6.06.2008

ermine and trouser dresses

It looks as though I'm on a vintage fashion tear!
From about the start of World War I to the early Twenties (before the Flapper Age) is, I think, my favorite era of fashion. While there are some horrors-- every period has some-- the silhouette, proportion, detail, and sheer inventiveness in construction of these years are unbeatable. (Well maybe the New Look of the late 1940 to early 50s might be better for construction).

There are menswear and uniform references mixed with Orientalist tidbits, Russian fantasies and just plain ol' craziness. For example, I'm not sure I'd pair an ermine trimmed jacket (at top) and dark fur muff with a draped and gauzy spring-like skirt but more power to this charming gal from 1913. The ladies third image down are wonderful; shorten those suits by about 4 inches and perhaps leave off the dead fox and I'd wear that today. I have a particular fetish for the shape, point, and finish of shoes from this time and wish I could get away with wearing spats with a straight face.

This little group of images is from a random find at the Library of Congress. The George Grantham Bain (1865-1944)
collection has news photos as varied as "Portraits of boxers," and "Disasters in Canada" to Triangle Factory fire images.

2 comments:

Steed said...

Do you remember that suit, Angela, that I bought when we went to Bernardsville in New Jersey. It had a nine inch zipper, and plenty of room in the groin.

I changed the front of it to correspond with who I am, and wore it to Goldman, Sachs about 20 times. I used to wear used items almost all the time. Nowadays, I sneak the thrift store items into my costume and nobody notices. Usually, it's a nice old worn out blazer with my business casual.

These are beautiful pictures.

As a fellow antiquarian, I'd like to take you up to Waterbury Connecticut sometime. So many wonderful old things in dilapidated condition there. A great village green with handsome turn of the century architecture. Let's pack a couple of lunch boxes and check it out this summer or fall.

angela said...

How could I forget that suit with the heroic groin.

Waterbury Connecticut: What a nice idea Steed! that sounds excellent!

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