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50 General Costume & Fashion History Answers - Quiz 4 Answers 1900-1950

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Fashion Quizzes, Puzzles,& Fun - Fashion Quiz 4 Answers

50 General Costume & Fashion History Answers to Quiz 4 Featuring 1900 -1950


Answers below are to the questions found on the previous page here.

  1. 1901-1910

  2. A privileged few gained access to the Prince of Wales, later known as King Edward VII and his personal circle of friends known as the 'Marlborough Set'. Wealth rather than birth was a passport to the society he dominated.  People soon realised that the doors were open to anyone who could succeed in winning the King's interest by ostentatious display. Even so his personal set was fairly small made up from a selection of people from the main six hundred London society families. 

  3. Cutting was a social punishment in both Victorian and Edwardian times.  Indiscretions which gave rise to public gossip were punished by social death or 'cutting'. Swiftly and efficiently names could be removed from guest lists, so that those who deviated from the expected behaviour and were publicly indiscreet soon found themselves almost socially extinct. 

  4. Coming out was a formality and the period when a girl joined society usually at age eighteen. Most aristocratic families gave girls little preparation for this; the majority brought their children up in the country where they developed a love of outdoor life. Girls received little education other than learning to play the piano and to dance, plus a good working knowledge of French and German. This, together with a sound training in table manners, was all that was considered necessary for someone who could, overnight, become a society debutante.

  5. The London Summer Season lasted from May to August and was when young girls had their coming out.  As early as February some would have received invitations for their presentation to the King and Queen at the first Court. In any one season approximately one hundred girls would be received at Court, with thirty or forty debutantes being presented at any one time.

  6. An S-bend was a body silhouette achieved by use of an S-bend corset. It created the S-bend figure an exaggerated S bend shape associated with the fashions of the era. The fashionable hour glass silhouette belonged to the mature woman of ample curves and full bosom. The S-bend health corset set the line for fashion conscious women until 1905. The corset was too tightly laced at the waist and so forced the hips back and the drooping monobosom was thrust forward in a pouter pigeon effect creating an S shape.

  7. The Gibson Girl was created by the artist Charles Dana Gibson and she wore an outfit which consisted of a white high necked shirt blouse and a flared skirt. It was practical and it set a skirt and tailored shirt style that has remained in various forms ever since.

    This particular image was a cartoon character drawn by the American artist Charles Dana Gibson. For twenty years between 1890 and 1910 he satirised society with his image of 'The New Woman' who was competitive, sporty and emancipated as well as beautiful. Her clothes were fashionable in both America and Britain and set a fashion for skirts worn with embroidered blouses. Another Gibson look was a shirt collar worn with either a tie, floppy artist bow, tie neck cravat with stick pin bar brooch or crosscut ruffle jabot.

  8. The supermodels and fashion leaders of the Edwardian era were royalty such as Queen Alexandra and also actresses, singers and professional beauties such as Mrs. Wheeler, Lily Langtry and Constance Collier who all acted as mannequins for designers of the era.

  9. The French called the era from 1895 to 1914 La Belle Époque.  It was an epoch of beautiful clothes and the peak of luxury living for a select few, mainly the very rich and the very privileged through birth.

  10. The waistline was raised until it was a column like empire line or Directoire after the styles designed by Paul Poiret. So after 1907 a longer line corset almost reaching the knees intended to make the figure look slimmer became fashionable.

  11. The artists portraying Orientalism included Paul Iribe (1908), Georges Lepape, Raoul Dufy and Erté.  Over the years Poiret worked with several artists who drew fashion drawings and textile print designs for him.  Poiret's influence on fashion illustration and fashion presentation was enormous and attractive prints by these artists are still used in interiors to set a mood. 

  12. Poiret had been influenced by the Ballets Russes and in 1913 he produced exotic designs based on oriental harem pants.  Poiret loved bright colour and introduced brilliant hues whilst the sweet pea colours of the Edwardian era were still very fashionable. His lampshade tunic and turbans were all in vibrant glowing shimmering colours, with beaded embellishment. To complete the outfits there were exotic Eastern inspired jewelled slippers which drew together Orientalism in the outfit.

  13. Having liberated women by putting them into pants Poiret then sought to design extremes and became famous for designing a hobble skirt which drew the legs closely together as it was so narrow. To increase the hobble effect women needed to wear a 'fetter', a kind of bondage belt that held the ankles together and prevented the wearer from making any movements other than small steps in imitation of Geisha girls.  The hobble skirt was probably Poiret's last real success as new designers like Chanel and Lanvin opened up Fashion Houses and began to design unrestrictive clothes that women really felt comfortable wearing.

