Im researching costume for Catherine I of Russia’s early life – she was born in 1684 to peasant parents who died when she was 3 and worked as a housemaid until she was picked up by Peter the Great and married him, ruling Russia as the first female ruler after his death. So the research is for a working class girl around 1700 living in Russia. Working class costume is always harder to research so I’m going to begin with the general silhouette of the time, Peter the Great was keen on westernising Russia of I think we can assume this would have been the usual mode.
I love this blog about folk costume, loads of interesting details and pictures. This is a sarafan which is a Russian dress, essentially a tube, gathered or pleated at the top with shoulder straps. The ones pictured here are higher status.
There’s loads of interesting costume stuff on this site, I love the woven bark shoes and all the embroidery.
On another website I found some wonderful pictures, this is a 1784 Russian peasant. Red is considered the most attractive colour, associated with the word ‘beautiful’. A large headdress indicates the woman is married, a smaller headdress or diadem shows that the woman is unmarried. The website states that the cut was very similar between low and high status clothing except for materials and ornament.
Here is a drawing of Ukrainian peasants in 17th-18th C, I don’t know the source of this illustration however. http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Costume/CossackGear.htm
These are lovely drawings of folk costume from here…
These are costumes from central Russia…
This is north Russia….
These are of south Russia…
“The Russian Peasant Girl” by Jean Baptiste Leprince (1734-1781). She seems to be dressed, how shall we say… a little immodestly! But she isn’t wearing any of the colourful folk costume that we have previously seen, folk costume was partially a 19thC invention, partly used for special occasions and festivals.
William Carrick (1827 – 1878), photographer….
Thats going to be it for now, I need to do some book learnin’ about the cut of clothing around 1700, hopefully I can find some more interesting visual research too.