Friday, April 5, 2013

The Gowns of Goodwood

Gowns of Goodwood
The Art of Dressing
Fashions from 1830-1930
Julia Stevens Croom (born 1815), sister-in-law of the first
family of Goodwood, Bryan & Eveline Croom.
Goodwood Museum & Gardens is fortunate to be the repository of over 150 years of fashionable gowns.  From 1837 to 1990, five families have lived at Goodwood and their gowns are represented in this exhibition.  The exhibition traces fashion styles that span important eras in American History:  the Romantic Era, the Civil War Era, the Gilded Age, the Edwardian Era, the Civil War Era, the Gilded Age, the Edwardian Era, the Great War Period, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression Era.  

Like all art, fashion represents time and place.  The social and political changes in our country's past are reflected in the evolution of the gowns and accessories shown in the exhibition.  The viewer will note that fashion styles changed radically over these 100 years.

In the late 19th century, industrialization brought profound changes to the fashion industry.  Mass production of garments became the norm and department stores sprang up across America, giving access to lower-priced garments for ladies.

As you view the exhibit, note the influence of industrialization on style and design.  Buttons are replaced by zippers; cotton and silk are replaced by rayon.  Designers fashioned free flowing unencumbered gowns, freeing ladies of corsets and hoop skirts.  

Additional Resources:
Vintage Fashion Guild's "Fashion Time Line" from 1810-1970
Glamour Daze's Short History of Women's Fashion--1900 to 1969
American Textile History Museum
Chicago History Museum:  Costumes & Textiles

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jergens Royal Perfume Violet

In our collection is a perfume bottle that once contained Jergens Royal Perfume Violet.  This bottle may have belonged to either Eva Hodges or Margaret Hodges.
J.J. Hodges, Eva Hodges, and William Cabot Hodges, early 1900s
Jergens founded in 1882 by Andrew Jergens of Cincinnati, Ohio. The company bought out Eastman Royal Perfumes in 1901. The company was purchased by American Brands in 1970.  Today the parent company of Jergens is Kao, founded in 1887 in Japan.  For a history of the company...
Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Jergens.  I bet she smelled sweet.
To see an 1918 advertisement for Royal Perfumes...

The Royal Perfume line was launched in 1910.  The company specialized in unique perfume names.  Other Jergens Perfumes from that year were Ponce de Leon, Pretty Pink Perfume, Queen of Hearts, Rose of Killarney, Scotch Thistle, St. Regis, Wild Grape Blossom, and Yutopia.

The Violet scent featured in a number of Jergens products:  Chloris Violet (1904), Panama Violet (1908), Normandy Violette (1918), Violet (1925), Violet Mt. Blanc (1925), Violette d'Orleans (1925), Violette de Lorme (1925, Violette de Saville (1925) and Violette Petals (1925).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mellier's Honeysuckle

Eva M. (Parker) Hodges was born in Garden Plain, IL, 1853.
She was the mother of Sen. William Cabot Hodge.
She lived at Goodwood with her son and daughter-in-law
from 1925 until her death in 1939.
From the perfume bottle collection:  Mellier's Honeysuckle, New York, St. Louis.  This perfume probably belonged to Eva Hodges.

Mellier's was a pharmacy.  Very little information is available regarding the founder.  The pharmacy was bought out in 1892 by Maurice W. Alexander, who already had a highly successful pharmacy in St. Louis. Alexander's pharmacy had a line of colognes in the 1870s and it is possible that the line continued on under the Mellier name. The Honeysuckle fragrance was launched in 1899. For more on the use of Honeysuckle in perfumes...

Mellier's had a number of interesting perfumes including Dewey Bouquet (1898, named after Admiral Dewey), Florita (1899), Espanita (1900), Essence of Jamaica Ginger (1900), Tongaline (1900), American Beauty (1908), and Ping Pong (1910).  
Mellier's "High Class" Perfumes postcard

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Old English Lavender by Yardley

Among the perfume bottles in our collection is Yardley's Old English Lavender.  This perfume likely belonged to either Margaret Hodges Hood or her mother-in-law, Eva Hodges.
Lavandula Augustifolia
Yardley is the world's oldest cosmetics company.  It was begun in 1770 and was a major producer of soap and cosmetics by the 20th century.  The perfume Old English Lavender was launched in 1813 and seems to have been discontinued by 1934.  Yardley is still known for their lavender fragrances.  The newer line, English Lavender, has been in production since 1873. While I can find no description of the Old English Lavender, other than "sweet and discrete", today's English Lavender line, considered Yardley's signature scent, combines "lavender leaves, neroli and clary sage with a heart of lavender oil and geranium, enhanced with deeper notes of tonka bean and sandalwood."  According to Yardley, the lavender they have used since the 1930s is Lavandula Augustifolia.  
1931 French ad
"Partout avec l'Elegance"
Everywhere with Elegance

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bellogia Caron

Countdown for the Gowns of Goodwood exhibit (April 4-June 5).  This begins a series on the scents which graced the ladies who wore the gowns:

Based on the number of bottles in our collection, Bellodgia Caron appears to have been a favorite perfume of Margaret Hodges.  Formulated by the perfumer Ernest Daltroff, it first appeared on the market in 1927.  The inspiration for this perfume was the quaint Italian town of Bellagio, "The Pearl of Lake Como."  It is described as having top notes of carnation and rose; middle notes of jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and violet; base notes of musk, clove, vanilla and sandalwood.  Caron is now owned by the Ales Group and a reformulated version is still available for purchase (the bottle is unchanged after all these years).  The scent is described by Caron as "warm and lively... evocative of a field of carnations drenched in sunlight, punctuated here and there with roses, jasmine, violet, and lily of the valley... a shard of light stolen from the simmering Italian sun..."  Interestingly, this oriental perfume, inspired by an Italian town, was created by a Russian perfumer for a Parisian company and marketed to American women.
1926 advertisement for Bellodgia Caron perfume:
"latest creation of Caron of Paris"
1947 advertisement:  "Fleurs de Rocaille:
Bellodgia Parfume de Caron"
1960 advertisement, "subtly distinctive"

1961 Advertisement, "The Greatest Name in Perfume"
Caron Bellodgia