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Fashion in the world today has become a term highly associated with innovations and creativity. Since early 19th century, there has been a high demand for new inventions and discoveries in the industry with European countries competing with each other. Science, technological and agricultural innovations were also picking up in Europe.1 Fashion though not significant viewed at this time was also evolving fast with great innovations be made.
The dressing code for both men and women was changing fast. In Paris, the advancements in fashion had started to take a great hold among women. The Parisienne was represented in an extravagance manner in the commercials for French perfumes, the culture of perfumes and fashion created the major representation of the Parisienne and the marketing techniques for aiming Parisienne consumers also portrait the characteristics of the Parisienne.
During the last half of the 19th century, fashion in Paris had developed significantly. At this time, drama was highly accepted and performers and spectators gathered in theaters. This had evoked fashion among performers who would dress different designs for different performances.
The drama performance was highly a thing for women. In the late 19th century, fashion in Paris was evolving with women playing a central part in its development. Although fashion is greatly attributed to creativity and innovation, in Paris it was promoted by the social ties between performers and spectators. Perfume in these days had come to be highly valued among women mostly those who were performers. Advertising and marketing of perfume started to gain recognition in the late 19th century becoming evident through women.
Paris for many years had developed a great interest in the act of performance using drama. Performers and spectators could meet in the context of drama. There was more than just drama as fashions could be used by performers and be seen by spectators.2 As the 19th century was coming to the end, many transformations in the media industry represented a significant progress in perfume advertisement.
Communication was improving at a faster rate with printing becoming common. Women were changing significantly by taking more complex and recognizable jobs. Women started entering the management world in factories and thus elegance in dressing and perfumes was their way of recognition.
Fashion in Paris
During the late 19th century, women started using posters as way of advertising their products. The Parisienne could move through the widened streets holding posters, which advertised perfumes and fashion to pedestrians and businesspersons in the streets3. The advertisements during this era were based on the sexploitation of women as well as their objectification.
This is shown by some belle époque posters carried by women in the streets representing the seductive Parisienne and showing the power of moving with fashion. During this era the passion for women for higher education, new and advanced professions, salaried work and demand for their rights was rising. Women started doing more than just acting in theaters as they started writing, typing and advertising perfume and fashion.
During this era, the railway was expanding in Paris and the streets were becoming wider and busy.4 This meant quicker transportation from one place to another. Women took advantage of this advertisement in transportation by widening the advertising and marketing of perfume and fashion. Fashion during this era was heightened by use of photography, which was now advanced and highly used.
Photography could be applied in background pictures in the theaters as well as on posters that women traveled with in the streets.5 Fashion in the late 19th century was attributed to secularization of women. Women could wear differently during different times of the day which depicts different dresses were made for different occasions and purposes. This illustrates the use of fashion among women on basis of different dresses for different times of the day.
What women could wear at work during the day was different from what they wore in the evening with their families. During this era women could wear lace, frills and flounces, accompanied by feather boas and hats festooned with different flowers that were underpinned by complicated layers of underwear.
What a Parisienne could wear showed how fashionable she was in the eyes of other women. The posters which were used for advertisement and marketing during this era were aimed at consumers who were women themselves.6 The wealth women in Paris could wear those expensive dresses associated with high status in the society, which led to the growth of fashion in difference of social class. During the last quarter of the 19th century, women could wear rear bustle.
This was later developed with the skirt return been more slender in shape while the corset remained almost similar. These style though elegant for women were not easy to wear. These dresses and skirts also had the disadvantage of restricting movement with their multiple layers and the sheer quantity of material.
The inventions in the textile and clothing industry were a great advancement in the history of fashion with ready-made or semi-made clothing widely available. These advances in the 1890s had led to the immergence of department stores in Paris.7 With women advertising different fashions accompanied by different perfumes, there was need to centralize these fashions and perfumes for women to access.
