Fashion between 1910 and 1919
Women fashion of the 1910s encompassed fluidity, soft silhouettes and big hats. One characteristic of women’s dresses was their length, which came up from the floor to their ankles, a sharp contrast to most contemporary dresses. Often, a tunic was worn over the long skirts with the skirts being widest at the hips and narrowest at the ankles. Moreover, women often wore boots during the day and replaced them with court shoes during the evenings. However, various themes such as themes of exoticism, fantasy, liberation, and experimentation as well as various global occurrences such as WW1 influenced women fashion of the 1910’s (Keist, 2018).
Women in long dresses (Vogue Archive, 1911)
First, the defining geopolitical occurrence of the period, WWI, affected women’s fashion (Keist, 2018). First, the war brought about the wearing of apparel for convenience, which led to the need to shorten the length of the skirts worn and to introduce trousers made for women. The women who aided in the war needed to wear trousers for convenience purposes and hence this effect trickled into the fashion industry. This change of fashion led to the need for women to shave their legs as shown by the introduction of Milady Decolletee razors in 1915. It is also interesting to note that jewelry art creativity improved during this period. Previously, peacetime jewels were considered frivolous but during the war, soldiers bethrothed their wives, mothers and girlfriends sweetheart jewelry as a means of connection (Cattani, Colucci & Ferriani, 2016). Besides, the jewelry came in a variety of styles in as some contained fragments of shells that signified the location of the giver. Hence, it can be concluded that even in contemporary times, a war can influence fashion by incorporating more war supporting prints. Additionally, if the war were to affect major manufacturing apparel zones, it would lead to shortages in clothes, an aspect that would directly affect fashion trends.
Women in trousers (Vogue Archive, 1919)
Cattani, G., Colucci, M., & Ferriani, S. (2016). Chanel’s creative trajectory in the field of fashion: The optimal network structuration strategy. In Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking (pp. 117-132). Springer, Singapore. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-287-618-8_8
Keist, C. N. (2018). How stout women were left out of high fashion: An early twentieth-century perspective. Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 5(1), 25-40. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/intellect/fspc/20