Programmation 2012-2013

Les séances du séminaire sur l’histoire de la mode de l’Institut d’histoire du temps présent ont lieu un vendredi de chaque mois, de 14h30 à 17h, au 59/61 ue Pouchet, 75017 Paris

Le séminaire est ouvert à tous, aux chercheurs et aux étudiants.

 

Octobre-décembre 2012: “Approche de l’industrie textile : point de vue historique, professionnel et patrimonial”

  •  Séance du 19 octobre 2012 : Etat des lieux de la recherche en histoire de mode


  •  Séance du 23 novembre 2012 : Regard historique et professionnel sur l’industrie textile


  •  Séance de décembre 2012 : visite guidée des archives d’une manufacture : la Maison « Tassinari & Chatel »

 

Le programme pour l’année 2012-2013 sera bientôt publié en intégralité.

 

“I simply refuse to make the very short skirt”: from the Romantic robe de style to the Victorian revival, the fashion design work of the London couturier Norman Hartnell, 1921-1939”, Jane Hattrick, compte-rendu journée d’étude 15 juin 2012

I simply refuse to make the very short skirt”: from the Romantic robe de style to the Victorian revival, the fashion design work of the London couturier Norman Hartnell, 1921-1939”

by Jane Hattrick- PhD research, University of Brighton 

 

The British couturier, Norman Hartnell, opened his fashion House in London’s Mayfair district in 1924 at the age of just twenty-three.

Hartnell had three key ensembles that he designed for his British aristocratic clientele, actresses as clients and for the British royal women between 1937 and 1979. These were his soft-tailored dress and coat ensembles, full length, slim line evening gowns and tea-gowns and the full length full skirted crinoline gowns, famously worn by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. This paper will show that these were key Hartnell styles during the interwar period, and that despite his rise to the status of wealthy, celebrity couturier by 1934, Hartnell’s clothes were designed to be attractive to the more conservative, British clientele in terms of skirt length. Hartnell also preferred to see a length of luxury fabric, trimmed with fur and embellished with embroidery on the bodies of his clients rather than to exposed flesh.

When he opened his salon in 1924, British couture clients expected to be able to purchase Paris models in London.

Despite the economic slump of 1930 and subsequent financial crash, Hartnell’s business had expanded to the extent that in 1934 the House of Hartnell had moved to a larger premises. In the mid-1930s, Hartnell designed slim fitting, full-length evening gowns and tea gowns in silk satin and velvet in plain colours, and collection photographs in the archive and garments studied demonstrate the complex cutting and high levels of skill in his workrooms at that time.

Hartnell had created his first crinoline gowns for the Queen in 1937 based upon Worth’s gowns represented in Winterhalter’s royal portraits at Buckingham Palace, and In 1938 Hartnell designed an entire wardrobe for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s first state visit to Paris – the now famous ‘white wardrobe’. Hartnell dressed the Queen in full-length dresses of cream lace accessorized with parasols and picture hats for day wear and for the evening, white silk satin and lace crinolines worn over a hooped under skirt, decorated with artificial camellias and crystals. As Amy de la Haye and Valerie Mendes have noted: ‘Hartnell was a key figure in the new-Victorian movement,’ which had become popular in Paris and London from the mid-1930s, reflecting his flair for designing fancy dress and theatrical costume. The following year, in 1939, Hartnell was the Queen’s choice of designer to create her entire wardrobe for the royal tour of North America and Canada. Full-length day dresses were again worn by the Queen in pastel coloured lace, along with crinolines in tulle net embroidered with jewels. On the eve of the Second World War the Queen was photographed by Cecil Beaton in several of these Hartnell ensembles, in a propaganda exercise to promote the image of the Queen as the face of British royalty and encourage public support and cohesion on the eve of war.

Hartnell is best remembered for his frou-frou eveningwear and beaded crinoline gowns, underlined by the presence of three of his royal crinolines in the current exhibitions at the V&A Museum in London. This paper will demonstrate that despite his ability to dress women for every occasion, this style of dressing was established by the mid-1920s, reflective of his personal taste in fabrics, colour and embellishment and his preference for clothes in conservative, normative, feminine styles throughout the interwar period.

 

Primary Research Source

The personal and business archive pertaining to the London couturier, Sir Norman Hartnell, currently in private hands, including bound volumes of press cuttings, original sketched designs, and photographs.

