Elegant shopping camaraderie a century ago. Artist Percy Edward Anderson imbues this advertising image with a sense of immediacy and the import of wondrous window display to delight the eye and lure prospective shoppers of both sexes towards the goods deftly and originally displayed.
During the waning days of the Belle Epoque, the prospect of shopping was still viewed as a single-sex occupation. Once advertisers were struck with the realization that both ladies and gents were equally enamored of being seen as flawlessly fashion-conscious creatures, it slowly opened the floodgates for what was to follow. By the latter Belle Epoque and most especially in the brief two year span prior to the advent of The Great War, American publications showcased an increasingly eager anticipation for the outing of gathering clothing and accessories, simultaneously for both sartorially savvy sexes.
Pausing to admire the wondrous window display for Everwear Hosiery, this lady and gent come together at a crucial fashion moment. She is absolutely the last word in de riguer display of both ensemble and accessorizes. Her jaunty slightly cocky chapeau is combined with a beautifully tailored crisp white blouse, paired with a decidedly male-inspired scarlet satin necktie. Beneath it, she sports a snugly-fitting buttoned skirt, opened at the bottom just enough to racily reveal a glimpse of petticoat in a daring modern manner. Not to be outdone in latest style chic, he steps out in an equally tight-fitting English style suit, paired with a bowler hat and dashing walking stick. The reflection in the shop-window offers a glimpse at an intimate item that both sexes both require and desire, namely Everwear Stockings. This item proved to be the dividing line and the first step towards a certain shopping equality. While the window display is simple and unobtrusive it is also noticeable enough to draw this duo of dandies towards it. A grand group of artists found a manner to promote the idea of the delightful possibilities of couples, companionate and courtly, combining their interests in remaining fabulously fashionable, simply by joining forces in this modern consumerist fantasy. It’s perfectly clear that this rendezvous in front of the display will wind up with a discussion of the rapturous joy of becoming a Belle Epoque contentedly consumerist couple.