One of her great classic during fifty five years !
"My memories, they are especially my children walks, and when I was a child, I was often directed towards Neva. When a train of barges was announced, we ran to the middle of the bridge, to see the too high chimneys of the tug boat inclining itself before it does not slip under the deck of the bridge. On an arm of Neva, a small orthodoxe chapel built on the bridge of a barge also attracted my curiosity. I also see myself in sailor suit, carrying an icon, at the head of the bridal procession of an officer of the imperial Guard, marrying a relationship of my mother...

André de Fonscolombe, former consul general of France to Leningrad

But thus where this sailor suit comes from ?

For three centuries, the children closing, whatever his age group, has comprised clothes become traditional and in particular the sailor suit. The idea of clothing specific to the child, from little boy initially, is born at the XVIIIème century, with the dress of sailor. In fact, this one was introduced in 1628 as a uniform into the English navy. In the years 1840, the Prince Edward VII was photographed at the five years age in costume of sailor. It was there the beginning of the long career which this nice garment made which became at once "à la mode " in Europe to equip the young children, as well the boys as the girls.EIndeed at the beginning of the XXème century, the children fashion remains dominated by this one, for the boys especially, but it is also transmitted to the small girls. And, of course, since 1906, i.e., one year very exactly after the first number of the " Semaine de Suzette " , the small " cousettes " found the realization of a " garment of leading seaman ".

 

This one is composed of a pleated skirt assembled on a simple waistcoat bordered with a marine anchor, of a pea-jacket with " marine " collar of course, and if Tante Jacqueline suggest more clearly to make it in the traditional color navy blue with blue collar, all decorated with white galons, she lets the cousettes chose other schade or coloris " (1906, 2nd semester, page 70 & 86).)A second is quickly proposed as of the first semester 1908, that is to say one year and half later only, which proves well that the fashion is there, incourtournable even for a small little doll and that Bleuette follows it closely.
 This model is simply named " Sailor suit " and the beret is described as " Beret Basque " ( French Beret ) and equipped with one cover neck nape of white fabric " which prevents the sun from striking behind the head and guarantees the often fatal insolations " .

<------( 1908, 1st semester, page 292 )

A thirthy nammed again "Costume de Quartier Maître" ( leading seaman ) is proposed without delaying two years later. Suggested out of light cloth or navy blue cheviot and soutached of pale, red or white blue, pea-jacket edge to edge, it is embroidered of a beautiful marine anchor followed of the word " France " in a matched colour to the soutache.

( 1910, 1st semester, page 309 )------> 

There and during seven years, any proposition of this small traditional suit to make at home. It is true, and we will see it in the continuation of this study, the ready to wear wardrobe for Bleuette of the Gautier House came up one since 1907, then still in 1912.....

 

In 1917, right in the middle war, the first semester of the "Semaine de Suzette" proposes, in numbers 14 and 16, a charming beach sailor suit ....! Small delightful pea-jacket with drill plate, closing in front by pressure buttons and weared on a small long shorts commented by aunt Jacqueline : " It appears that Bleuette wishes to be disguised as a boy. It is the military spirit which blows. Here thus a garment of beach made up of the pea-jacket of Leading Seaman and straight breeches ".

In 1919, in first semester of the year, therefore just at the exit of the Great War, a fifth "Sailor suit" is proposed with a skirt assembled on a belt, the pea-jacket is not entirely open and threads obligatorily by the head - we would call nowadays this a sailor blouse -, the beret for the first time is decorated of a beautiful pompom whose the realization is explained. Three models of badges for to embroider (whose anchor) are proposed
<----------(1919, 1st semester, page 41 and 59 of numbers 4 & 5).
Then in 1925 ( 2nd semester, N°42, P.190 ), Delicious sailor suit "Bleuette as a Little Boy". It will disguise Bleuette in fun " Petit Bleuet " ( Small Cornflower ) ! Composed of a jacket made of only one piece, therefore threading there too by the head, the realization is some simplified. But remain the collar, the drill plate to be placed, the small pocket, finally the tie to be tied in the bottom of the collar! Remain also... the trousers to be made, length and straight whose pattern is given... but the traditional pleated skirt for which no explanation nor pattern are given can to be made as you prefer. ------------>

This really charming set is advised out of white flannel or white fabric, the collar which can be realized in another colori, pale blue or dark blue or red and be bordered of small galons blue, white or red according to the color adopted for the collar itself. There, not beret nor hat envisaged: " Les Bleuette ont maintenant les cheveux courts. C'est à celles-là qu'est destiné ce joli costume " ( Bleuette have short hair now. It is for them that this pretty cloth is intended )-

Lastly, in 1935, a last cloth to do oneself, is presented: " Bleuette claims her incorporation in the navy. She finds that the women can also sail, probably. But it is to be believed, especially, that Bleuette, always smartly dressed and eager of fashion, especially makes a point of raising an elegant and becoming outfit moreover.......". The Suzette-Cousettes were thus seen proposing not less than seven sailors suit in 19 years of " La Semaine de Suzette ", all different and which, well executed , are absolutely delicious.
<--------

The preceding models were all of Jacqueline Rivière known as " Aunt Jacqueline " died in 1920. The last two models are of her daughter Suzanne Rivière. It is also the last of this traditional cloth proposed in " La Semaine de Suzette " in its famous comumn " Nous habillons Bleuette". The ready-to-wear Gautier-Languereau wardrobe of Bleuette indeed exploded and the column seams not having to make shade to this one, the accent will be stress from now on the lingerie, the accessories, the regional costumes (12 in 1931 ! ! ! ) to dress this nice little doll.

