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  • FIDM Museum Blog: 1920s cloche
    a softer slightly draped silhouette towards the end of the decade So as not to distract from its distinctive silhouette cloche trimmings were minimal and usually conformed to the shape of the hat Some women embellished their cloches with a three dimensional ornament such as a small flower or jeweled clip placed at the front or side of the hat The FIDM Museum cloche seen here utilizes coordinating ribbon placed in a geometric formation at the center front In the spring of 1925 the New York Times featured a similar cloche described as a demure little hat composed of fine straw and satin ribbon joined in strips to form a diagonal pattern over the crown 2 91 789 3 Given its tight fit the cloche could only be worn over the newest hairstyle the bob Originally a short ear or chin length blunt cut the bob soon expanded into numerous variations many of which were named Ranging from the fanciful orchid coconut and French swirl to the self explanatory the lightly waved marcel bob these names indicated the way in which the bob thoroughly invaded popular culture With its sleek silhouette the bob served as the ideal accent for the streamlined styles of the 1920s and the perfect hairstyle for a cloche In 1926 it was declared that hats have never before been designed with such precise relation to the coiffure 3 Because respectable women were expected to wear their hair long and uncut the bob was extremely controversial Hairstylists feared it would put them out of business doctors warned that an exposed neck could lead to serious illness and religious leaders considered it immoral All of this fuss wasn t really about the newest hairstyle Rather the bob served as a flash point for anxieties regarding the changing role

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/03/1920s-cloche.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: From the Archives: Duvelleroy fan-bag
    pearl embroidery could be seen on elaborate opera toilettes of the time This model has an unusual tulip shape with four long vertical openings that allowed a lady to easily tuck in or pull out a closed fan without opening the drawstrings or removing the bag from her wrist As with other fashion accessories fans offered women an opportunity to display discerning taste personal style and financial status Folding fans were available at all price points from delicate one of a kind masterpieces to inexpensive paper fans imported from Japan The most desirable fans were produced in France with Duvelleroy as the leading maison In December 1895 Vogue noted that diamond covered fans cost up to 400 while charming and graceful painted Spanish fans could be had for as little as 5 1 As a hobby some women painted their own fan designs blank paper fans were sold specifically for this purpose Fans also had unique communicative properties Held in the hand a fan intensified every gesture In an era when women were bound by strict ideas regarding personal decorum fans could help entice or discourage potential suitors At public gatherings fans could be used to shield oneself from a too persistent gaze or to shelter the whisper of a bending escort 2 The London branch of Duvelleroy reinforced the notion of fan communication by including printed instructions in The Language of the Fan with each fan sold 3 Duvelleroy wasn t alone in promoting this language numerous versions of The Language of the Fan were in circulation during the nineteenth century Though the exact meaning of these gestures may have escaped the recipient their codification reinforces the notion that fans were used to facilitate romantic communication A contemporary version of Duvelleroy s fan language can be found here 1

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/11/from-the-archives-duvelleroy-fan-bag-.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: From the Archives: Mariano Fortuny
    to the body Fortuny always used glass beads produced by the famous Murano glassworks which was near his home in Venice Fortuny s dresses were designed to glide over the body showcasing the beauty of the natural form All Fortuny garments were one size fits all though a drawstring at the bateau neckline and the addition of fabric sashes allowed wearers to customize the fit The sash seen in the image above is typical of those worn with the Delphos It also showcases another of Fortuny s talents textiles printed in patterns inspired by a variety of historic cultures Capes cloaks and jackets of Fortuny printed silk velvet were frequently worn over the solid color silk Delphos or used to create simple unfitted gowns Our Delphos is black but Fortuny also utilized other colors and shades Most often these are rich nearly luminous jewel tones Fortuny always dyed his own fabric often with the help of his wife Henriette Fortuny s Delphos was introduced about 1909 when the highly artificial S bend silhouette was dominant Fortuny s lightweight creations were meant to be worn without any corsetry and ideally with only the bare minimum of undergarments Because of this Fortuny s early experimentation in classically influenced dress were worn only by the most daring of women including dancers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St Denis actress Lillian Gish and the noted eccentric Marchesa Luisa Casati Gradually Fortuny s gowns were adopted as at home dress by some women In the fashion press they were often referred to as a teagown a style of at home dress popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries By the 1920s Fortuny s Delphos and its variations were becoming acceptable for wear outside the home 80 1925 059 4 Hem detail The aspect of Fortuny s work that receives the most attention is the narrow pleats that give the garments their textural character Silk which Fortuny used to create his pleated gowns is notoriously difficult to permanently pleat Using a secret process that he invented Fortuny was somehow able to achieve a nearly permanent pleat The panels of fabric were probably finger pleated when wet and then heat set The only evidence of the process is an image taken from a patent application for a machine used for some part of the process Scholars have suggested that the pleated widths of fabric were held in place by thread during the heat set process The panels each containing between 430 450 pleats were hand sewn after pleating Though Fortuny s pleating process created a very stable pleat customers were encouraged to maintain their pleated Fortuny garments by storing them inside small round hat boxes In the boxes the dresses were stored in a twisted coil which helped maintain the pleats If the pleats started to come undone due to water damage or extended sitting Fortuny would re pleat the gown for free at his Venice production facility Upon Fortuny s death in 1949 production of