Indicative Bibliography

 Adburgham, Alison, A Punch History of Manners and Modes, 1841 to 1940. London: Hutchinson, 1961. Print.

de la Haye, Amy and Valerie Mendes. 20th Century Fashion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1999. Print.

Taylor, Lou. “Romantic”, in Amy de la Haye. Ed. The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997. London: V&A Publications, 1997. Print.

« De la gazette au magazine de mode : approche de la nouvelle féminité dite « moderne » de l’entre-deux-guerres à travers le prisme de l’évolution des journaux de mode de luxe », Sophie Kurkdjian, compte-rendu journée d’étude 15 juin 2012

« De la gazette au magazine de mode : approche de la nouvelle féminité dite « moderne » de l’entre-deux-guerres à travers le prisme de l’évolution des journaux de mode de luxe »

Sophie Kurkdjian – doctorante Université Paris I, chercheuse associée à la Bibliothèque nationale de France

Cette communication entend appréhender le thème de la mode et des femmes durant l’entre-deux-guerres via le prisme de l’histoire de la presse féminine. Fidèles reflets des évolutions de la mode, sismographes des soubresauts des tendances vestimentaires et sociétales depuis le XVIe siècle, bien qu’arborant des formes et des objectifs éditoriaux différents et ne s’adressant pas au même type de lecteurs, les journaux de mode nous permettent de saisir très concrètement les changements récurrents qui s’opèrent dans le domaine de la mode féminine dans les années de l’entre-deux-guerres.

Période particulière, héritée des ruptures introduites par la Première Guerre mondiale, l’entre-deux-guerres apparaît comme une période charnière pour l’histoire des femmes et de la mode. En effet, durant le conflit, les femmes connaissent une sorte d’émancipation (à la fois de mouvement, de corps et de vêtement) du fait des nouvelles responsabilités qu’on leur donne. Devant prendre en charge les fonctions traditionnellement aux mains des hommes, confrontées plus généralement à une plus grande liberté de mouvements, elles adoptent les cheveux courts et des tenues plus confortables, abandonnant le corset et raccourcissant leurs jupes. Néanmoins, dès l’Armistice, avec le retour des hommes et de leur volonté de reprendre leurs postes, les femmes sont contraintes de retrouver leur foyer et leurs fonctions traditionnelles, à savoir à la fois maternelle et ménagère. L’émancipation approchée durant quatre ans de conflit s’estompe peu à peu. Elle conserve un domaine auquel elle peut s’accrocher : la mode. En effet, l’idée d’une guerre émancipatrice, comme l’explique Dominique Veillon, est en grande partie fausse en dehors de la mode. Dès lors, on observe durant l’entre-deux-guerres, un mouvement émancipatoire sur le plan vestimentaire et corporel que l’on qualifie avec le terme de « nouvelle féminité » dite moderne et qui se caractérise à la fois par une silhouette renouvelée mais aussi une attitude et des pratiques nouvelles telles que la pratique de sport et la fréquentation des instituts de beauté par exemple.

Comme on souhaite le montrer, les journaux de mode sont des observatoires utiles pour observer cette évolution. Ce sont plus particulièrement les journaux de mode de luxe qui nous intéressent ici dans cette communication, et cela pour deux raisons. D’une part, ils sont les supports les plus utiles pour observer l’apparition de cette nouvelle féminité car leurs lectrices ont les moyens d’accéder à cette nouvelle féminité. En effet, ces dernières possèdent à la fois l’argent nécessaires pour acheter les nouveaux produits, notamment cosmétiques qui concourent à « fabriquer » cette nouvelle féminité et le temps, pour consacrer de nombreuses heures en institut de beauté. D’autre part, on observe dans ces journaux une transformation formelle de leurs pages et contenus éditoriaux qui correspondent, presque mimétiquement, aux changements esthétiques que connaissent alors les femmes. En effet, aux nouveaux canons de beauté, aux nouvelles modes, aux nouveaux « comportements » féminins correspondent de nouveaux journaux féminins. Aux gazettes du début du XXe siècle succèdent en effet, dès 1920, les magazines de mode où la photographie de mode remplace progressivement le dessin de mode comme la figure de la garçonne succède à celle de femme de la Belle Époque.

