At the turn of the twentieth century, when fashion started changing a little more rapidly and travel was still somewhat prohibitive, women learned about new styles through another modern invention – the printing press. It was suddenly possible for designers, stylists and forecasters to publicize their new styles through printed material. That meant that women in Denver, Colorado could see what was in vogue in Paris – and talented seamstresses could recreate hats, dresses and other accessories. Women like Dolly Madison had a way to stay on top of their social game without looking as though they lived in the Wild West.
The Delineator Magazine (A Journal of Fashion, Culture, and Fine Arts) was one of those publications. It was started in 1873 by Butterick Patterns. The magazine provided a means for women to view the latest fashions and for talented seamstresses to purchase patterns to recreate them. During that time, instead of walking into a boutique with racks of dresses, each available in several sizes and sometimes several colorways, a woman would choose their dress from a magazine or catalog and it would be custom-made for her.
This set of postcards shows the millinery fashions during the late 1890’s. Some are quite elaborate including birds, feathers and veils. Others a little simpler.