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
Hello. Welcome to a blog post I wrote. This post is about Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem. For most, she’s an unfamiliar name because high school history classes tend not to delve to deeply into the Crusades, but take my word for it when I say she was very interesting. Sibylla was the sister of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, famously known as “The Leper King” because, you guessed it, he had Leprosy. Eventually, the disease claimed his life and in his stead, Sibylla’s son ascended throne during his minority. However, the young king didn’t outlive his regents and Sibylla then became Queen. Once crowned, she took the French Guy of Lusignan as her husband, known for his brutish and war-hungry attitude. The immediate concern of Sibylla was to protect Jersusalem from the encroaching armies of Saladin, who was making moves to capture Jerusalem in the name . In an attempt to stave off the warriors, Sibylla’s husband rode out to meet them in battle but was defeated and taken prisoner. Now, nothing stood between the armies of Saladin and the holy city. In a last ditch attempt, Sibylla led the remains of her defenses against Saladin, but was forced to concede and was allowed safe passage from the city with her children. You can’t deny that Sibylla was pretty badass, she has a little bit of the Eleanor of Aquitane vibe about her, admirable for somebody who was stuck in a fairly oppressive time.
1. I am awesome because I am great.
Dress by Manish Arora, shoes by Altuzarra
2. I’m the Queen of Jerusalem, yo.
Dress by Altuzarra, shoes by Marchesa
3. Fine Saladin, you win all the things.
Dress by Marchesa, shoes by Dior
I haven’t really investigated the Egyptian pantheon on Textbook before, but it holds a very diverse array of deities. Oftentimes, the gods and goddesses take the form of animals, or half-animals with wolf heads, hawk heads, wings, etc. In ancient Egypt, the source of sustainability was the Nile. It’s water kept the kingdom moving, providing a source of irrigation for crops, a means of travel (which would eventually give way to the Suez canal) and also served as a point of their religion. The goddess associated with the Nile was Anuket, or Anukis. During the annual flood, Egyptians would throw precious items into the river as a thanks to her for her bounty. Anuket is usually shown with a headdress of feathers but there weren’t a lot of those available.
1. Here, have some water
Dress by Mary Katrantzou, shoes by Donna Karan
2. Here, have some fishes
Top by Donna Karan, skirt by Versace, shoes by Dolce & Gabbana
3. Worship me, I give you the life
Dress by Peter Pilotto, shoes by Alexander McQueen
Join me in a bit of delayed patriotism will you? Nathan Hale is probably in my top 10 American history figures of all time, and I imagine many others share that adoration. His exact appearance is still a mystery, there were no portraits or likenesses of him created during his life. Although he met his end as a spy captured by the British during the revolution, he was not always able to participate in the effort. Due to his studies at Yale and other commitments, he was kept from joining the Militia. It was when the army needed somebody to go behind enemy lines that he volunteered, ultimately leading to his untimely demise. History has gilded his end, as it tends to do, with the famous quote, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” Good man.
Coat by Louis Vuitton, suit by Michael Bastian, shoes by Billy Reid
2. Yale Educated
Coat by Billy Reid, pants by Louis Vuitton, shirt, tie and scarf by Michael Bastian, shoes by Gucci
3. American Made
Coat by Andrea Pompilio, suit by Billy Reid, shoes by Louis Vuitton
Joan of Arc was a serious mutha. In medieval France, you were lucky if circumstances didn’t kill you, impoverish you (more than normal) or leave you with a horrible life. Multiply those things by 10 if you were a woman. In Joan’s case, she managed to outlast the world and also managed to change it. After experiencing what she believed to be a divine intervention, Joan went on to lead the people of France in the Hundred Years’ War. Ultimately, she helped crown Charles VII of France. However valiant she was, Joan was eventually captured by the British and burned as a witch. Better luck next time, Joan.
1. I’m just a poor girl from a poor family
Dress by Rag & Bone, boots by Altuzarra
2. BITCH did not just call me a heretic
Shirt by Balmain, pants and boots by Altuzarra
3. I’m dressed like a man so I can disguise myself
Suit and shirt by Derek Lam, coat by Dries van Noten, shoes by Rachel Comey