Four Gibson girls

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What it is:

Photo measuring a bit larger than 3.5 x 3.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Nothing!  Undated and unidentified.

Comments:

As I understand it, for about twenty years around the turn of the last century, the illustrator Charles Dana Gibson sold pen and ink illustrations featuring what he considered to be the ideal image of womanhood.  His illustrations circulated widely in magazines, and the style caught on in real life.  Women who followed the fashion were known as Gibson Girls.  Here are four young women demonstrating the distinctive hairstyle.  You can Google “Gibson Girl hair tutorial” for instructions on achieving the look yourself.  Should you want to, of course.  This picture is presumably late in the range of the Gibson fad (it died out around WWI), since their clothing looks more Edwardian to me than the frillier Belle Epoque clothing of more stereotypical Gibson images.  Here we see what happens when you take an idealized concept and apply it to real flesh-and-blood people.  The results, to my taste, are mixed.

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4 comments on “Four Gibson girls”

  1. I just want to point out that Gibson was somewhat of a champion of plainer, more athletic clothing for women. And I suspect the Gibson Girl ‘do was considered more natural and less fussy than the ringlets and braids of previous decades.
    http://tinyurl.com/958m76g
    http://tinyurl.com/9qjukt4

    • Thanks for the links! It’s always good to get extra information. Perhaps the images I’d been looking at weren’t quite representative. In any case, it’s funny to my modern eyes to think of these clothes as athletic, though I realize they were for those days.

  2. I always loved the Gibson girl “do” – but no way would I ever be able to create that look with my fine, straight hair.


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