Ainsi, nous nous interrogerons dans cette communication sur le rôle joué par les journaux de mode dans la constitution de la nouvelle féminité dite moderne entre les années vingt et trente. Nous nous appuierons sur la Gazette du bon ton et sur le magazine de mode Jardin des modes (et Vogue français) afin de montrer comment cette transition culturelle et sociale qui s’est opérée dans la sphère féminine s’est aussi manifestée comme une transition médiatique dans les journaux de mode. Ces supports ont été choisis car, à cette époque,  ils se trouvent sous la direction d’un même homme, Lucien Vogel qui a des idées très précises pour faire évoluer la presse féminine. De la Gazette du bon ton au Jardin des modes, nous pouvons observer une évolution formelle des journaux de mode qui correspond à un changement de mentalités dans une période charnière pour l’histoire des femmes et de la presse féminine. Vogel, le premier, veut avec de la Gazette du bon ton au Jardin des modes proroger un même projet – un journal luxueux de mode – en s’adaptant aux évolutions socioculturelles de son époque

“The Ghosts of Garments Past; a biography of the Trousered Uniform of the Munition Women Workers during World War I”, Jennifer Roberts, compte-rendu journée d’étude 15 juin 2012

The Ghosts of Garments Past; a biography of the Trousered Uniform of the Munition Women Workers during World War I

by Jennifer Roberts, MA dissertation, University of Brighton

Aims: My aims were to find an example of a Munitionette’s uniform, worn by women in Britain in munitions factories in World War One, to discover its design, how it was made, distributed and who wore it. I called this process a Biography as it seemed the most appropriate word to describe the life story of a garment; the search was to discover the history of the garment from its conception, design and development to where it was worn, who wore it and what happened to it.

Methodological approach: I was not lucky enough to find an existing pair of the trousers. I used the oral history archives of the Munitionettes at the Imperial War Museum and also contemporary diaries and autobiographies extensively. I found official war time pamphlets and instruction manuals showing garments which could be ordered centrally. I accessed an extensive archive of photographs which related to a very large factory at East Riggs in Scotland. This archive included a series of photographs of both women munitions workers, their supervisors and places of work. All of this despite the lack of surviving garments has allowed me to analyse the design, function and consumption of the range of Munitionettes’ uniforms. 

The Munitionettes: There is an assumption that the majority of the Munitionettes were working class but some middle and upper class girls did work in the factories although they were mainly employed in supervisory positions, mimicking society at the time. Nursing, auxiliary services and the Land Army were deemed more acceptable war time employment for upper class women. There was an assumption that the girls who worked on the most dangerous jobs like TNT were working class as judged by their behavior and language. One factory foreman recalled ‘When they got a lot of these rough types as we got….they’d go in the pubs at night and well, they never had time to have a proper wash and clean up like decent girls.’ They were paid around a pound a week, aged from 16 upwards. A large number, but not all, of these women would have come from poor working class homes many attracted by the higher wages as well as their patriotic duty. Most would not have been involved at all in campaigning for equal rights for women- i.e. they were not suffragettes. Articles at the time accused the women of extravagant spending and although some were able to buy clothes this referred to some younger women, who did seem to have more spending money, but with many women having their menfolk at the front the money was spent keeping their families going. This was not the first time that trousers had been worn by women, in the mid 1800’s women wore trousers working at the pits. Other World War I women workers also wore trousers; window cleaners, whose work involved demanded they wore trousers for reasons of decency or the physicality of the work like coal workers or the Land Girls who wore heavy well-made corduroy knee breeches covered with long jackets. Up until this point, trousers were not worn in public apart from the Rational Dress Society and cyclists in the mid 1890’s and round 1917 riding breeches were recommended by Vogue for skiing but again this only applied to women from privileged classes.

The Actual Trousers: The actual trousers were very basic, of a poor quality, functional and unstylish. The basic outfit, as seen in the photographs was very loose which allowed for movement but would not have provided much protection as the dust and chemicals would have been absorbed through exposed skin or eaten away at the cloth. Trousers were expressly distributed for work involving very dirty work, climbing ladders or the crane drivers to preserve women’s decency when working up high. On looking at the photographs different tones of the fabric can be seen and it seems that the trousers may have been made to a standard pattern hence the differing lengths depending on the height of the wearer.  Colour it seems was also important in order to depict the rank of a worker.

