1900 to 1910

As the Victorian era drew to its close, skirts for both day and evening were elongated at the back to form a train. The skirt’s silhouette was slim at the hip, achieved with pleating and smocking. Any fullness in the skirt was confined to below the knee. Decoration was applied using large and small tucks, hem ruffles, buttons and lace insertions. For day, ladies wore very high necks and the bosom was undefined with fullness over the boned bodice that would often drop to below the waist. These pigeon breast or monobosom bodices often featured wide cape type collars that dropped off the shoulders. Sleeves were generally fitted from shoulder to elbow from where fullness would extend to the wrist. It was not unusual to see a double-sleeved effect, which featured a small, gathered under sleeve revealed at the wrist.

Evening dresses were more daring and were worn off the shoulder, with or without sleeves. The Edwardian era began mid-decade and initially took a retro step, delighting in small balloon sleeves and very nipped-in waists last seen in 1895. Skirts, although full, were rounded and fabrics were soft and allowed to drape. It was de rigueur to wear a wide sash or cummerbund.

The retro look quickly faded in favor of the revolutionary designs of Paul Poiret. He quickly became the most prominent fashion designer in Paris. He showed slim, straight skirts and insisted on fewer undergarments. Due to his decrees, the high boned collar disappeared and women’s corsets were loosened, allowing them literally to breathe a sigh of relief. This new freedom made it possible to sport a higher-waisted look and Poiret’s empire line was popular. Most representative of the period were the amazingly detailed and superbly constructed gowns. These gowns featured lace, cord work, appliqué, soutache, beading, tucking and insertion – very often on the same gown! The great Haute Couture houses of this golden era include Worth, Doucet, Lanvin, Boue Souers, Callot Souers, Paquin, Lucile, and Fortuny.

Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild

Next 1910 to 1920
Back Fashion Timeline


1900 Brown and Cream Silk Dress  - Courtesy of bctreasuretrove.com
1900 Brown and Cream Silk Dress
Courtesy of bctreasuretrove.com
1901 Battenberg lace wedding dress - Courtesy of kickshawproductions
1901 Battenberg lace wedding dress
Courtesy of kickshawproductions
 1902 red silk print dress - Courtesy of antiquedress.com
1902 red silk print dress
Courtesy of antiquedress.com
 1902 black and white silk afternoon dress - Courtesy of kickshawproductions
1902 black and white silk afternoon dress
Courtesy of kickshawproductions
early 1900 rhinestone  paste collar pin  - Courtesy of linn'scollection
early 1900 rhinestone paste collar pin
Courtesy of linn'scollection
early 1900 Cornucopia brooch  - Courtesy of Leonardo da Vintage
early 1900 Cornucopia brooch
Courtesy of Leonardo da Vintage
early 1900s 14k amethyst and pearl brooch  - Courtesy of linnscollection
early 1900s 14k amethyst and pearl brooch
Courtesy of linnscollection
early 1900s Arts and Crafts celluloid brooch - Courtesy of linnscollection
early 1900s Arts and Crafts celluloid brooch
Courtesy of linnscollection
early 1900 wool and tape lace dress - Courtesy  of pastperfectvintage.com
early 1900 wool and tape lace dress
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
early 1900s piano shawl  - Courtesy of pinkyagogo
early 1900s piano shawl
Courtesy of pinkyagogo
early 1900s silk dress  - Courtesy of bctreasuretrove.com
early 1900s silk dress
Courtesy of bctreasuretrove.com
early 1900s baby cotton dress  - Courtesy of mariansvintagevanities
early 1900s baby cotton dress
Courtesy of mariansvintagevanities
1902 lawn dress  - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1902 lawn dress
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
 1903 flecked wool walking suit - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1903 flecked wool walking suit
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
 1904 silk gown - courtesy of antiquedress.com
1904 silk gown
courtesy of antiquedress.com
 1905 beaded lace and tulle ballgown - Courtesy of  vintagetextile.com
1905 beaded lace and tulle ballgown
Courtesy of vintagetextile.com
1905 net  silk and lace blouse  - Courtesy of poppysvintageclothing
1905 net silk and lace blouse
Courtesy of poppysvintageclothing
 1905 lawn dress  - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1905 lawn dress
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
 1907 steel gray Fortuny Delphos gown - Courtesy of pinkyagogo
1907 steel gray Fortuny Delphos gown
Courtesy of pinkyagogo
1908 Fortuny gold painted silk tunic dress  - Courtesy of pinkyagogo
1908 Fortuny gold painted silk tunic dress
Courtesy of pinkyagogo
1908 silk peignoir  - Courtesy of vivavintageclothing.com
1908 silk peignoir
Courtesy of vivavintageclothing.com
 1909 gauze and satin gown - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1909 gauze and satin gown
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1909 embroidered silk dress by Madame Glover - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com
1909 embroidered silk dress by Madame Glover
Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com

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