For more than thirty years I have been collecting photographs that illustrate the changing silhouette of fashion beginning in the 1850s and continuing through most of the twentieth century. The majority of the photographs in the Timeline Archive are firmly dated, that is , inscribed with a date by the sitter or photographer.The Fashion Timeline is an archive of thousands of photographs, the majority firmly dated, chosen to illustrate changes in silhouette beginning in the 1850s continuing to 2000 and also to provide a photographic glossary of fashion terms.  Included are professional fashion photographs, professional photographs of anonymous yet fashionable sitters, early examples of street fashion photography and charmingly casual snapshots.



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Created by

Dorota Liczbinska-Bates

1903 Geraldine Ferrar

1903 best guess. Opera singer Geraldine Farrar wearing a trained ballgown with layers of fringe darkening towards the hem. This image was taken during the American singer’s spectacularly successful engagement at an opera house in Berlin. She studied in Paris with the composer Massenet before starring in his opera Manon opening in December, 1903, in Berlin. Known for her love of fine fashion, she may have commissioned this dress in Paris. Photographer: unknown. Postcard photograph.