le ragazze del nuovo secolo

Between the late decade of the 19thcentury and the early 20th century the ideal of feminine beauty was portrayed (ritratta) by  the satirical pen-and-ink figures (figure a penna e inchiostro) of  Charles Dana Gibson (1867 – 1944), an American illustrator.

Tall and slim, with ample bosom (petto), hips (fianchi) and bottom (sedere): the Gibson GirlsS shape  (forma ad S)silhouette became famous in newspapers and magazine.

Member of upper class society, they had a thin neck and wore their hair piled high upon her head (alti sopra il capo) in a waterfall of curls (cascta di rici) fashions. They were always at ease (a loro agio)  and suitably dress (vestite in modo adatto) for the place and time of day .

As to personality and behaviour (comportamento), the Gibson girls were  calm, independent, self-confident. They  never misses (non mancavano mai) a party or a meeting but she would never take part to a suffragette parade (parata di suffragette).

For the author, they represented the typical American girls anyone could meet on the street

“I saw her on the streets, I saw her at the theatres, I saw her in the churches. I saw her everywhere and doing everything. I saw her idling (girovagare senza fare nulla)  on

Fifth Avenue

and at work behind the counters (banconi) of the stores……”

Many actress and famous women of the time posed (posarono) as Gibson Girls.

Probably Gibson’s first inspiration was his wife, Irene Langhorne –  sister of Viscountess Nancy Astor.

Many artists tried to imitate Gibson’s style, including the creator of Wonder Womancomics,  Harry G. Peter.  

The Gibson girl started her decline at the  outbreak (scoppio) of World War I: women changed fashion in favour of more practical and simple clothing  compatible (adatto) with the times.

But she was given a chance of survival (possibilità di sopravvivenza): The USAAF World War II-era SCR-578 radio transmitters carried by aircraft (aereo) on over-water operations (operazioni sull’acqua) were given the nickname (soprannome)  “Gibson Girl” because of their “hourglass” shape (forma a clessidra).