1. At first glance this 1905 evening gown designed by Lucile and entitled ‘A Protest’ appears to be just a pretty dress, if not with a slightly unusual name and color combination. The whole truth is far more interesting.
I wrote a while back about the Victorian practice of using different colors or gemstones to spell out messages in jewelry. This dress uses the same practice on a larger scale.
The color combination of (g)reen, (w)hite and (v)iolet would have sent a very specific message to any one in the know.
Specifically: (G)ive (W)omen the (V)ote.
This is a suffragette ball gown!

    At first glance this 1905 evening gown designed by Lucile and entitled ‘A Protest’ appears to be just a pretty dress, if not with a slightly unusual name and color combination. The whole truth is far more interesting.

    I wrote a while back about the Victorian practice of using different colors or gemstones to spell out messages in jewelry. This dress uses the same practice on a larger scale.

    The color combination of (g)reen, (w)hite and (v)iolet would have sent a very specific message to any one in the know.

    Specifically: (G)ive (W)omen the (V)ote.

    This is a suffragette ball gown!

  2. Lucile was noted for her layering of sheer fabrics as can be seen in this 1905 evening dress.
The robin egg’s blue color is absolutely gorgeous!

    Lucile was noted for her layering of sheer fabrics as can be seen in this 1905 evening dress.

    The robin egg’s blue color is absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Lucy Christina, Lady Duff-Gordon, more commonly known by her professional name Lucile, was a milliner, couture dressmaker, fashion trend-setter and all around very interesting woman.
She also happened to be a passenger on the RMS Titanic when it sank 100 years ago today.
So today I am focusing on Lucile.

    Lucy Christina, Lady Duff-Gordon, more commonly known by her professional name Lucile, was a milliner, couture dressmaker, fashion trend-setter and all around very interesting woman.

    She also happened to be a passenger on the RMS Titanic when it sank 100 years ago today.

    So today I am focusing on Lucile.

  4. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, as well as the re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 Titanic. Despite the many reservations I have at Mr. Cameron’s decision to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of 1,514 men, women and children with a Super 3D Extravaganza!, I cannot deny the profound effect the film has had on my life.
I often refer to Titanic as my gateway drug to history. I was 10 when the film was originally released and while I had always shown some degree of interest in history, Titanic was the first thing that made me truly curious about the past. While other people were giggling over the love story and the boobies I couldn’t get enough of the history. The ship itself, the five course dinners, the way people moved and acted, and yes, the costumes.
With the internet still in its infancy I headed to the library and brought home every book related to Edwardian society, Transatlantic shipping and costume history I could carry. Every penny of my allowance went to buying obscure books I couldn’t find at the library and seeing the movie again and again (four times in all by the end of its first theatrical run) to pick up new details with what I had learned.
My Kate Winslet fangirling also led me to see Emma Thompson’s brilliant 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, which got me into Jane Austen, which threw me ever deeper fashion history.
So, despite his questionable money making decisions, I guess I should probably thank James Cameron for making the movie that inadvertently set me on the path I’m on today.
P.S. I’ve had a couple people ask me recently how I got into fashion history, so there you go. :D 
P.P.S. This is leading to a Titanic-related fashion spam, just give me a bit ;)

    This week marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, as well as the re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 Titanic. Despite the many reservations I have at Mr. Cameron’s decision to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of 1,514 men, women and children with a Super 3D Extravaganza!, I cannot deny the profound effect the film has had on my life.

    I often refer to Titanic as my gateway drug to history. I was 10 when the film was originally released and while I had always shown some degree of interest in history, Titanic was the first thing that made me truly curious about the past. While other people were giggling over the love story and the boobies I couldn’t get enough of the history. The ship itself, the five course dinners, the way people moved and acted, and yes, the costumes.

    With the internet still in its infancy I headed to the library and brought home every book related to Edwardian society, Transatlantic shipping and costume history I could carry. Every penny of my allowance went to buying obscure books I couldn’t find at the library and seeing the movie again and again (four times in all by the end of its first theatrical run) to pick up new details with what I had learned.

    My Kate Winslet fangirling also led me to see Emma Thompson’s brilliant 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, which got me into Jane Austen, which threw me ever deeper fashion history.

    So, despite his questionable money making decisions, I guess I should probably thank James Cameron for making the movie that inadvertently set me on the path I’m on today.

    P.S. I’ve had a couple people ask me recently how I got into fashion history, so there you go. :D 

    P.P.S. This is leading to a Titanic-related fashion spam, just give me a bit ;)

  5. A wonderful eyelet coat for a 2 to 4 year old girl from La Mode Illustrée, April 1912. (The month the Titanic sank, to give you a little historical perspective.)

    A wonderful eyelet coat for a 2 to 4 year old girl from La Mode Illustrée, April 1912. (The month the Titanic sank, to give you a little historical perspective.)

  6. Birds of Paradise were so over-hunted for their plumage that a 1913 tariff banned their import to the United States. The newspapers that year are filled with many stories of wealthy women returning from abroad only to have thousands of dollars of new hats confiscated by customs.

    Birds of Paradise were so over-hunted for their plumage that a 1913 tariff banned their import to the United States. The newspapers that year are filled with many stories of wealthy women returning from abroad only to have thousands of dollars of new hats confiscated by customs.

  7. The Birds of Paradise are actually a family of birds with over 40 species most of which are native to New Guinea. These birds were by far the most prized decoration for turn of the century hats. They were often featured on hats without any additional decoration so as to better show them off. This hat is from 1910.

    The Birds of Paradise are actually a family of birds with over 40 species most of which are native to New Guinea. These birds were by far the most prized decoration for turn of the century hats. They were often featured on hats without any additional decoration so as to better show them off. This hat is from 1910.

  8. The length and fullness of ostrich feathers allowed them to curled and styled into different shapes like the flowers on this hat from 1913.

    The length and fullness of ostrich feathers allowed them to curled and styled into different shapes like the flowers on this hat from 1913.

  9. Turbans or headbands with tall feather plumes called aigrettes were a must for evening wear in the early 1910s.
This one was designed in 1911 by the incomparable Paul Poiret.

    Turbans or headbands with tall feather plumes called aigrettes were a must for evening wear in the early 1910s.

    This one was designed in 1911 by the incomparable Paul Poiret.

  10. Many women would buy plain straw or silk hats and then decorate them themselves. The Sears catalog offered a large variety of wings, feathers and other millinery supplies. This page is from Fall 1911.

    Many women would buy plain straw or silk hats and then decorate them themselves. The Sears catalog offered a large variety of wings, feathers and other millinery supplies. This page is from Fall 1911.