Gay '90's
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DATES:1890 -1900 
bulletFirst Ford Car 1897
bulletVan Gogh Dies 1890
bulletBoer War 1899 -1902

PRIMARY SOURCES:

bulletFashion Plates
bulletPaintings
bulletGarments
bulletPainters: Cezanne, Van Gogh, Whistler, Sargent, du Maurier, Gibson

SECONDARY SOURCES:

bulletA Century of Fashion - Worth
bulletHandbook of English Costume in the 19th Century - Cunnington
bulletGodet's Lady's Book
bulletThe Delineator
bulletVanity Fair
bulletHarper's Bazaar

PLAYS:

bulletLady Windermere's Fan- Wilde
bulletArms And The Man - Shaw
bulletIbsen's Plays
bulletChekhov's Plays

 

Fin de Siecle Costume - The Gay 90's

In this period the fashionable man was called a "dude" and he was a dandy that would never let hair mess up the square modeling of his jaw. He wore super-exquisite clothes, felt undressed without his cane and if he had courage sported a monocle. The ordinary man dressed much like he had in the eighties except he felt fine wearing informal sack suits and soft hats for every occasion. The manly silhouette of the nighties man was rather square-shouldered, and straight-waisted. Men wore their hair parted down the middle or on the side just a little left of center and it was a little longer than modern hair.

After the eighties teased the woman with comfortable dress, the pendulum swung back. The were the most absurdly unhygienic of any age. Women constricted her middle to an orthodox eighteen inches, and squeezed her feet into patent-leather shoes with toothpick toes and very high heels. Sleeve at this time were about the size of balloons which each sleeve contained enough stuff material to have made a dress. The skirt spread from the wasp-waist to the ground like a tee-pee. Suprisingly, she did all of her sports; golf, tennis, croquet, and bicycling in a costume like this. Women wore their hair back from the forehead and knotted on top with a pompadour or parted down the middle. The French twist was popular at this time and hats were on the smaller side.

Notable Fin de Siecle Costume Elements

Kickers—Full breeches gathered or pleated into kneebands and buckled at the knee; based upon the knickerbockers of the preceding period. Informal dress for upper- and middle-class Englishmen in the 1860s and '70s
Panama Hat—A hand-woven hat of fine straw from Ecuador and Colombia, South America.
bulletThe Montecristi Fino -- The Finest Straw Hat in the World
 
Chesterfield—A fitted dress overcoat with hidden buttons and a velvet collar, worn in the late nineteenth century.
For-and-Aft Cap—A cap having a visor front and back, often worn with an Inverness cape.  
Derby—A stiff felt hat with a low, round crown and narrow brim; the bowler, which is the British term for derby, has a slightly wider brim and a roll at the sides. derby11.gif (22230 bytes)
Homberg—A carefully blocked, stiff felt hat with a medium tapering crown creased in the middle and a brim that was rolled up on the sides and finished in grosgrain ribbon. hats-online_1613_204919.gif (8323 bytes)boyslocrownhomburg.jpg (11269 bytes)

Tailor Made—Mass-produced, ready-to-wear clothing that had a tailored fit often wool or serge because of the tailoring quality. 

Leg-o’-Mutton—A sleeve that was extremely wide at the top and tapered at the wrist.

Gainsborough Hat—A velvet, beaver, or straw hat having a low crown and a broad brim, trimmed with feathers.

Shirtwaist—A woman’s top detached from the skirt. At first the focal point was the shoulders then it moved to the front.

90lady1.gif (3184 bytes)

Gibson Girl—More often associated with the topknot hair style.  Also a blouse with a single pleat which extended over each shoulder front and back, hiding the armseye of the shirtwaist. 

maryvw7l.jpg (66510 bytes) modeart1900b.jpg (50637 bytes)
 

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