This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95 print, $9.95 Kindle and also as an ebook from itunes, Kobo, and Scribd for $9.95. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.
“The Latest fad of women, delicate little paintings on the shoulders when in evening dress, was started by the Gaiety Girls, who now set the London styles. Two of them appeared at a supper party given by a spendthrift young earl at the Lyric club dressed in extreme decollete gowns. And on each shoulder was a delicately painted, small but gorgeous butterfly. The work was exquisitely done by a prominent water color artist.”
— This article, titled The Butterfly Fad appeared in the Carbon County Sentinel, Gebo, Montana, April 5, 1901.
Gaiety Girls were showgirls who appeared in musical comedies at the Gaiety Theatre in London. The extravagant shows were produced by George Edwardes. The eponymous A Gaiety Girl premiered at The Prince of Wales Theatre in 1893 and led to a series of hit “Girl” shows such as The Shop Girl, My Girl, and The Circus Girl at the Gaiety.
Gaiety Girls were respectable and admired. London fashion designers costumed them and this publicized their fashions much as red carpet movie galas do today. Consider that Gaiety Girl fashions were known even in a place as remote from London as Gebo, Montana.