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These department stores acted as the meet place for women to choose on dresses to buy according to different fashions and for different occasions. Although the women at the 1860s to 1890s did not have much of their own income, advertisements through use of posters were meant for them. Perfumes also started to get their way into these departments stores that were set across the town. At this time, women were well recognized in the field of music.8
Parisienne women were accepted as experts when it came to playing piano. The advertisers of fashion through use of magazines associated the pianists with different designs. Those women who played pianos professional could appear in magazines dressed in different design while playing pianos. This association of fashion and music had improved fashion marketing with Parisienne greatly involved in the field of music.
The use of music and fashion in magazines ended as the 19th century ended. This is because more women were pursuing education and thus leaving the music industry. The increased inventions in the movies on the other hand replaced use of music to advertise fashion. Movie stars and actors started to take the place of pianists in the fashion marketing in magazines.9
During this time on the other hand, printing had advanced together with photography. Magazines and newspapers were printed during this time and sold across Paris. By the time 20th century came, there were over 50 newspapers in Paris alone. The Parisienne was highly involved in the typing and printing of these newspapers and magazines. Most magazines were aimed at Parisienne who also did their advertisements as they were in them potential customers.
During this era, photography was merged with newspapers and magazines. This heightened the spread of information on fashion not only across Paris but also to foreigners. Women started to express their nudity in these magazines and newspapers while advertising for fashion. Women had now become strong and educated and were now working in better position and having their own income.
The freedom of media was well applied with newspapers and magazines communicating everything happening across Paris. It was now evident that women had changed not only educational wise but also in the context of growing and changing fashion.10
During this early twentieth century, fashion was well shown through use of fussy studio backgrounds that were often framed by ornate arrangements of foliage. The magazines mainly the major ones could keep track of fashion and publish them through pictures and minor discussion to their customers. During this time, Paul Poiret elevated fashion and its representation within the art status, which led to a new and significant force.11
The production of featuring exotic sets and costumes exploded in the early twentieth century on the Parisian stage. This was different with the introduction of dazzling colors and the daring of nudity. Fashion started to be represented and accompanied by a meaning. Poiret’s design for eveningwear could portray the oriental influence.
Women could wear harem trousers under tunics in the evenings that were decorated with feathers and jewels. The Parisienne dress was taking a new turn as high, boned collars were replaced by low v-necklines. These developments on dresses gave way to new and more simplified styles like toque. This meant the replacement of fussy frills and furbelows with toque.12
In Paris, new fashion advertising and marketing ways were emerging in 1912. This was due to the invention on use of different colors in photos of dress designers in the publication of magazines and newspapers13. This led to the emergence of a magazine, which was solely designed for fashion publication known as the Gazette.
The magazine would use information from different designers and cloth manufacturers to compile a range of different fashions. The magazine also applied the use of different colors to publish pictures of different dress designs. This led to emerge of specialization in magazine publication that was aimed at increasing advertisement and marketing of fashion.14
When the First World War started, men were greatly involved at the battleground. These left women with many jobs and things to run and manage. Women during this time took the roles of men in all the fields; business, manufacturing, administration, and even some entered into governance.
During this time, it was evident that Parisienne could do what men could do which greatly influenced women to fight for their rights more. During this time of war, development of fashion did not stop as it was much centered among women than men. Fashion was affected in little ways like production and dissemination due to export restrictions. Under the circumstances of war, the Parisienne continued to hold biannual shows in many of the Parisian houses.15
The war brought with it freedom of dressing among women who for instance could not wear trousers before. This is because women were greatly involved in war, in munitions work, working in farms where trousers were worn. With many cultures eroded during the war, fashion was becoming democratized.
Advanced manufacturing initiated by war resulted to mass production of clothing by 1918 new designs had emerged with introduction of masculine dresses and sportswear.16 Perfume started to be associated with specific designs for women. For instance Gabrielle who had created the easy-to wear separates, created a new perfume in 1921, which was associated with her designs.
In the 1920s, women wear was characterized by simplicity and more emphasis were on youthful appearance. The youthful androgyny was achieved through use of bust flatteners. The evening dresses had taken a new fashion with Parisienne evening dress taking influence of Egyptian decorations.
