Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Morning Pretty - La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque - The Beautiful Era

One of my favorite eras for clothing is the 1910s. Known as the Edwardian period in the US and La Belle Époque in France, this period is marked by softer silhouettes and opulent details. When the Ballets Russes performed Scheherazade in Paris in 1910, there was a craze for Orientalism in fashion. Couturier Paul Poiret was the first to translate this vogue into harem and geisha inspired fashion. Poiret is also credited with the elimination of the corset in couture fashion and the design of the first outfit which could be worn without a maid. Art Deco influences can also be seen in fashion with decorative motifs and the use of metallics.

I am smitten with the opera coats and evening capes of the era, crafted in velvets, silks, and brocades with ornate embellishments and fur trim. Vogue did an amazing fashion spread "Fashioning the Century" which coincided with the Paul Poiret exhibit at the Met. These fashions look just as fresh now as they did one hundred years ago.

Georges Barbier illustration, 1912

Velvet evening cape with stenciled border

Steven Miesel "Fashioning the Century" Vogue 2007

Paul Poiret evening coat, 1911

Steven Miesel "Fashioning the Century" Vogue 2007

Evening coat, 1913

Silk evening coat, available on Etsy

Paul Poiret evening coat, 1912
“Prè Catelan” coat 1918, Paul Poiret

1 comment:

Valentine Bonnaire said...

this is the most exquisite era!