Tuesday, 2 October 2012

1910 -1919 fashion and adventure

20th Century Fashion History at Worthing Museum, looking at the period 1910 - 1919 

This weeks museum objects include a pair of women's hiking boots and a leather motoring helmet, also worn by a woman. This suggests we are moving into a more adventurous decade. Adventure, of course, costs money and so was only available to those with leisure time and funding. For early female car drivers, of which there were not many, there were certain hazards to overcome. Cars were often open-top until the end of the decade and this left the face exposed to the elements. All kinds of design solutions were offered, from specific face creams and preparations to veiled hats and goggles. There were also dust coats to protect clothing and special gloves to protect the hands.


This decade is also a time to look at Paul Poiret and Mariano Fortuny. Poiret shaped the modern fashion world by draping fabric rather than working with flat pattern pieces. He embraced vivid colours and took inspiration from many places, most famously the decorative exoticism of Leon Bakst's designs for the Ballets Russe. He was also a great collaborator, working with textile designers and illustrators. Fortuny on the other hand worked alone, designing and hand crafting garments which defy classification.


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