Monday, September 3, 2018

The Tsarina Gown - The Jewelry

I searched high and low, near and far, for a coronet close to the one worn by Alexandra Feodorovna. To no avail. So, I made one!

Finding the elements wasn't too easy either. I ended up going to quite a few stores. Basically, I made a circular wire frame, and glued everything to it. I used SO MUCH GLUE.

It ended up turning out so much better than I could have hoped! One of my favorite details was the extra circlet that keeps the crown out of one's hair. Its an element you see on most period tiaras and crowns. Its also extremely helpful for pinning the crown to the hair. My hair is brown, so I wrapped the wire in brown silk ribbon. This camouflages the wire, and also makes it grippier for pins!

The second piece of jewelry I made for this costume was Alexandra Feodorovna's pearls. She was famous for having a two meter long strand of pearls. I almost reached two meters. I ended up a couple inches short, unfortunately. I misjudged just how much silk thread the knots would take up. Bummer. I bought real, cultured pearls (not nearly as expensive as I assumed they would be!), so now I will have these pearls to wear forever! They're not just costume!

My earrings, however, were totally costume, but as close to earrings worn by Alexandra Feodorovna as I could find. I found them on good ol' Amazon! They're a pearl topped with a diamond, hanging from a wire loop. If you click here, you can see a picture of an earring owned by her. There are many pictures of her wearing them.

I tried to find all the little details that would bring this costume to life. The only thing I couldn't commit to was the frizzy hair. I have spent my entire life battling a frizzy head (I recently found Brazilian blowouts and they are the best thing ever!). I know it's shitty, but I just wimped out at the hair. After spending a year on this dress, I really didn't want to wear it with a hairstyle I hated. This is costuming after all. It's a hobby. It's supposed to be fun! No hair regrets!