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/11/from-the-archives-mariano-fortuny.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: S-bend silhouette
    bishop sleeves popular during the 1910s echos the overall S bend silhouette The S bend was worn for day and evening though evening bodices were cut much lower than day bodices This 1909 John Singer Sargent portrait of Lady Astor portrays an evening version of the S bend silhouette with both the front and back of the bodice cut low S2007 910 7A C The vertical panels of the gored skirt the black on black bodice piping and the inserted white decorative panels on the bodice create the impression of length and height According to a 1903 article in Harper s Bazaar on all the gowns long lines are still preferred and the fashionable figure is long and slender 1 Complementing and maintaining the vertical emphasis were the upswept off the neck hairstyles favored by women during this period The curved S bend silhouette and the vertical emphasis were influenced by Art Nouveau which favored narrow sinuous lines derived from natural forms S2007 910 7A C Back view Though black is often associated with mourning by the early years of the 20th century strictures regarding mourning dress were beginning to loosen In 1904 one fashion commentator voiced her confusion over mourning dress declaring that mourning dress is changing so all the time it is a very difficult matter to know just how to dress when obliged to put on mourning for any near relative 2 The fabric used in the dress pictured here is black crepe a fabric often used for deep mourning By 1903 04 however black was becoming a fashionable color worn for style and for mourning Black day dresses accented with small touches of colored trim on the bodice were fashionable for day wear Black accented with white was particularly fashionable and could also be worn for

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/10/s-bend-silhouette.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Jaeger wool corset, 1890s
    causing illness The doctor discouraged dyes because he believed they contained harmful chemicals that were absorbed by the bloodstream Dr Jaeger s company made and marketed union suits under vests corset and socks they were available to purchase directly from his depots in London and New York City as well as through authorized mail order catalogs This rare heather gray wool Jaeger corset is a remarkable contrast to fashionable examples of the same period made from rigid steam molded cotton coutille or dyed silk The lightly boned knit stretched easily over the torso making it a healthier and more comfortable alternative to tight lacing The Jaeger corset was part of a larger movement towards dress reform Beginning in the mid nineteenth century many in the UK and US began to decry the supposed health hazards of women s dress For those interested in dress reform layers of petticoats and constricting corsets were considered cumbersome unhealthful and even dangerous New ideas about dress took many forms including Artistic dress which was based on the relatively loose fitting draped garments of antiquity Unlike Artistic dress which was often discussed in terms of aesthetic appeal Dr Jaeger s woolen corsets were designed with health first and foremost in the doctor s mind To learn more about the beliefs that led Dr Jaeger s system of sanitary woolen undergarments browse this 1886 edition of his essays Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post Verify your Comment Previewing your Comment Posted by This is only a preview Your comment has not yet been posted Your comment could not be posted Error type Your comment has been saved Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author Post another comment

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/11/jaeger-wool-corset-1890s.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Undergarment ensemble, circa 1900
    gown By the late 19th century some women had begun to wear bifurcated drawers with a shorter chemise Below is an image of the chemise seen in the ensemble above Chemise c 1890 Gift of Ann Jensvold 2003 793 8 2003 793 8 Bodice detail Despite the fact that underpinnings were seen by very few people a great deal of attention was paid to quality and appearance The upper portion of the chemise was usually trimmed with delicate lace or ruffles In 1900 Harper s Bazaar suggested that if your lingerie is made to the latest fashions it is possible to get along with fewer gowns 1 This same article noted a renewed interest in hand worked chemise trimmings Petticoats and corsets were worn over the chemise In the late 19th century petticoats fit closely at the hips and flared gently at the hem To fully support the skirts two petticoats were usually worn The bottom petticoat was typically plain white and was sometimes called an underskirt Because the top petticoat was occasionally glimpsed by others it was often more decorative such as the pink seen here You can also glimpse the eyelet embroidery which decorates the hem of the underskirt Pink petticoat c 1895 1900 Gift of Anonymous Donor 2007 40 13 Though early 19th century corsets tended to be made from plain white cotton or linen by the late 19th century colorful models were available This cotton sateen version has center front fasteners which meant that it could be undone without the help of a maid or body servant Cut below the bust it creates the shaped waist that was so desirable during this period The image below shows the back laces which could be tightened or loosened depending on body type Fit was important as gowns of the present day 1900 require to be worn over most carefully fitted corsets and petticoats 2 Back view of corset c 1900 Gift of Anonymous Donor 2003 40 40 To emphasize or create a womanly figure women could wear hip pads sometimes called hip bustles This particular hip pad is labeled The Scott and is made of cotton lightly padded with horsehair According to its still attached label The Scott was especially adapted for very slight figures having no side or back hips This slight augmentation of a slender figure would help skirts hang and drape gracefully The Scott hip pad c 1900 Museum Purchase 2004 5 9 2004 5 9 Back view 1 The Newest Summer Lingerie Harper s Bazaar 25 Aug 1900 1065 2 Ibid Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post What a tremendous find in that set of hip pads I have a book from the early 1900 s intended for young homemakers with a large section on draping patterning and sewing clothes for women and girls but not one word on the how tos of corsets and bustles This must be why

