Social Customs in Washington, D.C. (Vogue Magazine, 1921)
Although this VOGUE MAGAZINE article was written long before the need was ever created to discuss "e-mail etiquette" or "the proper application for Velcro in custom tailoring", many of these tribal maxims in Social Washington (both official and non) are still adhered to, especially in so far as White House functions are concerned. This article summarizes in a mere three columns the social conventions of Washington D.C. in 1921 and it covers the rules that the First Lady and the Vice-President's wife were expected to abide by as well as the proper manner of accepting White House invitations.
"The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is not invited to dine with an Ambassador, or a foreign Minister, or the Secretary of State, because their relative rank has never been established."
The article reads much like any rule book, but it will introduce you to a local deity whom the idolatresses of "The Washington Social Register" have long prostrated before: the Washington Hostess.
Click here to read an article about social Washington during the Depression.
Mariano Fortuny and his Knossos Scarf (Vogue Magazine, 1912)
Marguerite O'Kane, a genuine enthusiast of the Arts and Crafts Movement, enjoyed the unique distinction of writing the first review for American VOGUE covering the work of Mariano Fortuny (Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo: 1871 - 1949). Although celebrated in Europe since making his first gown in 1906, the Knossos Scarf, a long sheer silk rectangle inspired by the costumes of ancient Crete, he was unknown to most fashion-minded Americans until this article appeared during the closing weeks of 1912.
Iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent began his meteoric career as a very young man; click here to read about him.
*Watch a Film Clip About Mariano Fortuny *
Alexander of Yugoslavia Joined in Marriage to Marie of Romania (Vogue Magazine, 1922)
A beautifully illustrated page from VOGUE MAGAZINE reporting from Belgrade on the the royal wedding of Alexander I of Yugoslavia (1888 – 1934) and Marie of Romania (Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen: 1900 – 1961). An earlier posting on this site indicated that the groom had been promised in 1913 to wed Grand Duchess Olga of Russia (1895 - 1918), but there were complications.
Following Alexander's 1934 assassination, their oldest son, Peter II (1923 – 1970) assumed the throne and presided as the last king of Yugoslavia.
Chez Poiret: the Hot Social Ticket in the Paris of 1919 (Vogue Magazine, 1919)
The post-war publicity machine of French fashion designer Paul Poiret was in fine form when he saw to it that his minions invited the Paris-based correspondent from American VOGUE to his house for a grand fete, seated her comfortably, drink in hand, right on the fifty-yard line in order that she might be better able to report to her handlers back in New York that "Paris was back".
The correspondent who was not invited was the fashion journalist from FLAPPER MAGAZINE; American flappers did not approve of Poiret one bit. Click here to read what they thought of him.
The Decline of Masculine Elegance (Vogue Magazine, 1922)
A Parisienne with a good many thoughts regarding menswear goes to some length to impart that men are dressing worse, not better, and the substitution of the dinner jacket (read: "Tuxedo") for the tail-coat is an example of the slovenliness to come.
"You are entirely wrong in imagining that we pay no attention to the way men dress...The truth is that while we may say nothing, we do not in the least consent, and we find, messieurs, that for some time now you have been very much changed, and for the worse."
Click here to read about the fashion legacy of W.W. I...
To read about one of the fashion legacies of W.W. II, click here...
Click here to read about the origins of the T-shirt.
The Paris Purses for Autumn (Vogue Magazine, 1919)
A VOGUE editorial from the Fall of 1919 praising the swank of six nifty Parisienne purses -each created from different materials and each displaying the industrious fingers of skilled craftsmen.
Click here to read about happy Hollywood's discovery of plastic surgery...
Edward VIII in Ottawa (Vogue Magazine, 1919)
This torn page from VOGUE will let you in on Edward VIII (1894-1972), Prince of Wales, and his whirl wind tour in the dominion of Canada in 1919. All the swells of the snowy North stepped out in full regalia to meet him.
Paris Puts a Stick in the Mode...(Vogue Magazine, 1919)
Fashion, like all empires, has it's slaves. The slaves are treated cruelly but, strangely, they never seem to mind; they do what ever is required of them. Many are the examples of fashion's tyranny: in the past it has demanded that it's slaves wear cowboy boots, although none could rope a steer, and it has demanded of it's slaves that they wear uniforms, although none could fight. In fashion's name the slaves have removed ribs and teeth, reduced or enlarged body parts, dyed hair cross-dressed and tattooed themselves like jail-birds. The slaves do it all and there seems to be no limit to fashion's fickle whims that will ever make them say, "no".
To illustrate this point, you can read this beautifully illustrated Vogue magazine article from 1919 in which the beast demands perfectly healthy young women to walk with canes.
