Friday 23 September 2011

La belle époque

On the reverse of the card it says
Cherchez la tête nue?
Look for the head without a hat
The card was published in France but was mailed in England in 1986.

Before you rush off to examine the card in detail, let me tell you what I found out about La Belle Epoque.  It was a time of great optimism in Europe, a golden age that lasted from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the First World War in 1914.  It was a time of luxury living for a select few.

At the time it was very much frowned upon to go out bare-headed.  This wasn't confined only to wealthy women; it was the normal way.  So I'd be surprised if you find a bare head amongst this crowd.  I would say it was fairly early on in the era because after about 1910, women's hats became more and more extravagant.  In this picture there are plenty of feathers but that's about all.

The only question remains, where can they be?

This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday hosted on Beth Niquette's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy.


  1. What a great card and thanks for the information. I remember my grandmother wouldn't go *down town* without a hat and certainly wouldn't go to church without hat and gloves. Happy PFF

  2. Hat-tricks...concealing baldness and sloppy hairstyles? Stunning card - the crowd of hatters. Cape Hat terrace?

  3. Oh this is a great card, and you are probably right, everyone surely wears a hat...but it's the umbrellas that I question...only a select few have them and is it because of the sun seems that it's not raining.....A very fun card!

  4. Rather like a 'Where is Waldo". I remember my mother with a hat for church.

  5. What a wonderful postcard! I love the hats!

  6. Great card. I love the top hats!

  7. What a gorgeous card! It was the most divine era, wasn't it? The fashions were quite beautiful. A friend of mine became quite religious after school and she adopted a lot of the fashions of that time including wearing hats and long, ankle length straight skirts. She did it so well though, she looked really stylish compared to me in my all-black outfits and Doctor Marten boots.

  8. I tried to find one but got dizzy in this sea of heads :P

  9. @Snap, I remember my grandmother's hats too.

    @Dorin, the Mad Hatters' Teaparty?

    @Karen, I wondered about the umbrellas too but decided they must be being used as parasols.

    @Heather, just like Where's Waldo!

    @Aimee, thanks!

    @Postcard Journeys, I love them too!

    @Coffedoff, thanks!

    @Joao, thanks for visiting!

    @Emm, it was a much more elegant era, I think, though each to their own. Your mention of Doc Martens made me remember a girlfriend of one of my sons. She wore the prettiest and most feminine frocks with Doc Martens. It did look odd to my eyes.

    @lostforwords, I confess I gave up very rapidly.

    @Sreisaat, not one, it seems. Amazing.


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