From 1910s to art deco and bobbed hair

Grande Course des Haies, June 1912; Seeberger brothers
At the end of Edwardian era which was often refereed as the last good time of the upper class and where hedonistic society was modeled itself to suit King’s personal demands, the new air of breeze started to blow that is about to change the upcoming times.
1910 brought a fundamental change in female dress when the rigid bodices where replaced by soft drapery.
Some say it was great deliberator of corset Paul Poiret, but the more accurate is that it was Ballet Russe and production of Sheherazade premiered on June 4, 1910, at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. Costumes by Leon Bakst brought a new wave of orientalism for couturiers that their jockeys would than spread at social events like races or at holiday resorts.
In 1910 famous hairdresser Antoine bobbed the hair of French actress Eva Lavallière. The first women that bobbed their hair were painters’ models at Montparnasse, while famous actresses appeared on stage bobbed during the war, followed in 1917 by fashionable personalities like Gabrielle Chanel and Yola Letellier.
This sign of female protest that started in narrow circle of those in show business and couturiers, later would be popularized by Irene Castle.
In 1911, after turbans and all the harem-wear, Poiret introduced hobble skirt (tight around the ankles) which was widely criticized and although impractical, it became widely popular. Another change that was criticized in those years that even doctors declared as dangerous for the health was V-neck that came to daily life in 1913.
In the wartime years another garment came in fashion- skirt/tunic reaching to the knee that was worn over the very long and tight at the ankle skirt.
After the war, in 1919 flared skirt was replaced with barrel line. It was still long but it hade tubular shape of cylinder and this was the time when waist started to disappear visually erasing the hips and the bust.
Vogue 1919

Charleston? Oh, oui!

Evening dress from 1925 originates from France and is embelisshed with rhinestones and beads in typicall manner of art deco. 

Walk! turn! good!…beginning of haute couture

Before mid 19th century all clothes were made by seamstress and milliners and according to wishes of client. Low-class woman who couldn’t afford to be dressed by seamstress had to sew. Worth was the first dressmaker that changed the course of fashion because society ladies he dressed didn’t choose any more what to wear, it was him. Walk! turn! good! Come back in a week, and I will compose you a toilette which will suit you.” These were the words that Charles Frederick Worth would say to you if you had an appointment in his Paris salon. The father of haute couture was the first designer and most significant tailor in the time when crinoline reached it greatest extent. Despite the fact that the mid-Victorian lady needed introduction to have honor to be dressed by Worth, who was very rude to his clients, they were all very anxious and patiently were waiting him in his showroom. French historian Taine had described Worth as little dry, black nervous creature with cigar wearing a velvet coat. By the 1860s first couturier was employing over 1000 workers and his collections were presented in luxury interiors. First fashion tycoon was also first designer that had live mannequins that were showing his collections to clients. His first model was his wife Marie Vernet, salesgirl that worked with him at Maison Gagelin. 

Worth, his wife Marie Vernet and evening gown c. 1862- 65
photo via MET

Callot Soeurs

French Couture house
Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand,
Regina Callot Tennyson-Chantrell and Joséphine Callot Crimont
  • 1895 founded at 24rue Taitbout in Paris
  • 1917 branches in London and Bueonos Aires
  • 1919 moved at 9-11 Avenue Matignon.
  • 1928 Pierre Gerber, Marie Callot’s son takes over the business
  • 1937 House closed and became part of House of Calvet (both closed in 1952)
“Is there a vast difference between a Callot dress and one from any other shop?” asked Proust’s fictional alter ego, Marcel. “Why, an enormous difference,” replied his girlfriend, Albertine. “Only, alas! What you get for 300 francs in an ordinary shop will cost you two thousand there. But there can be no comparison; they look the same only to people who know nothing about it.” When you look at Callot designs treasured at museums worldwide or photos from beginning of the century, you realize that Mr. Proust really had an idea of fashion. Named Callot Soeurs, this couture house was founded in 1895 in Paris by four sisters, daughters of antique dealer and lacemaker. Marie Callot Gerber, trained as dressmaker was the brain of the sisterhood that started by selling ribbons and lingerie. Marie, celebrator of female body and femininity, doesn’t have reputation in history of fashion as she deserves. “The dress is everything which should be part of the woman. Not the woman part of the dress”, said Marie Callot. Under her guidance, Callot became respectable name in Paris fashion and today synonym for lavish eveningwear of roaring twenties. Like with the most of their contemporaries, designs were influenced with Orientalism, which encouraged usage of rich and exotic fabrics. Sisters had a special talent and extraordinary techniques for combining sophisticated fabrics like satin, silk, brocade, gold and silver lame with lace or velvet appliqués and beads. Madeleine Vionnet was apprentice at Callot when she returned to Paris from London. “Without the example of the Callot Soeurs, I would have continued to make Fords. It is because of them that I have been able to make Rolls Royces.”, said the great Vionnet for her former employer. House closed its doors in 1937.

Evening dresses, ca 1910; evening coats, ca 1910,1915

Evening dresses; 1920, fall winter 1920-21, 1920

Evening dresses, 1925-26

Evening dresses and wedding ensemble, ca 1930

"If Gerber had shared the ebullient personality, not to mention the gender, of Paul Poiret, perhaps her achievements would have been more widely recognized." (Brenda Polan, The Great Fashion Designers)

O'HARA CALLAN, GEORGINA, The Thames & Hudson dictionary of fashion and fashion designers; POLAN, BRENDA, The Great Fashion Designers; AUBENAS, Sylvie, DEMANGE Xavier, CHARDIN Virginie, Elegance. The Seberger Brothers and the Birth of Fashion Photography; FIT