Four Character Costume prints

Four Character Costume prints

Recently found in South-Western France.   These prints  speak for themselves and immediately evoke strong expressive personas within the drawings.   Many subjects are within, even horses, cabbages, chickens and romance, unlikely combinations for a fashion blog!   Much research was needed as I had no idea of the details, or history of any of them.

The most prominent one for information  that inspired me  is  called Homme & Femme de Pont –  L’abbe,  and so a small paragraph has evolved from my findings, with a little imagination as well.  This came from finding a wonderful history/fiction book about this region of France.  Something of me knowing  nothing came to  information  about this, and I share it with you!   The only way to explain where this particular place is to add a little map.  Pont l’Abbe is a commune in the department of Finistere, in the coastal region of Brittany, France.

 See link for a modern website on Pont l’Abbe at the bottom of this post.

Maries de Kerlouan  (Finistere).    The Artists signature is not quite visable.

Marry me



Can anyone identify this name?

Signature 2 unknown

Not quite vizable?


Marry me larger

Beautiful detailed drawing


Homme & Femme de Pont – Labbe  (Finistere).

Fisherman & Maiden

Going home- Fisherman & maiden


I mentioned a HORSE and a CHICKEN drawn by the same artist. The region is Bretagne, north west France.

Along the towpath: An old pedestrian walk for about 4 km, winds along the river Pont l’Abbe.  A present day site for bird watching, especially herons. At the end of the road is a stone ruin of a house, probably built in the late 18oo’s. It was long ago abandoned and partly destroyed,  it was then stripped leaving the shell for ramblers to wonder at it’s past.  The vegetation around the house had completely invaded.  The house is known as Pont-Abbistes as the “White House”. It is said that it was a bar and a small grocery store which serviced crews for boats that came to dock at the pier nearby.  Inhabited by Fishermen and their wives who fed them well from the inlets by the sea on seakelp, sardines and chickens!  An inland Mill was also in this area and provided work.  Women had great talent in embroidery and traditional costumes were worn for many occasions.

This print shows a food expedition.  Her white linen/cotton headdress would have been tied around her head to stop it flapping about in the wind while on horseback.  Striking colours of green, pink, yellow and purple, making  the background     colour  even duller.   A fishing line shows to the left of the rider.  The horse is splashing along the edge of the water by the brown sea kelp/seaweed.   Bundled across his saddle is a large black sack full of this sea kelp, and he also probably had a large haul of sardines for supper , depriving the sea birds of a few.  The chicken must have come from the village store/the old house.   I think this print came from an illustrated book by a   well informed person.  

A larger segment of this charater print shows an enormous amount of detail.

Fishermanand maiden

Fisherman and maiden


Signature unknown

Signature of this Artist is to be identified.

In great subject contrast, comes from another print, found on the same day.  Thought provoking is this lady of rural France!


Merchant of cabbages

Merchant of cabbages rural France


Portrait of Merchant of cabbages

A face to remember


Cabbages larger view

Print detail

Patches, tear and wear are captured showing the rural reality of life working in France on the land.  This shawl did not give much protection for this heavy load on  her shoulders.  All green vegetables , were carried from the fields by hand, including cabbages, kale, turnips, potatoes and more.

Text to print Merchant of cabbages

Text at the bottom of print


 Alsacien et Alsacienne 

Alsace and pipe

Costumes from Alsace


Alsace larger view

From Alsace The pipe and the Flower


This larger view reveals his pipe, and he is holding a flower for his lady.

This is a very good modern web site for Pont l’Abbe.

Coat of Arms for the regions of France

France-Regions et blasons.svg


Thumbnail for version as of 00:39, 25 August 2012  Brittany  Flag

Tea Time Fashion in the 1920’s

Tea Time fashion in the 1920’s

From this rare collection of endearing prints depicting ladies tea time fashions, it demonstrates a strong popularity of this necessary event throughout France during the 1920’s.  Nearly every year is represented from this unusual find. Especially interesting are the many different teapot shapes throughout this time. To focus on this I have zoomed in on the images to give a  enlarged view.  It looks like some could be coffee pots, it quite difficult to  tell.   Most dominant is the easy to identify attractive Art Deco angled teapots.  

Tea Time Dec 1920

December 1920


Morning  noon and night was probably the French times for taking tea, although now tea is served at any time.  At home it was served outside in a country garden, on the patio, beside a beautiful view, or set in a comfy room for visitors.   Organizing a tea time gathering was firstly easy to do..  Secondly, it was an opportunity to dress in the most impressive latest 1920 styles.   Not forgetting a hair re-vamp or, a new hat!.  Thirdly, creating a charming ambiance of tranquility with every sip of delicious refreshing flavours and aromas.  Perhaps tea varieties were more limited then contrasting from our huge range of unusual mixes in shops today.  Spices, herbs, flowers and fruits are a delight to our senses!

