Fashion History

Gown by Poiret

Paul Poiret

A printed silk gown ca. 1912 attributed to French designer Paul Poiret (1879-1944). Measurements: Bust approx 92cm (36 in), Waist 72 cm (28 in). The current estimated value of this dress is between 9,200 CAD to 12,300 CAD. The pencil sketch…

Cutting Edge Fashion, ca. the 12th Century

Western European women’s clothing changed dramatically in the first half of the 12th century, during the First Crusade, when noble ladies accompanied their crusading lords to cities such as Constantinople, Palermo, and Venice—all centres of silk manufacture. These fashion-conscious visitors…

America’s First Fashion Icon

The Gibson Girl was the personification of the feminine ideal as portrayed in the satirical pen and ink illustrated stories created by Charles Dana Gibson during a twenty-year period spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United…

Dior Considered Embroidery Dangerous

Christian Dior, creator of the 1947 spring/summer fashion collection that swept Europe and the Americas (coined “the New Look” after Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow’s exclamation, “Its such a New Look!”) thought embroidery was dangerous. In Dior’s book The Little Dictionary…

The First Bra

Bra history dates back as far as ancient Crete but the word brassiere didn’t appear until 1907, when it was coined in an issue of American Vogue. Prior to 1907 early bras were referred to as soutien-gorges by the French…

Fashion by the Book: The First Casualty

I recently read The First Casualty by Ben Elton, a murder mystery set to the background of the horrendous meat grinder of the Third Battle of Ypres. A Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Douglas Kingsley, is sent to Flanders under unusual…