  14. The V neck for daywear was thought so shocking that it was denounced from the pulpit in 1913.

  15. Raoul Dufy was one of the artists that founded the Fauvist movement. Dufy made fabric prints and worked on interesting dyeing techniques to enhance Paul Poiret's work in fashion. Later Dufy worked for a French textile firm where he designed dramatic prints for silks and brocades.  Today many of us remember him for his wonderful light infused paintings of the south of France. 

  16. Leon Bakst designed and made flamboyant exotic colourful costumes for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He used colour in an oriental way, using bold hues and sharp contrasts with highlights of embroidery and heavy appliqué. The idea behind the clothes was that women would look like harem slaves. To emphasise this he put women in turbans and harem pants. Much of his work showed oriental influence.

  17. The American, Gordon Selfridge, invested in building a huge store in Oxford Street, London in 1909. Staff were hired months before it opened. They were trained in selling the Selfridge way.  Shoppers flocked to the store when they heard of the delights inside. At last they could openly obtain goods such as make up and perfume easily. Clothes departments sold all manner of goods and hard to find items. Music greeted the shoppers and browsing there could be an all day experience. Shopping there was intended to be a recreation. 

  18. In August and September there were Cowes week, the Scotland grouse season and the health resorts of Marienbad or Bath to visit.

  19. A typical house party dinner menu had 12 courses.

  20. During the day they might ride in the park, shoot or hunt until teatime.  They might also play bridge or other card games indoors.

  21. For a brief weekend stay a society lady would take at least one huge domed trunk called a 'Noah's Ark', possibly more, plus hat boxes and a heavy dressing case. These contained clothes enabling her to change up to half a dozen times a day. A lady would never wear the same outfit twice during one stay.

  22. In the early 1900s fashion colours were sugar almond and sweet pea colours, with stronger colours emerging after 1908.

  23. The Titanic sink in 1912.

  24. The first bra was patented in 1914 by Mary Jacobs an American. It is not thought to be the first bra ever, but it is the patented record that gives her the credit.  Cretan women had the idea long before and various BBs or Bust Bodices or improvers had been around in Britain and France since the Edwardian era and exist today in costume collections.  Several designers including Paul Poiret, Lucille and Vionnet all say they invented the bra as correct underwear for their new dress innovations and admonished clients to abandon their corsets.  Mary Jacobs had the intelligence to patent a design for a bra and has her name linked forever with the bra.

  25. Coco Chanel.

  26. Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903.

  27. In 1918 all women over 30 were given the vote with women over 21 able to become MP's.

  28. Lady Nancy Astor (1879-1964) was elected to Parliament in 1919 and was the first women MP to take her seat at Westminster.

  29. By 1928 all women over 21 were given equity with male voting rights and it was called the 'flapper vote'. 

  30. In 1918 an attempt was made to introduce a utility garment as a National Standard Dress. It had no hooks and eyes, but metal buckles and was supposed to be an all purpose garment that could be a dinner gown, day gown or nightdress. It never took off!  Lessons learned from this were used in the 1939-45 war when women were given ration coupons, but had an element of choice in what they wore.

  31. Bright Young Things drank cocktails and flouted old rulkes after the First world War.  The era 1921-22 saw a great change in the drinking habits of the affluent and the debut of the cocktail at the first night clubs in London. Most people still retained pre-war values, but the behaviour of 'The Bright Young Things' was written about with distaste by journalists and writers of the era. 

  32. The Shimmy, the Charleston and the Black Bottom. Unlike clothes of the Edwardian era the lack of corsetry helped the dancers move easily and the often sleeveless clothes were unrestrictive. The Rumba, Samba and Conga were all popular dances in this period.

  33. The French called the flapper fashion style the 'garconne'.   The costume history image in our minds of a woman of the 'Roaring Twenties' is actually likely to be the image of a flapper. Flappers did not truly emerge until 1926.  Flapper fashion embraced all things and styles modern. A fashionable flapper had short sleek boyish hair, a shorter than average shapeless shift dress, a chest as flat as a board, wore make up and applied it in public, smoked with a long cigarette holder, exposed her limbs and epitomised the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away in the Jazz Age.

  34. Skirts only revealed the knee briefly between 1926 and 1928, and this was the only period when evening dresses were short in line with day dress lengths. This was the flapper period. New students of costume history often mistakenly assume that all dresses day and evening were short in every year of the twenties and that flappers were the only fashion style of the twenties. Dress and coat lengths were actually calf length and quite long for most of the decade.  Shortness is a popular misconception reinforced by the availability of moving film of the Charleston dance which shows very visible knees and legs on the dancing flappers.

  35. Gabrielle Chanel 1883-1971 self styled herself to be known as Coco Chanel and as the greatest fashion designer of her era. By 1920 the silhouette of her clothing designs have come to be the epitome of 20's style. The work of other famous designers beside hers seemed old fashioned and outmoded belonging as they did to the pre World War One era.

