Enlightened despots were always a strange concept to me. The idea of somebody ruling iron-fisted over an entire empire never seemed enlightened to me, but I suppose back then things were different. For Russia, Catherine the Great brought the land into a new age. Despite her empowerment of the oligarchy, she caught the country up with western Europe—effectively solidifying Russia as a global power. Though she rose to power in questionable ways, she sought the counsel of some of the most cherished thinkers of the time as she lead her country. That’s cool I guess.
1. Coup d’etat? No. Not happening:
Coat by Carven, dress by Dolce & Gabbana, shoes by Lanvin
2. I’m pretty great, I guess:
Coat by Prabal Gurung, dress by Chloe, shoes by Jean Paul Gaultier
3. Meeting of the minds:
Dress by Valentino, shoes by Dolce & Gabbana
Russian history is the best history, that’s what I always say. Actually, I’ve never said that and I don’t even think it. It’s a fairly gruesome chapter of historical texts out there, but who cares? Russia had its fair share of monarchs over the years and after the Romanovs, Catherine the Great is probably the most widely known. She served as the Empress of Russia, with an irregular path to the top. She became the Empress Consort after the death of Empress Elizabeth and the ascension of her husband, Peter III. I wouldn’t say they had a happy marriage and nobody else would either since she was a major player in his deposition as Tsar. Once he was out of the picture, Catherine became the Empress of Russia. Get yours, Catherine. During her reign, Russia became one of the great western powers and enjoyed a golden age of strength, culture and prosperity. Her tenure as Empress was very complicated, but interesting, take a look if you can.
1. I’m the Empress Consort.
Coat by Valentino, suit by Balmain, shoes by Altuzarra
2. PSYCH! I’m the Empress.
Coat by Roland Mouret, dress by Dries Van Noten, shoes by Derek Lam
3. Has anybody seen my horse?
Coat by Rag & Bone, skirt by Rodarte, shoes by Ferragamo