The Russian Fashion Blog The Kokoshnik Story

The Kokoshnik Story

I positively cannot think of another piece of clothing or accessory that would feel more “Russian”.

Kokoshniks were worn as early as in 10th-12th century and had quite a history since then. Together with other elements of traditional Russian costume they were banned by Peter the Great in order to modernize Russian social system, but only a few decades later Catherine the Great brought them back and officially made part of court dress. It is interesting that Catherine wasn’t born Russian but there was hardly any ruler ever who would have done more for Russia.

Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes fascinated the Western world in the beginning of the 20th century and so did the kokoshniks, that were often worn on stage. Silver screen stars loved this highly flattering headpiece.

The Kokoshnik Story The Kokoshnik Story

I’m just wondering why this gorgeous half-crown isn’t as popular among hat-wearers today as fascinators of all kinds (which can be really funny sometimes). I think Anna dello Russo would look amazing in a kokoshnik… Would you wear something like this?

The Kokoshnik Story

The Kokoshnik Story

The Kokoshnik StoryVogue Russia April 2011

Photo: Mariano Vivanco

Style: Katerina Mukhina

The Kokoshnik Story The Kokoshnik Story
Left – Catherine the Great, right – kokoshniks at court
The Kokoshnik Story The Kokoshnik Story
Who wore it better?

The Kokoshnik StoryAnna Pavlova in Ballets Russes costume

The Kokoshnik Story



  • Olivia Kroth

    Beautiful and exotic!

  • Andi O’Dork

    Easy to see where Trisha Biggar got some of her inspiration for Padme’s costumes!

  • Laura Burt-Thorpe

    I have become fascinated with Kokoshniks. I love saying the name and just did an egg kit by Nina, with a woman’s face on the egg and a kokoshnik on her head. I started researching and just the other night, it hit me, I had made kokoshniks 25 years ago without realizing what they were. I used to bellydance and had made several as headpieces. Not sure how to post a picture of them here. I will be making more eggs with different kokoshniks on them, they are so much fun! I am enjoying the pictures and articles, to learn more about the kokoshniks.

  • Phoenix

    An older version of the Shamanic Pre-History of the Kokoshnik and Kichka