How to get what you see: Nicholas and Alexandra

This movie progressed from the birth of Alexei in 1904 through the family execution in 1918. Since this is a movie about Royals, the clothes and accessories are sumptuous, especially in contrast with the frequent clashes with the unwashed masses clothed in rags. Daywear for the wealthy in this period is extremely modest, and can only be truly worn with a corset; clothes were custom-made, with layer upon layer of fabric and detail.

Things to look for include:

  • Perfect fit with a smooth silhouette from bust to hip
  • Layers: satin, lace, silk all in the same ensemble
  • Details reflecting your personality- stripes in coordinating fabrics, fabric flowers, etc.
  • Softer colors
  • All out for evenings- the sparklier the better

The clothes would be hard to bring into modern wear, but the details are eminently wearable. There are a few eHows floating around for how to make fabric flowers, and I picked up a book at JoAnns on sale that I adore: Fun to Wear Fabric Flowers by Elizabeth Helene Searle (this is not an advertisement, I just like the book). You could also try making ribbon flowers. If you are less crafty, head to your local craft store, pick up some silk flowers and make a mixed corsage, attach a clip or safety pin to the back (hot glue is your friend) and put that at your waist, or shoulder, or  hem, or cleavage… If you’re going to make fabric flowers, I recommend heading to your local fabric store and scouring the remnants bins- you can usually get fantastic fabrics in limited yardage for at least 50% off- if you’re looking for less than a yard, that’s the best place to start. Check out MrsPriss.com (also not an ad): 

Fabric Flowers- I'll even point you in the right direction

Try to incorporate rhinestones into your daily life- troll around eBay, Etsy, and sites that sell vintage rhinestone jewelry. Check out local thrift and consignment shops. Go to a shoe store and find ridiculous sandals with embellishments on the toes in clearance and rip those suckers off (if you go to bigger foot sizes, are the sparkles bigger? I don’t know). Convert them to clips you can attach and detach to clothing, shoes, or hair at will. I found my favorite simple rhinestone necklace at a thrift store for a dollar. Don’t just look for the obvious jewelry- also look at blouses to see if you can salvage the buttons; check out evening gowns- look at straps, appliques, buttons, chokers to see what can be pulled off and re-used.

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