The French called the era from 1895 to 1914 La Belle Époque. It was an epoch of beautiful clothes and the peak of luxury living for a select few – the very rich and the very privileged through birth.
In retrospect we can see it is an era very separate from the 20th century despite belonging at its start. The attitudes and lifestyles of two decades were swept away by war and because the war was so atrocious a new socialism and sense of personal identity was born. The masses started to reject the concept of privilege as the reason for a better life.
The Longchamp racecourse is situated in the Bois de Boulogne on the banks of the Seine River, in Paris, France. The first Longchamp race meeting was held in 1857.
With the first real fashion shows organized in the 1910s, the new century hailed Paris as the fashion capital of the world. And couturiers routinely sent models wearing their latest designs to the racecourse. Below is a gallery of 60 amazing photographs that capture women’s fashion at the Longchamp Grand Prix in the early 1910s. The racecourse was closed for the duration of WWI but would reopen in 1919.