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Crafts Council

Czarina Elizabeth gown

About this project

A historical costume piece, inspired by the Amber Room in the Katerina Palace in St. Petersburg. The story of the amber panels, looted by the Nazis in WW2 which subsequently disappeared, led me to imagine that the panels had been spirited away by the ghost of the Empress Elizabeth, who used the Amber room as her reception room in the mid-18th century. The gown is based on a recycled wedding dress, with a machine-embroidered overskirt and silk corset heavily hand embroidered in gold work.


recycled, costume, silk, wedding dress, corset, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, embroidery, gold work, traditional


Textiles, Design, Traditional


Textiles, Recycled
Czarina Elizabeth gown - front view
Photographer: Andrew Paterson Photography
This full-length image shows the original 1980's wedding dress, which was remodelled to form the under gown, overlaid by a machine-embroidered skirt in organza and metallic fibres. The gown is completed by a silk corset, made to an historic pattern from 1760, which has been completely covered in gold work hand embroidery inspired by the carving and jewels in the original Amber Room.
Czarina Elizabeth gown - back view
Photographer: Andrew Paterson Photography
This shot shows the detail of both the hand embroidery in gold work and silk shading on the corset back panels, together with the texture detail on the organza overskirt created by the use of metallic threads and free machine embroidery.
Czarina Elizabeth gown - corset detail
Photographer: Andrew Paterson Photography
This close-up of the embroidery detail on the back panels of the corset show the use of hand embroidery techniques in gold work and silk shading to emphasise the traditional laced back closure.

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