And We’re Back…

Wv’e been silent for a few days but not by choice. Unfortunately, when you work in the world of fashion, it’s sometimes too easy to become disconnected from the world around us and that was driven home hard this past weekend when we had to evacuate our atelier and home due to major brush fires. While we weren’t in any immediate danger, the authorities wanted us to leave as a precautionary measure. However, given the high winds and the extreme volatility of the local vegetation to flame, that could have instantly changed. In either case, we were faced with having to pack and leave quickly.

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Angus is not happy…

Fortunately, as things worked out, we were in danger and after staying with friends and at a hotel for four days, we were given the all-clear to return home. It’s been a bit unsettling and it’s going to take a few days to sort everything out and get back to normal with our orders but we’ll do it, we’ve survived worse.

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Back in his house again…

Angus

Angus, our creative consultant, is not happy having to leave the Atelier…

We are eternally grateful that we were spared any damage, others were not so lucky and that’s a very sobering experience.

Veterans’ Day 2018

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We at Lily Absinthe wish to take a moment and pause to commemorate Veteran’s Day, or Armistice Day as it was first called. This year is especially poignant in that this is the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War, a war whose effects are still felt to this day. There’s not much we can add except to say that we commemorate all those who fell, no matter what side, and we hope that the sacrifice was not in vain.

The Early Teens Walking Suit- A Brief Look

 

The walking suit represented a major step in the evolution of women’s wear during the late 19th and early 20 Centuries. Starting in the early 1890s, the walking suit was considered an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe and by the Teens, it occupied a prominent place in fashion. Style details, construction, and fabric varied depending on price point but the objective was always the same- a outfit that a woman could wear out in public that was practical yet stylish. In response to the growing popularity of walking suits, clothing manufacturers produced walking suits in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles. Walking suits became to widespread that even the major couturiers couldn’t ignore it.

Walking Suit 1910

Walking Suit, 1910

In response, couturiers began to offer an ever-expanding line of practical day wear of which the walking suit was a key element and each couturier put their own twist on the basic design as with this walking suit by Paquin:

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Paquin, Walking Suit, 1912; National Gallery of Victoria (2015.670.a-b)[National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased with funds donated by Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty in memory of Mr Harold Campbell-Pretty, 2015 © Paquin]

The above example illustrates one jacket style was designed to give the effect of a robe or kimono; naturally, this effect tended to work better with a lighter fabric such as a linen.  Here’s another one from Maison Worth:

Walking Suit Worth c. 1913

Worth, Walking Suit, c. 1913; Metropolitan Museum of Art (1980.16.3a, b)

Jackets also followed more conventional styles such as with this one:

Paquin Walking Suit 1910 Front

Jeanne Paquin, Walking Suit, Spring/Summer 1910; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.474a–d)

The walking suit below from Redfern features a more tailored jacket (which would come as no surprise given Redfern’s background):

c. 1911 Walking Suit Redfern

Redfern, Walking Suit, c. 1911; V&A Museum (T.28&A-1960)

c. 1911 Walking Suit Redfern

Three-quarter rear profile.

And jackets could also have more of a greatcoat style:

Walking Suit Redfern c. 1910

Redfern, Walking Suit, c. 1910; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.107a, b)

And just to round things off, here are a few from unknown makers:

Walking Suit c. 1912

Walking Suit, c. 1912; McCord Museum (M976.35.2.1-2)

Walking Suit c. 1912

And here’s one from 1915:

Walking Suit 1915

Walking Suit, 1915; McCord Museum (M983.130.3.1-3)

Walking Suit 1915

And sometimes, it was hard to tell where “suit” left off and “dress” began…here’s an example from 1911:

Walking Suit 1911

Walking Suit, 1911; Metropolitan Museum of Art (1976.290.7a–c)

The above examples are only a small fraction of what was out there but it’s clear that the walking suit had arrived as a major wardrobe item. We hope that this will serve as a source of inspiration for those looking to recreate the day wear of the early Teens. And finally, just to tie this into something more contemporary, consider this:

Boarding Dress3 Titanic Movie Walking Suit

Enjoy! 🙂

The Fifth Annual Tombstone Tour Of Homes Is On For 2018!

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We’re happy to announce that one again, we’ll be participating in the Tombstone Tour of Homes. Believe it or not, Tombstone isn’t just a city with a famous gunfight, it’s also known for it’s wonderful Holiday Tour of Homes! This year will be the third year that our No. 11 is included in this lovely event and once again, “The Dressmaker’s Cottage at #11” will be fully decorated for Christmas and will have extra surprises of antique machines, part of our antique clothing museum, some new period furniture pieces and a few sparkly things. Stay tuned for more! 🙂