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/03/undergarment-ensemble-circa-1900.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Goblins, ghouls, and Orcs!
    released in 2001 Weta created eerie uncanny and downright frightening creatures for all three Lord of the Rings films including thousands of Orcs In the films Orcs are aggressive dangerous fighting machines a continual hazard to the Hobbits and Elves And as you can see from this mask they re also ugly Made from soft foam coated with an outer more rigid layer this Orc has an oozing eye boils cauliflower ears and misshapen yellowed teeth The teeth were hand painted and the tangled matted wig is made from human hair To create the mottled skin tone the prosthetic was air brushed with multiple pink and brown pigments This Orc didn t appear in the Lord of the Rings films but was generously donated by Weta Workshops for the 2004 exhibition of Hollywood costumes Keeping the Orc company is another prosthetic head the King of the Dead Appearing in Lord of the Rings Return of the King the King of the Dead lives in the Paths of the Dead an underground passage that must be traversed by the film s heroes Leader of the Army of the Dead the King and his subjects exist in ghostly limbo because of an unfulfilled oath In the Return of the King the Dead redeem themselves and are released from the curse evaporating into peaceful rest Like the Orc head this skeletal prosthetic was donated to the FIDM Museum by Weta Workshops It s made from soft foam coated with a shiny layer to give the impression of exposed bone Luminous ghostly eyes melting face and aged teeth give this mask a creepy countenance Would you want to meet this King in the dark King of the Dead prosthetic head 2004 Gift of Weta Workshop 2004 833 1 Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2014/10/goblins-ghouls-and-orcs.html (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Bat hat, c. 1916-18
    5 69AB Why was this uncanny creature a popular decorative motif World War I began in 1914 and more than 16 million soldiers and civilians died before the war ended in 1918 Never in history had war casualties been as extensive nor the mourning as widespread For women black dress and accessories served a dual purpose mourning dress for family and friends killed during the war and practical work attire With men entrenched at the Front women shouldered the burden of industry civilian war work did not allow them to spend as much time money or effort on grief specific clothing This hat is an unusual example of headwear from that chaotic time Its silk velvet and faux astrakhan are non reflective materials suitable for deep mourning The five bats encircling the up turned front brim set this hat apart from typical mourning garb Though bats are symbolically linked to death and darkness this literal interpretation isn t usually applied to mourning dress or the loss of a loved one The bat motif s association with vampires and the female vamp cannot be overlooked They way those creatures drained the life out of their victims is analogous to the total destruction caused by World War I and the near total loss of a generation of men 2009 5 69AB Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post What an amazing piece Real bat heads with velvet bodies How sumptuous Dracula was published in 1897 and Nosferatu was filmed in 1922 what could have sparked such interest in bats in the intervening years could the increasing public outcry against using plumage for hats have motivated an interest in another creature of flight Posted by Caroline November 02 2012 at 03 09 PM Hi Caroline I had the exact same thought process I looked up both Dracula and Nosferatu s dates too I had the same thought about millinery plumage as well It s definitely a topic that invites more research I also wondered about Marchesa Luisa Casati Though she was certainly one of a kind her style definitely tilted towards the more eccentric How influential was her darker sensibility But with bats in Vogue they were definitely a fashion item not an oddity So much to unpack Julia Long one of our former staffers published a paper called Portable Pets Live and Apparently Live Animals in Fashion 1880 1925 It addresses this hat and the larger phenomena of animals in fashion Here s a link to the citation http www ingentaconnect com content maney cos 2009 00000043 00000001 art00008 Posted by FIDM Museum November 03 2012 at 02 01 PM Wow that is some hat Great post too Just an FYI vampire bats don t suck blood they bite an animal and lap up the blood as it drips from the wound Posted by Nancy November 12 2012 at 11 18 AM Sarah Bernhardt had a bat tiara Posted

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2012/10/bat-hat-c-1916-18.html (2016-02-12)
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