Monday, November 5, 2018

Fashions for November 1913

Monday, November 5, 2018
Dresses November 1913
Loretta reports:

Let's read over the shoulder of a lady in 1913 who's just picked up the latest copy of Ladies Home Journal.
  What I See on Fifth Avenue by Alice Long: With Drawings by Jessie Gillespie.
“From the top of one of those lumbering, top-heavy busses that wheeze ponderously along Fifth Avenue is really the best place to get a good view, not alone of the shops that line the avenue, but also of the kaleidoscopic mass of color formed by the hurrying streams of woman shoppers. And if you are looking for what is new in fashion you are just as apt to see it on some of these same shoppers, many of whom have names that are household words because of their prominence socially or because of the financial rating of their men folks, as in even the most exclusive shops...

“I SPENT several days going through the more important Fifth Avenue shops and dressmaking places, and of one thing I am convinced: The fashionable silhouette demands fullness at the hips and a narrowing in at the foot; and be it peplum or tunic—call it what you please—some sort of flounce arrangement must be shown on the skirt of a fussy dress anywhere between the waistline and the feet. A strikingly pretty model of this sort of composite type formed the dress of one of the season’s d├ębutantes, and was intended for a luncheon to be given in her honor. It was of a dull watermelon pink shade of silk crepe, with a. blouse of pale lilac chiffon over flesh-colored malines.* The Medici frill is wired with fine silk wire, so fine as to be invisible, and the plaited tunic, which is of the lilac chiffon, is also wired on the edge, so that it stands out the tiniest little bit.
Ladies’ Home Journal, Volume 30, November 1913 
 The whole article is an interesting read: the color red's popularity, the puzzle of wearing summer weight fashion in November and heavy fabrics in summer, etc.

*Malines in this context appears to refer to "Malines Lace—Bobbin lace with sprigs or dots outlined with a heavier cordonnet over a hexagonal or round mesh ground.  It is made in one piece of white flax thread."—Dictionary of Textiles, Harmuth 1915. Aka Mechlin Lace. You can read a history of lace here.

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