These dresses also applied fringing which enhanced motion while dancing. By 1927, women had started to expose their legs more through introduction of short dresses than ever before. Advertisement of cosmetics like perfumes had also take a new turn with use of magazine advertisements associated with society figures, actresses, and the use of movie star celebrity.17
Perfume in Paris
Perfume has lived with man since time memorial and its significance greatly known among women. In Paris, perfumes were used mostly by wealth women during the last quarter of the 19th century. The homemakers and shop girls could to afford it since it production was hard and limited.
Perfumes could be made from plants or animal products and mixed with alcohol. In the late 19th century, perfume was used by Parisienne as they performed in dramas. The advancements in fashion in Paris during this time initiated developments in the perfume industry.
Though perfume production had come to be known by many, it was still a rare product for all women. The advancements in the transportation industry promoted significantly the exchange of perfumes from different parts of the world to Paris. The improvements in communication also promoted increased knowledge about perfumes.
France during this time had made advances in the production of glass products. Among these products were glass bottles of different shapes and sizes. These innovations led to the emergence of storing perfume in glass bottles that is still in use even to today all over the world. These bottles that carried perfumes were decorated in different styles to make them look attractive and could be used to decorate tables.
The increased use of railway during this time made transport and traveling easy.18 This promoted the perfume marketing through Paris. At the late 19th century, women could use posters to advertise fashion along the streets. Perfumes advertisement stated to emerge among women even through during this time they had no incomes. Fashion and perfume started to merge. Those wealth women who afforded dresses, which applied new fashion, also went for emerging new and strong perfumes.
Perfumes were also greatly associated with romance and love during this time. The advertisements of perfumes were based on love and romance. The perfumes for women would be advertised through pictures or message to make them believe that they would become more attractive and loved by their men if they used them. Men perfumes were on the other had associated with making men more attractive to women when they smell the scent of these perfumes.19
By the end of the 19th century, over 100 people were working in the French perfume industry. This had come to be due to the increased transportation across nations. This had promoted the exportation of perfumes across the world, which was exchanged with other valuables. After the First World War, there was great advancement in use of mass production, better transportation and communication.
This had led to the creation of new forms of perfumes that were easier to produce. These perfumes were thus cheaper as they could be produced in large quantities. Therefore, the perfumes, which were only available among the reach women, were now available to all including a shop girl.20
Perfume advertisement was now evident in magazines and newspapers across Paris. In the 1900s, the world exhibition in Paris promoted the perfume marketing. Perfumes were given the names of famous such as founder Parisienne. The perfume pavilion was well decorated with exhibitors using highly designed bottles.
This led to the emergence of new important aspects in the advertisement of perfumes. The bottle designs and decorations, the wrapping and the advertising became important elements besides the scent of perfumes. Innovations in the perfume industry intensified with people like Francois coming up with a mixture of natural and synthetic scents.
In the merging of fashion and perfume, Paul Poiret liberated the woman from the corset. He came up with the idea of creating a perfume as a supplement to a fashion line. He named his first perfume Les parfums de Rosine, which was a name, derived from his elders daughter.21
This representation marketed the perfumes among women in Paris who wanted to be associated with the Parisienne who the perfume was named after. In merging of fashion and perfumes, Coco Chanel made a great innovation in the early twentieth century. In 1912, she had become a great design in fashion designing more simpler and comfortable dresses, trousers, and ensembles for women. Coco created a signature scent known as Chanel No. 5, which was made from the expensive jasmine.
This perfume used synthetic floral aldehydes in its top note, which gave, is fragrance a lasting scent. Coco perfume was named after her who made it to be associated with her fashion22. The Parisienne had by now come to create the best perfume in the world. The great involvement and innovations by women in fashion and perfume in French had led to the emergence of the best designs and perfumes in the world. These had a great significance in the advertising and marketing for French perfume and fashion.
In the 1930s with more innovations in science and technology, perfumes started to be produced with flowers scent. Jean Patou invented a strong perfume from use of roses, which is still among the best in the world even today. The use of flower scent in 1930s led to the emergence of different perfumes with different scents according to the flowers used in their production.23
During the time between 1860s and 1930s, women were greatly involved in both fashion and perfume industries in French. In Paris which was the centre of French women made great contributions in these industries through inventions, marketing and advertising. Fashion was greatly influenced by Parisienne during this time.
