Beauty in Exile: The Artists, Models, and Nobility Who Fled the Russian Revolution and influenced the World of Fashion

Flung to the four corners by the bloody 1917 revolution and ensuing civil war, thousands of Russian emigres fled to China, Europe, and the United States, dramatically affecting the cultural landscape of cosmopolitan centers such as Berlin, Constantinople, Paris, and New York. Along with the intellectuals, artists, and literati were the nobility, who were running for their lives - hordes of Russian royalty and aristocratic ladies of leisure adorned in haute couture swooped down upon the Western capitals

Beauty in Exile: The Artists, Models, and Nobility Who Fled the Russian Revolution and influenced the World of Fashion tells the fascinating story of this well-bred crowd who, suddenly stripped of their cloaks of privilege, discovered that for the first time in their life they would have to work for a living. Naturally, many turned to what they knew best - fashion and beauty.

From the fashion house of Irfe, founded by the dapper Felix-Yusupov (who, as one of Rasputin's assassins back in St. Petersburg, enjoyed great notoriety in Paris) and his wife Princess Irina Romanova; to the Hitrovo House of Lingerie, founded by Olga Hitrovo, who was descended from one of the oldest noble families in Russia- to the stunning Princess Mary Eristova and the "society model" Gali Bazherova, who were the favorites at Chanel., Russian high society turned their beauty and discriminating tastes into successful trades, distinctively shaping Western fashion of the twentieth century.

Capturing the atmosphere of the period with more than 800 black-and-white illustrations, Beauty in Exile offers page after page of never-before-published archival photographs, stylishly illustrated advertisements for the new Russian fashion houses, designers' sketches, and fashion shots by famous photographers such as George Hoyningen-Huene depicting Rita Hayworth, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich sporting Russian couture.

Russian chic was at its peak in the West in the early twentieth century-Diaghilev's Ballets Russes had captivated Europe with Oriental exotica hefting the West's appetite for Slavic folk art and Siberian furs, dancers Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova had taken Parisian theater by storm; and Art Deco fashion illustrator Erte (whose Russian name was Roman Tyrtov) was revolutionizing the look of fashion. Beauty in Exile documents for the first time this unexplored but important chapter in fashion history with lively text and photographs that bring all the glamour and drama of the period to life.

Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York

Alexandre at the Moscow release of "Beauty In Exile"

The Russian edition won the "Best Illustrated Book" for 1998.

An advertisement for the Paris design house of Yteb.

Illustrator and designer Erte surrounded by the Hollywood starlets he designed for during the 1920's.