and 1940sp. 421
Notesp. 472
Indexp. 475
Photo Creditsp. 479