Fashion History

From Across the Ocean: Great-Grandma’s Dress

Imagine leaving your family, friends, and country to journey across the ocean and start a new life in a new land. All you will need must fit in the sturdy trunk carefully made by your father. What would you choose to bring?
(Read Full Article)

Wives & Daughters: An Historical Note

It was definitely fashionable to moon and brood…to make every scene sadly sentimental. Full skirts…tiny waists..shoulders drooped downward like champagne bottles. Girls were helpless…fraught with mystery! In truth, their dresses were so cut that it was impossible to raise the arm more than a few inches from the sides. The vocation of dressing assumed lavish proportions under the stimulus of the Emprese Eugenie.

Mary Julian Glover, The Little Sampler: Costumes, 1947 (Read Full Article)

1910: A Year of Elegance & Grace

“Anne surveyed herself in the mirror of the blue room with girlish satisfaction. She had a particularly pretty gown on. Originally it had been only a simple little slip of cream silk with a chiffon overdress. But Phil had insisted on taking it home with her in the Christmas holidays and embroidering tiny rosebuds all over the chiffon. Phil’s fingers were deft , and the result was a dress which was the envy of every Redmond girl.”

~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

The description of Anne’s airy party dress, simply embellished with delicate, hand-embroidered rosebuds, fills our girlish hearts with delight. The gown is femininity personified and represents the spirit of Edwardian style–simple, lovely and exquisitely lady-like.The Edwardian era was marked by quickly changing fashions and silhouettes; the large, “puffy” sleeves that Anne so desired gave way to smaller sleeves puffed only at the sleeve head, and soon to the gently flowing sleeves of the 1910’s. The heavily boned and fitted bodices of the early period became looser, more delicate, and the waistline gradually started to rise. The skirts, moving from trained, pleated backs to tailored and fitted around the hips, became smaller and shorter as the years passed. These styles, building upon the fashions of earlier years, paved the way for the trends that were to come.

(Read Full Article)