This from Britannia magazine, July 1932, an absolute gem of an article which attempts to explain the more peculiar fashion trends:
“In a fashionable Paris restaurant, a courtesan is bitten in the wrist by an infuriated dancer whose Grand Duke she has stolen. She ties a gay handkerchief over the wound after her assailant has been thrown out, goes on supping and dancing. Next night an authentic smart set Parisienne who has witnessed the incident appears at a Faubourg St Germaine reception with a coloured mouchoir tied around her left wrist. It is one of those provocative whims that the most respectable women indulge in, hinting at possibilities… An English duchess transports the whim across the Channel; and that season all the women, from the debs to the hard-dancing fifty year olds, sport coloured hankies, either tied around wrists or tucked into barbaric bangles. And they have no idea what it is all about.”
Isn’t that fantastic!? Do we think it’s true? I’d love to believe so. (Although the tone of the entire article reads very masculine and ever so slightly condescending- and part of me wonders if Britannia’s inside man in Parisian Society simply sat in a pavement cafe one afternoon with a bottle of Pastis and made the whole thing up. There are other nuggets, equally priceless- maybe I’ll post some more this week….)
Anyway, once I’d finished chuckling, this little anecdote reminded me of an image I’d seen somewhere else. So I had a little (electronic) rootle around in my folder of vintage patterns sold.
And what I found was this:
I remember thinking the illustration on the pattern envelope a bit odd back when I scanned it. See? Handkerchief around the wrist. Ha! And I’m sure the lady on the pattern envelope here has absolutely no idea what this is about.
(Either that or she started the whole trend….)