Gazette du Bon Ton: Hobble dress

Date Depicted:
1900 AD - 1949 AD
This soft, white cotton print dress is hobbled by contrasting bands of black velvet.
Twentieth century dress begins with the introduction of the sheath corset in 1910. Inspired by the First Empire, the new dress is tubular and high waisted. The hobble skirt represents a temporary set back in the trend toward more freedom. It is gathered tightly at the ankles with a wide band, limiting movement to short, shuffling steps. A thigh-length peplum is frequently added or built into the design of the dress. The sleeve is the kimono. As skirts are ankle length, much attention is paid to the shoe. Often it is a separate spat over a heeled shoe; sometimes the tango shoe, which has ribbons lacing up the leg. Accessories include a wide picture hat and an oversized muff. Complementing the dramatic change in silhouette, Poiret replaces the half-shades of mauve, pink, and cream with clashing pinks, scarlets, and apple green. Dresses are usually of plain shades with trim in strong, contrasting color. A two-piece girdle and brassiere combination evolves over the decade. As women take on men's jobs during the war years, dress again offers freedom of movement. After the war skirts often just cover the knee. The silhouette is still lean and tubular. The waistline moves to a hip position, although waist and hem positions are uncertain at first. Girdles are elasticized and brassieres separate. A fitted cloche or headband is pulled down well over the forehead, focusing attention on eyes rimmed in kohl. Hair is marcelled and center parted. The long-waisted, tubular dresses, often cut on the bias, flow with floating panels of crepe de chine or chiffon. Vionnet creates the bias cut, and uneven bias hemlines flutter as a lady walks. At first silk stockings are black; by 1924 they are usually flesh toned.
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC)
Prints -- France -- 20th century -- (YVRC)
Accession Number:
costume (mode of fashion) (AAT)
fashion illustrations (AAT)
Content Type:
Clothing & Accessories
Paintings & Drawings
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Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
Source Creator:
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
Source Title:
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 5
Source Created:
New York, NY
Theatre Arts Slide Presentations
Call Number:
GT513 +B87 5 (LC)
Orbis Barcode:
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Original Repository:
New Haven, CT: Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University