Gorky film studio costumes

Gorky Film Studio

Explore some of the highlights from the collection

Gorky Film Studio’s collection of antique costumes embraces the period from the middle of the 18th century to the present day. It features not only the items indicative of this or that time span, but also the variety of clothes characteristic of different classes of society. Those are masterpieces from the imperial wardrobe, costumes by prestigious Parisian dressmakers, as well as unique works by anonymous or unknown tailors.

Dress - Mid 1910s, Russia. Acquired for the movie Parol ne nuzhen (No codeword required) (1967). Costume designer Natalya Panova. Ecru-colored woolen marquisette dress, matching and blue embroidery floss. Decorated with drawn thread work

The collection of authentic garments and accessories was gathered at Gorky Film Studio in the process of making historical films. As far back as 1915 Mikhail Semenovich Trofimov, a merchant from Kostroma, established Rus film studio as part of his own trading company – this is how the history of Gorky Film Studio started.

Men's costume - Used in the movie Through Fire, Water and... Brass Pipes (Ogon, voda i mednye truby) (1967). Costume designer Sonya Voytenko. Actor Valentin Bryleev, role — Flattery Kingdom courtier. Costume of lemon-colored patterned velvet brocade of the 19th - early 20th centuries. Decorated with plush, metalized braid and band, badges, imitation pearls. Cotton sateen lining.

Two adaptations of Rus' film studio became an outstanding achievement. Films based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy Polikushka and Dmitry Merezhkovsky’s Tsarevich Aleksey received international recognition. It’s during this period that the high standards for the next generations of artists who ever participated in the shooting of domestic feature films were set.

Kaftan - Acquired for the movie Ballada o Beringe i ego druzyakh (Ballad of Bering and his friends) (1970). Light-green cotton velvet kaftan. Decorated with ecru half-silk sateen and metalized cord. Cotton twill lining. Brocade buttons are decorated with embroidery.

In 1924 the studio changed its name to Mezhrabprom-Rus. Here Yakov Protazanov made the first science-fiction film Aelita with costumes by Aleksandra Ekster. The garments for the movie were created under the guidance of the famous Nadezhda Lamanova, whose name is closely associated with the performances staged by Konstantin Stanislavsky.
100 years of history
Over one hundred years Gorky Film Studio remained true to the costumery traditions set up in early 20th century. As a rule, clothes and accessories were either created for each film from scratch, with particular care, or bought from the general public after a targeted search. Thanks to that, dozens of original garments worn by our countrymen in late 19th - early 20th century were gathered at the studio.

DIAMOND HAT Yunost Petra (Peter’s Youth) (1980). Costume designer Eleonora Maklakova. Actor Alexey Yemelyanov, role — young czar Ivan. Metal, artificial gems, rhinestones, metal painting, sable fur.

A dress of brown faille with woven floral design was the most typical women’s clothes of the second half of the 19th century (as seen from the Gorky Film Studio’s collection). Such dresses were worn on top of a hoop skirt and were extremely inconvenient for their owners.

Dress - 1860s, Russia. Acquired for the movie The Nutcracker (1967), unfulfilled project. Costume designer Natalia Shnaider. Brown faille with matching and blue coupon woven floral design. Decorated with agrement, milk-white taffeta bands, and brown rouleaux faille. Bottom is hemmed with braid. SHAWL Third quarter of the 19th century, Russia. It was planned to use the article for the movie The Nutcracker (1967). Two-color silk weaving, brown and blue. Silk two-color fringe is machine-sewn on the edge.

This type of mantle known as “sortie-de-bal” made of South American llama wool was often worn with these dresses. These lacy mantles were incredibly airy and light and retained heat just like an Orenburg shawl. 

Sortie de bal cape - Late 1890s, Russia. Black silk sortie de bal cape. Decorated with embroidered matte sequins on agrements, with silk band, black matte sequin fringes and matching faceted beads. Pleated taffeta ruffles are a modern addition. Black taffeta lining. Firm Trading House of Br. N. and G. Petukhov in Moscow. SKIRT Early 1900s, Russia. Black taffeta dress skirt. Made of cotton mesh with cutout patterns. Decorated with silk braid sewn with machine chain stitches, silk gauze ruffles and matching plicated taffeta. Lining is lost. It was planned to use these articles for the movie The Nutcracker (1967).

Pearls of the collection
Noble and well-to-do ladies had their clothes made not only at the best fashion houses of Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also in Paris, London, and Vienna. This is evidenced by a great number of dresses created by European designers. These items stood the test of time and became the gem of the studio’s collection. Such costumes are distinguished by superb craftsmanship and a high quality of materials and finishing. Generally, those were ball dresses ordered by Russian fashionmongers from abroad. One of the most famous items at our gallery is a ball gown of closely woven glossy silk in colour ecru. The garment is decorated with hand-made lace, satin ribbons and ruffles of silk gauze, while the underwires are made of whalebone. It goes without saying that such expensive dresses were worn with corresponding accessories, including hats and footwear.

Ballgown - Mid 1900s, Russia. Acquired for the movie Parol ne nuzhen (No codeword required) (1967). Costume designer Natalya Panova. Ballgown (bodice, skirt) of ecru duchess. Decorated with handmade inlay-work flax laced motifs. Silk sarcenet lining and underskirt. Draped satin band belt. SORTIE DE BAL CAPE Circa 1900, Russia. It was planned to use this article for the movie Anna na shee (The Anna Cross (1954). Ecru-colored cotton machine tulle sortie de bal cape, cotton chain stitch embroidery.

In Gorky Film Studio’s gallery one can see women’s dancing shoes of silk satin in ecru colour – to match the ball dress. They were bought for the movie Stronger Than All Other Imperatives (1987). Dancing shoes of that time were distinguished by a longer toe embroidered in silk and decorated with bows. The straps were made of satin ribbons attached to a high back; the French heel was covered with material. The shoes were usually hand-made.
Military apparel and uniforms hold a special place in the costume collection of Gorky Film Studio. A chamberlain’s dress coat made in the style characteristic of 1855-1856 is among its most outstanding items. It existed in its initial form without any significant alterations until 1917. It was in this dress coat that the legendary actor Alexander Vertinsky played the role of the prince in Anna on the Neck. This dress coat was worn with long trousers of white wool with stripes of gold lace, a bicorne hat, and a chamberlain’s gilded key on a blue moire ribbon. The key symbolized the right of access to the emperor’s chamber.

Gorky Film Studio’s collection is made up of several hundred unique garments dating back to 18th - 20th century. Сutters and designers have been using genuine garments and accessories as samples for many years, creating wonderful costumes for films describing various historical epochs.

In recent years, studio complied with the order of the Bolshoi theatre for the play "La Traviata" has made outfits for the main character of "the Barber of Siberia", as well as the costumes for the production "Eugene Onegin" at the Opera house and for the TV series "Anna Karenina" by Karen Shakhnazarov.

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