Martinique. marchandepistachegrosmorne

1900

The more I look at the archive pictures the more I am struck by the natural elegance of women in Martinique, leading me to the idea that the mix of Caribbean, African, European and Indian brought the best of fashion in the Caribbean. The way the dresses hang, the perfect starching of the fabric, show that woman didn’t go out in the street before thinking carefully what they wanted to look like and what they wanted people to think of them. And most of the time the wanted to look well dressed and sophisticated, forgetting the harshness of the everyday life of the post slavery society.

The madras fabric came from India at the beginning of 19th century and was quickly adopted as the basic of the Caribbean fashion, in every day dresses and for scarfs traditionally utilized for hairdo. Besides being a beauty attribute, the hairdo had a social importance: the number of piece of fabric jutting above reflected the social statue of the woman who wore it (in love, married, free for one, free for all… A sort of facebook statute before facebook).
Under skirt was lacy or cotton or for the big event satin petticoat. The scarf covering shoulders is a Spanish inheritance. Skirt were long but for more convenient use, often maintained under the belt, leading to more lovely folds of fabric.

Here is a little history of fashion in Martinique.

Martinique. Jeunes, Fort-de-France (1899)

1899- Grand Robe

Martinique. Sur la Savane de Fort-de-France (Déc. 1894

1894

Martinique. Une rue Est-Ouest à Fort-de-France (Déc. 1894)

1894 – Douillette

Martinique. Un groupe de femmes à Fort-de-France (1895)

1895

Fdf_1900

1900 Scarf « A la rivière salée » around hips

Martinique. Au marché, Fort-de-France (1899)

1899

Martinique. Blanchisseuse. S[ain]t Pierre (1899)

1899

Martinique. Famille d'ouvriers (mulâtre) à S[ain]t Pierre (1899)

1899

1904b

1904

cartePO-StP

1900, traditional « Gaule ». It could also be white when was worn in house.

FdF-grandmarche-1904

1904

CasePilote-Bourg-1987-Bourgade

1987-shorter and shorter

c1904

1904-Young girl

costume-tradi

Grand robe

1900-fdfjpg

1900

1904

1904

Martinique.Vide la ka vini dans la rue Victor Hugo, Fort-de-France (Déc. 1894)

1894-Men are not forgotten

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
– http://kaleadepartement.blog.com/2013/04/11/le-costume-traditionnel-de-lesclavage-a-la-granrobe/
– http://www.patrimoines-martinique.org/
http://www.pdfio.net/k-56337929.html
– http://www.misscreolequebec.com/la-garde-robe-de-la-femme-creole-aux-antilles/
– http://www.cndp.fr/crdp-martinique/IMG/pdf/Expo_costumes_7-2-14Mini.pdf
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