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Fascinating photos show how high society Parisians dealt with the 1920s pandemic

These fascinating pictures show how high society Parisians dealt with the 1920s pandemic - by donning elegant furs and feathers before hitting the town.

The 100-year-old photographs capture haute couture from the catwalk capital of the world in the later 1910s and early 1920s, when the First World War was raging and Spanish Flu was sweeping the globe.

But despite the ordeals being experienced, these spectacular images showcase how parading the latests trends during a city outing was still high on the agenda for many socialites in Paris.

The photos come from a series of three albums entitled 'Les Actualités de I'Elégance' - believed to be shot by society photographers at the Longchamp racecourse, which still attracts some of the biggest riders to this day, situated in Bois de Boulogne park on the banks of the Seine River. 

Dating between 1915 to 1925, the albums contain 1,130 print photographs of societal men and women in fashions of the day and are up for virtual auction on December 16 at Dominic Winter Auction house.

Valued between £4,000 to £6,000, the images document a time where shortened hemlines and new materials replaced wool and fur - as women took on more practical jobs left vacant during the war.

The Longchamp racecourse was closed for the duration of the First World War but would reopen in 1919 and in time for the roaring twenties and new-found economic prosperity. Meanwhile, an estimated three-quarters of the French military was infected with Spanish Flu in the spring of 1918.

Working it! These fascinating pictures show how high society Parisians dealt with the last pandemic in the 1920s - by donning elegant furs and feathers before hitting the town. Pictured left to right: A woman wraps up in a patterned jacket, while another strikes a pose for the photographer in a sleek coat

Looking good! The 100-year-old photographs capture haute couture (pictured) from the catwalk capital of the world in the later 1910s and early 1920s, when the First World War was raging and Spanish Flu was sweeping the globe

Owning it! With hands on their hips, these women appeared to own their style of flaring dresses and cinched waists, which seemed to be slightly more daring than the other outfits around them. The photos come from a series of three albums entitled 'Les Actualités de I'Elégance' - believed to be shot by society photographers at the Longchamp racecourse

Fashion is a serious business! These two women appeared to take their modelling moment very seriously and kept their faces straight while showcasing their chic ensembles. The woman on the left, donned an elegant ruffled frock, while the person on the right, opted for a glamorous floral shirt teamed with a layered skirt

All smiles! These stylish women couldn't help but sport a beaming grin when asked to pose for a photograph at the racecourse, which still attracts some of the biggest riders to this day, situated in Bois de Boulogne park on the banks of the Seine River

Best foot forward! Despite the ordeals being experienced at the time, these spectacular images showcase how parading the latests trends during a city outing was still high on the agenda for many socialites in Paris. Pictured, two women showcase their different styles, from a striped frock (left) to a tasseled jacket (right)

Never too young for style! A little boy appears dressed in all his finery while alongside an elegant looking woman, pictured left, while another person wraps up in a very cosy coat while at the racecourse, pictured right

A hat is never too big! These captivating Parisian women commanded attention while out and about in the French capital, thanks to their large head pieces and equally elegant attires

Dapper gentleman! It seems the best of French fashion wasn't only for ladies, with these two gents appearing in all their finery while alongside equally sophisticated women. Dating between 1915 to 1925, the albums contain 1,130 print photographs of societal men and women in fashions of the day and are up for virtual auction on December 16 at Dominic Winter Auction house.

Eye-catching! These ladies appeared to stand out from the crowd while attending the races in Paris between 1915 and the 1920s. The woman on the left, donned an elegant frock with an attention-grabbing head piece, while the woman on the right, sported a tasseled dress

Double trouble! Valued between £4,000 to £6,000, the images document a time where shortened hemlines and new materials replaced wool and fur - as women took on more practical jobs left vacant during the war. Pictured, two pairs of women pose for their photograph while enjoying a day out

Elegant! Two ladies show off their classy frocks teamed with sophisticated shoes and sensible hats. The Longchamp racecourse was closed for the duration of the First World War but would reopen in 1919 and in time for the roaring twenties and new-found economic prosperity

Just chilling! A Parisian lady leans against a fence while wearing an elegant striped dress, pictured left, while a group of three women talk and look at a leaflet during a day out at the French racecourse, pictured right

Sophisticated! Three women appear in their glamorous ensembles while attending a day out at the French racecourse between 1915 to 1925. An estimated three-quarters of the French military was infected with Spanish Flu in the spring of 1918

WHAT WAS SPANISH FLU?

The 1918 flu pandemic was unusually deadly and the first of two involving the H1N1 influenza virus.

It infected 500 million people globally, more than one-third of the world's population, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic.

It resulted in the deaths of an estimated three to five per cent of the world's population, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

Spanish Flu resulted in the deaths of an estimated three to five per cent of the world's population, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. This image shows soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with the virus

Within months it had killed three times as many as World War I and did it more quickly than any other illness in recorded history.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients. By contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults.

To maintain morale, wartime censors minimised early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. However, newspapers were free to report the epidemic's effects in Spain.

This created a false impression of Spain as being especially hard hit, leading to the pandemic's nickname Spanish flu.

The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation, researchers believe.

The true global mortality rate from the pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10 per cent to 20 per cent of those who were infected died. This would lead to a death toll of between 50 to 100 million people.

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