Princesse dress. Promenade gown by Maison de couture Félix.

Félix, maison, fashion, costume, Princesse, Belle Époque, Fin de Siècle

Coming styles, Boston 1896.

Promenade gown. Princesse dress by Félix, Paris Fin de Siècle.

Princesse dress of stripped pale-green silk and white satin; front of white satin with tabs of delicate black lace beaded with jet trimming over green satin; trimming of loops of black satin ribbon. Jetted tabs on corsage form reversed revers. Same beaded lace over green satin forms the long lower sleeve, into which the fullness of upper sleeve is gathered. Epaulette and collier of black satin loops over white satin. Small bonnet of ribbon and violets; large black parasol covered with mousseline-de-soie and trimmed with bunches and loose violets.

The Maison Félix, jointly owned by the brothers Auguste Jean (1831-1910) and Emile Poussineau (Félix Poussineau 1841-1930), dressed celebrities like the actress Sarah Bernhardt, Countess Craven and “Madame X” (Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau who chose a Félix dress for John Singer’s iconic portrait of Sargent) before the fashion house abruptly closed its doors in 1901.

E. Felix, Paris.

Félix of Paris is so well known that it seems almost unnecessary to say that at least there is not a more famous costumer in the world. His costumes, which are the most radical known, are adopted by the Royalty of Europe, the Theatre Français, and the Vaudeville, and we Americans view them every year on our own stage.

Twelve years ago, when Mme. Sarah Bernhardt first came to America, all her scenic costumes were designed by Félix, and those who remember the eulogies bestowed on her gowns can hardly fail to perceive that they were the work, not of the artist alone, but of the master. The high esteem in which he is held may be gathered from the fact that the Paris Exposition (1900) Committee has granted him the sole concession to erect a building on the grounds, and there display a history of “Women’s Costume, showing all the epochs of dress from ancient days to the present.

Note:  Scene at Fifth Avenue, New York by William Thomas Smedley.


à La Princesse de Chimayo La Duchesse de Maille. La Duchesse d’Uzes.
La Duchesse de Luynes.
La Comtesse de la Rochefoucault. La Vicomtesse de Greffulhc.
La Duchesse de la Torre. Madam Sarah Bernhardt.
Miss Ada Rehan, et au Théatre Français du Vaudeville.

Source: Coming styles designed by the great costumers of Europe by Jordan Marsh company, Boston 1896.

Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.

Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion.

From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.

Leave a Reply

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.