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Girl’s dress, around 1910 

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

This sophisticated white dress is high-waisted with  a wide embroidered collar and a slightly flared skirt. 

Boy’s Suit, 1902 

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

This child’s suit is cut in the same fashion as that for an adult. It was customary that so-called “Kranzlkinder” carried the bride’s train and strewed flowers at big weddings.

Folding fan, in a box, 1900/1910

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

Manufacturer: V.H. Wertheimer

Josef Wertheimer founded his fan factory in Vienna, Opernring 7, at the end oft he nineteenth century. His company was later taken over by his son, Viktor Hugo.

Fans were needed when one went for walks, for riding out in a carriage or on horseback, in a box at the opera and at a ball in order to be able to flirt and remain unrecognized.  This important accessory  had to go with the outfit, both in colour and material and be in keeping with the occasion. 

The piece shown here is an elaborately designed fan, made of expensive material, that was used at a ball.

Pumps, around 1900 

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

So-called  ”Goldkäfer” shoes in gold, brown and violet, were popular from the 1880s onwards. The metallic shimmer of a beetle’s shell gave this type of leather its name.

Handbag, around 1910

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

The handbag became a necessity as skirts got narrower. Important utensils could no longer be kept in the wide skirts and had to be carried elsewhere. Bags made of silver wire became of objects of desire. They were not only used in the evening, but in the afternoon as well.

Mourning Dress, around 1900 

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

Mourning dress symbolized humility and respect for the deceased. Outward signs of mourning were usually observed by women.

They wore deep mourning attire for at least a year after the death of a close relative. Aristoratic widows, like Queen Victoria, or Maria Theresia, in the eighteenth century, wore mourning for the rest of their lives.

Mourning attire had to be of a black and dull fabric. Crêpe was commonly associated with mourning. While men got away with a crêpe band on one sleeve, women were obliged to wear black dresses and hats with heavy crêpe veils. Even accessories such as fans and parasols, had to be black. In the second half of a year of mourning, a women could wear grey or mauve – the first artificially produced colour dye.

Crimping and Curling Tongs, around 1900

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

Curling tongs were heated in the oven, or over a bunsen burner. Strands of hair were clamped between the tongs and rolled to form curls. If the tongs were too hot, they burned the hair and worse still, the skin of ones’s face and head. In 1872, a Frenchman named Marcel Grateau, invented irons with which one could produce soft, natural looking waves.

Corset, around 1880/1885

Waist: 49cm

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

According to a manual for dresscode, a corset was no longer a question of fashion, but something essential. Forgetting to put one on came close to forgetting to wash oneself.

Stockings, around 1890/1900

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

Silk stockings, just like silk underwear, were luxury goods. While harmonizing in colour with the dress towards the beginning, they later became fashionable in contrast.

Ankle boots, owned by Helene Vetsera, 1875/1880

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

These spectalcular boots, somewhat too daring for conservative Viennese taste, enhanced the appearance of Mary Vetsera’s elegant mother. Helene Vetsera (1847-1925) grew up in a wealthy family in Constantinople, where she met her husband, Albin Vetsera, an Austrian diplomat. The young couple moved to a palais in the Salisianergasse 11 and were seen in the best circles.

The young Baroness Mary met Crown Prince Rudolf, with whom she had a relationship for some time. After the tragedy in Mayerling, when the Crown Prince committed suicide after killing his then girlfriend Mary, Helene fell out of favour in aristocratic society. She outlived all her children, lost all her wealth during WWI and died in poverty in 1925.

Clamps to shape one’s fingertips, in a box, around 1900

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

These little instruments of torture were a “must” if one wished to have shapely fingertips. One clamped one on each finger, cut one’s circulation off and got cold fingers. Ten minutes later one could admire the result.

"Girardi",  around 1890

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

This straw boater is named after the famous Viennese Operettenstar Alexander Girardi (1850 – 1918). He wore a hat like this in his role in the Strauß Operette “Fürstin Ninetta”. The stiff boater with its dark ribbed band became so famous  that it was renamed a “Girardi” hat from then on. The Girardi became the summer hat for gentlemen in the 1880s

Automobile hat for ladies, around 1905

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

This hat was featured in a full page advertisement of Goldman & Salatsch in the “Allgemeinen Automobilzeitung“ on the 30th of July 1905. The advertisment shows headgear for women and men, from the specialized department for automobile equipment. In 1907, 16 Viennese women registered for a car of their own.

Hat with feathers, around 1885/1887

Made by Mson Ch.&Th.P. Haala Vienne, Wien1., Fürichgasse 6

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

This hat, with its white cock feathers and elaborate ribbon trimmings, could have been a reason for the prohibition of hats in the Burgtheater: it is an unbelievable 22 cm in height ! Local bird feathers were obviously far cheaper than the feathers of imported exotic species.

Parasol, 1869

Foto: Christa Losta

© Wien Museum

Parasols protected the delicate complexion from an unwanted tan. This parasol with an Egyptian mask as a handle, was used at the opening of the Suez Canal. This historic event inspired the fashion industry to numerous designs in ancient Egyption style. The construction was completed in 1869, after ten years of work. The planning was done by Alois Negrelli, an Austrian engineer.

The grand opening ceremony in Port Said was attended by the French Empress Eugenie, the most fashion-conscious lady of her time, German Crown Prince Friedrich and Austria’s Emperor, Franz Joseph.