* publications illustrating childrens clothes: country publications

Fashion Publications and Children's Fashions: Country Publications

Figure 1.--The Dutch woman's magazine "Libelle" on 1949 offered patterns for these styles of boys' clothing. Note that knickers were still considered stylish at the time.

HBC has begun to collect information on fashion publications. The ladies magazine appeared in the 19th century, with along with a wide variety of household and family topics also addressed fashions. We have also included sewing magazines as they have great detail on contemprary fashion. In addition, until the mid-20th century, it was very common to sew clothing for children, especially younger children. We still have fairly limited information on these publications, but have begun to acquire some information on a few countries. The total number of publications is quite substantial. They were published in viftually every country and the divesity of languages complicates are ability to assess the fashions involved. Of course some countries were more important than others. In this regard the English and French publications were particularly important. Some of the publications are widely known, others are virtually unknown outside their indvidual country. Some have published for decades while others lasted ionlyba few years. At this time we have only begun our assessment of these publications, but hope our readers will provide information about important publications in their countries.


We have little information on Australia. In the earlier years, mothers simply circulated publications grom England and other European countries. I'm not sure what the first domestically published womwen's and fashion magazines were. Several magazines have been of some importance in the 20th century. We note the Australian Women's Weekly Handmade and Paton which are knittng and sewing magazines. I believe that Villwool is another knitting magazine. An Australian reader also mentions Home And Family Journal which sometimes had information on children's clothes. An important fashion magazine was the Australian Womans Mirror. Material on clothing and fashion were also found in the Australian Post and The Bulletin. In recent years seeing how celeberties dress, as shown in People Magazine, has had an impact on fashion.


HBC at this time knows very little about Austrian clothing and fashion magazines. Hopefully Austraian HBC readers will provide us some basic information on this topic. One reader has mentioned Masche. It was an Austrian sewing magazine for woman with patterns and suggestions about sewing anmd knitting clothes. Itwas no specially focused on children's clothes, but did include a lot of information on children's outfits. It was first published in 1945. We have information through 1955, but I do not know about its current status. At this time, this is the only Austrian magazine on which we have any information.


Belgium is a bilengual country. Both French and Dutch is spoken in Belgium. Fashion magazines and other publications with fashion information have been published in both languages. The Belgian fashion magazine Journal des Dames et des Demoiselles was published in French during the mid-19th century by Bruylant-Christophe et Comp., Brussels. The Belgian magazine Vrouw en Huis ("Woman and Home") was an important source of fashion information for Belgian and Dutch mothers. We have some issues from the early 1950s. It was a weekly magazine and as it was in Dutch for Flemish readers, was also sold in the Netherlands. I'm not sure how popular it was among French readers.


I do not have a great deal of information about Canadian fashion and sewing and knitting magazines. One Canadian reader mentions Monarch to us which was active in the 1930s and 40s, although I do not know the complete press run. We hope to add more information about Canadian magazines as HBC develops.


We note some very early fashion magazines in England. One of the ealiest was The Lady's Magazine, or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to Their Use and Amusement which first appeared in 1770. Several magazines were published in the 19th century, although we have virtually no information at this time. Even more publications appeared in the 20th century. There were not only fashion magazines, but a wide range of knitting and sewing magazines which also have detailed information on fashions. Again we have only limited information at this time. One very useful publication was Weldon's Home Dressmaker.


As might be expected, there are quite a large number of French publications that reported fashion information. Some of the publications date to the 18th century. We do not have a great deal of information on the French fashion and sewing magazindes yet, but we do have and expanding list of these publications and hope to acquire more information on them. We are archiving individual articles in the catalog and advertising section of HBC. Given the importance of French fashion, this is a section HBC hopes to develop in some detail.


The German fashion industry was not as important as the French or Italian in terms of setting fashion trends, but it did produce large quantities of clothing for the domesric market and export to neighboring countries. Thus German trends wre influential, especialy in Eastern and Central Europe. The German fashion indudtry was impaired by the collapse of the middle class after World Ear I, the expulsion of Jewish businessmen from the industry by the NAZIs and thecterrible distruction of World War II. HBC know much less about German fashion publications. One important publication is der Bazar. Another is die Neue Gartenlaube (1920-1948). Hopefully our German readers will provide some insights into the fashion magazines.


There certainly are a large number of Italian fashion publications. HBC, however, has little information at this time. One important publication is Vogue Italia: Bambini.


We currently have very limiyed information on Japanese fashion magazines. Hopefully our Japanese readers will offer some insights here. Two important magazines are JJ and CanCam.


We note another Soviet fashion magazine. The title was Rizhskaya moda dlya detej (Riga Fashions for Children). The magazine was bi-lingual, printed with text in both the Latvian and Russian languages. The Latvian name of the catalog was Rigas modes bernien. We note the magazine being published in the 1960s. A Russian reader tells us that Latvian and Estonian fasgion houses were especially prestigious in the Soviet Union. We suspect that a major factor here was that the Baltics republics had greater contact with Western countries and thus Western fashions than other areas of the Soviet Union

(The) Netherlands

HBC still has only limited information on Dutch fashion magazines and store catalogs. Two of the most important Dutch fashion magazines are Libelle and Margriet. Libelle was founded in 1933. We know that they were very popular after World War II in the late 1940s and 50s. A Dutch reader tells us that Libelle is a magazine for woman which has a special fashion section in it which often ioncludes patterns. They not only offer knitting patterns, but all kinds of sewing patterns for mothers and grandmothers to sew at home. Both magazines were very popular in the Netherlands as well as Flemish areas of Belgium. Libelle still exists today, but Dutch mothers now have a much wider range of oublucations to choose from than was the case in in the 1930s-50s.


Russia is not a country which springs to mind when one thinks of fashion, but the Soviet Union also had fashion magazines, including one specializing in children's fashions. The magazine was titled The Children Clothes Fashions. At this time we have no information on its publishing history. We do not know when it began publishing or when it ceased publishing. A Russian reader has provided some images from a 1975 issue. Soviet fashion was restricted by a variety of factors. One was there was no real market driven consumer economy as in the West. Another factor was Communist policies of limiting contacts with the West by restricting access to Western publications and media. This Russian designers dod not enjoy the same access tontrends in other other countries that Western designers enjoyed. Even so we note Western Western styles and fashions affecting Sobiet clothing, usally with a time delay.

Soviet Union

We note several fashion magazines published during the Soviet era. They were published in different republics. Some of the most important were published in the Baltics and Lenningrad. It is not entirely clear to us just what the purpose of these magazines were. They do not seem to have been catalogs nor were patterns included. At least some were published by fashion houses, institutions that we also do not know a great deal about. Hopefully our Russian and Baltic readers will provide us some insights here.

United States

Ladies magazines appeared in the United States in the mid-19th century. They have been publishing information for nearly two centuries. The magazines provided a variety of information and literature of interest to women Different magazines developed "sucessful formulas" that keep women reading. With increased subscriptions by the 1890's, the ladies magazine expanded the capacity for communication from one community of ladies to all communities of ladies throughout America. And, although they created this large audience they still maintained their "small town" attitude of community and caring in their writing. The early trendsetters in publishing were Godeys, Harpers, and The Delineator, but there were many others. These early magazines have since evolved into the brilliant magazines of today like BUST, Bazaar, and Martha Stuart's Living. The magazines of the 1990s, however, have much less about boys'clothes than the earlier magazines or even the magazines of a generation ago. Apparently the modern woman is less interested in children's clothes.


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Created: January 5, 2002
Last updated: 7:19 PM 3/9/2012