The Turn of the 20th CenturyThe History of Fashion and Dress

Theatre 355 Online Version University of Alaska Fairbanks


Tara Maginnis, Ph.D.

Thanks to my sponsor:

Week #12:

The Turn of the 20th CenturyStep 1: Read any new CostumeHistoryClass@160x120.jpg comments and/or questions

written by the instructor (Tara Maginnis) and others relating to the posting of your description of your garment. Follow any instructions given, and/or try to answer the questions Tara has posted to the Message Board.

Step 2:

Read the online "lecture" on dress at the Turn of the 20th Century below and click on any links that interest you. You are not required to read all the material on all the links, however:

Dress at The Turn of the

20th Century

La Belle Époque1890-1914

Video on this era:

Women's dress in the

20th Century1890's continued to be built in a sturdy, heavy, upholstered style, but the silhouette changed to that of an hour glass. Female bodies were corseted to a small waist, and then padded in the buttocks, hips, bosom and sleeves to exaggerate the apparent wasp-waisted effect.

VictorianBoehnNouveau1895a.jpg 1895

Hats began to grow larger in the 1890's, a trend that continued steadily until 1911.

WomenFashionplatesDelin1891hats.jpg 1891

WomenFashionplates1896hat.jpg 1896

1900sFashionplates1902septhats1.jpg 1902

1900sBoehnWinterfinery1909.jpg 1909

1910sRandombits1911hatpingirl.jpg 1911

Page of Women's Hats of 1900-1910

Men's Dress in the

1890's took a turn towards greater formality and dandyism in Europe, and went in the opposite direction in the U.S. where the popular mode was brightly colored sportswear.

1900sImsi do not copy1900srusscigad2.jpg

1900sImsi do not copy1900srussiancigad.jpg

1900sImsi do not copy1900sfop.jpg

Highly fashionable

Russian gentlemen from cigarette advertising of the 1890-1910 period.

1900sImsi do not copyLeyendecker4.jpg Arrow Shirt Ad. by J.C.Leyendecker

American men of around 1900 tried to emulate the image of the "Arrow Shirt Man" drawn by leyendec.htm@160x120.jpg J.C.Leyendecker

, with brightly colored shirts and

hard white tubular collars worn under the sporty Sack Suit jackets, that had recently moved up from sport clothes to business wear. During this period in the US, the European fashion for Frock coats like the and the Cutaway is gradually displaced by the sack, so much so that even rich American men sport an evening version of the sack, the , to male only parties and semi formal events.

sacksuitchoices.html@160x120.jpg Menswear of the Turn of the CenturySack Suit Choices

The Hourglass shape of the woman of the 1890's transformed after 1897 into the "S" curve of 1897-1908. This change came from longer lined "health" corsets that supported the spine and abdomen, especially when they were over-laced by the fashionable. Fashionable women in this period seem to be leaning into a wind. The curvaceous clothing line of this period meshes perfectly with the curving lines of the dominant decorative style of the day, known as "Art Nouveau".

watch?v=p1t8sPm_aIM&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - The lace up corset: a slideshow of French postcards etc

1900sFashionplates1903corset.jpg 1903 an over-laced corset

Most women's dress in this era was highly influenced by the advancing feministcause, which after 1903 escalated to widespread civil disobedience by "Suffragettes" (radical suffragists). Women modeled their behavior and appearance upon the Gibson Girl the popular image of the "New Woman". Men's clothing styles such as the suit, shirt,

hard collar and tie were worn by women forcing themselves into professions formerly occupied by men. Health fads of the 1890's and 1900's also encouraged women's sporting activities, particularly which, in turn promoted sport clothing as a fashion.

1900sBoehnBerlinsingingacademy.jpg Aesthetic dress worn for a recital "In a Berlin Singing Academy" in Max Von Boehn's Modes and Manners of the 19th Century

Dress reform, continued to be a hot topic in this period, even gaining such notable adherents as

Artists such as @160x120.jpg Mariano Fortuny

in Italy and the artnvi.html@160x120.jpg Wiener Werkstaette

group in Austria continued to design Aesthetic reform costumes such as Fortuny's new_page_69.htm@160x120.jpg Delphos Dress

, and dress became progressively more comfortable, practical and aesthetically pleasing in this whole era. The beauty of the designs worn in this era are so apparent that the period 1890-1914 is commonly called la Belle Époque ("The Beautiful Epoch")

watch?v=LQd2Az3sFA8@160x120.jpg YouTube - Otis Fashion Presentation Mariano Fortuny


watch?v=6X_O1Mup0mE&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - MARIANO FORTUNY

1900sBoehnReformdress1902.jpg "The Reformed Dress", 1902 in Max Von Boehn's Modes and Manners of the 19th Century

Women's clothing after 1900 became lighter and lighter in construction and materials. A popular style in this period was the "1478@160x120.jpg Lingerie Dress

" a feather-light white cotton dress inset with strips of open work lace and net.

