©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama
Evening Dress [Left] c.1911, Designer: Jeanne Lanvin, Label: Jeanne Lanvin PARIS, Material: Green silk chiffon and tulle lace; floral embroidery; rose flower ornament.
Evening Dress [Right] c.1911-unknown (Country), Designer: unknown, Material: Beige silk tulle and pink silk chiffon; floral embroidery of beads and fake pearls; gold cord embroidery on skirt.
These dresses have a high waist silhouette, which is representative of the early 1910s. This silhouette spread among designers, starting from Paul Poiret’s “Lola Montez” dress in 1906. Distinctive, vivid colors on delicate materials such as silk chiffon were achieved in this period by use of synthetic dyes. These hues can be also found in the highly exotic, strong colors used in the costume of the Ballets Russes, which first performed in Paris in 1909. Those colors immediately influenced fashion circles, and in the early 1910s, the streets were filled with vivid colors like those seen in these dresses.