Beautiful Turn of the Century Postcards by Rita Martin

Rita Martin (1875-1958) started her photographic career in 1897 when she helped her elder sister Lallie Charles to run her studio. In 1906 she opened her own studio, working in a similar studio to Charles, photographing subjects in pale colours against a pure white background, and focused on actresses such as Lily Elsie and Lily Brayton and child studies, particularly of Gladys Cooper’s two children.

Martin’s and Charles’ few surviving negatives were presented to the National Portrait Gallery by their niece Lallie Charles Martin in 1994.

NPG x131516; Dame Gladys Cooper by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Dame Gladys Cooper

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1910. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131515; Dame Gladys Cooper by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Dame Gladys Cooper

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1910. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131528; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough)

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1907. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131530; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough)

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1907. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131450; Lily Brayton as Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew' by Rita Martin

Lily Brayton as Katherine in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

by Rita Martin
postcard print, 1904. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131451; Lily Brayton as Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew' by Rita Martin, published by  Aristophot Co Ltd

Lily Brayton as Katherine in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

by Rita Martin
postcard print, 1904. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x128831; Nora Kerin in 'The Prince and the Beggarmaid' by Rita Martin, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Nora Kerin in ‘The Prince and the Beggarmaid’

by Rita Martin, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1908. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x128832; Nora Kerin in 'The Prince and the Beggarmaid' by Rita Martin, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Nora Kerin in ‘The Prince and the Beggarmaid’

by Rita Martin, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1908. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

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Lily Elsie in the operetta The Merry Widow (Dressed by Lucile)

Lily Elsie (8 April 1886 – 16 December 1962) was a popular English actress and singer during the Edwardian era, best known for her starring role in the hit London premiere of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Merry Widow.

Early 20th-century fashion designer Lucile designed the costumes (including the plumed hats that became an extraordinary fad) and thereafter used Elsie to promote her fashions, designing her personal clothes and costumes for several of her other shows.

Lucile later wrote:

“I realised that here was a girl who had both beauty and intelligence but who had never learnt how to make the best of herself. So shy and diffident was she in those days that a less astute producer than George Edwardes would in all probability have passed her over and left her in the chorus.”

The production opened in June 1907 and ran for 778 performances at Daly’s Theatre. The show was an enormous success for its creators and made Elsie a major star.

Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow dressed by Lucile, 1907

via

prettycleverfilms.com

NPG x135274; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) as Sonia in 'The Merry Widow' by Foulsham & Banfield, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow dressed by Lucile (1907)

by Foulsham & Banfield

via

© National Portrait Gallery, London

NPG Ax160392; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) as Sonia and Joseph Coyne as Prince Danilo in 'The Merry Widow' by Foulsham & Banfield, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Lily Elsie as Sonia and Joseph Coyne as Prince Danilo in ‘The Merry Widow’ (1907) by Foulsham & Banfield

via

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Innovative Edwardian Fashion Photos by London Designer Lucile

Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon (née Sutherland) (1863 –1935) was best known by her professional name “Lucile”. Who was at the beginning of the twentieth century one of the most innovative, forward thinking designers. Much like her contemporary, Paul Poiret, she designed clothes for the modern woman. She launched liberating slit skirts and low necklines, popularized less restrictive corsets, and promoted alluring, pared-down lingerie.

She originated the “mannequin parade”, a precursor to the modern fashion show, and trained the first professional models who were almost as famous as she was. She gave them poetic names, like Hebe, Corisande and Dolores.

She opened branches of her London house, Lucile Ltd, in Paris, New York City and Chicago, dressing a trend-setting clientele of royalty, nobility, and stage and film personalities. Some well-known clients, whose clothing influenced many when it appeared in early films, on stage, and in the press, included: Irene Castle, Lily Elsie,Gertie Millar, Gaby Deslys, Billie Burke, and Mary Pickford.

Lucile costumed many theatrical productions including the London première of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Merry Widow (1907), the Ziegfeld Follies revues on Broadway (1915–21), and the D. W. Griffith silent movie Way Down East (1920). Her fashions were also frequently featured in Pathé and Gaumont newsreels of the 1910s and 20s, and she appeared in her own weekly spot in the British newsreel “Around the Town” (c. 1917–1919)

Lucy Duff Gordon is also remembered as a survivor of the sinking of Titanic in 1912.

https://i1.wp.com/www.gogmsite.net/_Media/1916_9_feb_lady_lucy_duff_g.jpg

Lady Lucy Duff Gordon with her dogs by Marceau

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https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6e/Lily_Elsie_in_The_Merry_Widow.jpg

Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow, 1909, costume by Lucile

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wiki

Lily Elsie, shown here in a costume designed by Gordon for a 1909 play called “The Dollar Princess.”

