Sunday, December 14, 2014

On the Third Day of a Feminine Christmas

This is a print that appeared in a short-lived French fashion magazine called La Gazette du Bon Ton (translated, The Journal of Good Style).  The periodical covered the latest developments in beauty and style for chic Parisian women.  During its publication time (1912-1925), fashion magazines highlighted fashion with lovely prints and illustrations, and not photography.

I first became captivated with this image when I discovered it on a collection of Christmas cards at the Metropolitan Art Museum, and as I often do, I saved one last card for myself.  Fortunately, I recently found the image on eBay for just a dollar as it had been ripped from a copy of La Gazette du Bon Ton.

The illustration is called La Biche Apprivoisée, which means The Tame Doe.  I love the sense of movement which shows an elegant women in fashionable heels trotting naturally beside a small deer.  To me, there is clearly a Christmas theme in her exquisite black, white, and red frock and the deer, although not a reindeer.  The dress in La Gazette du Bon Ton was described as a "scarf print dress by Paul Poiret...of georgette sleeves and a collar and cuffs of organdy, fluted".  Poiret's legacy as a fashion designer is that he freed women from restrictive corsets, although ironically, he was later known for the hobble skirt!

What I take away from images like La Biche Apprivoisée, is a sense of refined yet subdued Christmas style - a far cry from Christmas themed sweaters or tree ornament earrings.  Although I do think that type of fashion has a place today, I prefer my Christmas finery straight up - pretty skirts with simple luxurious sweaters, silk blouses, a touch of tartan.  Polished, quiet, graceful...reflective of the woman I want to be and considerate of the true Christmas message of faith, hope, charity, and love.


  1. What a lovely post and I agree completely about the elegant, graceful style of Yuletide frippery for ladies. Another beautiful thought as we gracefully move towards a festive holiday! Well done, Donna! Love that deer! Wish I had that print! (Deer are my totem animal).

  2. such a pretty lady with the deer. i'm loving this donna! it's changing my mood this morning to something much more elegant and quiet. xo