Unveiling 1915 Spring Fashion Through Mail Order

Today in the 21st Century, we have several options for shopping. Two options that might immediately come to mind are visiting stores to shop in person or ordering online from home. But one nearly forgotten option is the mail order catalog. With the availability of the internet, we might not receive these as frequently as in the past, but browsing the Trade Literature Collection reveals mail ordering has been around for quite some time.

Les Robes de Paul Poiret

The popularity of the French fashion plate was revitalized in the early part of the 20th century by artists like Paul Iribe (1883-1935), working with fashion designers such as Paul Poiret. These illustrations were hand colored using the pochoir process, whereby stencils and metal plates are used allowing for colors to be built up according to the artist's vision. The fashion plate, in use for some time, was in essence an advertising tool—a piece of artwork used to create desire for the latest styles aimed at an audience of the fashionable and moneyed.