La Belle Époque

The museum close to where I live has an exhibition of Edwardian Fashion – the so called ‘Beautiful Era’ or ‘Belle Époque’. I popped along recently and really enjoyed seeing all the costumes.

There were a selection of reproductions from the series Downton Abbey – I’ve never seen this (so many people have told me how good it is, I’m not quite sure why I haven’t made the effort to watch it yet – one day 😉 ) but I did enjoy seeing the costumes.

See if you can recognise them…

Downton costumes collage

The rest of the display was of original, and very fragile, clothes.

This one is a lady’s wedding jacket, it was trimmed with the most beautiful hand embroidery done in soft pinks and greens. The photo is of the lady on her wedding day wearing the jacket 😀

wedding jacket collage

This next photo shows a selection of other costumes, the dress on the left is an evening gown, hand embroidered and embellished with handmade Honiton lace, emerald green glass jewels on the bodice and …wait for it…iridescent beetle wings! The small close up shows just how bright they are. They were sewn all around the hem; she must have shimmered at her Ball.

other costumes collage

And the other dress is a Tennis dress – can you imagine playing tennis wearing that? They’d be no running round would there? Just a gentle rally where the ball is placed so you don’t have to move in order to hit it!

I’m so glad we have more sensible clothes nowadays, and less ‘dress codes’ to follow. What do you think?

Until next time,

Chris x


2 thoughts on “La Belle Époque

  1. Theresa

    Maybe our clothes are more sensible today but there is a lot of craftsmanship and beauty that has been lost. Because of the feminist moment I think we’ve lost what makes these styles so appealing. Though I wouldn’t want to play tennis in that dress, these dresses are very feminine. There was a distinct difference between the men and the women during this time. Today there is a blending of the sexes. I have met women who believe that being equal to a man means being like a man. I don’t think this idea is the right way to go. I think this is why we kept being drawn back to the beauty of these clothes. It’s feminism lost. We can have our rights and still celebrate all that is wonderful about being a woman. ……..and yes, without letting our butt checks hang out of our shorts.

    1. These dresses are certainly elegant and modest, and I bet the ladies felt beautiful (and maybe a bit uncomfortable given the corsets they had to wear underneath them!) wearing them. It’s so nice to have the choice of how we dress and yes, to be able to look feminine.

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