Anne Rittenhouse. What Well Dressed Women Will Wear

The Sunday Star, Washington d.C.1916/1916

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The State Tretyakov Gallery

What Stylish Women Will Wear
Skirts Will Grow Longer and Have Deeper Ruffles
New York, February 19, 1916
Still, the French fashion shows are going on, and, so far, the American public has not had a peep at the new frocks, which will remain behind closed doors.
But it is not always necessary to see in order to get a good deal of general information on an important subject.
The spirit of mourning is seen in the new French color card, which shows the shades which will be offered to the world of women for their costumery during Spring and Summer. No country of Europe took the war as solemnly and as emotionally as France at its very beginning, for, while England was still playing and wearing brilliant clothes, Paris almost forbade its people to laugh.
Paris offered black clothes to the rest of the world during the first few months of the war, but she found that the other countries did not want it, so for the sake of her finances she offered brilliant colors last year.
She offers a large gamut of pastel and neutral shades. White she has chosen in profusion for a vast number of clothes, not by itself, but touched up with dashing stripes and with pipings of color. Gray in two or three tones is offered in a large amount also.
All of which looks as though the much-heralded influence of the Russian ballet costumes on American Spring costumery will not materialize. Why should it? France took it as the motif for all costumery for nearly three years. We wore minaret skirts, the pantaloons of Bagdad, sleeveless bodices of crystals and Persian headgears of jewels.
When the original Russian ballet burst upon Paris, the designers of that city went to its performances every night with notebooks, and even Leon Bakst and Paul Poiret, who are always Oriental in their tendencies, threw themselves heart and soul into Asiatic clothes.
Now, America must consider ballet costumes as sporadic and local.
The utter grotesqueness of the American shoe for two years could wring tears from a crocodile. Paris has the right idea of the toe and the wrong idea of the heel, and America has the wrong idea about both. So it seems as though every woman had gone mad when she bought her shoes.
Full skirts that are long are not good looking, as everyone knows, but we are surely moving toward them.
Ruffles are used all over a skirt to give it fullness. The deep Spanish ruffle will come in with the other Spanish fashions.
Coats and blouses are open in front and the eighteenth century collars which are not postilion in shape, will be played up. Capes promise to be so general that they may become common before June.
On brilliant afternoon and evening gowns, there will be ornate designs made of beads.
The designers have racked their brains for new ways to use ribbon, but no one has ousted the method of making a gown as though it dripped ribbon. There are few rosettes and bows, as any method that keeps the ribbon from being flattened in to the surface of the frock, is not approved.

1. [Top left] Black faille with tulle bodice. The wide skirt is finished with a double ruffle of the faille.
2. [Bottom left] A young girl’s dress of blue tulle decorated with sequin birds.
3. [Top center] Restaurant frock of pink satin trimmed with tulle and pearls.
4. [Bottom center] This new model of blue straw is trimmed with a large pink rose.
5. [Top right] White and blue silk coat demonstrating the latest fashion.

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  • Title: Anne Rittenhouse. What Well Dressed Women Will Wear
  • Creator: The Sunday Star, Washington d.C.
  • Date Created: 1916/1916
  • Provenance: The Sunday Star, Washington d.C.
  • Type: newspaper
  • Medium: Beads, flowers, taffeta.