Australian Fashion Throughout The 1900's. Essay

840 words - 3 pages

In the early 1900's clothes were a status symbol. Fashion was more important than comfort.Fashionable ladies enjoyed the grand occasions surrounding the federation of Australian colonies, and later the openings of new federal parliament, in Melbourne where royalty was going to be in attendance. Society matrons were lucky that the extravagant magnificent dresses of the Edwardian era coincided with Australians own premier events. Women liked to have a pinched waist, a big bust with no cleavage showing (as this was considered vulgar) and a big rear end. This S. shaped silhouette was extremely uncomfortable. The skirt fitted tightly over the waist and down to the knees, and then in a wave like line showing the petticoat. The only problem with these skirts was that when walking down the street the bottom of the dress would pick up rubbish as it dragged along the ground.Ladies added volume to their hair by wearing pads called "rats" to attract even more attention. If that failed, fake hair was added. The most important accessory of all was the hat which was decorated with feathers, ribbons and sometimes even stuffed birds of small animals and all this was topped with a large hat pin.Ladies wore high-heeled shoes which were pointed and peeped out from beneath the skirt.Fashion colours were moving from the bright, strong Victorian colours into much more pale colours such as whites, mauves, and light blues. Also the fabrics changed to delicate, filmy silks, cashmeres, tussore and faille. Nellie Stewart, an Australian actress was reported to be wearing these new fabrics and colours to the Melbourne races. Elaborate jewels provided additional glamour.The tea gown; a loose trailing garment of chiffon or lace was slipped on around 5:00 p.m. and the woman could finally enjoy the relief of loosening her stays.Although women's fashion was changing rapidly and dramatically the men lived in suits, starched shirts, a vest and a top hat. Later for less formal occasions the three-piece lounge suit and bowler hat was created. Standards weren't allowed to slip. It was compulsory, even in the hot summer, to wear a waistcoat.By 1909 boaters or as they were called in Australia "deckers" were popular amongst the male students, worn moored to coat lapels by a black cord, and boots were worn on their feet.Women's fashion was mostly trapped in a constricting silhouettes throughout the decade, but by 1908 it began a radical change (caused by the craze of sport.)Loose jackets with pivot sleeves were made for car and...

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