Fashion of the week - Evening wear of 1913

These two evening-dresses from the French magazine Journal des demoiselles (the issue of December 1st, 1913) is a great example of the fashion of the Belle Époque, the time of beauty and soft lines, not altogether natural shapes of the women wearing and a general excess of everything - the time that would come to a grinding halt with the First World War. This is from the year before and to most people it was a time to act like nothing would change in this world - especially if you were a member of the upper classes, the classes that could afford dresses like this.

The blue dress is both more daring and artistic with it's irregular shape and form, the adding of the fur trim and the deep neckline that must have revealed quite a lot of the bosom of it's wearer. The yellow dress is more girly with it's flounces all along the skirt and even around the neckline - both in back and front (as can be seen in the little drawing next to the big version of the dress). The dress does not reveal as much skin as the other does either.

Both women have obviously long hair, but pinned up and it gives both women a rather flat coiffure, in spite of the curls and waves. The blue-dressed lady has her hair-do topped by some feathers while the other one has left her hair unadorned. On the other hand doesn't the lady on the left wear any jewellery, while the yellow-clad one shows a long string of pearls - a type of necklace that would be very popular indeed in the time after the great war.

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