Orientalism in 1910’s Fashion

The Edwardian dress in the late 1890’s-1914 refers to the style of clothing in that time period and the beginning of World War I. This time period was also called the Gilded Era and women’s fashion had a new opulence and elegance. The most notable change in fashion during this time period was the shift in corsets from a Victorian hourglass to an s-shaped corset.

One specific designer at the time period, Paul Poiret, was said to be the creator of modern fashion shapes and designs. His clothing designs were specifically inspired by classicism, Orientalism, and Art Nouveau. His styles were said to be comfortable freeing women from the constriction of corsets and relied on draping to create the feminine effect.

He specifically showed Orientalism in his designs through turbans and and jeweled slippers, providing a more “exotic” dress for Edwardian women. The war however quickly ended this fashion period due to lack of resources and money.

Gowns inspired by the orient complete with oriental parasol and coolie lampshade inspired hat.” source: https://fashion-era.com/orientalism_in_dress.htm
Fur was another example of Orientalism and appeared on outerwear such as the coats in the images paired with long columnar dresses.

One thought on “Orientalism in 1910’s Fashion

  1. Fatima S

    This is a very illuminating study of Orientalist influence on Western Culture. Even today I see many ways brands and corporations profit of ¨exotic¨ branding.


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