Monday, September 5, 2016

Before Labor Day, of course - Women in White with Parasols for Sun & Umbrellas for Rain


Frank Duveneck (American artist, 1848-1919) Woman with Red Hat and Parasol


 Claude Monet (French painter, 1840-1926)  Women in the Garden



Robert Thegerström (Swedish artist, 1857–1919) Laziness 1887


Rae Sloan Bredin (American artist, 1881-1933) Sunlight and Shadow



Claude Monet (French painter, 1840-1926) Woman with Parasol


Julius LeBlanc Stewart (American-born French painter, 1855-1919)  In the Garden 1896



Heinrich Lossow (German artist, 1843-1897) An Afternoon Stroll


Julius LeBlanc Stewart (American-born French painter, 1855-1919) Portrait of a Woman  1908



Claude Monet (French painter, 1840-1926) Woman with a Parasol



Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist Painter, 1841-1919) Lise with Umbrella 1867



Ramos Jose Garcia (Spanish artist, 1852-1912) The Red Parasol



Frank Weston Benson (American artist, 1862-1951) Against the Sky 1906



William Thomas Smedley (American painter, 1858-1920) The White Dress Portrait of a Young Woman in a Park 1903



Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French painter, 1841-1919) Femme à l’ombrelle assise dans le jardin (Lise Tréhot), 1872



John George Brown (American artist, 1831-1913)  Waiting for William



Gennaro Befanio (Italian artist, 1866-1911) The Parasol



Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French painter, 1841-1919) Woman with a Parasol



 John Lavery (Irish artist, 1856-1941) Mrs Lavery, Sketching 1910



Charles Courtney Curran (American artist, 1861-1942)   Lotus Lilies 1888



Jacques-Joseph Tissot (French artist, 1836-1902)  In an English Garden

The American dictum that women shouldn't wear white clothing before Memorial Day & after Labor Day has been around at least since the Civil War. The wives of the super-rich dominated high society after the Civil War. As more & more people became financially successful, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between "old money" in elite families & those who only had "new money." By the 1880s, in order to tell who was "acceptable" & who wasn’t, some elite women felt it necessary to create fashion "rules," that everyone "in the know" knew to follow. Not wearing white outside the summer months was one of these rules. In the non-air-conditioned early 20C, the summer "season" was defined by Memorial Day & Labor Day, when those-who-could flocked from town house to seaside "cottage" or mountain "cabin" to escape the oppressive summer heat. City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter, summer costumes. Come fall, as well-to-do families returned to the city, more formal, darker city clothes were donned once more. And many in the large cities heated their environs with coal. The soot from the coal spread through the heated indoor spaces & coal dust quickly would stain light garbs. So folks changed to a darker wardrobe around Labor Day. This coincided with the growth of fashion magazines available to all levels of society. The magazines reflected the no white after Labor Day rule in the glossy, seductive pages of Harper's Bazaar & Vogue, which set the fashion tone for the country. This practice progressed from tradition, into rule, & finally into an identifiable cultural faux pas for decades into the 20C. 


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