The Fanciful Fashion of the Edwardian Era

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by cwalkervh
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
World Culture

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The Fanciful Fashion of the Edwardian Era

Poster by Carolyn Walker

The Fanciful Fashion of the Edwardian Era

Lingeries Worn:⇨straight-front or S-curve corsets ⇨day and night chemises, ⇨drawers, ⇨knickerbockers, ⇨petticoats

(Modern) knee-length petticoat

1905 Edwardian Corset

Corset being laced up

Silhouette of a dress while wearing a petticoat (no corset)

Ladies' cycling outfit, 1900Includes knickerbockers (ladies' trousers) and a blouse.

Drawers (bloomers), 1900

Cycling costumes and women biking in general was certainly the controversial subject of the age. In its beginnings, most men and many women were against it, saying it was morally wrong, unwomanish, or completely undignified.

Modern recreation of an Edwardian-style dress

France was a major fashion capital during the 1900s. The French named the period from 1895 to 1914 "La Belle Époque" (lit. translated as "The Beautiful Era"). Society at the time was very divided between social classes- only a select few could actually afford many of the luxurious fashions this time would become famous for.

Arguably very few "classic" fashions remain from this decade. Perhaps traces do remain in the form of wedding gowns, certain draped garments, and collared blouses.

The hourglass figure was still very fashionable from 1900 to 1907, ample curves and a full bosom were considered most desirable. The "S-Bend" corsets were fashioned to emphasize this look.

Classic fashions?

Edwardian-inspired wedding gown

La Belle Époque

The effect the S-bend corsets had one one's figure quite resembled the contours of a common pigeon, and thus became known as the "pigeon effect".

Since the means of recording, transmitting, and recieving of media was still in its early stages, getting advertisements, music, film etc. around to the general public was a difficult and painstaking task. Many of these creative arts would forever stay very localized. However! One very prominent example of media affecting fashion would be illustrator Charles Dana Gibson's depiction of the "personnification of ideal female attractiveness", dubbed the "Gibson Girl".

Corset advertisement

"The Weaker Sex" (pen and ink drawing by Mr. Gibson) depicts a young man on his knees imagining 4 Gibson Girls examining him under a magnifying glass, much like an insect.


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