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Guide to French Fashion from 1871 - 1914 (La Belle Epoque)

A resource guide featuring everything from the material culture, to the social implications of the fashion of this brief but beautiful era.






The Belle Epoque

c. 1871-1914 A.D.

This era, though brief, translates as the "beautiful era." Although it spread to many European countries, and even the United States, perhaps the most captivating of fashion from the period comes from France. Everything from dresses to underwear to jewelry was reinvented for women, and sometimes, by women. The lack of restriction found in dresses translated into the social lives of these women, as French "career women" were photographed in magazines, elegantly balancing their various careers and home lives as mothers.


This a guide for special libraries at museums, who do research on material culture and fashion within their collections, as well as for exhibitions and publications.






Callot Soeurs, evening dress, 1909-1913. Silk satin metallic tulle and silk tulle. Collection UFAC © Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris photo Jean Tholance (James, 2017).


(Sargent, 2016).