throwback thursday. fashion forecast from 1893.

The Strand Magazine was a monthly magazine published in the United Kingdom from 1891 to 1950.  It contained short works of fiction and general interest stories.  It was resurrected in 1998 as The Strand and continues on today as a quarterly publication.

In an 1893 edition of The Strand Magazine a short story was published titled ‘Future Dictates of Fashion’, written by W. Cade Gall, in which a character referred to as ‘an ‘elderly gentleman’ finds a book in his library, the origin of which he is entirely unaware.  In the story, the book’s title is ‘Past Dictates of Fashion’ by ‘Q. Snyder, Vestamentorum Doctor’.  As the elderly gentlemen peruses it, he is astonished to find that it appears to have arrived in his library from the future; 1993, 100 years hence, as it were.

The book is a historical, satirical, chronicle of 100 years of past fashion.  Of course, to the readers of 1893, the story is a really meant as a prediction of the fashion to come over the next 100 years.  The story is quite amusing and contains many drawings of predicted clothing styles, dated accordingly, and commences with the year 1893.

Without further ado, here is a sample of The Strand Magazine 1893 Edition’s fashion predictions for 1989 (women’s prediction) and 1993 (men’s prediction) respectively:



Hmm.  I am not sure that their predictions were bang on in comparison to mainstream fashion, but the 1993 look is very similar to that of character Captain Jack Sparrow’s outfits in the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney franchise that began filming in the early 2000s.  Perhaps Johnny Depp had a similarly peculiar experience as had the ‘elderly gentleman’ in the story which gave him the inspiration for his pirate costumes?

Click here to see the original article and drawings.

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