From Library Journal
This unique, first-of-its-kind treatment of the influence of Russian migr s 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
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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 emigre communities 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 emigre communities themselves. Michael SpinellaCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved