Sunday, January 1, 2017

Modish Matrons: Russian Winter Fairy Tale


Happy New Year!
Here at In The Writer's Closet, we begin it with a new, updated version of our monthly link-up that will start on the 1st of every month and stay open for a whole month. If you are on Facebook, we'll appreciate if you like our new page MODISH MATRONS, and thank you to all who have already liked us! Our team - Tina, Beate and myself - would love it if you get inspired by our themes, but feel free to join us as you are, too. Other than a new date, we also arrange our themes differently now - we take turns, so each month one of us presents a theme that inspires her, and it is represented in our collages too:



Ta-dah! "Russian Winter Fairy Tale" was offered by Beate in my honor, and I am very touched by her thoughtfulness. I wholeheartedly invite you to visit BEATE and TINA for their interpretations of the theme! As for me, there was just one element missing from making this theme truly Russian winter fairy tale - snow, which we got today as I write this, but not on the day that we took these photos, so I included a winter song from a beloved Russian fairy tale movie "Чародеи" (The Wizards). I hope it will help you to get into a truly Russian winter spirit!


I was asked to tell the story about the new name for our link-up. Beate wrote a post dedicated to the name (you can read it in German HERE, or use Google Translate as I do). Once we already agreed on the name, it was a wonderful discovery to all of us that matrons, ancient female deities, originated from Northwestern Europe, and almost always came in three (article in English HERE). Just like the three of us!



My take on the name MODISH MATRONS is this. When Beate offered it, I really loved it in both German (Modische Matronen) and in Russian form (Модные матроны). But I thought that the modern English translation Fashionable Matrons lost the alliteration and a certain zing Beate was going for, so I was happy to discover that there is indeed a word "modish" which sounds a bit archaic in English, but so does the word "matron", so they are in perfect tune with one another. To me, the name MODISH MATRONS carries a healthy dose of self-irony, love of "good old times", and an attempt to make our "respectable age" hip and fashionable again. To me, there is pure beauty in the natural flow of things - and getting older is something to look forward to, not to be afraid of. Any age has its own benefits, but instead of running after an illusory "eternal youth", I believe in embracing whatever stage in life we are and finding in it its own benefits and beauty. Therefore, MODISH MATRONS. Old-fashioned? Pish posh! We are the ones who make fashion, including "fashion" on words, terms, and philosophies of life. Be a trailblazer, a pioneer! Be the change!
  


When reflecting on the theme, I thought that there is nothing more Russian or magical about it for me than...just being myself and celebrating my sense of feminine dressing. I picked this winter-y shade of pink, along with my Russian platok (read its 200 year old history in my old post HERE), vintage style boots, pearls and traditional Russian filigree and hand-painted enamel jewelry. For a warm layer, since it's a Winter tale, I picked a charming tweed coat with a faux fur collar. The Russian platok (shawl) can be worn either around the neck under the coat, or on the head instead of a hat (or even under a hat), or wrapped around the shoulders over the coat, any of these ways would be common.


"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." 
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
The sculpture (and the quote) by the Public Library in Bellevue, WA

I don't just dress up for pictures - I actually go out in my outfits, that's what they are for. That day, we spent walking in town and in the mall (returning some items that didn't fit and finding, sorry for technicalities, new bras for me - an extremely important item of clothing about which we don't talk much in our blogs, but they really deserve our attention, and mine were long overdue). I was happy to see many dressed up people that day! And my outfit had a lot of positive reactions from all sorts of people - women, men, little girls... I think the world misses femininity. Otherwise, it wouldn't pay attention to it. I think we, women, can be both strong and willful - and tender and feminine at the same time. It isn't an oxymoron. It is finding a new balance within ourselves. 
  

Dress - Kiyonna (last year)
Coat - Simply Be (last year)
Russian shawl from Pavlovsky Posad - gift from my parents
Filigree and enamel jewelry set - from Russia (very old)
Necklace - Lane Bryant (old)
Bracelet and ring - boutique in Gig Harbor, WA (gift from Justin) 
Tights - via Lane Bryant (love them so much this winter)
Boots - Josef Seibel (old)


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29 comments:

  1. Dear my lovely friend Natalia. You look so great in this dress. I think you're right, people miss feminine style. In germany the most women wear jeans or trousers, I think. In London maaaaany women wear skirts and dresses. It's amazing.
    You look awesome , confident , powerfull and sooo feminine.
    I love your accessories, your jewelry and this wonderfull platok.
    I wish you a happy healthy new year. I'm looking forward to a year with modish matrons.
    Kisses and hugs, Tina

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    1. Thank you, my dear friend! I think there always will be a desire to wear pants and jeans, which is fine, as long as it is not 99.99% of outfits...it's just too much of the same. It is always a joy for me to see women in dresses and skirts (such as you, Tina!) - it's becoming much more popular here compared to just 3 or 4 years ago! Mama says that there are more women wearing dresses in Russia as well, I guess they went through a period of pants and came back to the feminine dressing.

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  2. That shawl really is a thing of great beauty, how I love it! I'm delighted to see Gandhi popping up in your blog post, too. It's almost been a year since i stood in his bedroom!
    Wishing you a most wonderful 2017, dear Natalia. xxx

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed the post and joined the fun with your amazing Winter outfit! Happy New Year, my dear!

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  3. Natalia---I agree 100% on being feminine but strong! I love the fact that we have so much variety in our clothing because they can be such tools to our inner being!!
    Your look is fairy tale supreme!! Such a wonderful, lovely interpretation!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thank you, Jodie! Like you, I feel very connected to the idea of expressing ourselves through clothing and style. It isn't about being "well-dressed" anymore to me - it is a pure form of creativity!

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  4. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. I wish you and your loved ones a happy New Year. The scarf looks awesome with the dress.

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  5. happy new year dear natasha!!!
    (i´m just back from planet "jolka fest")
    looove your ensemble!!!!!! the dainty dress with the tweed coat and boots, all topped of with very beautiful jewelry and your marvelous platok..... you look totally fabulous!!
    and thank you very much for your text - your thoughts about aging and femininity are precious! you always find the best words!!!
    that little song and video got my heart! so cute! and it has it all: snow, birch woods, a sleigh trojka pulled by white horses and - furs :-)
    i hear you with the bras - mine are overdone too - but i´ll wait till spring so undressing in the change room is not so difficult....
    huge hugs to you! xxxxxxx

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    1. Happy New Year, dear Beatushka! I am very much looking forward to more creativity with you and Tina, my dear awesome friends! Glad you were touched by this feminine outfit and by my words - I always treasure your feedback, as you are one of such people who stay connected with their deeper self. It means a lot to me, really.

      Lots of love!

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  6. Love it! Happy new year to you and your loved ones.

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    BEAUTYEDITER.COM

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  7. Dearest Natalia,

    I love your feminine „russian“ outfit and I also love your words to feminity and to the name MODISH MATRONS. <3<3<3

    I’m quite sure I will join your inspirations often – I’m just checking which „russian“ things I can find in my wardrobe …

    Hugs & Happy New Year,

    Traude

    http://rostrose.blogspot.co.at/2016/12/frau-rostroses-tage-rund-um-weihnachten.html

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    1. Dear Traude, thank you for your kind words! Please join us as often as you want! Always such a pleasure to see your creative outfits, beautiful photography and joyful spirit! Happy New Year!

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  8. Yes, we can and we should be both feminine and strong:). Femininity for me is special kind of being strong:)....I think we women just as strong as men, just sometimes we manifest it in different ways. Anyway, no matter what gender we are, we can all be strong mentally, physically and spiritually- if we decide to work on it. For some reason I will never comprehend, our modern world puts emphasis on being physically strong- something that never seemed very important to me, but well....

    I do agree with you that the world probably misses feminine dressing. You look especially ravishing in that pink dress, no wonder that everyone took notice. I remember the first time you wore that dress on this blog, it really is a show stopper. I also happen to think that we all need such dresses in our life- the kind that make us shine and feel special. Femininity is needed in this world. That is probably why feminine dressing is increasing in popularity. I think we women are finally realizing that we don't need to imitate men. We can find our own way to do things. Men and women are equal, but we are also different and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I love the inspiration behind this post. Mythology is one of my favourite subjects. If we really examine mythologies, we can see so many similarities...especially when it comes to European mythology. I think that the appearance of three female deities (spirits) might originally come from Greek mythology... In the Greek mythology they were called the fates, if I recall well? Pagan mythology has many similar deities...there are definitely some similarities between the old Slavic and old German mythology. I really like this phrase you coined- modish matrons.

    Naturally, I also love all of the looks. You, Tina and Beate make such a lovely fashion team. I always enjoy your links ups. Here the collages you create make you all even more connected. It is wonderful to see all of you interpret this theme in your own way. Perhaps I will come up with my own interpretation soon:)

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    1. Yes, Ivana! You are very, very wise! "We women are finally realizing that we don't need to imitate men. We can find our own way to do things," these are the words of true wisdom, my dear! We discuss such themes with Justin, and that's exactly what he would say too - and I agree with it 100%. Equality is not about exchanging roles, but about finding our own unique way to live in harmony with who we are.

      Please join the fun! MM are open for everyone!

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  9. Now this is a CURVE LOVING dress!!! I hove how you paired it with the tweed coat/fur trim duo and fringed scarf :) I live for feminitiy!
    -inmyjoi.blogspot.com

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    1. So happy to see you here, Joi! Thank you for your kind words! :)

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  10. Happy New Year Natalia and what a beautiful start to the New Year. Love your new link up Modish Matrons is spot on .I don't know about the U.S. but here the word matronly conjures up an image that definately does not apply here. I am not surprised you received many compliments on this very feminine outfit , you look so lovely, a Russian fairytale princess.

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    1. The common definition, as I found out, is the same in all three languages - "matronly" means something conservative, standoffish and rather stiff in Russian, German and English. That's why there is an irony in our name - we are not matronly, really, in spirit or in our fashion sense. :) I hope you will join the fun, my dear! Happy New Year!

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  12. You look great and no wonder people noticed you. I love the pearls next to the fur collar. And you with other girls made a cool group. The name is fun and I wish you all a great time playing with fashion.

    To me when I think "Russian Winter Fairy Tale" there definetely is big but mega fluffy fur collar (the best would be fox looking one) and then there's platok with magical flowery pattern and fluffy shapka. ....and yes, snow in the background would be nice too:D I didn't see proper snow for years now:/
    Happy New Year my friend! Kisses:))

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    1. Happy New Year, my dear! I sure don't miss the cold snowy winters and fluffy hats, and heavy fur coats... but yes, what you describe is very much a Russian winter outfit! And it's fun to fantasize about it living in a mild climate now. :)

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  13. it has been so fabulous to read your approach to 'Modish Matrons', I love your brilliant attitude and wise words!
    And you look stunning wearing those subtle shades of pink, and your fabulous platok, it adds a really interesting and rich print to your outfit, such a lovely piece!
    I like particularly your picture holding the hand of Mahatma, so moving!
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Monica! I'm happy you appreciate the meaning behind our new title. :)
      I also love the sculpture, and I just wanted to hold his hand - he felt alone for way too long.

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  14. Happy New Year Natalia. Your dress is amazing and you look a million dollars in it. Thanks for the party. xo

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  15. I am late with joining in but I really wanted to post an outfit corresponding with the theme. Looking glamorous in this beautiful dress, Natalia! Great jewelry, I especially love the necklace.

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    1. Thank you, Olga! So glad you linked up your post!

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