HistoryCamerongalleryCameron27.jpgForeground, cotton "Lingerie Dress" c. 1903, Background two dresses c. 1915-1920

After 1908, women's dress became more vertical in line, and less "S" curved. The vertical line became so pronounced after 1910 that highly fashionable dresses tended to hobble the wearer. Corsets began to be replaced by brasseries and other light foundation garments.

watch?v=CkDyVyMItGg&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Fashions in corsets and lingerie, year by year: 1900 - 1950

1900sFashionplates1909delinbeach.jpg 1909

1910sRandombitsBonton1911.jpg 1911

The production of Sheherazade, designed in 1910 by , pushed Paris fashion towards an Orientalist style in the early

Teens, a fashion which was to give birth to the "" style. As a result of the Orientalist style, Parisian designer Paul Poiret again introduced "harem" pants for women, although they were, again, not widely adopted.

watch?v=CkDyVyMItGg&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Fashions in corsets and lingerie, year by year 1900 - 1950

watch?v=IjOVlo-c8hE@160x120.jpg YouTube - Fashion Shows 1911-1926

watch?v=YUvdm_GrCmY&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Vintage Fashion Vintage Clothing French Fashions of 1913

watch?v=Sd7IlF8HGHI@160x120.jpg YouTube - Vintage Clothing 1917 Fashion Show

1910sBoehnHaremskirtatauteuil.jpg Poiret "harem pant" costume for the races, c.1912

Russia.htm@160x120.jpg Russian Influences on Fashion

Costume after 1911 again goes into a sharp transition period, which continues until the early 1920's and ushers in the Modern period of dress.

Step 3:Imagine you are producing a play set in this time period, or are having to outfit a group of reenactors for a period event such as @160x120.jpg The 1900 House

. You have a huge budget, but little time, and need to buy pre-made costume items (NOT antique/vintage items) and commercial patterns in order to get the job done on time. Using the

Pattern page, the

Victorian Links page, the

1900-1910 Links Page, and the

Costumes for Sale page, and an online search

, find suppliers for most of the items you might need. Describe what you could, and could not, find online in a post to the CostumeHistoryClass@160x120.jpg Message Board

by this weekend. Be sure to include links to sites you think will be useful to your fellow students.

This Concludes Week #12's Lesson

Return to

Class Index

WomenFashionplatesDelin1891dresses.jpg 1891


VictorianBoehnModeart1899a.jpg 1899

OlddissertationThehaberdasher1902tiead.jpg Ad in The Haberdasher, 1902

1900sImsi do not copyDesignermag.jpg Tennis dress, c. 1903

FashionplatesRaveonline4834b.jpg 1898

HistoryAquariangallery1908penfield.jpg 1908

WomenFashionplates1896bikedress2.jpgaa050900a.htm@160x120.jpg Bicycle costumes


1900sImsi do not copySargeantcouple.jpg Wealthy American couple c. 1897 painted by

1900sBoehnModeart1901a.jpg 1901

WomenFashionplates1903delineator1.jpg 1903

1900sBoehn1906amusements.jpg 1906

1900sFashionplates1909bonton.jpg 1909

1910sBoehn1912photograph.jpg 1912

1910sBoehnMlledebrysee.jpg 1913

Links for Further Study:




Timeline Images for Study:




Women's Clothing Patterns and Household Design Templates from St.Petersburg's "Neva" Magazine 1905-1913

index.html@160x120.jpg DNC site map (Makeup, Leon Bakst, and other costume related images)

bakst.html@160x120.jpg Leon Bakst (1866-1924)

Faking Fortuny "Delphos" Pleats

Costume Movies: 1900-1950

fortuny.html@160x120.jpg The Fortuny Gown

@160x120.jpg Venetia Studium the original Fortuny lamps, silk dresses and furnishing

Product Links

Prince Albert Coat



Mark Twain

Ballets Russes

Leon Bakst

Art Deco

Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century Men's Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century

Elite Fashions Catalog, 1904 Elite Fashions Catalog, 1904

Waisted efforts : an illustrated guide to corset making Waisted efforts : an illustrated guide to corset making


Theatre and Fashion : Oscar Wilde to the Suffragettes Theatre and Fashion : Oscar Wilde to the Suffragettes

The Edwardian Modiste : 85 Authentic Patterns With Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques The Edwardian Modiste : 85 Authentic Patterns With Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques

To Marry an English Lord To Marry an English Lord

The Art of Haute Couture The Art of Haute Couture

Everyday Fashions of the 20th Century CD-ROM and Book (Dover Pictorial Archives) Everyday Fashions of the 20th Century CD-ROM and Book (Dover Pictorial Archives)

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis