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WHAT WE WORE: A HISTORY OF WOMEN'S FASHION
Transcript of WHAT WE WORE: A HISTORY OF WOMEN'S FASHION
A History of Women's Fashion
Baby Got Back
The Bee's Knees
The New Look
The Angel in the House
Dress Reform Movement
First Donation Land Claim in the Rogue Valley was given to Alonzo A. Skinner
Gold is discovered
Jacksonville is founded
Peter Britt arrives
Ashland is founded
Julia Hoffman Beekman arrives from Indiana
Rogue River Indian Wars begin (ends 1856)
Michael Hanley buys The Willows
Jackson County’s first courthouse was built in Jacksonville
Queen Victoria & Albert, 1854
Victorian Era (1837-1901)
Advance to the Rear
Trains & Bustles & Cuirasses, Oh My!
Democratization of Fashion
The Return of the Bustle
The New Woman
Bikes & Bloomers
WWI: The Crinoline Strikes Back
Free & Loose
The Great War
Fashion as a Political Tool
Flappers & The Lost Generation
Comme des Garconnes
A Return to Tradition
Pants for Women
A New Look
The Housewife Ideal
Death of the Mini
Denim: A Way of Life
Dress for Success
"The costume of women should…conduce to her health, comfort, and usefulness…it should make [her personal adornment] of secondary importance."
Amelia Jenks Bloomer
Amelia Jenks Bloomer, History of Women's Suffrage, 1881
Haute Couture is Born
Charles Frederick Worth, 1895
House of Worth, Paris, France 1894
Women's everyday dress, ca. 1850
Singer Sewing Machine, ca. 1870s
"I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she
Susan B. Anthony, ca. 1890
A Sign of Good Breeding
Edwardian Era (1901-1910)
Alice Blue Dress
"The war is long but the skirts a short!"
Strict social code of conduct
Ideal Victorian woman was pure, chaste, refined, and modest
Women were seen as belonging to the domestic sphere
Education was specialized by gender
Physical activity for women was seen as dangerous and inappropriate for women
Bloomer suit cartoon ca. 1850s, Library of Congress
Artistic Dress was a fashion movement circa 1850-1900 that rejected highly structured and heavily trimmed Victorian trends in favor of beautiful materials and simplicity of design.
The style was characterized by soft colors, narrower skirts, and simple ornamentation
An "anti-fashion" spread in the 1860s in literary and artistic circles, and remained an undercurrent for the rest of the century.
Illustration of bustle phases
Ready Made Clothes
SOHS 271 Julia Hoffman Beekman, ca. late 1880s
SOHS 21918 Bellinger Family, ca. mid-1880s
Sartorial cartoon criticizing the New Woman, Punch, Vol. 108, June 29, 1895
Hourglass Figure &
SOHS 46436 Henrietta Medynski on bike, ca. 1890s
SOHS 1783 Colvig Family, 1904
Alice Longworth Roosevelt, painting by Theobald Chartran, ca. 1901
Created by Charles Dana Gibson around 1890
A free-spirited, active young American woman, who was embracing her new emancipation while still retaining her elegance and femininity.
The model of modern attitudes and dress.
SOHS 22753 Helen Colvig, ca. 1900
SOHS 3562 Grace Fiero at Woodlawn Orchards, ca. 1910
SOHS 22252 Mollie Britt & Blanch Cook, 1929
SOHS 16808 Grace Fiero at Medford Airport "Wing In" Canteena, ca. 1942
SOHS 56218 Burelson's Fashion show 1966
The width of the crinoline peaked in 1860.
Skirts deflated and volume moved to the rear
After about 1862 the silhouette of the crinoline changed and rather than being bell-shaped it was now flatter at the front and projected out more behind.
By 1868 only a half crinoline, or crinolinette, was required to support the rear profusions.
Upwardly mobile families perceived certain material possessions as markers of their comparative respectability. The ability to have new clothing from the continually changing offerings of current fashion was one of these important symbols.
Production of ready-made clothing for women had increased enormously by 1870, but still didn't compare to the availability of men's clothing.
