Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fashion Ephemera from the turn of the 19th to 20th Century (1900-1902)

I’m still in the process of moving into my studio. Yesterday and today are dedicated to transferring my collection of books, magazines and fashion related ephemera. I just now came across a pile of pages that had once been part of an old scrap book. Most are fashion plates from turn of the century (1900-1902), clipped from McCalls  Magazines. They are gorgeous and I wanted to share a sampling.
January 1900, Ladies gray cloth costume trimmed in Karakul (Persian lamb) fur, with matching muff 

April 1901, early spring outing toilettes. Notice the difference in hairstyles. Adolescent and teen girls often wore their hair down in ringlets or braids. Their dresses hovered above the ankle to mid calf. Pompadours and floor sweeping hems were reserved for the ladies.

January 1901, outdoor toilettes for winter. Elaborate wide brimmed hats were de rigueur in the early 1900s. Feathers were the appropriate millinery trim for winter.

March 1901, a duo of visiting toilettes. Note the iconic S-bend silhouette with tiny waist, jutting rear and puffed pigeon chest. This was achieved with a very specific corset, ironically called the "Health Corset". It was anything but healthy. A stiff, straight busk in front, forced the torso forward and pushed the hips out in back putting terrible strain of the back.

October 1901, promenade costumes. The promenade or leisurely walk was an important activity. It was an acceptable activity for courting couples, a way for neighbors to keep in touch and a much need source of light exercise for the pampered society lady. In 1895 the Concert Promenade became popular in London. A live band provided music as strollers walked the public gardens, how genteel! 


March 1902, indoor toilettes. Delicate pastels and feminine prints marked the onset of spring.

October 1902, another duo of promenade costumes. Note the more conservative suit, designed with the "older" woman in mind, on the right.


  1. Charming illustrations and the colors are so intense and fresh.

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