Skip to comments.Edwardian street style: Astonishing amateur images which capture the fashion of women
Posted on 07/16/2012 5:44:05 AM PDT by C19fan
Street blogging may be considered to be a modern phenomenon, but a series of images unearthed by Kensington and Chelsea Libraries prove that the practice may date as far back as the early 1900s. The Library service has published several wonderful images by the late amateur photographer Edward Linley Sambourne, who was also the chief cartoonist for Punch, which give an amazing insight into the street style of the woman of London and Paris over a century ago. Sambournes beautiful street photography captures the casual side of Edwardian fashion in a manner which is rarely seen.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I see that some of them were captured walking while reading a book....not too far off from today with people walking and using their smart phones.
I watched an old ‘reality’ program from the UK (1999) over the weekend “The 1900 House”...one of the big problems back then were the restrictive, body altering corsets.
I do find it a little odd that some of the outfits are described as "black". How can one tell?
We all look like slobs today. They’d be horrified at us a century hence.
You make a good point but the outcome was so pretty and it forced a woman to have a nice posture while walking. I think Princess Kate wore some sort of corset for her wedding. Is it any different from today’s women who put themselves under the knife to alter their bodies?
I’m also reminded that those pictures were taken before the invention of the bra.
Also, maybe it was just the photographer’s taste, but I didn’t see any women that could remotely be called “fat”.
All I can think is how hot wearing all the fluff would be. Sewing it all and ironing it would be a nightmare.
I don’t understand the waistline and the baggy shirt front. The waistline goes down in front and up in back. The shirts look very unflattering to me. I usually like period clothes but am confused by those two elements. I love the shoes. The hats are sort of disturbing too.
This is one of my favorite periods in women’s fashion. So pretty. I love the photos of the ladies walking along reading their little books. It almost looks like they are texting.
Some of the hats are a little over the top, but I guess it was a way for women to express their individuality.
I lived in Spain for six years. The streets were always littered with trash. I notice in these photos - NO litter on the sidewalks or the streets.
Obviously it was totally unacceptable to trash the street and one might add there would of been a small army of street sweepers keeping London as tidy as possible. Also, this would of been in the more fashionable parts of London out in Westminster and the West End. I would imagine the East End would of been much dirtier. Although if the ladies crossed they have to navigate the horse dung.
I think the one thing I hate most of all is seeing women today cover themselves in tattooes, and Miley is one of ‘em.
Were eating habits more refined?
No, they just ate a little less and exercised more.
This was Punch's annual "New Year" cartoon - lots of commentary on issues of the day.
The owl on top of the heap is Gladstone:
How beautiful and classy. I shudder to think of laundry day, though. Washing and ironing those clothes would be a nightmare.
No argument there!
Now days, girls compete to see who can look most like a
What I don't get is the ‘dirt’ part of the look. I mean, I was a hippy too, in college... BUT my clothes were clean and ironed. I also made some attempt to look feminine.
NOW, somehow girls achieve the ‘dirty’ look intentionally...dirty clothes, wrinkled clothes, pants dragging on the ground... torn and DIRTY. Especially, the hair style that looks like you dumped a bottle of Mazola on your head and then pulled your hair up into a messy blob.
I am sure tired of looking at dirty hair.... even if it is clean and made to look matted and dirty!
I am ashamed of being a woman when I see such sloppy and dirty girls who have NO regard for themselves. I guess the homely girls live this ‘style’ because now everyone looks like THEM!
I agree; tattoos make women appear trashy and somehow dirty.
Some of my own pet peeves re: slob culture include rolls of fat hanging out for everyone to see, exposed bra straps (when did THAT become a fashion statement?), and flip-flops. Don’t give me that garbage about flip-flops showing off your pedicure. Get a pair of decent sandals or wedges.
I recently read that four things we commonly eat today will cause the human body to put on fat: bananas, corn, wheat, and peas.
Of those four items, one in particular has crept into the ingrediants of a huge number of products we eat today - corn. It is the additive corn syrup or corn syrup solids that I suspect is fueling obesity in this nation.
Nothing has changed. This woman is stepping off the curb onto a busy street while reading.
I wear flip-flops, but I’m a dude. I don’t do it to be slobby, per se, but because of a chronic problem with my toenails that makes wearing shoes and socks rather uncomfortable.
As for the rolls of fat... the muffin-top is indeed a revolting sight. =8-P
I've eaten Asian style cuisine for over two years .. rice, a LOT of vegetables (fresh from garden or whole produce from grocery), cut back on coffee,cigarettes .. and yes, cut back on excersize (I blame old age and sore muscles .. my wife says I'm lazy), I drink more water than I ever did and I have an increasing belly fat problem.
