Amazing Photos of Style Icon & Gibson Girl Camille Clifford (1885 – 1971)

Camilla Antoinette Clifford (1885 – 1971) was a Belgian-born stage actress and the most famous model for the “Gibson Girl” illustrations. Her towering coiffure and hourglass figure defined the Gibson Girl style.

Clifford was born on 29 June 1885 in Antwerp, Belgium to Reynold Clifford and Matilda Ottersen. Camille was raised in Sweden, Norway and Boston. In the early 1900s she won US$2000 in a magazine contest sponsored by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson to find a living version of his Gibson Girl drawings: his ideal woman.Clifford became an actress, performing in the United States from 1902 and in England from 1904. She returned from London to Boston on 3 July 1906.While only playing walk-on, non-speaking roles, Clifford became famous nonetheless: not for her talent, but for her beauty. Her trademark style was a long, elegant gown wrapped around her tightly corseted, eighteen-inch wasp waist.

Photographs of her taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith in 1905 often appear in historical fashion books and on websites to illustrate the Edwardian style.

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Camille Clifford via

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Camille Clifford via

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Camille Clifford via

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Camille Clifford via

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Camille Clifford via

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Camille Clifford via

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

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

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Gibson Girls with Pompadour hair via

After the Victorian era hair got bigger and bigger via

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

Edwardian lady with big frizzy hair via

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Miss Ethel Oliver with big Edwardian hair via

Nancy Astor, 1908. beautiful portrait.

Nancy Astor with a knot, 1908 via