Ready-mades did not completely take the place of home sewing, because of new expectations of having more variety in dress.
An interesting development is the appearance of plain, unbustled cotton work dresses for house work.
Ashland Woolen Mills is established
American Civil War begins
American Civil War ends
The First Trans-continental Railroad opened up the far west. Travel from NY to SF now took six days instead of six months.
One in eight Jackson County residents were Chinese
Ashland College is founded
Modoc Indian Wars
Oregon Caves discovered
J.D. Whitman founds the first commercial orchards.
Medford founded when the Oregon and California Railroad built its tracks through where the town is now located and selected its location for a depot.
Railroad south from Portland reaches Ashland, May 5 (completed Dec. 7, 1887)
Southern Oregon State Normal School founded
Progressive Era begins (ends ca. 1920s)
Land speculation boom
Gold Ray Dam completed in 1903 by brothers Frank and C.R. Ray began generating electricity
Oregon passes women's suffrage ballot measure
Marian Towne becomes first female legislator in Oregon
First section of Pacific Highway (99) paved
Oregon becomes a dry state.
Newell Barber Field, Oregon’s first publicly owned airfield, was established by the City of Medford.
Ku Klux Klan active in Southern Oregon
DeAutremont train robbery
Southern Oregon Normal School founded
Medford becomes county seat
Burleson's Department Store est'd
Ashland Shakespeare Festival founded by Angus Bowmer
Good Government Congress. Llewellyn Banks murders Constable George Prescott over charges of voting fraud.
Bracero Program was initiated to address labor shortages caused by WWII. The program affected Oregon orchard practices and increased diversity in the Rogue Valley
State of Jefferson movement caused demonstrations and road blocks in November
Camp White, known as the Alcatraz of training camps due to its rigorous demands on recruits, opened. White City also housed German prisoners of war.
Vietnam War begins (ends 1975)
Peter Britt Gardens Music and Arts Festival founded, the first outdoor music festival in the Pacific Northwest
I-5 is built
Berlin Wall erected, confirmed the impact of communism to the Western world
Space exploration became a preoccupation of the superpowers
Summer of Love
Civil Rights Act passed
Valley View Winery and Siskiyou Winery were bonded
Stock market crashes
Camp White was led by Major General Charles Gerhardt. He was known for his tough training - there's a reason it was called the "Alcatraz of Boot Camps." Gerhardt was a strict taskmaster and even trained the female nurses to use firearms, an uncommon practice at the time.
The Cage Crinoline
SOHS 4713 Mary Ann Young Harris Chambers, ca. 1860s
Hourglass figure that grew to exaggerated proportions.
Prior to the crinoline, women wore as many as six petticoats to achieve the desired fullness.
The introduction of the cage crinoline was considered a liberation due to its light weight and low cost.
The look was so popular and economical that lower middle class women, maids, and factory girls sported the style.
Many women dressed unfashionably at times, especially during times of extended activity - like crossing the Oregon Trail.
For the most part women wore everyday dresses made of calico in a typical, if not subdued, style appropriate for the time.
After reaching their destination, clothes were mostly worn out, but procuring fabric to make clothing was difficult due to slow transportation and communication.
However, distance did not mean women were ignorant of current fashion trends.
Illustration of typical dress reform style, ca. 1860s
SOHS 1259 Ashland Woolen Mills, est'd 1868
Most clothing was still hand sewn, but local textile mills and improved transportation made it unnecessary to spin and weave the fabric at home.
Women made themselves plain working dresses of whatever cheap material was available.
But the developments in pattern systems provided an ordinary woman, no matter how isolated, with additional means to create more complex clothing.
SOHS 10864 Anderson & Glenn General Merchandise Store, Jacksonville, 1856
SOHS 21063 Alice Hanley, 1883
Bear Creek Orchards is founded.
SOHS 1115, Group on steps of Hotel Colestine, 1895
Shirtwaists became available in 1891 as separate items of apparel to be worn with just a skirt.
