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Rate the Dress: Bright Pink ‘Teens Velvet

Last week’s Rate the Dress was very subdued and subtle and restful.  This week I’m going in exactly the opposite direction, and featuring a vivid pink 19teens dress with lots of zing.

Last week: A 1920s artistic ensemble

A few of you loved it for looking supremely comfortable and wearable, and most of you could appreciate the elegance of the embellishment, but many of you were not quite convinced by the colour, or all the details – especially the cuffs.

The Total: 7.7 out of 10

And a huge thank you to Daniel for adding a bunch of extra historical information and context about the outfit!

This week:

I wanted something bright and fun as a contrast to last week, and you can’t get much brighter and more fun than hot pink velvet:

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, France, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

Augusta Auctions gave a date range of 1910-14 when they sold this pink velvet confection, but the draped hobble skirt is so absolutely typical of 1913-14 that I feel confident dating it to those years.

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

The horizontal seam across the hips, while unusual to modern eyes, allows the draping of the skirt, and causes interesting visual contrasts as the grain of the velvet changes, creating the effect of different shades of pink.

The seam also widens the hips – emphasising the still fashionably small waist, and moving away from the extremely narrowed hips of the earlier 1910s.

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

The pink appears particularly vivid against the muted tones of the metal lace and silk chiffon sleeves, but the contrast was originally probably much less stark: the lace, un-tarnished, a brighter gold or silver, the chiffon either a brighter white, or purposefully subdued to create the illusion of bare skin.  Tying together all this boldness, the sparkle of diamantes, anchoring the neckline, and shimmering as the arms moved.

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

Gown in silk velvet by Robert, Paris, 1910-1914, sold by Augusta Auctions April 20, 2016

Obviously the flowers on the corsage have aged someone, and aren’t quite blooming as intended, so please don’t judge the effects of age too harshly.

What do you think?  Is this rosy hued 19teens frock delicious or déclassé?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting. However it’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  Thanks in advance!)

What I’ve been up to, May edition

I can’t believe 2018 will be halfway over in a month in a half!  It seems like it just started.

I’ve been very busy, as evinced by my slightly slower blogging rate.  I’ve kept you (mostly) updated with my sewing (lots of shorts, Georgian accessories, and Regency unders), Scroop Pattern-ing (Otari Hoodie & paper patterns!), historical research (swimming in Edwardian wool swimsuits), and photoshoots (30s blouses, geekiness , Edwardian, and bathing suits).

But we’ve been working on a lot of other stuff too.

We’ve had the kitchen that was destroyed in the Great Black Bean Pressure Cooker Explosion of June 2017 fully fixed and replaced – ceiling done, walls painted, floor replaced.  That took lots of organising and following up, so ate up huge amounts of my time.  And it turns out they used the wrong kind of paint, so I’m going to have to repaint it.  Grrrrr….

But it does look lovely!

We’ve also been doing our own home renovations.  We sanded back the terrible old blue door, and filled all the gaps and scratches, and sanded, and sanded, and sanded to make it smooth:

And then we painted it bright red:

We love it, and it goes beautifully with the grey we painted the rest of the house.

We’ve also been doing lots of gardening.

And cooking with the things we grew:

It’s slowing down now that autumn is well and truly settling in, but I just picked my last crop of tomatoes:

We spent a lot of our free time this summer at Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary, enjoying all the birds and the views, and making friends with their new takahē couple: Nio and Orbell.

Takahē are flightless birds about the size of a chicken.  They are members of the rail family, and are native to New Zealand.

They were thought to have gone extinct in the 19th century, but in the 1940s keen tramper Geoffrey Orbell became convinced that they might still exist in some very remote areas of the South Island.  He researched and drew maps of valleys remote enough for takahē to have have remained hidden for over 50 years.  On 20 November 1948, his search paid off, and he found a surviving colony of almost 400 birds.

Unfortunately New Zealand’s conservation policy in the 50s & 60s was one of non-intervention, and the takahē population declined to just over 100 in the 1980s (primarily due to competition from introduced deer, who eat the same grass takahē do) before real steps to assist the population were taken.

I was originally nonplussed about the idea of takahē.  How exciting can a purple chicken really be?

As it turns out, I LOVE takahē.  They are flightless grass-eating purple chickens that form very devoted relationships with their breeding partner.  They groom each other and coo at each other.    They get used to people and just hang out with them.

Unfortunately, with a population of only 100, takahē are so critically endangered that there is so little genetic diversity in their population that every death is a major blow.

It’s a real illustration of the slim line between total success as a species, due to luck and exact circumstances.  Takahē would actually be ideal suburban pets – much better than chickens and ducks (both of which you can have on not very much land in NZ).  One pair would be perfect for keeping a quarter-acre lawn mown, they are nice and quiet, they don’t fly…

If they ever want to start a takahē cloning programme, just to prevent their total loss, I’m in!

I wonder how Felicity would feel about a takahē friend…

Woman's Dress and Coat Ensemble, silk with metal embroidery, ca. 1920s, Glenbow Collection, C-16492 A; C-16492 B

Rate the Dress – Artistic eu de nil

This week’s Rate the Dress is brought to you by great gibbering gibbons beneath the gibbous green moon. Say that three times fast!

Last week: A House of Worth Reception gown of ca. 1890

1/2 of you Raters loved last weeks dress (maybe with a few tiny niggles).  1/4 of you thought it had a lot of good elements – but also some that just weren’t working.  And the last 1/4 of you thought it had so many terrible elements that it was a totally washout – just like the colours.

The Total: 8 out of 10

Still eminently respectable.  (personally, I loved the idea of it, and I hated almost everything about the execution except the purple and the bustling – which is so good I can almost forgive everything else when I’m looking at the bustle.  I keep trying to ‘fix’ all the rest in my mind, and can’t, and that’s driving me crazy).

This week: A 1920s artistic ensemble

I’ve had a rather full week. When I went to choose a Rate the Dress ensemble I was practically gibbering with exhaustion.

My thought process literally went like this:  “Gibbering…sounds like gibbons.  Something monkey fur?  Too creepy…  Gibbous though…something moon coloured?  Too boring…  But it is made of green cheese…”

So you have a green dress (and coat).

This 1920s ensemble combines the simplified, sleeker lines of 1920s fashion with the more artistic sensibilities of the Aesthetic & Arts & Crafts: design movements that were still influencing less mainstream fashion.

With pleated and smocking details, and Medieval inspired embroidery, this outfit shows continued impact of stores like Liberty of London, and designers like Fortuny.

What do you think?  Does it successfully balance high fashion and personal taste to create a distinctive and appealing outfit?  Or is it Eww & Nil for 10?*

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting. However it’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  Thanks in advance!)

 

*OK, so you can’t actually give a nil rating, because 0 isn’t on a scale of 1 to 10!

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