Gender and femininity and feminising of the uniform: Gender and femininity had a role to play in the attitude towards the trousers during and after the War. These trousers specifically came to be associated with hard, dangerous and dirty work. Additionally negative characteristics were added in by the press, defining Munitionettes as immoral as well as ‘lower’ class women, seen unfairly as improper and closely linked to sexual impropriety. At work the women had to remove all trappings of femininity like hairpins and corsets before commencing work in the factory. A.K Foxwell, a middle class supervisor at the Woolwich Armoury in Greenwich London, writes extensively and romantically on how the women tried to feminize their uniforms firstly with flowers, then brightly coloured ribbons and even stockings and high-heeled shoes. The reality as the photographs from the East Riggs Archives show was very different. Many women died or were injured in explosions or from illnesses developed from working with chemicals such as their hair falling out, their skin turning yellow from picric acid poisoning, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis, which resulted in the loss of teeth and infection entering the jaw bone. Trinitrotoluol poisoning, which caused liver damage and aplastic anemia, or pleurisy.

ConclusionThe main reasons why the trousers did not survive the war was because either they became impregnated with the chemicals used and were destroyed after the war or because the surplus stocks were sold off by the government most probably because they were shoddy or because there was no such need for such poorly made and culturally unacceptable clothes in civilian life. They had no function in either in any woman’s public or private life after the war. As the majority of women were replaced by men after the war there would have been no need to retain their uniforms. As none of the oral history records pursued what the women did with their uniforms and the records are ambiguous this conclusion has to be supposition until further research can substantiate the truth.

Bibliography:

-Appadurai, Arjun, The Social Life of Things. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986

-Braybon, Gail, Women Workers in the First World War. London: Croom Helm Ltd, 1981

-Culleton, Claire A, Working-Class Culture, Women and Britain 1914-1921. London: Macmillan Press Ltd, 2000

-De la Haye, Amy, Land Girls Cinderellas of the Soil. Brighton: The Royal Pavilion & Museums, 2009

-Foxwell, A.K, Munitions Lasses. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1917

-Hamilton, Peggy, Three Years or the Duration The Memoirs of a Munition Worker 1914-1918. London: Peter Owen Ltd, 1978

-Perks, Robert and Alistair Thomson (editors), The Oral History Reader. London: Routledge, 2000

-Routledge, Gordon L. Gretna’s Secret War. Carlisle: Bookcase, 1999

– —, Miracles and Munitions. Cumbria: Arthuret Publishers, 2003

-Thom, Deborah, Nice girls and rude girls: women workers in World War I. London: I. B. Tauris, 1998

-Woollacott, Angela, On Her Their Lives Depend, Munitions Workers in the Great War. California: University of California Press, 1994

Archives:

-British Library, Newspaper Library, Collingdale

-The Devil’s Porridge Archives, Eastriggs, Dumfries

-The Imperial War Museum, London: Munitions, Women’s Collection and Sound Recordings

-The Liddle Collection, Domestic Front and Women’s Section, Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

-The Ministry of Munitions Archives, The National Archives, Kew, London

-The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University, London

-The Woolwich Arsenal, The Woolwich Heritage Centre, Greenwich, London


“Fame, Fashion, and Fiction: Dress and the Bright Young People in Interwar Literature”, Charlotte Nicklas, compte-rendu journée d’étude du 15 juin 2012

Fame, Fashion, and Fiction: Dress and the Bright Young People in Interwar Literature

by Charlotte Nicklas, University of Brighton

In London between the wars, the escapades of the ‘bright young people’ amused, titillated, and shocked contemporary society. Authors of gossip columns and magazine articles delighted in describing these men and women as they dined, drank, and danced. Notorious for their outrageous fancy dress parties and elaborate practical jokes, this gilded youth was constantly in the public eye.

Social historians, particularly D. J. Taylor, have discussed the bright young people in recent publications, paying special attention to their newsworthy antics and their challenging of contemporary societal norms. The dress of these men and women has received less scholarly attention and this paper will begin to address that absence.

Newspaper reports and magazine features often included detailed descriptions, as well as images, of the dress of the bright young people. These sources will be discussed, but the primary resource used in this paper will be a set of novels about, and in many cases by, these individuals. For both literary and financial reasons, some of their number increased the publicity already enjoyed by publishing works of fiction that were often not far from the truth.