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A model in a dress by Lucile (Lady Duff Gordon), ca. 1912.

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1921 Lucile evening gown of a black chantilly lace hoop over a white satin slip, shown at the National Retail Garment Association Fashion Show at the Hotel Commodore, NYC. From Ebay.

1921 Lucile evening gown of a black chantilly lace hoop over a white satin slip,

shown at the National Retail Garment Association Fashion Show at the Hotel Commodore, NYC.

via

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Superb Vintage Photos of Beautiful Edwardian Era Hairstyles

Edwardian hairstyles were largely dictated by the millinery trade. The hairstyles had a soft, fluffy and loose fluidity about them. Hair was dressed off the face, with the exception of a fringe, and hairstyles rarely had a parting.

The defining Edwardian hairstyle for women was the pompadour. After the Pompadour´s initial popularity among fashionable women in the 18th century, it was revived as part of the Gibson Girl look in the 1890s and continued to be in vogue until World War I.

Other hairstyles were fx. the Low Pompadour (for everyday), Hat Pin Hairstyles (for the late Edwardian Cartwheel hat), the Gibson Tuck, the Side-Swirl (the style allowed women to easier wear the picture hats), the bouffant and the chignon. Usually the full Pompadour hairstyle was kept for special occasions. In the early part of the Edwardian era it was accompanied by the “picture” hat; hats that were worn high on the head and heavily decorated with fabric, feathers or imitation flowers or fruit.

The  Pompadour hairstyle could be dressed in all manner of styles, but the basic concept is hair swept upwards from the face and worn high over the forehead, and sometimes upswept around the sides and back as well. The style could feature soft coils and fuzzy curled fringes. It could be decorated with a bun, chignon or knot, depending on what was in vogue at the time and the occasion. Chignons tended to sit low on the nape, or at the back of the head. A bun could also be situated on the crown. A knot is hair that is twisted to form a rope, and then coiled to form a shape. The different shapes had names, for example the Apollo Kno, the Psyche Knot and the Grecian Knot. A topknot sits high on the head.

Evelyn Nesbit, who posed for illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, and became known as the first “Gibson Girl.”

Gibson’s drawings of women represented the feminin ideal of the time.

via Flickr.

eddie

The Soft Pompadour and Psyche Knot.
From Girls Own Paper and Woman’s magazine, 1911 via tumblr

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Gibson Girls with Pompadour hair via Tumblr

After the Victorian era hair got bigger and bigger via DeviantArt

Actress Gabrielle Ray´s hairstyle fits her large decorated hat 1906 via Flickr

Edwardian lady with big frizzy hair via Deviantart

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Miss Ethel Oliver with big Edwardian hair via Flickr

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough), by Bassano Ltd, circa 1905 - NPG x15360 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Miss Lily Elsie by Bassano via Npg.

Nancy Astor, 1908. beautiful portrait.

Nancy Astor with a knot, 1908 via Blogspot

Victorian/Edwardian model with a bun via Shorpy

Edwardian Beauty Lily Elsie – The Most Photographed Woman in the World

Lily Elsie (1886 – 1962) was a popular English actress and singer during the Edwardian era, when public entertainment flourished. The nine years during Edward´s reign were to be the height of Lily Elsie’s success on the stage.  Beginning as a child star in the 1890s, Elsie built her reputation in several successful musical comedies before her great success in The Merry Widow in 1907, which the King saw four times. Afterwards, she starred in several more successful operettas and musicals.

Admired for her beauty and charm on stage, Elsie became one of the most frequently photographed beauties of the Edwardian era.

The Chicago Examiner wrote on 1st May 1910:

She is famous above all for two things –
for having been photographed more frequently than any actress ever on a London stage, and for having had more proposals of marriage.  It is said that she has been photographed at least once every week day in the year.  Even then the insatiable demands of the photographic firms were not satisfied.  They could not obtain enough of her photographs to supply the enormous demand.

Lily Elsie

Lily Elsie

Lily Elsie

Lily_Elsie_-_Postcard_-_Postmarked_Birmingham_Sept_1909

Lily Elsie – Postcard, postmarked Birmingham September 1909

Captivatingly gorgeous Victorian stage actress Lili Elsie sporting an elegant black ensemble. #Victorian #19th_century #1800s #photograph #antique #vintage #woman #actress #stage #Lili_Elsie

Lily Elsie