Vintage Fashion Reviews – Edwardian Summer Gowns 1905.
The 1905 issue of the Los Angeles Herald reviews the latest in evening gowns for those soft summer nights.
Pointed, Square and Round decolletage. Elbow sleeves with ruffles are the latest decree in women’s 1905 summer fashions.
There is always something most attractive about the fashions for summer gowns, especially those intended for afternoon and evening wear. The bright colors, the trimmings of lace embroidery and ribbon all are in keeping with the blue skirts, green grass and bright summer weather, and there is certainly a freshness quite incompatible with the winter styles and colorings. Everything this season of 1905 is in the bright or light colorings: black gowns are the exception like the beaded dress shown here. Even for street wear the lightest possible effects are considered the smartest.
Light transparent materials are in universal demand, but at the same time – heavier fabrics, such as voile and silks are also popular. The most transparent fabrics, both in plain and figured designs, are made up over lawn or silk, while the other heavier fabrics also demand a silk lining. The flowered muslin’s are to be found in all colors.
The large flowers seem for the moment to be the favorite design, although it must be admitted that the smartest gowns are made of the plain, and most elaborately trimmed with bands of lace or embroidery in entredeux, or embroidery in the material itself. The expense of these gowns – many from Paris fashion houses is prohibitory to the majority of women who have to stop and count the cost of two or three such fascinating models at $200 or $300 a dress.
For those fortunate enough to be wealthy, this summer holds many exciting designs to be seen in at the park or evening ball. Such beautiful colors are to be seen – yellows, pinks, blues in the palest shades.
Evening gowns for summer are built on the same lines, to use a technical phrase, as those of the winter, and, after all, conventional dress for the Edwardian lady is about as cut and dried a business as the men’s dress suit. The skirt – unless it is a dancing frock for a young girl, is made with a train, the waist is cut decollete and the sleeves are short. Then upon this foundation and after these rules is the gown fashioned in it’s own individual style. It is becoming more the fashion – or to use the new term – the fad – to have all dancing frocks made short, and for summer: simple, inexpensive muslin’s and silks, spangled nets and gauze’s all follow the trend of fashion.
Skirt Trains going of fashion.
Though this reviewer loves a pretty train – there is much to be said for their absence. The train can be absurdly inconvenient to wear – even hard to show to advantage in a crowded ballroom, whereas these new short dresses with little if no train are, if well made, extremely smart and becoming.
The skirts are very full around the foot, and the flare is most carefully calculated, so that around the hips there shall not be one inch of unnecessary material, while below almost the effect of crinoline is demanded – and so many ruffles and flounces of chiffon and lace as are displayed by the whisk of the skirt as the wearer moves about – well, fortunately, there is not so much difficulty in keeping the skirt looking fresh.There is a change too in the finish of the waist in this seasons gowns.
The big point is as a rule insisted upon, but the girdle is as it were draped above it, or there is no girdle, simply the lines of the waist. if the waist is of silk or ribbon this is not such a trying fashion as when it is of the same material as the skirt, and it shows off the lines of a slender figure to great advantage.
One senses that Paris is preparing the world for more changes of a more dramatic nature, and summer dresses, with their necessity of being softer and lighter, provides a blank canvas for the more daring younger designers. We shall see some changes during the rest of this decade.
For more Edwardian fashion – visit The Met Museum and Antique Dress