In 1903 in the Winter Palace, Nikolai II threw a masquerade ball in honor of 290 anniversary of Romanov dynasty. The requirement for the ball included being dressed in pre-Peter I clothes. Peter I (1672-1725) modernized Russia, trying to bring it from the dark ages and turning it into a European power. One of his innovations included mandating a European style of dress, which he felt would present a better view of Russian court to foreigners. So for this masquerade ball, the elite of Russian society appeared in old style outfits that hadn’t been worn for over two hundred years. Nikolai II wore the outfit from Czar Alexei (1645-1676), for example.
The entire affair was photographed. The images are in black and white but recently Olga Shirnina, an artist, colorized some of the images. Click to enlarge.
You can view the entire set of images here on Olga’s Flickr page, and it is stunning.