The War Masquerade: 1915

A 1915 fancy-dress party in which there are several Red-cross nurses.

A 1915 fancy-dress party at which there are several Red-cross nurses.

A War Masquerade

We all had the greatest fun last night at the fancy dress dance, given by Mrs. Landis at her country home. Amy saw to it that we all started off in the motors in lots of time.

When we arrived there quite a crowd of people had gathered from far and near. Some of the costumes were very elaborate and looked dreadfully expensive, but we heard afterward that the great majority of them were home-made!

Some of the men looked splendid. We had the Kaiser, the Czar of Russia, the President of France and George Washington with us!

One pretty girl looked very attractive garbed as a Belgian nun. She was supposed to be acting as a Red Cross nurse, too, and wore a costume of black nun’s veiling, with a long, floating veil of the same material. Her face and head were draped in white linen, and, as her features were rather classical, she looked stunning.

The tall, fair-haired girl who was dressed as a Russian peasant was a great success. Her skirt was of turkey red, trimmed with blue velvet bands and gold embroidery. The loose white silk blouse she wore was relieved with rows of various-colored beads, and the little white apron was embroidered with red and gold. She wore her long, fair hair in two plaits, one over each shoulder and by the number of men who crowded around her one could see that she was very greatly admired.

Amy went as an Arabian Nights lady, and looked lovely.

I flatter myself that my costume was rather unique, and, thanks to the clever fingers of Amy’s maid, it turned out quite satisfactorily. I called myself “L’ Entente Cordiale,” and wore a red, white and blue skirt, with a white crepe de chine blouse, half-hidden by flags.

The dance really was a very great success and everybody enjoyed the affair immensely.

Evening Public Ledger [Philadelphia, PA] 12 January 1915: p. 10

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: On 19 January 1915 the first Zeppelin raids began on England. One suspects that the idea of a “war masquerade” might have become less diverting in consequence. There was a fixed idea that the war would last only a few months. Until the grim reality set in, one finds oblivious ladies complaining that their privations were becoming unbearable: that they cannot get kid gloves or champagne. “This cruel war must stop!”

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.



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