This page discusses the impact of the 1889 Paris Fair on Fashion of the time or vice versa.
La Belle Epoque is considered to be the "golden age" of fashion and technology in Europe. Haute Couture, which concentrated on fashion as high art, was invented in Paris and women's fashion was overshadowed only by men's fashion. The 1889 Paris World Fair was on the cusp of the Belle Epoque explosion and the construction of the Eiffel tower itself inspired ironwork designs on clothing in later years, such as the
La Belle Epoque: fifteen euphoric years of European history
Creators: Bairati, Eleonora; Jullian, Philippe; Falkus, Malcolm; Monelli, Paolo; et al.
Published by: W. Morrow, New York, 1978
Physical description: 334 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Unique Identifier: 978-0688033279, http://www.amazon.com/Belle-epoque-Fifteen-euphoric-European/dp/068803327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1260306163&sr=8-1-fkmr0
Abstract: [Belle Epoque] was a time unique in all history. Europe was at peace, buorgeois ideals triumphed, and the working classes were united in their struggle for political democracy and social justice. In this magnificently illustrated work, six international experts give their interpretations of this dazzling era (taken from book jacket).
Performers are often an invaluable source for fashion of an era as they are most likely to be photographed or painted due to their popularity. While their costumes are often over-exaggerated versions of current garb of the times, they often based them on popular societal notions of what people expected to see.
Eiffel's tower : and the World's Fair where Buffalo Bill beguiled Paris, the artists quarreled, and Thomas Edison became a count
Abstract: This book highlights some of the performers at the fair, like Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, and shows them in their performing clothes. Complete metadata on the Citations of General Resources page.
The costume exhibit was an offshoot of the village nègre or "human zoo," as it was more popularly called. There was a very thin line between a human zoo and a freak show of the time and they were usually the same thing with a friendlier name (P.T. Barnum is credited with the first "exhibition" ofJoice Heth in 1835). Similar to performers, these indigenous people were a curiosity and photographed regularly, giving us a unique view of the world through clothing. Visited by 28 million people, the 1889 World's Fair displayed 400 indigenous people as the major attraction. (Taken from Human Zoo source)
Creator: Fauser, Annegret.
Abstract: This web document gives a detailed history of the human zoo and the various events it was presented at, including multiple world fairs. There is a substantial bibliography at the end of the article discussing examples and social issues.
Paris Exposition of 1889 Prints and Photographs Reading Room
Abstract: Collection of historical photographs, including pictures of performers in costume like the ones seen on the left. Complete metadata available on the History page.