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
Everybody is always talking about Cleopatra. Well, everybody that talks about Pharaohs and ancient Egyptian royals. Sure, C-pats was great, but I’m much more interested in Nefertiti. We all know her from that famous bust of hers-a long slender neck, a big crazy hat and beautiful face. She reigned with her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten and the pair brought a religious revolution to Egypt to worship one god as opposed to the previous pantheon of gods. Very much of her life is still a mystery, but that’s what makes it fun. But yeah, I’m sure she was really concerned with like her clothes and crap.
1. I’m the Queen, don’t you forget it
Beaded top by Sass and Bide, dress by Mario Schwab, shoes by Suno
2. Look at me in my crazy desert dress
Dress by Elie Tahari, shoes by Etro
3. Dress by Cushnie et Ochs, shoes by Proenza Schouler
Did you like this? That’s great! You might also enjoy:
Hello Textbook people, I’m glad to be back, work has been crazy lately but hey, it pays my bills. Here we have Eleanor of Aquitane, basically the most bitchin’ badass woman of medieval times. Eleanor was a highly educated, strong willed and fiercely political. When she was 15, she became Queen of France and traveled to fight in the second crusade. Yup, she fought in the crusades, good for her. After the crusade, she divorced her husband and married King Henry of England and had a rather unhappy marriage. Eight kids later, the couple was estranged and Eleanor sort of ran her own show and set up a salon called “The Court of Love” where the brightest minds of the age discussed love, marriage and duty. One of her sons chose to rebel against her husband and her support found her in prison for 16 years but she was set free after Henry died. She’s also widely acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful women ever. Badass.
1. Queen of France
Coat by Celine, dress by Marc Jacobs, boots by Prada
2. I’m in the crusades, yo!
Cape by Jean Paul Gaultier, dress by Alexander McQueen, boots by Dries Van Noten
3. Oh great, I’m in prison
Coat by Vera Wang, dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Lanvin
How do you even begin to describe Anne Boleyn? She has two fendi purses and a silver Lexus. Okay, perhaps not, but one has to admit, Anne Boleyn certainly knew what she was doing when she captured the heart (or at least 1/6 of it) of King Henry VIII. We all know how his marriages faired and sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bastard, but once you get that divorce/beheading bug, you just can’t stop. Of all his wives, I venture to say that Anne was the most famous, she was sort of the spark that set off to the powder keg. King Henry was married to the devout Catherine of Aragon from Spain. He grew tired of Catherine, despite their daughter Mary, who you may remember from such historical blunders as “Let’s kill all the protestants!” It was around this time that the Boleyn family came to court from France and after having a go with her sister, the King’s eye fell on Anne and before you know it, his royal highness broke it off with Caterine, started a new church and made Anne his queen. Then yada yada yada, she got locked in the tower on charges of infidelity, incest and treason most foul.
1. I’m gonna get me a King!
Fur by Yves Saint Lauren, dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Lanvin
2. I did it, now I’m the Queen, hooray!
Dress and shoes by Alexander McQueen
3. Why am I locked in the tower, what are all these axes for?
Sweater by Temperley London, dress by Rodarte, boots by Prada
Fair warning to you all, now that The Borgias has started on Showtime I’ll probably be rediscovering my love for Italian Renaissance history. I’ve done a few before, Catherine Medici is around here somewhere but anyway, I digress. The Borgia family is notorious for their corruption and power plays in Rome during the late 1400’s. The patriarch of the family famously bought his Papal throne at the Vatican and played his family accordingly. Of course, for any young woman in a powerful family was used as a token of alliance by marriage. Enter Lucrezia Borgia who married into another powerful Catholic family and then another and then another, all surrounded by a little mystery. There are very few surviving portraits of the Borgia heiress but she was allegedly quite beautiful, cunning and at one time as corrupt as the rest of her family. Although, as she became older and raised her children her image did clean up a bit. But I dare to say she was far from angelic. By today’s standards she’d be you know, totally normal. Not sure why I put her in all black but damn she fine.
1. “I don’t think my father, the guardian of the Catholic faith, would be too pleased to hear about this”
Dress by Alberta Feretti, shoes by Bottega Veneta
2. “You know who’s looking fine tonight?” “Cesare Borgia” “Okay, you did not just say that, he is your brother” “What? He’s a good kisser.”
Dress by Emilio Pucci, coat by Fendi, shoes by Lanvin
3. “She has two painted portraits and a silver carriage”
Dress by Versace, shoes by Gucci
Weird how relevant Mean Girls is to her. Ha.