Peter the Great’s smart velvet costumes, canonical clothing of Orthodox priests, sumptuous ceremonial dresses of Russian aristocrats, striking military uniforms and colourful folk gowns are among the stunning items of clothing on display at the Costume Gallery of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Located at the museum’s Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Center, the gallery's extensive collection of costumes features more than 24,000 items from the late 17th century to the beginning of the 21st century, along with a wealth of handmade accessories including hats, shoes, fans, bags and mirrors.
"Peter the Great’s wardrobe alone makes the gallery worth a visit. No less amazing is the section showcasing masquerade costumes created especially for a ball in 1903 at the Winter Palace, which was held in honour of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. Sumptuous, bejewelled costumes and richly decorated dresses demonstrate the elaborate handiwork of lacemakers, embroiderers and seamstresses. The Hermitage also boasts an impressive collection of folk clothing, including traditional wedding gowns from various Russian regions. These were purchased during the museum’s ethnographic expeditions, so each has a story behind it.
The gallery can only be visited by appointment on a guided tour."