The Gazette du Bon Ton was a small but influential fashion magazine published in France and marketed to Parisian elites. It produced 70 issues from November 1912 to December 1925. Founded by Lucien Vogel, the short-lived publication reflected the latest developments in fashion, lifestyle and beauty during a period of revolutionary change in art and society. Distributed by Condé Nast, the magazine was issued as the Gazette du Bon Genre in the USA. The magazine’s title was derived from the French concept of bon ton, or timeless good taste and refinement.
Available by subscription only, the Gazette cost readers 100 francs a year, a price accessible only to the city’s affluent haut monde. Throughout the Gazette’s seven-year run, the journal’s strong connection to visual art typified fashion’s changing aesthetic—one that featured color, prioritized form, and pushed conventional boundaries of femininity.
The magazine, published on fine paper, signed exclusive contracts with seven of Paris’ top couture houses – Cheruit, Doeuillet, Doucet, Paquin, Poiret, Redfern, and Worth – to reproduce in luscious pochoir the designers’ latest creations. From the exclusivity of its designers and illustrators to the sheer cost of the magazine’s production materials, the Gazette set itself a tier above contemporary women’s fashion periodicals, uniquely defining good taste and elegance at this turning point in popular culture.
The Gazette du Bon Ton aimed to establish fashion as an art alongside painting, sculpture and drawing. According to the magazine’s first editorial: “The clothing of a woman is a pleasure for the eye that cannot be judged inferior to the other arts.”
To elevate the Gazette’s literary status, the publication featured essays on fashion by established writers from other fields, including novelist Marcel Astruc, playwright Henri de Regnier, decorator Claude Roger-Marx, and art historian Jean-Louis Vaudoyer. Their contributions ranged in tone from irreverent to ironic and mocking.
Long form articles:
Published by Bibliotheque de L’image, Paris (2000)
French Fashion Plates in Full Color from Gazette Du Bon Ton (1912-1925: Illustrations of Styles by Paul Poiret, North, Paquin, and Others)
Published by Dover Pubns (1979)