I have no insurance, so I don't see a doctor, but lately both men and women have been targetted as having low hormones that induces belly fat.
Don't know if it's true, but I'm 64 and ...
The corsets were better though than in Victorian times - less restrictive of the waist.
Part of the business with the hats is that these are mostly shopgirls and midinettes, and hats are cheaper than a whole new outfit.
Then you have a good excuse, LOL.
Then you have a good excuse, LOL.
Sorry for the double post——still getting used to the super-sensitive keypad on this new laptop.
In my background I was indeed a Hollywood Costume Designer, in the early to mid 60's, after graduating from the Art Institute, of Chicago.. I started working for Edith Head, the legendary designer, of the most iconic classic motion pictures of the glitzy days of the silver screen..
I worked with some of the most beautiful women in our memory.. http://cookingwithchefcarlo.com/pages/bio.html
I hold the distinction of being chosen the Costume Designer for MY FAIR LADY, period piece, with my personal Hollywood heartthrob, Audrey Hepburn, for 3 hours before being discharged for being too "STRAIGHT" a male designer. It's a long story, but is still one that is not uncommon in Hollywood today.. LOL
being discharged for being too "STRAIGHT" a male designer.,
Let me guess you wanted to make the women in the production beautiful and feminine while the homo designers wanted to make the women androgynous.LOL!
It is nice to meet other heterosexual men have the same let us say eccentric tastes as me.
There's some interesting info on Edwardian fashion here, including an old movie of a boarding school girls' outing at Coney Island (about halfway down the page) in the early 1900's.
This incident was so devastating that it was the final straw for me to decide that I wasn't going to reach any prominence in that field unless I overcame my moral objections to perversions, which, in their defense, was very well known.. Bwhaaaaaaa
‘My Fair Lady’ was such a treat because it was totally in keeping with the appearance of the period.
Others, not so much.
I liked ‘Zhivago’, but Julie's hair was NOT correct, nor was Ms. Chaplin's... Somehow that detracted from the rest of the completely accurate art direction for the film.
Lots of films fail on small things like that.
My father served in WWII. Watching war films with him, he'd point out weapons which were wrong for the period or in the wrong hands given the context of the film.
Photographing women and girls as a hobby?
Seems a little creepy to me.
Thank you for teaching me a new word today - I had to look that one up!
Haha, great catch!
It’s not your fault for what they do. The fact it bothers you means you must take pride in yourself...that is great.
What a lovely era.
Wow......what a cool story!!!! Thanks for sharing that.
Makes one sad this world would be destroyed in the trenches of Flanders Fields and we are left with a ruined culture and society.
So does the street. We have diesel exhaust, they had the ubiquitous miasma of horse poop. If you were lucky, it was only horse.
And the picture of the young lady stepping into the street preoocupied with reading could be any kid texting these days. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
In the English photos, they are shopgirls. In the French ones, they are midinettes. All with very snazzy hats.
It really is true that Frenchwomen know how to dress and always have.
Yes, many of us look like slobs today with the more casual dress codes. But it need not be. You can dress casual and still look good in public. In the summer time, I pay good money for quality collared golf shirts and Hawaiian shirts with either khaki trousers or shorts. On my feet are usually deck shoes or sandals (the men's type that just have ventilation holes and don't show the toes.
I detest seeing adults in t-shirts and sneakers. That's always a sloppy look, unless you are out running or jogging. Especially T-shirts that feature some rock band or some stupid saying on them (grow up people). As for women, they need to stay away from sweats and flip-flops, no matter how comfortable they may be. I like to see women in their summer sun dresses with decent shoes. Shorts and shirts are okay if they are playing volleyball or some other sport - otherwise they should look feminine.
The women's clothing in the article from turn of the century don't really appeal to me at all and by and large, the women don't look too happy wearing them. In fact, some of them are so mean-looking they should probably accessorize with a broom!
Sadly, there wasn't any delicate dry cleaners, so the actual fashion of that time period was layers, and always durable, meaning clothing was made of fabric that would stand up to harsh detergent and starches, thus mostly heavy duty, and amended with accessories such as handmade, crocheted laces, bows and fringes.. There were, however, as is true today, fancy lightweight cottons with hand painted floral, and gaudy jewelry, but little else..
People of the day bathed occasionally, not necessarily daily, and heavily perfumed, and had to be a bit gamey in warm weather, and clothing was worn several times between uses, so frilly wasn't practical..
The clothing featured in this, and almost all film is mostly exaggerated, to appeal to the current day standards. The London based, Cecil Beaton, the award winning genius that was the designer on Lady, was obviously the correct choice.. Even I had to admit (DUH), that his take on the flow of style was brilliant, and breathtaking..
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