There’s no question about fashion’s influence from nature, in present time and throughout the course of history. This is often shown in patterns, for instance: leaves, flowers, landscapes and animals. Well, how about having an epoque of fashion centered around the silhouette of a bird? The silhouette of a pigeon? Whether it sounds tempting or not, this was the case of the Edwardian fashion.
Background of the Edwardian fashion
We’ve talked a bit about the makeup of the Victorian Era that ended in 1901. Regarding the fashion though, it was defined by a matriarchal style with dark clothes, a low neckline and decades of heavy and long skirts. The Edwardian fashion was sort of what the Empire fashion was to the 18th century fashion, a liberation from heavy dresses and demanding looks. Even though it was not as a big of a step, it was still a downsizing of the heavy fashion of previous years. With a slimmer silhouette, less embellishments and a more simple style, it was a look for the new century.
Style of the decade
As mentioned, the Victorian era brought a lot of dark colors. So it was about time that women got to wear bright colors, pastels and feminine details. The Edwardian era was a decade of ruffles, lace and all things pretty and cute. The fashion was covering kept modest. From a contemporary view, it kind of looks like the ladies always were on their way to a fancy tea party (if you ask me).
Above all though, this decade was about the s-silhouette. With a puffy bust, a thin waist and heavy hips, the emphasis on the s-silhouette demonstrated an imaginary image of how women were suppose to look. This was made possible with corsets, as well as defined bands/belts by the waist. The inspiration from the pigeon was highly present in the puffy tops, as women were to look like they had large breasts.
The s-silhouette, was actually one of the inspirations for Dior’s famous collection The New Look (1947).
Clothes of the decade
With dresses and skirts hitting floor-length with a slight trail, the women kept the elegance of the past. The go-to look was a skirt and an Edwardian blouse. The Edwardian blouse is characterized by its high collar, puffy chest , and oversized statement sleeves going narrow by the forearms. For fine events, women kept the s-silhouette and wore short-sleeved gowns with all things lace and a lot of details (like A LOT). Layers of lace or sheer fabric was a common detail, with ruffles being placed by the neckline or the hemline. Flowers and bows were also popular to use, not to mention the use of them in combo with lace. As one can tell, this was a time epoque of feminine details and a touch of refinement.
Folks, that’s a wrap on the Edwardian fashion! Perhaps not a fashion for us, even though the Edwardian blouse is not far from the statement sleeves of today!