Tea Time 20 Jan 1924

20th January 1924


Tea Time 1st June 1924

1st June 1924

Tea Time 1st June 24  large

Tea/Coffee anyone?


Tea Time 13 July 1924

13th July 1924

Beside the lake.

Tea Time July 24 larger

July 1924


These fashion prints were prominently shown on the front covers of the journal Petit Echo de la Mode.  Mainly by an Illustrator known as Jenny. The centre pages  gave some beautiful embroidery designs for tea time mats for the table.  Time consuming to make, but the end result was very decorative.  Hand sewing was an art to impress house guests. Flowers, fruit, and even butterflies were sewn with many coloured satin threads. 

Tea Time 29 Nov 1925

29th November 1925

Tea Time 1925 laeger

An attractive pot shape.

Like the pot but not the fox!

Tea Time 15 Aug 1926

15th August 1926

Tea Time 1926 larger

Fruit table 1926

Tea Time 22 May 1927

22nd May 1927

Tea Time 1927 larger view

Classic French pot 1927

Art Deco 20 Nov 1927

20th November 1927

Tea Time 1927 larger a deco

Tea for two! 1927


Teapot cosies to keep in the warmth for longer are today an important part of the ceremony of taking tea. Antique ones may be hard to find, but today stunning hand knitted ones by:  Yvette Thompson, are a must have trend revival. Try her many different designs to suit your individual style.   Her web contact is:    

   (Contact direct – see our Links page entry)   Latest Poppy design ***     


Tea Time 10 June 1928  grape vine

Under the Grape Vine 10th June 1928

Tea Time 1928 Grapes larger

Chocolate cookies..... .


Tea Time 1st Sept  1929

September Sitting 1929

Tea Time Sept 1929 larger

Flower design has arrived 1929


Tea Time 12th May 29

Angled pot -Art Deco 1929


Tea Time larger  12 May 1929

Art Deco Teapot

Long History Traditions:

In a time of crisis, reach for a sweet cup of strong tea.

The best traditional way to make a good cup of tea like mother’s say, is quote  “Tea leaves made in a warmed teapot are perfect”.  Teabags are good as well, and  take less time directly made into a mug or cup.  For a quick way it tastes better if infused in a teapot allowing the tea to mingle, however, don’t let the tea remain on the leaves too long as it tends to gain a stewed taste.

Another Tea Website to visit is       Also See Link in our Links page under Websites we like.

HAT Shape Originals 1920’s

HAT Shape Originals  1920’s – are coming back in trend, with close cropped hair and chic hair styles to complete the new look for  2014.  Designer inspirations for the future …….

An extraordinary diversity of design has been given to us in the shape of HATS, from the past to the present.  Hats greatly influenced the way hair styles were created and adapted by the ladies of the day.  Paintings, illustrations and photographs appeared in profusion, in all the Paris Journals, capturing events and advertising changing trends.

These unique images have been coloured to emphasize  the shapes in particular, leaving to the imagination the fabrics.   Originally the designs were shown in the Journal Petit Echo de la Mode, printed in Paris.

Yellow & Purple Hats

Yellow & Purple Hats 1923


Special weave hat

Special weave hat 1926


Green hat

Olive green Springtime hat 1926


Blue Hat

NEW Back Brim shape feature 1926


Red glow hat

Back brim with a red glow


Zigzag brim

The latest zigzag brim 1928


Three hats  928

Fashions 1928


Metalic mesh style hat


Spotlight multi

Multi views


Art Deco

Art Deco 1928


Art Deco 2

White imagination


Art Deco designs  1928

Fashions arrive


Front cover  929

Front cover hits 1929


Ravishing red

Ravishing red 1929


Collage blue



Elegance from 1929

Elegance from 1929


May these Hat shape originals bring new inspirations for  many Hat Designers.





Tennis costumes – 1920’s

Tennis costumes on court and off during the 1920’s,

were so very different from modern times.  The game of tennis, especially during the summer months all over France in the 1920’s, had a hugely popular following. The player’s clothes evolved from long skirts and dresses to ever increasing shorter styles, giving increased ease of movement and promoting a higher standard of play. Off court the spectators had a great opportunity to wear smart summer new seasons attire.   Large hats to keep off the sun were a must. Strawberries and cream – I wonder?

