Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.

Callot Soeurs

























1915 Callot Soeurs. Silk, metal, pearl, Metropolitan Museum of Art (James, 2017).

The House of Callot Soeurs

Though many famous French houses characterized the fashion of the Belle Epoque, Callot Soeurs was one of the few exclusively female fashion houses, and they prided themselves by including the word for "sisters" (soeurs) in their house name. They were also possibly one of the most "French" houses, as other designers of the time had clients abroad, most of the clientele of the sisters were in Paris. They started in lace making, and moved on to housewares and fashion as they grew. Their pieces remain some of the most visually striking from the era, despite the fact that little is known about them, in comparison to Poirot, or even their own protégé, Vionnet.

1.) Chantrell, M. L. (1978). Les Moires-Mesdames Callot Soeurs. Paris: Paris Presses du Palais-Royal.

A biography of the three sisters and their journey to becoming a premier fashion house in Paris during the Belle Epoque, including reproduction of previously unpublished documents from their families’ archives.


2.) Janbon, C. (1999). The importance of Callot Soeurs in the emergence of Couture in early C20 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Courtauld Institute of Art.

A dissertation outlining the rise of the House of Callot Soeurs and their fundamental contribution to the couture of the Belle Epoque.


3.) Weinberg, A. (2015). Callot soeurs: Unsung icons of early Twentieth Century (Doctoral dissertation, Fashion Institute of Technology).

A fascinating paper that discusses the history of the Callot Soeurs fashion house, (Chapter 1 detailing the period between 1900-1915) and how their inspiration from Rococo to Turkey inspired many of their pieces from that era.

(Zoes, 2011).