This idea of separates was a great benefit to the working-woman, who, with one skirt and a selection of shirtwaists, could appear to have many changes of clothing.
knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."
Susan B. Anthony
The rise of the department store and the continuing success of mail-order shopping had great impact on the democratization of fashion in the eighties.
Both high fashion and everyday styles became relatively easily and cheaply attainable.
The division between the wearing of high style and simple dress was along the lines of use, and not always along the lines of income or class.
Mass production and availability had created a stronger tendency toward the standardization of dress
In the opening years of the 20th century, women’s fashions were in the terminal phase of the 1890s styles.
Morals loosened as Victorianism gave way to Edwardianism, and clothing followed suit.
The female domestic role was still an expectation.
The Edwardian lady was stately, and the quality of her manners were a sign of good breeding.
Dresses were looser, less precisely fitted.
Slimmer and more simply cut, the new styles expressed to many American women ideals of comfort, freedom, and the possibility of physical movement.
When war broke out in Europe in 1914, for the first time women became indispensable in the workplace due to a manpower shortage. Their new occupations required more functional apparel, and women began to wear clothes that had simpler, more masculine appearance.
In 1915, there was a brief return to a feminine shape with neat waists, flared skirts and raised hemlines. Dubbed the "War Crinoline," the style was extremely popular, but declined swiftly and abruptly as people came to their senses and the style was decried as wasteful.
SOHS 13367 Marian Towne
Abigail Scott Duniway signs Oregon's Equal Suffrage Proclamation, 1912
courtesy of OHS
Suffragettes sought to effect change not by challenging contemporary fashion and ideals of femininity, but by conforming to them.
In addition to their irreverent behavior, flappers were known for their style.
Called garçonne in French ("boy" with a feminine suffix) characterized by boyish features including: short hair, flattened breasts, and straight waists accentuated it.
Because their style was largely a result of French fashions, despite the scandal flappers generated, their look became popular in a toned-down form among respectable older women.
Women’s fashion returned to the spirit of allure and feminine curves were once again reinstated. Hemlines dropped and the waistline rose in an attempt to bring back the traditional “womanly” figure
Pants for women were still not quite considered acceptable by the majority in the early part of the 1930’s. But by the mid-thirties they were acceptable for everyday casual-wear, with Katherine Hepburn demonstrating the carefree possibilities of pants.
SOHS 13625 Nurses in combat gear, Camp White, ca. 1943
The War Production Board issued Regulation L85 in 1942. The regulation limited fabric use setting guidelines for width, length, and trim restrictions. The regulations lad 1946 and affected the cut of clothing throughout the war.
Revolution in women's dress began in the 1880s. It's interesting that it took place during one of the most elaborate and restrictive periods of high fashion in the 19th century. But it was that very restrictiveness that contributed to the urge to reform.
As women increasingly moved into the work place, there became a demand for acceptable clothing styles that were less complicated, easier to wear, and simpler to care for.
Clara Bow was THE flapper of the 1920s.
The attitudes of the Lost Generation were perpetuated by the flapper.
Many Americans regarded flappers as threatening to conventional society, and a significant challenge to traditional Victorian gender roles.
The desire for equality with men was a major factor in flapper culture. And the rise of consumerism promoted the ideals of fulfillment and freedom - encouraging women to have their own thoughts on garments, career, and social activities.
After a period of reconstruction and a reorientation to peace, Christian Dior introduced the New Look in April 1947
Oregon's first VHF station, KBES, signed on, in Medford, on August 1.
Women who lived through the privations of the Great Depression and WWII were now able to afford new styles and embraced them all.
Commercial T.V. stations became widespread and advertisements presented women as being impeccably dressed at all times.
Social changes went hand-in-hand with new economic realities, and one result was that many young people who would have become wage-earners early in their teens before the war now remained at home and dependent upon their parents through high school and beyond, establishing the notion of the teenage years as a separate stage of development.
The post-war period created the "first truly independent fashions for young people." Previously, teenagers dressed similarly to their parents, but now a rebellious and different youth style was being developed.