In their representation of dress in the social and cultural context of the world of the bright young people, these novels provide a valuable source to explore the uses and meanings of dress for a particularly visible group. This paper will focus primarily on three novels: Michael Arlen’s The Green Hat (1924), Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies (1930), and Nancy Mitford’s Highland Fling (1931). It will examine fashion leadership, social and private life, social class, and generational conflict through discussions of dress. This research adds to a growing body of scholarly work investigating dress and fashion in fiction (Aindow 2010, Hughes 2006, Koppen 2009, Kortsch 2009, McNeil et. al. 2009).

As in newspaper and magazine reports, individuals characterized as bright young people were often praised for their fashionable clothes and their leadership in fashion. All three authors present ‘chic’ as a desirable goal for female characters. Although rarely defined with precision, chic sets these women apart from their contemporaries and, for the authors, helps to define their characters.

The daily details of dressing and undressing, as discussed in these novels, provide insight into the work that clothing did in the social lives of the bright young people. From private shooting parties to public restaurants, dress allows these men and women to conform or rebel. By choosing appropriate or inappropriate clothing, the characters expose and sometimes challenge social convention.

Many of the bright young people were members of distinguished, even aristocratic, families and others were from middle-class backgrounds. Their social positions, however, did not necessarily guarantee that they were financially able to clothe themselves in the way they wished. In their references to dress, Arlen, Mitford, and Waugh explore the tensions within and between social classes, as well as the mismatch between position and income.

These authors also explore generational conflict through dress. The significant changes in fashion after the First World War, especially the youthfulness and loosened silhouette, firmly demarcated this era from pre-war Edwardian formality. For the young characters in these novels, dress is a visible way in which they define themselves against the tradition and stuffiness of their parents’ generation. This self-definition comprises part of a larger effort of identity formation in the wake of the social and political cataclysm of the war.

Bibliography:

-Aindow, Rosy. Dress and Identity in British Literary Culture, 1870-1914. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010. Print.

-Arlen, Michael. The Green Hat. 1924. London: Capuchin Classics, 2008. Print.

-Beard, Madeleine. English Society in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge, 1989. Print.

-Breward, Christopher. Fashioning London: Clothing and the Modern Metropolis. Oxford: Berg, 2004. Print.

-Breward, Christopher, Evans, Caroline, and Ehrman, Edwina. The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004. Print.

-Cannadine, David. Class in Britain. London: Penguin, 1998. Print.

– ———. The Decline and Fall of the English Aristocracy. London: Yale, 1990. Print.

-de la Haye, Amy, and Mendes, Valerie. 20th Century Fashion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1999. Print.

-Graves, Robert, and Hodge, Alan. The Long Weekend: A Social History of Great Britain, 1918-1939. 1941. London: Cardinal, 1991. Print.

-Hughes, Clair. Dressed in Fiction. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2006. Print.

-Koppen, Randi S. Virginia Woolf, Fashion and Literary Modernity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Print.

-Kortsch, Christine Bayles. Dress Culture in Late Victorian Women’s Fiction: Literacy, Textiles, and Activism. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009. Print.

-McNeil, Peter, Karaminas, Vicki, and Cole, Catherine, eds. Fashion in Fiction: Text and Clothing in Literature, Film, and Television. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2009. Print.

-Mitford, Nancy. Highland Fling. 1931. Feltham: Hamlyn, 1983. Print.

-Mowat, Charles Lock. Britain between the Wars: 1918-1940. London: Methuen, 1955. Print.

-Owen, Elizabeth. Fashion in Photographs, 1920-1940. London: Batsford, 1993. Print.

-Pringle, Margaret. Dance Little Ladies. London: Orbis, 1977. Print.

-Pugh, Martin. We Danced All Night: A Social History of Britain between the Wars. London: Vintage, 2008. Print.

-Scott, John. The Upper Classes: Poverty and Privilege in Britain. London: Macmillan, 1982. Print.

-Stevenson, John. British Society 1914-1945. London: Lane, 1984. Print.

-Taylor, D. J. Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation: 1918-1940. London: Vintage, 2007. Print.

-Waugh, Evelyn. Vile Bodies. 1930. London: Penguin, 2000. Print.

-Wilson, Elizabeth. Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity. Rev ed. London: IB Tauris, 2005. Print.