Getting the Immigrant Vote (Vogue Magazine, 1917)
Upon learning that the Woman Suffrage Amendment passed the New York legislature quite handily, the Suffrage Party lost no time in solidifying their base and quickly set to work locating additional voters for future state elections. They discovered that there were five hundred thousand new voters in New York City alone; two hundred thousand of them were foreign-born women.
This VOGUE article is a fun read for a number of reasons, the first one being that it seems that nothing ever really changes in America and the second reason is because this article was written by a pampered patrician of the first order and when you read between the lines you get the sense that she would rather not breathe the same air as Italian and Jewish Immigrants:
"As well-born American women, we can never out-vote the immigrant; we must make her an all-American citizen and voter."
The Bush Wedding, Kennebunkport (Vogue Magazine, 1921)
These days the Bush family is not much in vogue, but that was not always the case.
Attached is a small notice from a 1921 issue of VOGUE MAGAZINE announcing the marriage of George Herbert Walker's daughter, Dorthy, to a Mr. Prescott Sheldon Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine. From this union would spring two U.S. Presidents, one Florida governor, and one Chief Executive of the Municipal Opera Association.
Poiret Wraps and Coats (Vogue Magazine, 1919)
By the time these images in American VOGUE hit the streets, the fashion house of Paul Poiret (1879 - 1944) was very much on the decline. Following the close of the First World War the designer was never able to regain his pre-1914 status. With the restlessness of the Twenties came the demand for a new mood in fashion and Coco Channel (1883 – 1971) became the new champion of Paris Fashion. Poiret closed his doors ten years after these photos were printed.
Read about the 1943 crochet revival
Victory and Paris Fashion (Vogue Magazine, 1919)
The Paris Victory Parade celebrating the end of the 1914 - 1918 war was a long awaited and much anticipated fashion event and Mme. Parisienne was not going to miss it for all the crepe de Chin in China. This VOGUE correspondent contrasted the Paris that existed a short time earlier, the gray, deserted Paris with the Paris of the 1919 Victory Parade and notes how eager the natives were to recreate that mirthful, light-hearted Paris of 1913 that they all remembered so well. There is a great sense of joie de vivre throughout the article, but it very rapidly becomes a laundry list concerning who-wore-what-where.
A Look at the Winter Sleeves of 1921 (Vogue Magazine, 1921)
A collection of twelve fashion illustrations depicting the variety of sleeve treatments available during the winter of 1921. Some of the details offered were created by the House of Worth, Captain Molyneux, Martial et Armand and Madeleine and Madeleine.
*A Film Clip About Vogue Magazine Covers*
The Russian Nobility Struggled in Exile (Vogue Magazine, 1922)
Luciene Murat (1876 - 1951?), "a distinguished member of the French nobility" wrote this VOGUE article shortly after her return from Turkey in 1922. It is the sort of column that could only have been written by an over-indulged member of the post-war European high-society types, which makes it all the more enjoyable to read. Her reminiscences of her visit to the city of Pera are especially interesting for the observations made regarding the recently displaced White Russians of her acquaintance who reluctantly resided there in some discomfort.
The English Country House: What Good Is It? (Vogue Magazine, 1914)
The author of this VOGUE MAGAZINE article needed to know the answer to this most relevant of questions: did the English country house come into being simply to "keep the English playwright from the bread-lines?"
The New York Suffrage Amendment Advances the Ball (Vogue Magazine, 1917)
"Last year New York State carried its Woman Suffrage Amendment by a majority of one hundred thousand. The Suffrage Party, instead of turning its headquarters to a tea room or a new Tammany Hall, decided to remain in existence, for educational purposes only, until it was assured that each new voter knew who she was, and what she was going to do about it."
"The problem of educating the feminine voter has as little to do with the telephone directory as it has with the Social Register. For the average addition to the voter's lists, strange as it may seem, is quite below the financial level recognized by the switchboard operator..."
Click here to read articles about the American women of W.W. II.
Upholstery in the Finest Luxury Cars of 1920 (Vogue Magazine, 1920)
A magazine article which examines the automotive upholstery styles of cars that were made for the general public ("stock cars") and those other cars that were custom made and likely to be furnished with Dictaphones and vanity cases.
"As for materials, it may be said that most of the custom-built cars are upholstered in broadcloth or whipcord, whereas the stock cars show prevailingly velours, mohair velvet and the textile known as automobile cloth."
Charming White Russians in Exhile (Vogue Magazine, 1922)
Princess Luciene Murat (1876 - 1951?), "a distinguished member of the French nobility" and a devotee to Paul Poiret, wrote this VOGUE article shortly after her return from Turkey in 1922. It is the sort of piece that could only be written by an over-indulged member of the post-war European high-society, which makes it all the more enjoyable to read. Her reminiscences of her visit to the city of Pera are especially interesting for the observations made regarding the White Russians of her acquaintance who reluctantly resided there in some discomfort.