Jeans in the 50s were the uniform of nonconformists and teenagers. A teenage girl wanting to assert herself could be sure that a pair of jeans would distance her from her mother.
Hem length was directly proportional to how women felt about their own sexual liberation. Short skirts were not meant to attract men for the sake of sexual interest, but instead were a way to attract attention so that a WOMAN could then be the one to decide if his attention was wanted. Sexual power through fashion.
As shocking as a mini skirt was to society there was an equal confusion over the new pant suit. There was a confusion over whether they were an insult to femininity or empowerment to women (and that it disrespected men.)
Toward the end of the decade, an infatuation with the wild and irreverent anti-clothes of the hippies took hold. Hippie clothes were the uniform of the dropouts, the disillusioned, and the dilettantes versus the plastic, warmongering establishment. They rejected the straight world’s values and that included its concept of proper dress.
SOHS 16464 Students at Energy Fair, 1977
SOHS 17081 Students, 1975
Crater Lake designated National Park
Pinto Colvig begins working with Disney
Women continue the fight for equality in the workplace with more female corporate executives.
"Street style" gets pretty interesting and there are quite a few subculture movements.
Another period of anti-fashion. Grunge is a thing.
Women are finally permitted to wear pants on the U.S. Senate floor in 1993.
Trends toward sustainability and a move away from the "fast fashions" of recent decades.
Progress toward redefining what is feminine and what is masculine.
In the early years of the decade, people were so mesmerized by the refined tastes of Jackie that they dressed like carbon copies of her
Her example affected everyone – from socialites to sorority girls to suburban housewives.
The classic Jackie ensemble was a two-piece dress or suit
The bullets fired in Dallas in 1963 not only completely changed the landscape of American politics, but they also completed the end to an era of fashion.
It was the whole idea of a return to youth that drove most of the fashion in the 1960’s A youth driven culture was no coincidence. The children of the post-war “baby boom” were approaching their teens and by 1960 half of all Americans were under twenty five. Young people became instrumental in commerce and culture .
SOHS 21120 Teens at anti-Vietnam protest, 1967
SOHS 7891 Confiscated whiskey stills, 1920s
Society changed quickly after World War I, and so did the clothing. The styles of 1920s were a completely accurate depiction of the pulsating dynamism of an era seeking to erode the restrictive social, political, economic, and moral concepts left over from the previous century.
The 1920s were marked by economic boom, consumerism, and leisure after the wartime austerity. When we look back now, we think flappers, “speakeasies,” and an era that seemed to glorify the easy money and carefree attitude of the times. Social convention changed with the coming of age of the wartime generation, as young women expected more equality. Urbanization reached a climax and the fast attitudes christened the decade the “Roaring Twenties." The Lost Generation made flouting conventions popular. This eventually filtered down into general society and applying makeup, smoking, and drinking became acceptable activities for women.
The mini did not die a quick death, it was well into the seventies before women were willing to give them up. The fact that the end of the mini didn’t come until women were ready to give them up reflected power shifts in the clothing world – the authority of the courturier was crumbling
The 1970s continued the hippie trend into mainstream fashion. The youth oriented looks turned to the complete opposite – granny style. Romanticized granny clothes from several generations ago, like pioneer women, returned fashion back to long dresses. The age of the mini skirt “grew up” and turned into adults.
Denim had grown up with the baby-boom generation and by the 1970s was fully integrated into the everyday wardrobe. • Women wore patchwork jeans, jackets, and pantsuits to place that only a few years earlier would have required a dress, gloves, and hat. By the end of the decade, the demand was so great that the denim companies were looking for alternative ways to produce jeans more cheaply and turning to sweatshop labor instead of factories. Jeans were the uniform of the late seventies, not faded, bleached, studded, or appliqued, but dark and skin tight – Cut was everything.
The “dress-for-success” look emerged as a result of women moving into more professional jobs in greater number. They needed suits and conservative dresses.
With the new consciousness that women had to dress the part if they wanted to rise to the top of the corporate ladder, it was possible to stand on any downtown street corner in America during lunchtime and know the secretaries from the professionals