Paris, 1914

Have you guys seen these? A treasure trove of rare, color photographs from turn of the century Paris. My friend Sabina sent the link to me on Friday and I honestly wanted to post it right then; it felt like torture to wait until today. There aren’t enough “o’s” in the world to describe how much I swooooned.

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Can you even? They are so spectacular and mesmerizing. I could have posted 20 more, but you should see them for yourself. I adore the way people dressed back then. But to quote ‘Midnight in Paris’: “These people don’t have any antibiotics.” If somehow the world could still look like this but retain all the modern advances and comforts we’re used to…I’d be in heaven. Style is cyclical, right? Bell bottoms came and went and came back again. Any chance crinoline skirts and boater hats will make a come back in my lifetime?

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January 28, 2013 / art / photo / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 34

34 comments

  • Is the last photo taken in the train station featured in last year’s movie Hugo?

    • I’m not sure! I’ve never seen “Hugo” (for shame!) but I know the last photo was taken at the Grand Palais. In 1909! Crazy. xoxo

  • I love how the colors are both saturated and muted at the same time and I especially love how Paris has really stood the test of time. Fewer people, but it’s still…you know, Paris. So stunning. Those colors. I just can’t get over them. Gasp worthy.

    • Right? Paris is so iconically PARIS that you can recognize it in a heartbeat. Thank you, Baron Haussmann. He renovated and redesigned Paris to become what we picture it as today (all those slanting zinc roofs and pale stone buildings). I can’t wait to dive into “Haussmann, or the Distinction” the novel I bought recently that goes into the entire process. So fascinating!

  • That last photo is amazing!!

    • I know!! It’s like something out of a dream! xo

  • Either crinoline skirts and boater hats need to come back or someone needs to get on time travel! I sighed out load looking at these pics. Thanks for sharing!!

    • It is my new mission in 2013 to bring back crinoline skirts! Hooray! xo

  • what strikes me most is how little paris has changed… still instantly recognisable! such brilliant planning on their part! and you know what… i think i lived back then… in another life… it all feels so familiar… maybe i was that flower girl!

    • All the genius of Baron Haussmann! He’s responsible for designing the Paris we recognize today. Such a brilliant city planner, wasn’t he? I think I lived back then, too! Maybe we were friends? What was the old-day equivalent of blog-friends? Haha xo

  • those are so amazing – they must be hand painted. such a painstaking process i don’t know how people do such things. they are absolutely mesmerizing though. i would take a copy of each of these.

    and i agree about the clothes i have always wished we could dress that way, i actually think it looks pretty comfortable. layers. i love layers. xoxo

    • There are so many more on the main site, I had a hard time picking just these few. They’re all equally as stunning. It’s truly spectacular that we get to see these all this time later, isn’t it? YES TO LAYERS, I love wearing light, thin layers in abundance. xo

  • Great photos, the Eiffel is an interesting one – with the canopies on the 1st deck and the garden below it. The clothing is fascinating too, I’d like to go back the old times and try on their garments. Hot on the heels of Downton Abbey, we are watching TV drama series Mr Selfridge which is set in the early 1900’s and features the man that founded the Selfridges department store in Oxford Street. The clothes, the culture, the hair up do’s the lot, its fantastic and right up your street. Hope it comes to your shores soon x

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Selfridge

    • For a second I thought you’d written “Ms. Selfridge” which is a store over there, isn’t it? I hope we end up getting this show, it sounds delightful. I’m pretty sure they cancelled Made in Chelsea on me, which is no great loss, though I was looking forward to vegging out and rotting my brain with a few episodes this week. Oh well! I’ll look into Mr. Selfridge. I love anything with period costumes and details! xoxo

  • I’m for sure swoooooooning as well!! I often think about this as well. Leggings have come back…why can’t these dresses? I think the headpieces are starting to make an appearance from this time period…I guess we shall see!

    • Yes, leggings are another one! I can’t live without my leggings, but I’d gladly wear them under a long starchy skirt! With a high lace neckline, of course. xoxo

  • These photos are definitely swoon worthy! They don’t even look real they look so magical and posed. I’m going to peruse the other photos for a while, taking it all in because they are gorgeous.

    • Magical is definitely the word I would use to describe it! Though it doesn’t even begin to cover it. Mega swoon. xo

  • gorgeous! i’m sold. lets move to Paris!

    • Let’s do it! I’m on board :) xo

  • That picture with the flower cart is really awesome – a tad bit creepy and a whole lot of fabulous.

    • I never really saw a macabre/creepy undertone to these, but you’re right; everyone in them is long dead. God I love photography.

  • These are gorgeous, Erin. I wish I could better articulate the beauty of these vintage photographs. All I keep thinking about is French films like The City of Lost Children or Delicatessen, for some strange reason. Not to sound completely cheesy, but have you seen the Taylor Swift video for her song, Begin Again? It’s filmed entirely in Paris, and I thought you.

    • I haven’t seen that video! I’ll set aside my hatred of Taylor Swift (SO. WHINY.) and check it out, only because you recommended it! And of course, the Paris aspect, haha. I think there’s a very good possibility that I’ll go home tonight and watch Midnight in Paris or Amelie for the umpteenth million time :) xoxo

  • Oh Erin, these are absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to see your Parisian perspective! It’s soon now isn’t it? Boater hats made a brief come back a couple of summers ago here in London and are actually still around (posh schools have them as part of their school uniform), and I’m sure you could bring back crinoline skirts?

    • Yep, coming up in just a few short weeks! I think 6 or so? Maybe even 5? I CAN’T WAIT! Haha, can you tell?? I’m most excited about taking photographs there, is that crazy? I don’t want to live behind the camera and miss the whole experience, but I’m also so anxious to take some photos!

      I knew I recognized those hats from somewhere. On my ’05 trip to London I remember seeing a group of school kids at the Tower and they all had little blazers and those boater hats on it. I remember thinking they were adorable. I want one! But I’ll take a crinoline skirt, first :) xoxo

  • The photos are so charming! Love the last photo, those stairs are amazing. I would love to stride down them one time. Do you know if that building still exist?

    • Yes! The building still exists, it’s the Grand Palais and you can still stride down those stairs if you want :) I’ll try to grab a photo in a few weeks for you! xoxo

  • Those balloons!!!! so perfectly Phileas Fogg xx

    • I don’t know who/what that is but I’m assuming it’s a good thing! xo

  • These are fabulous, I really love the mussel sellers. x

    • They’re so incredible! xo

  • Amazing pictures! The funny thing is that some parts of Paris look kind of the same as they did 100 years ago. Only that there are modern cars, traffic signs and the people dress differently.

    • I know, I love that the basic bone structure of Paris has been largely untouched in the last 100 years. Makes me so happy! xoxo