Fashion Rewind


100 years later, fashion still allows for personality.

In celebration of Biola’s 100th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the fashion trends of the very first Biolans.

In 1908, clothing was a sophisticated luxury. The period between 1900-1910 is often referred to as La Belle Époque, or “Beautiful Age.” The world of fashion spiked when the first narrative film, “The Great Train Robbery” (1903) was released. Just five years later, Biola was founded.

The first Biola men would have worn sack suits (a tighter-weaved cotton) or plaid suits with pleated trousers. Cuffs, watch chains and derby (bowler) hats were the must-have accessories for men. The cane, not only used for support when walking, was an accessory symbolizing a more authoritative luxury.

Women at the time Biola was founded would have worn ladies suits (or dress suits). This look included an S-bend corset with a lace collar, to elongate the neck, as well as tighter fabric clinging to the arms and hips. Their skirts would have been flared at the end, creating a bell-shaped curve. An umbrella and Merry Widow hats were popular accessories.

The fashion of the time would change radically just a few years later due to WWI. During the start of the war, in 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany, fashion took a turn. The new socialism caused a ripple effect, and more people wanted a sense of personal identity.WWI not only changed the course of this world forever but changed fashion as well, leaving the former view of conformity behind and leading us to our more personalized fashion we take pride in today.

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