Paris Delights Herself with Gorgeous New Russian Shades of Rouge. KRASNY.The New Yorker, May 19, 1927
A Vogue inspired by the make-up of the Imperial Exiles of the court of Russia
When the Czar and his brilliant court and all the magnificent aristocracy of Russia went down to ruin in the Revolution, those who escaped death became exiles, homeless wanderers on the face of the earth.
Paris took them in--Paris with her flair for novelty and romance, was thrilled to welcome these magnificent women of a vanished dream--with their grand style, their infinite allure, above all their gorgeous color. Over night they were a new vogue!
Color is the Russian note--marvelously struck in the make-up of these splendid infinitely chic mondaines! Like the American women, they have vivid personality, they are not afraid of glowing, heart-arresting effects. Paris, seeing their beautiful and thrilling art of make-up, has responded as Paris always responds--she has made it her own! Krasny!
As always these advertisements for Krasny rouge totally confuse me. Turning traumatic exile into a line of cosmetics seems crass, but I suppose enough time had passed to add a tinge of romance to the exodus, and people probably didn't care much about what the Russians got up to anyway. In 1927 the Soviets were too busy liquidating opposition to even bother with the "world revolution," the only thing bound to make upper-crust New Yorkers sit up and pay attention. All they knew about Paris emigres was what they saw between drinking-binges in the American-style cafes...in other words, nothing. Except maybe the odd translated poem.
I also wonder when the Czar's retinue became "brilliant" and "magnificent," as opposed to inbred, out-of-touch, and selfish? Or maybe this describes the upper-crust readers of The New Yorker as well? It's certainly true that liberal society tended to side more with the revolutionaries than with their rouge-y overseers, but The New Yorker certainly had an aloof, hedonistic snobbiness -- at least from 1925-1927 -- so maybe the readers sympatised more with the aristocrats at the time.