BEFORE THE CATALOGUES
We are always before the catalogues and but before those, the Gautier House sold by the intermediary of the newspaper a wardrobe which was supplemented month by month or one season on the other. Thus the very first Sailor suit of Bleuette sold directly in ready to wear is to... 1907 in number 8, 28th March 1907. Not drawn but described as composed as a set of three parts - skirt, pea-jacket and navy blue beret with collar and drill plate of fabric (the colori from these two last was not precised), it is sold 2,45 F. We are always with the " Franc-Or ", and at the time Bleuette costs 2,50 F. !
It was thus an important sum for a simple small clothing. It is placed besides at the head of the innovations, described like " particularly neat and elegant ". No drawing, not more details; presently , nobody seems identified it as such. We cannot thus show it to you, sorry !
Before the catalogues, a second version is proposed in the middle of the war (1915, 2nd semester, n° 45, page 303). It is really new : always three parts- skirt, pea-jacket and beret - in navy blue fabric with collar and drill plate of white " piqué " . It costs 2,75 F., 30 centimes more what is negligible. Any drawing. But we soon will see it, we are on December 9, 1915, the famous small catalogues are coming soon

APPEARANCE OF THE CATALOGUES
Indeed on December 7, 1917, the publication of the first catalogue is mentioned : " Our direct subscriters will receive at the same time that the newspaper a very beautiful luxius catalogue of the " Trousseau de Bleuette " for the winter season. It has sixteen pages, illustrated with many drawings and colors printed. Our readers who have not subscribed yet will be able to receive it by sending a stamp of 10 centimes to us. But they should to harry, the number copies being limited. "

In this first little catalogue published for the winter 1916/1917 which appeared six months approximately later, it is finally nicely drawn and thus described :
"MARIN - complete garment : skirt, pea-jacket, beret, navy blue fabric; collar and drill plate of white " piqué " and costs 1 Fr more( 3,75 Fr) and we thus see the pea-jacket, equipped with a line of buttons on the left and on the right like, half-opened on a top of body - we will speak on it further - to which the skirt with the large flat pleat in front is assembled. The wrists of the pea-jacket already are in white "piqué" matched with the collar and the drill plate and are not mentioned in description. The beret is extremely large as the children garment had at this time for this kind of cloth

Finally in addition to this choice among three sailor suits, the hat changes completely: it does not any more of the large round beret, besides once called " Beret Basque " , but of a narrow beret (more exactly a bonnet fiting into head well) decorated of a blue navy ribbon with a small flood behind and a name engraved gold in front. There was several names. On the catalogue of this summer 1919, we can read "Guynemer". That we present here is engraved "FireCrest". Often the shade gold of engraving disappeared, it is the case here. Remain only engraved copper plate.

Unchanged to the catalogue of the summer 1919, this last proposes all of a soudden three different versions:

-The first inspired of the previus navy blue serge with drill plate and white collar

-The second in plain white drill, blue collar

-The third in blue and white striped drill, blue collar !

And for the first time are specified : entirely pleated skirt assembled on body, ample pea-jacket (closed in front , it thus threads by the head from where need for make it rather ample...). .

It is really the explosion of the wardrobe and the Latest Fashion of this small sailor suit ! Six months later, in the following catalogue, winter 1919/1920, still three sailors. This one of white drill came up six months earlier; a second in blue an white striped drill with blue collar, finally " 3 " third in jersey either green, or large blue, or blue flax ! (a very small increase of 20 centimes per unit -7Fr 10 -, Bleuette icosts 7Fr 50 now.......)


All these small clothes are designed like those of the preceding summer : full pea-jacket threaded by the head, skirt entirely pleated with a large pleat in front and the bonnet fiting well the head engraved of a name in painted gold letters . Notice that there is the choice between five qualities and colours

In spring 1920, Bleuette returns to more traditional with sailor suits of drills white or striped blue and white, or of nnavy blue serge..

But the following winter (1920/1921) takes again the "navy blue serge " but also the " jersey " referred to above; the white drills, estival and delicate colour, disappeared. And there, first strong increase. Finished the "franc-or", the by-effects of the war are felt, it is necessary to adjust the rates. In navy blue serge, it makes a jump of 2Fr 50; in jersey of 45 centimes only. However they are the same models, the price of the serge was probably higher than the jersey whose the matter is not precised. Bleuette also makes a boom, the "Bleuette-Jumeau " 9 Fr, "Bleuette Dormeuse" 11,5O F...
And if the summer 1920 the small sailor sees his price lowering oh! very slightly (less than 1 Fr) and presented in four différente propositions ( white, striped white and blue, blue or green jersey -only one shade of blue apparently-) our small Bleuette, also, continues the soaring of few centimes....

 

    Continuation and End of this study in the next updating.

                      
                                                Hélène BUGAT-PUJOL

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