The Kokoshnik's Evolution: Slavic weddings to Courtney Love concerts

In ancient Rus, women didn’t wear hats. Hats were for men. Women had their own headdresses that were even more beautiful and comfortable: kokoshniks.
In ancient Rus, women didn't wear hats. Hats were for men. Women had their own headdresses that were even more beautiful and comfortable: kokoshniks. They were made from expensive materials - silk, velvet, or brocade - and were decorated with pearls, lace, stones, and embroidered gold thread.
The word
In its structure, the kokoshnik is a light fan made from heavy paper, a metallic ribbon or crown sewed together into a hat or hairnet.  The base was made from damask and velvet or red calico on a hard surface made from canvas or cardboard, either glued or quilted together. / Postcard, 1900
On top, the crest was decorated with ornaments: artificial or fresh flowers, brocade, lace, beads, river pearls (as of the 16th century, they were gathered from Lake Ilmen), gold threads, foil, glass, or precious stones. The neck was often covered in golden threaded embroideries. / Princess Orlova-Davydova's kokoshnik at a costume ball in 1903.
The kokoshnik had a cloth bottom. It was fixed on the back of the head with the help of ribbons. When putting it on, the kokoshnik was usually lightly pushed onto the forehead while the back was usually covered with canvas with an added piece of crimson velvet and fastened using ribbons.
Silk or woolen shawls were usually worn on top of kokoshniks and densely embroidered with ornaments made of gold or silver handkerchiefs, i.e. the ubrus; a thin, light blanket decorated with lace embroidery, or a veil. The handkerchief was put on diagonally and pinned under the chin. A long veil made from gauze or silk was pinned under the chin or lowered from the kokoshnik's top to the breast, shoulder, or back.
The shape of the kokoshnik varied greatly from region to region, but tended to depend on the particularities of  the tradition of putting hair up in a harness or two braids: around the head over the forehead, on the neck, on the temples, etc. / Ivan Argunov Portret of a Peasant Woman.
Various blades, cuts, neck covers and other details that varied greatly in Russian regions served as additional designs and decorations. However, they were all kept in a hard base, the kokoshnik.
In more recent times, the tradition of wearing a kokoshnik remained as bridal wear until the 1920s. The young bride wore this traditional headdress from her wedding day until her first child was born. Then, she wore the kokoshnik only for ceremonial occasions or holidays.

Peter the Great prohibited noblewomen from wearing the kokoshnik by royal decree. But it was returned to women's court fashion by Catherine the Great who christened the fashion
The Napoleonic Wars, which caused a surge in patriotism, inspired a renewed interest in traditional costumes. In 1812-1814, red and blue Russian dresses (sarafans) with an Empire-style waist and filigree buttons in the front became fashionable. / Empress Maria Feodorovna in a diamond tiara kokoshnik, circa 1880.
Court costume balls of the early 20th century and the imagination of Russian designers and emigre couturiers significantly increased the kokoshnik's popularity.
Now the kokoshnik is a prized possession of world fashion. / CHANEL Paris-Moscou Pre-Fall 2009
Kokoshniks in world fashion collections./ CHANEL Paris-Moscou Pre-Fall 2009 Chanel
American singer-songwriter Courtney Love wearing the kokoshnik on Afisha Picnic music festival in Moscow,Russia. July 23,2011

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