Tulle, embroidery and the colour white are some of the things that make up a wedding dress. In old Russia traditional wedding dresses were colourful, most were heavy, and the colour white represented sanctity. Going back to the more traditional days a bride would be expected to wear two gowns. One gown would be modest, and the second would be bright, to symbolize joy and happiness for the occasion. Well Matryoshka’s!! At first I was thinking that this post should be about modern day wedding dresses designed by Russian fashion designers. However, I think it would be nice to include what traditional wedding dresses looked like before western culture became the norm. And,before it forever changed the way russian bridal wear looked like. So be prepared to see past and present Russian made wedding dresses & to learn a bit about the history.
Now to describe the look of the traditional wedding dress (of course they changed over the years)! The dress would be made up of a sarafan, and underneath would be a blouse. The blouse underneath the sarafan was decorated ornately with trimmings, and embroidery consisting of leaves, birds, roosters, etc. Birds happen to be a good symbol. In some parts of Russia the bride would have to wear a blouse with long sleeves, due to superstitious beliefs that a bride and groom should not touch naked skin until after they were wed.
If the bride came from a wealthy family she would have to be stuck wearing a heavier dress made of brocade and embroidery! Just imagine what it would be like to walk up to the altar in a dress that is being weighed down by embroidery, brocade, pearls and trimmings of fur. Some gowns could weigh up to 14 kilograms. I think this would be a deterrent from marriage 😛
And as for the veil…well in old Russia they did not have veils but a bride would get to wear a wreathe made of flowers on her head. Now by the “11th to 14th century it was a ribbon or a metal headband encircling the forehead and fastened at the back of the head”. Later the kokoshnik became the head piece of fashion for Russian brides to wear.
In the 16th-17th century brides would be married in the traditional sarafan and kokoshnik. It wasn’t until the early 17th century that Russian bridal wear changed. Peter the Great began to order Russians to follow European fashion, but the use of traditional wedding dress lasted in Russian villages until the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
And now for modern Russian wedding dress couture..and Russian fashion 😛
What a big difference right? – Zaychishka