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Antique Fashion & Costume Plates
Le Journal Des Demoiselles
Part 11 - Titanic Era 1913 & 1914

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Antique Fashion & Costume Plates - Part 11

Le Journal Des Demoiselles - Titanic Era 1913 and 1914

Le Journal des Demoiselles

The era of the fashion plate as examined here, really came to an end by 1920.  By 1899, very few magazines still hand coloured fashion plates.   It survived only in a few old established magazines like Le Journal des Demoiselles, which had been published from 1833.  My three fashion plates below are from 1913 and 1914 copies of Journal des Demoiselles.  The paper is a reasonable ecru tone magazine weight, not any thicker than plates from the Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine or La Mode Illustrée.  The natural size is about A4.

Titanic Era

I especially like this era which seems more and more often to be referred to these days as the Titanic era, particularly since the 1990's remake film of the name.   I still feel that anything pre 1914 does belong to the mood of the Edwardian era.  However, I think it is better to have name for these few years which precede the First World War of 1914-18 than tag them onto the late Edwardians.  Early Edwardian fashions are very different from late Edwardian fashions and you can check out my silhouette timelines on this narrow era here. 

One other point is that these early fashions are quite different from the clothes after 1915 which firmly belong in the twentieth century.  The time span 1915-1919 with shorter clothes and less structured styling is what most people think of when they refer to this decade as the teens.

Powerful influences in fashion at the time had included the arrival of a fantastic department store in London called Selfridges in 1909, Poiret's interpretation of Russian ballet costumes and a loosening up of standards under the influence of passionate, sexually charged dances such as the tango.  Dresses with interesting back and ankle detail suitable to wear to tea dances were all the rage.

The first Le Journal des Demoiselles plate of 1913 is a good example of fashionable tea dance dress of the Titanic era (1912).  Note the V-neck which was very novel at the time, along with the Directoire styled empire line that sits under the bust.  The fur trim swathing the dress and the tiered layers are all features of this era. The hair has softened up a little and is more natural looking than circa 1900-1908.


Dresses 1913 & V-Neck Waists (Blouses) of 1914.

Le Journal des Demoiselles plate of 1913 Dresses - 1913 wedding dress fashion plate

Note the V-neck which was very novel at the time, along with the Directoire styled empire line that sits under the bust.

The fur trim swathing the dress and the tiered layers are all features of this era. The hair has softened up a little and is more natural looking than circa 1900-1908.

The Directoire style of dress and the feathered hat is very reminiscent of fashions of the early 1800s.

This is a 1913 example of bridal dress and the veil style of the era. This style of bridal veil stayed in fashion for about 20 years. You can see a photo of a similar 1931 veil style here.

1914 - Blouses known as waists all featuring the scandalous V neck of the era and worn with attractive matching day hats.

1914 blouses were often called waists.  A waist was a very fashionable useful item worn with a skirt.  Waists often appeared in catalogue advertisements.  In the fashion plate below these ladies wear waists and lovely matching day hats. The look is soft and feminine, before more utilitarian functional clothes of 1914-18. These waists all feature the denounced from the pulpit, V-neck of the era and are worn with attractive matching day hats.


If you like this era and are interested in these fashions you can collect the fashion plates in a random manner as you see them in antique shops or online.  If you are looking for an instant set and like a more pristine article you may prefer to buy reprints such as these below from websites.

You can see more Edwardian fashion plates here.


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©Copyright 2005-2011
These images should not be reproduced in printed book form matter, as greetings cards, gift wrap etc., or as part of any electronic material such as a CD, DVD, TV videos, ebooks, websites or similar item. 

Please DO NOT write to me asking for advice on your fashion plate as NONE can be given.

This Fashion Plates Page Added 8 Oct 2005

For more about Fashion Plates
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Some images in this section are courtesy of eBay seller Cabrio4

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About looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.  This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.

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