Monday, April 13, 2009

Gazette du Bon Ton

For whatever reason, this past week I have found myself introduced to and followed by this vintage fashion publication, Gazette du Bon Ton.  While doing research for something totally unrelated it entered into my awareness and took me on an adventure through the Internet as I put together bits and pieces that I could find about its existence, editor and illustrators. This past Saturday found me at an exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, ChicChicago, featuring vintage gowns designed by Worth, Lavin, Poiret, Chanel and others, accompanying stories about the women of Chicago for whom they were made and the events that they wore them to.  One gown in particular, a beautiful beaded top and long black skirt designed by Paul Poiret was featured in the Gazette du Bon Ton back in its day.  At that point, I had to go home and dig a little deeper.  

This French magazine was a unique fashion journal started by Lucien Vogel in 1912 and ran until 1925.  Its goal was to give readers access to fashion, beauty and lifestyle articles.  In an effort to add the element of art, popular illustrators of the day were asked to show the latest designs as they might appear in a woman's real world--not just as a static piece of clothing on a mannequin.  The magazine certainly was geared towards the upper class as it was sold as subscription only for 100 francs a year.  Printed on fine handmade paper, these illustrations were hand painted in vivid colors and remain today as collector's items.  

This reminds me of something Donna Karen might come up with. It feels so contemporary.

I love how each illustrator brought his own unique view to the fashion and situations a woman might find herself in wearing a particular outfit.  

A young girl's outfit was worked into this illustration.

Love this one--this 'lady' is just a tiny bit put out that it's raining. Alas, she can't take her pretty little self out for a stroll.

A short video from Victoriana Magazine:

Additional information:
To purchase the prints you see here, visit Grey Heron Prints


Phivos Nicolaides said...

The Chicago History Museum, in Chicago, is a place to be!!

Lynn said...

Great research, Kim! I just loved feasting my eyes on these illustrations and the others that are being sold; they're simply beautiful!!!

Hels said...

I was very interested in the Ballets Russes costume designs that had emerged at their best by 1912. And I wrote about the fashion at length.

But I was also very interested in how the Ballets Russes theatrical designs came off the stage and into Paris' wardrobes. By 1912 you start seeing elegant Paris women in Orientalist harem pants and turbans.

The question I should have asked was _how_ did Orientalist fashions become known to well dressed women? Do you think Gazette du Bon Ton might have had something to do with the fashion?

Art and Architecture, mainly

linkwheel said...

The illustrations are worth a second-look beyond doubt