Issued June 9, 1912
NEW YORK TRIBUNE Sunday Supplement – June 9, 1912
When a woman wore full-length skirts and petticoats the sound (onomatopoeically speaking) that a woman’s satin or silk skirts made as the material swirled or swished together was described by the word “frou-frou”. It entered popular slang and in 1870 became the title and title character in a play by Augustin Day which was very popular in the US and Europe. The character Frou Frou was described:
“What name could I give her, indeed, more appropriate than that which seems to have been invented for the delicious little creature who bears it? What else is she but Frou Frou? A noisy, bustling, busy little fairy – ever rustling, rustling like the leaves stirred by a gentle wind. Frou Frou, always; Frou Frou, everywhere! In the house a door opens and down the stairs comes a rustle of skirts like a whirlwind. … And I am sure, that while she sleeps, the angel that watches over her waves its rustling wings with the dear little sound, Frou Frou!”
In 1912 there is a French humor/fashion magazine called LE FROU FROU. The June 9, 1912 cover by an unknown artist shows a girl with big green eyes and a blue hat posing for a portrait.