Early French Fashion Houses (19th and 20th century)

Presenting our rare historical fashion house reference page

Explore fascinating fashion designs rescued from obscurity from the most feminine elegant era 1835-1960. Here are some fashion drawings, and photographs collated for you to enjoy. See list of little known Fashion Houses below.

The busy fashion house of Paquin in 1907

The busy fashion house of Paquin in 1907

A frenzy of activity with many bolts of fabrics being chosen for luxurious gowns of the day. Amazingly even the dogs are allowed in to play! A fabulous painting capturing exactly how it was. This painting is for reference purposes only.

Especially during the late 1800s to the beginning of the 1900s, the centre of Paris is where a vast conclave of new and already famous names chose to conduct highly successful Fashion Houses. Attracting people with their over exaggerated exotic creations compared with today’s designs, most were the work of designers who were geniuses. For example, ladies wearing a ball gown from the House of Worth would instantly feel like a royal princess.

The gowns of Paul Poirot caused a phenomenal sensation all over Paris, and many more joined the list. The evening gowns for the bourgeois were extremely elegant, and were individually made for the clients by most competitive Fashion Houses, who were eager to advertise that they were instantly recognisable by their own distinctive designs.

Many great Fashion Houses are already recorded, so we have only concentrated on the ones unique to our own collection of journals. It is also interesting that many of these Fashion Houses branched into successful Perfumery Companies, some still marketed today. America, Australia & Europe’s Vintage Clothing Stores have become, the in-vogue passion to visit for collecting these famous labels of exquisitely made garments of our past.

Now we have some stunning visual images in print to remind us of bygone design perfection.

Head to Toe Fashion Art’s archive gallery

We would like to present some obscure rare designs for reference from Fashion Houses that we have collected which do not fall into our Icons page listing, nonetheless they are very interesting and the Designer’s are equally of a high calibre. The images show the Fashion House the Designer and the date. Sometimes we also obtained the garment descriptions and the addresses of the establishment.

 News March 2012 – Here is an interesting list of recently researched and  little known Fashion Houses in Paris, from 1890.. La Mode.  It gave a yearly copy of its editions in the book from 15th December 1890 to 15th November 1891. They were in black and white detailed drawings, giving a wide range of many different fashions of the year.  From some of the Fashion Houses mentioned below we have copied examples of there works and will load them to the site shortly.

…and to finish, this view of a busy fashion house.

Do you like this mode Madame? 1903

Do you like this mode Madame? 1903

This archive could become a useful reference page for fashion college students or for anyone passionate about vintage fashion.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to send us your own info or images from this fashion era (19th to mid or late 20th century).