All posts filed under: 20th Century

A Skating Holiday, 1906 (and sweet treats)

Happy holidays to everyone! As a little fun for your holidays, here is a costume for ice skating from the Girl’s Own Paper from March ’06* (it was either a really cold March, or the fashion editor was already looking forward to next winter!)   A charming skating costume with the new full bolero coat with epaulet trimmings of heavy braid.  The tunic, which is graduated upwards at the back, shows a full skirt, foot-free in length, trimmed with narrow bands of fur.  The sleeve of this costume, which would do equally well for walking, is particularly neat.  Rolled velvet could be substituted for fur on the skirt. You’d certainly be cosy, but I can’t imagine it would be easy to skate in! And, as an extra bonus, here is a page of ‘Continental Sweetmeat’ recipes from the same magazine for your delectation.  If you do make one of these recipes please report back!   *Many thanks to Daniel for correctly dating this plate, as my pages are all loose and un-dated.

Rate the Dress: Peasant chic, ’20s style

Last week I presented an 1840s dress in decadent amethyst purple silk, and you LOVED it (except for a few, which is almost always the case) and it raced in at a stellar 9.3 out of 10. This week’s frock features more jewel-toned silk, but this time it is embellished with contrasting embroidery and smocking in white, rather than being one colour. The silhouette is typical ’20s:  loose, relaxed, focused on a slim, boyish line,  The smocking and embroidery however, harken back to traditional female handcrafts, and the pleated skirt and hanging sleeves would sway with every movement.  This, combined with the way the silk would fall against the figure, keeping the dress on the distinctly female side. What do you think?  Does the traditional peasant embroidery fit the modern ’20s silhouette?  Do the embellishments, pleating, and quirky sleeves enliven the dress, or just make it odd? Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.

A fairytale 1970s frock

For the most part, I make my own clothes.  For the most part, I don’t wear original vintage clothes.  For the most part, I don’t like synthetic fibres.  And for the most part, I’m not particularly interested in post 1960s fashions. But, most of all, I’m a creature of contradictions and am not adverse to breaking all my rules. Meet my original vintage, very 1970s, totally synthetic, covered it enormous orange flowers, and yet somehow still gorgeous and me and wonderful to wear, ‘Fairytale’ dress: Isn’t it fabulous?    Can’t you just imagine a 1970’s fairytale book featuring Rapunzel wearing this exact frock?  Possibly a feminist re-write of fairytales where Rapunzel rescues herself. (Hands up: Who else’s favourite children’s book was The Paper Bag Princess?) I found the dress at an op-shop for $6, and though all my normal impulses said “Are you crazy?”  I had to buy it.  And it’s fantastic!  It’s the very best expression of ’70s fashion: incredibly flattering, incredibly comfortable, and made from some incredibly variety of dead dino that feels like …