Tennis racket shapes and weight were particularly interesting in the 1920’s, mainly they were made from wood and had cat gut strings.

Does anyone know any more great Tennis names from these times?

Suzanne Lenglen was the first great tennis star post World War One. She won Wimbledon in 1919. It was her first grass tournament  playing seven times champion Dorothea Douglass Chambers.

In 1920 she won the Olympics and won at Wimbledon every year until 1925 except 1924 when she had pull out because of jaundice. She also won the French Open six times.

Another great    female  star was Helen Wills Moody who won The French Open four times.Wimbledon eight times and the Us Open seven times.

Close to the net a ball goes astray.  This interesting image was printed:  29th July 1923.

Tennis 1923  1

29th July 1923

The country family grass tennis court was ideal for making friends.  Long straight skirts must have slowed up the progress play was at a relaxed  pace.  This summer game was printed: 20th July 1924.

Grass tennis 2

July 1924

Cotton cross stitch tennis tops. Cut all in one piece with cross stitch detail pattern on demand. 20th July 1924.

Tennis tops

Cotton cross stitch tennis tops 1924

Young Play- Printed 16th August 1925.

Young tennis

Play ball 16th August 1925

1926 Tennis fashions  Are you ready to play?

Tennis fashions

May 1926

A hard court tennis court set in a woodland setting.  The white  practical pleated tennis skirt was the fashion printed  7th August 1927.

Hard court tennis



Meeting up for tennis practice. Printed 21st April 1929.

Tennis practice


 Classic Tennis match dress. 

Tennis arrire 29



Tennis day 29

Classic 1929






Travel – City “Magic Modes” 1920-1930

Travel – City “Magic Modes” 1920-1930

A special kind of city travel coat, was essential for the Parisienne women during the 1920’s and they are still “Magic Modes”, today.  They have never lost there  modernistic appeal for us all.

Tailors were kept busy designing coats and suits in vast numbers.  Subtle design changes happened through this decade.  Early styles tended to be with lower waists and then flaired to the hem. Attention to fine details was always important for creating that captivating individual look.  Mostly cloche hats were worn in very imposing colours.  Wide brimmed hats also stayed popular, perhaps lingering from an earlier time.  Young modern ladies preferred the chic sharp cropped cloche look to go with the latest short hair cuts.

The Traffic is at a standstill  for these two ladies leaving the train station with their dog.  No green lights but a French traffic cop!  They have long jacket suits and warm wraps.  Printed: 2nd March 1930. 

Travel 1930

2nd March 1930

Steam Train central station brings two luggage laden ladies.  They are dressed in simple garments a smart navy blue coat and a green shoulder cape over a suit.  Printed:  30th June 1929. 

Travel 1929

30th June 1929

Travelling by boat along the Seine river for a family excursion must have been a summer treat. So many things to see  for the little ones and a chance to dress up for the trip.   I love this sailor suit look, complete with his naval beret and the girls are smart in their coats. Printed: 16th June 1929.

Travel boat 1929

16th June 1929

Stopping by to pick some wild flowers,beside the winding route.  An excellent view.  Printed: 15th April 1928.

Travel roadside

15th April 1928

A family compartment all to themselves, even enough room for the pet bird! .  Waving goodbye – Au Revoir Paris.  Printed:  8th July 1928.

Train Compartment

8th July 1928

A city Promenade of Parisienne styles.  Printed  29th April 1928 

Promenade 1928

29th April 1928

This fine print shows Luxembourg, with a winter street view.   Two ladies walking the dog in warm coats.  Printed: 16th January 1927.  

Travel Luxembourg

14th January 1927

What are you wearing tonight?

Travel evening

Travel evening wear 1927

Travel accessories

Evening gowns & accessories 1927

Hailing a Taxi.  Lets get home!  Wearing warm coats for the town. Printed:  14th November 1926.

Travel taxi

14th November 1926

Have you got the tickets?   It is a bit odd – a cape coat for hot July, must have been in case of storms, or a cool station platform.   This was printed  6th July 1926.

Travel station 1926

4th July 1926

Hand embroidered travel bags.

Travel cases

1926 Travel cases

Champs-Elysees, Paris. The spotlights are on us!   City winter walking out coats Printed: 13th December 1925.

Travel Paris spotlights

13th December 1925

Hi Pick-Up!  can we all get in? Walking in the autumn.  Printed 19th October 1924.

Travel  Hi

19th October 1924

Going home – La Retour des Vacances. Can you hear the train is loud** The long grey cape – Printed 16th September 1923.

Travel Train coming

16th September 1923