Edwardian Era Fashion Chit Chat - March 1905 The Delineator
Dress and Gossip of Paris
The first impulse, on seeing the early Spring models each year, is to exclaim that there is "nothing very new." With inspection, this impression gives way to a second: that "none of one's old things will do!" Though the Winter has been so late that the enthusiasm has been as yet slack, still there are both charming creations and attractive adaptations offered to those who are ready to begin now for planning another season's shopping.
Among the new materials the crepons gauffres are graceful and becoming. Embroidered cashmere and the supple camel's hair will be used again. Barege will be perhaps the most popular of the Spring goods. For dressy wear silk will be worn; grosgrain, peau de soie and the heavier ottoman. And for evening, in addition to the lace and embroidered crepe dresses, there will be a great number of black nettings over white, and more tulle than chiffon gowns.
There is a decided logic in the fashions, and those who consider the change in styles due merely to the passing whim of one or two leading couturiers are in the wrong. For example: from the moment that the skirts began to grow full about the hips it was necessary for the gathers in the sleeves to move gradually upward. Now that the leg-o'-mutton sleeve has been adopted, it has become quite impossible to wear the boas which were for so long indispensable with the sloping-shouldered gowns. Also, with this new fulness of sleeve near the neck, the drooping, sweeping hats are quite out of the question. Hats have tossed themselves upward as though to escape from encroaching lines, and one by one these changes have brought about in a few months the complete transformation of the feminine silhouette. Now we must look for a small waist; round hips; sleeves, if not short, at least an inch or two above the wrist; hats that perch like tiny crowns, or that seem but the point where a panache of waving plumes takes its hold.
This change in the length of sleeves is an important one. It is no longer possible with afternoon gowns to wear four-button gloves; the six and eight button lengths are required, and the space of an inch or two above the wrist, looking bare to us, may be covered by a bracelet. The chain bracelets set with stones are no longer fashionable. Heavy circles of jade, gold bands with a solitaire or with a fancy setting of stones, even the old flat gold bands, are much worn.
Skirts are stiffer, and the fulness is beginning to fall more regularly, as though wishing to get back into the godets of the past.
Chenille trimming is the prettiest thing that can be used with the barege and cashmere dresses; velvet, also, in fancy designs mounted on tulle, and applique, braids and galloons are equally favored for trimming the corsages. It is considered chic to use a bit of antique silk as a vest or for the finishing notes of a smart street frock.
Peacock feathers are among the original hat trimmings, and the uncurled ostrich plumes, once the taste for them is cultivated, make the other feathers seem commonplace. They are used chiefly in the natural tints, beige, brown, gray, buff, and also in black. The curled plumes must be used only with the spine turned inward and the tendrils curving in such a way that when the feather is bent none of the quill shows.
Among the Spring creations are the "tea hackets," so convenient because suitable for many occasions. A pretty "tea jacket" worn in one of the recent comedies is made of "sanguine" (flame colored red) crepe de Chine embroidered in multicolored flowers which give body to the otherwise too supple stuff. The fringes of this crepe shawl form a bertha in front and fall over the sleeves, which, like the vest, are made of soft creamy lace. The waist is encircled with a snug black satin belt which leaves the jacket loose in front.
The graceful new models for street wear are legion. Among them let us note this one in "lead" colored cloth. The skirt is plain, full and round. The coat falls almost to the hem of the skirt. Down the front and at the back sleeve seam there are strips of taffetas stitched with heavy silk, and over these strips the cloth is fastened in points, each one of which is finished with a button.
The automobiling coats have so decided a style that the intention of dressmakers regarding the ordinary coat is to get as far as possible from the loose hung outing garments. A smart manteau in the new Directoire style is made in cloth, trimmed with Irish lace over a collar. The front is tight fitting, and cut away from the waist; the back, on the contrary, is long, loose fitting and full, giving the effect of a clergyman's surplice. This model is becoming and graceful, and at the same time is in accord with present tendencies in style.
Jet in embroidered patterns is much used on dinner and theatre gowns. Very pretty effects may be obtained on the black netting gowns over white silk.
Though street dresses are rather severe, those which go by the name of "house dress" and also the evening gowns are much trimmed with garlands of roses, ruffles, ruches, lace flounces, spangled ribbons and all manner of fantasies.
The main thing to be observed, after the choice of a dress has been made, is that all the accessories shall be in keeping.