In Paris, women created and came up with more simpler and elegant dresses as they pursued higher education and demanded for their rights in the society. Women came up with new design for acting in theaters, which they later started advertising. With the advancements in printing and typing, women started adverting fashion within the streets of Paris by use of posters. The Parisienne later advanced to use of magazines and newspaper to market and advertise fashion. During this time, perfumes were scarce and were used by wealthy women.
During the early 20th century, fashion was associated with perfumes in Paris. During the First World War, men went to war leaving women behind to engage in those activities thought before to be for men. This led to a great advancement in fashion as women in Paris started even to wear trousers.
The war also led to the introduction of mass production in French. This led to the creation of perfumes which were easy to produce and thus cheaper. The better transportation and communication during the 1910s promoted wider markets for perfumes and fashion through exportation.
The production of perfumes intensified in the 1930s with use of flowers to produce them. During this time the fashion had advanced greatly with simpler and separate designs been used. The representation of Parisienne in advertising and marketing for French perfumes and fashion is thus evident with the great involvement of women in advertising and inventions of both.
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1Charles Rearick, Paris dreams, Paris memories : the city and its mystique (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2011), 76.
2 Deborah Parsons, Streetwalking the metropolis: women. the city and modernity (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000), 49.
3 Jack Rennert and Alphonse Mucha, The Complete Posters and Panels (Boston: Hall, 1984), 44.
4 Mary Davis, Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism (London: University of California Press, 2008), 62.
5 William Wiser, The qreat sood place: American expatriate women in Paris (New York: Norton, 1991), 79.
6 Lautrec Toulouse and Louis Montmartre, “From Victorian to Victoria’s Secret: The Foundations of Modern Erotic Wear,” Journal of Popular Culture, 30 (Fall 1996): 12.
7 Valerie Steele, Paris fashion: a cultural history (Eugene: Berg, 1998), 93.
8 Holmes Diana and Tarr Carrie, “Belle Eqpoque”?: women in French society and culture, 1890-1914 (New York: Berghahn Boks, 2006), 106.
9 Nancy Marshal and James Warner, Tissot: Victorian life. modern love (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 126.
10Mee-Eun Kang, “The Portrayal of Women’s Images in Magazine Advertisements: Goffman’s Gender Analysis Revisited,” Sex Roles (1997): 56.
11 Carol Ockman and Sarah Bernhardt, The Art of Hieh Drama (New York: Jewish Museum/Yale University Press, 2005), 145.
12 Joanna Richardson, The Courtesans: the demi-monde in nineteenth-century France (Cleveland: World Pub. Co., 1967), 66.
13 Roberts, Mary Louise, Disruptive Acts The New Woman in Fin-de-Siecle France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,2003)
14 Vanessa Schwartz, Its so French! Hollywood. Paris. and the Making of Cosmopolitan Film Culture (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 2007), 146.
15 Mary Roberts, Disruptive Acts The New Woman in Fin-de-Siecle France, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 38.
16 William Peniston, Pederasts and Others: urban culture and sexual identity in nineteenth century Paris (New York: Harrington Park Press, 2004), 90.
17 Patrick Waldberg, Eros in la belle poque (New York: Grove Press, 1969), 57.
18 Lise Skov, “The Role of Trade Fairs in the Global Fashion Business,” Current Sociology vol. 54 no. 5 (September 2006): 764.
19 Rosalind Williams, Dream Worlds: mass consumption in late nineteenth-century France (Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1982), 189.
20Leslie Burns and Nancy Bryant, “The Business of Fashion: Designing, Manufacturing and Marketing,” LAVOISIER S.A.S. (2002): 154.
21Debora Silverman, Art Nouveau in Fin-de-Siecle France (Berkeley: University of California Press, I989), 77.
22 Parsons, Deborah 1-, Streetwalking the metropolis: women. the city and modernity (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000)
23 Noel Sloboda, The Making of Americans in Paris: The autobiographies of Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), 61.