Week 2: War & Peace. Curated Theme Shop and Much More!

I am happy to announce that Curated Theme Shop is now live! You will be able to shop new theme every week and find beautiful, original hand-picked items every day. Check the Shop here.


Moreover, I would like to share few interesting links and videos with you. Of course they are all related to War & Peace Theme. 

1. My favourite scene from War & Peace (2016).

A breathtakingly tender and romantic scene of Andrei Bolkonsky (James Norton) and Natasha Rostova (Lily James) falling in love while waltzing in Episode 3 of BBC's War & Peace 2016.

2. Amazing article

Top 5 Costume Inaccuracies and Accuracies in War & Peace on my favourite blog Frock& Flicks. Click here to read it.

3. Regency Era Hairstyle Tutorials.

An elegant hairstyle with a braided headband; the style mimics the hair seen in portraits and modern film depictions of Regency Era ladies. 

Share your 'War & Peace findings' with me!

This hair tutorial is inspired by the hair styles of the Regency Era. 

Week 2: War & Peace. Regency Era White Dress

Pastiche on Regency Era. War & Peace, Russian Regency, Jane Austen fashion inspired

I am very excited to share this 'Regency Era' inspired look with you. I found this beautiful white dress in Walter Baker's new Spring/Summer collection and immediately thought I could use it for the War & Peace Week. It is a perfect modern version of a classic Regency Era day dress you have seen so many times in Tolstoy's War & Peace screen adaptations and of course in all films based on Jane Austen's books.

The Regency Fashion Era (1800-1820s) was heavily influenced by the democratic ideals of the French Republic (French fashion was always à la mode in Europe), and drew inspiration from classical Greece and ancient Rome. Simplicity, purity and elegance were highly praised opposed to multiple layers, complicated styles and heavily decorated fabrics of preceding fashion era during Marie Antoinette's reign.

The most popular style was a high waisted, lightweight, 'columnal' shaped dress called the Empire dress. Inspired by magnificence of white Greco-Roman sculptures, clothes were primarily of the white colour. Pastel dresses and even bold colours later became fashionable in the Empire style as well.

It is interesting to note that despite the fact films often show the Regency Era heroines wearing dresses that reveal arms and bosom during the day time, historically it was proper only in the evenings!

Have a look at the inspiration board for this look, and let me know what do you think about my outfit and my 'Regency hairdo' I managed to create in two minutes.

THE REGENCy Era FASHION in art and films:

Regency Era Fashion in films and art. Sense and Sensibility, War and Peace. Emperial Style White Dress
Regency Era Hair in two minutes. Pastiche on Jane Austen, War & Peace, Regency Era female fashion, white dress and blue ribbon
White dress, lace summer, beauty Regency era inspiration, historical fashion, England, Russian, pastiche.today
beauty English Rose. Jane Austen blogger-actress modern Regency look fashion-history-outfit-white
White Regency Era inspired look
War & Peace inspired week on pastiche.today. Regency Era fashion blogger
Young actress, blogger playing the role of Natasha Rostova, white Regency era dress


Week 2: War & Peace. Russian Winter Fairytale

Russian winter fairytale love war and peace peasant look Walter Baker

I have created several War & Peace inspired fashion looks, especially the ones that I could imagine Natasha Rostova wearing if she would magically appear in our era.

Here is my first look, the one I call 'Russian Winter Fairytale'. It has a very soft, feminine touch to it. The outfit is a little bit peasant-y, but still very rich in fabric and somehow noble; something Natasha would wear when she and other Rostovs visited her uncle in the village of Mihkaylovka. There, in his wooden hut, surrounded by peasants and dancing to a Balalaika, Natasha wonderfully connects with the spirit of simple Russian men and women. 