  36. An Eton crop was a short haircut. Hair was first bobbed, then shingled, then Eton cropped in 1926-7. An Eton crop was considered daring and shocked some older citizens, since hair had always been thought a woman's crowning glory. Only maiden aunts and elderly dowagers avoided the severe shorter styles, but by the 1930s softer waved hairstyles were a refreshing change.

  37. The Mary Jane ankle strap button shoe was the style of the twenties. T bar shoes with buckles and bows and straps featured in the 1920s.  . Strapped shoes were called Mary Janes. T bar shoes or others with buckles and bows made interesting fashion statements. Sequin or diamante trims were quite usual. Footwear was visible beneath short dresses and was selected with more care as a fashion accessory.

  38. In 1922 Suzanne Lenglen shocked the world when she dressed for tennis at Wimbledon wearing a short skirt. She abandoned the hat and also caused a stir with her hair bandeau designed to enable her to actually see what was going on. Such seriousness of purpose was unknown before. By 1930 a bare head was acceptable for tennis playing.

  39. Even more shocking than Lenglen was Alice Marble who strode onto court wearing white shorts in 1932. Both outfits were at the time considered outrageous, but over the years other sports women have braved new ground with more appropriate dress.

  40. Louise Brooks was the 1920s fashion icon with a distinctive bobbed haircut.

  41. Chanel had introduced the world to the jumper and it was worn by both men and women. Knitted garments for men really took off in the twenties and women eagerly wore the same knits too. Fair Isle patterns became very popular for both sexes.

  42. The French designer Madeleine Vionnet devised methods of bias cross cutting during the 1920s using a miniature model. She made popular the halter neck and the cowl neck.  Although the modern instigator of bias cutting, historical evidence suggests that close fitting gowns and veils of the medieval period were made with cross cut fabrics. The Edwardians also made skirts that swayed to the back by joining a bias edge to a straight grain edge and the result was a pull to the back that formed the trained skirt. She did really popularise it and the resulting clothes are styles we forever associate with movie goddesses and dancers like Ginger Rogers. 

  43. Italian Elsa Schiaparelli 1890-1973 had a love of rich fabrics and feminine fantasy clothes that frequently had a surreal twist. She would accessorise with humour and designed funky hats made to appear as lamb or mutton chops or ice cream cones. Her eccentricity was much loved and her clothes were revolutionary at the time.

  44. Wallis Simpson. In 1936 Edward VIII abdicated his right to the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson.  On marriage she became the Duchess of Windsor, but was never ever granted the title H. R. H.   However they self styled themselves as Royal Highnesses and the Duke bought her vast quantities of jewellery. 

  45. Her dress was designed by Mainbocher as was the rest of her trousseau.

  46. The British Civilian Clothing Order of 1942 introduced economies in fashion designs. In1942 under the Civilian Clothing Order the British government introduced sumptuary laws designed to give weight to the Utility scheme. The laws made it illegal and unpatriotic to spend time embellishing clothing for sale, and forbade manufacturers using the CC41 label shown in the header from using fancy trimmings, unnecessary buttons, extra stitching or tucks or pleats or pockets more than was essential to function. Mass production of clothing was refined in the UK during the 1939-45 war. Strict restrictions ensured that manufacturers produced goods of a high standard under the Utility Scheme. Manufacturers were only given cloth if they produced a percentage of utility clothes. Only those companies who could achieve high standards stayed in business. This set the tone for superior production of well made clothes after the war.

  47. The Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers was led by Captain Molyneux and included Norman Hartnell, Digby Morton, Victor Stiebel, Angèle Delange, Peter Russell, Madame Bianca Mosca and Hardy Amies.  They created 34 smart Utility Clothing designs in 1942 that were officially approved by the Board of Trade. Of these a selection was mass-produced.  Finally they were finished off with the official and now famous CC41 (Clothing Control 1941) label designed by the commercial artist Reginald Shipp.

  48. Christian Dior.  In 1947 Christian Dior presented a fashion look with a fitted jacket with a nipped in waist and full calf length skirt. It was a dramatic change from wartime austerity styles. After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War, Dior's lavish use of material was a bold and shocking stroke. The style used yards and yards of fabric. Approximately 10 yards was used for early styles. Later using up to 80 yards for newer refinements that eliminated bulk at the waist.  Life magazine dubbed Dior's Corolle line the New Look.  Dior had specific names for each style which all featured the fuller skirt.  Dior's New Look dominated the fashion world for about ten years, but was not the only silhouette of the era. 

  49. A toque is tall hat. Queen Mary continued to wear toques long after the fashion died.

  50. The cloche hat was fashionable from 1908 to 1933 was one of the most extreme forms of millinery ever with an appearance that resembled a helmet. 

Answers above are to the questions found on the previous page here.

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Added 12 Dec 2005

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