Blogger Ulia Ali in Park City, Utah. As Natasha Rostova in War and Peace on pastiche.today blog

Of course such open shoulders are a little bit more risky than what women usually wore during the beginning of the 19th century. Additionally, women of the aristocracy during that era would wear their hair up. However, films often disregard historical facts, and I wanted to show more of Natasha's closeness to simple folk by braiding my hair in this look.


Russina braid inspiration. Art 

Regency Era Fashion:

Pink and red Regency Era dress
azerbaijani blogger in Utah. Fashion look
Ulia Ali in Utah. Style blogger in New York and Utah 
Ulia Ali - top fashion blogger in New York and Utah.
Outfit by  Walter Baker .

Outfit by Walter Baker.

   The screens from the series taken from another wonderful blog  Frock&Flicks


The screens from the series taken from another wonderful blog Frock&Flicks

I hope you enjoyed my first pastiche of Natasha Rostova's character. Stay tuned for more looks this week!


Week 2: War & Peace. The Book and Film Adaptations


I read War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy when I was about 14 - a year or two before it would be a part of our mandatory Literature program at school. Then I re-read it again and again. For many years, War & Peace was my favourite book and I grew to love Natasha Rostova (I used to strongly relate to her, even though I did not like her much per se),  sympathise with Andrei Bolkonsky, and even feel sorry for the beautiful, but devious, Helen Kuragina.

There have been many film adaptations of Tolstoy's epic masterpiece, and I was actually very impressed with the latest effort: 2016’s 'War & Peace' BBC series starring Lilly James (love her!). The series was definitely a huge success and piqued people’s interest in the story of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys. 

The ad for   War & Peace   (2016) series I spotted on the  Times Square, NYC

The ad for War & Peace (2016) series I spotted on the Times Square, NYC

So as you have already guessed, I want to dedicate this Theme of the Week to 'War & Peace’ and specifically to its main female protagonist: Natasha Rostova!

Let's have a look at the film adaptations of War & Peace, the actors and actresses who played major roles in them and compare them to the characters depicted in the book by Leo Tolstoy.

All actresses as Natasha Rostova in War and Peace.

First movie adaptation was a silent 1915 Russian version starring a ballerina Vera Karalli as Natasha Rostova. Tolstoy described Natasha as “black-eyed, wide-mouthed girl, not pretty but full of life...”, and Vera Karalli does fit the description. However, my favourite Natasha is Audrey Hepburn. She is gorgeous, yet has a very unique look.

Actors who played Andrei Bolkonsky in War & Peace.  Актеры сыгравшие Андрея Болконского и Ростову в фильме Война и Мир

Helen Kuragina is the only character in the War & Peace that is described as exceptionally physically beautiful, although she is an ultimate female antagonist. Making a negative character so easy on the eyes was unlikely in the Russian literature of that times. Here is the little quote about Helen from the book:

Napoleon himself had noticed her [Helen] in the theater and said of her: "C'est un superbe animal." Her success as a beautiful and elegant woman did not surprise Pierre, for she had become even handsomer than before".

All actresses who played the role of Helen Kuragina in War and Peace. Все актрисы сыгравшие роль Эллен Курагиной в романе Льва Толстого Война и Мир

It is interesting to note that with every passing adaptation, Helen Kuragina looks thinner and thinner! From curvaceous Anita Ekberg to skinny and fair Middleton, Kuragina's character has been depicted according to beauty standards of the times films have been created.

I personally enjoy watching Anita Ekberg's and Fiona Gaunt's acting as Helen Kuragina, however find Irina Skobtceva in Sergei Bondarchuk's Oscar winning adaptation absolutely inappropriate. Irina was almost 40 when she played the role of the young and stunning Kuragina. How such miscast could happen? Well, did you know that Irina Skobtceva was film director Sergei Bondarchuk's wife at the time? That explains a lot, doesn't it? :)


Do you enjoy posts like this one? Let me know in the comments section below or via email: ulya.aliyeva@gmail.com

P.S. Don't forget to come back to the blog as I will pastiche fashion looks of Natasha Rostova this week!