Month: January 2012

Terminology: The So-Called ‘Viking’ Apron Dress

For my first guest writer for the terminology series, I’m very excited to introduce Cathy Raymond, of Loose Threads: Yet Another Costuming Blog. Cathy’s Medieval and earlier focused blog is one of my favourite textile reads because her area of research is well outside my usual scope, meaning that I learn something new with every post. At the same time, her writing is so thoughtful and considered that it makes me continually realise how timeless and universal textiles are, and how relevant the way we think about the scraps of fabric found in Viking burials (for example) is to the way we think about fashion and textile design today.  So without further ado, Cathy: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hello! I’m Cathy Raymond. The Dreamstress has asked me to contribute a guest post about an item of costume terminology characteristic of my preferred area of costume research, namely, the Migration Period and that part of the early Middle Ages often called the “Viking Age”. Unfortunately, as one delves back into what is known about costume in these periods, it quickly becomes …

Terminology posts: guest bloggers!

For the last few months I’ve been writing terminology posts on costume and fashion history.  I’ve had so much fun researching and writing them, I’ve learned so much, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from all of you. However, I’ve also realised that my attempt to build a comprehensive annotated glossary of fashion and textile terms is going to be held back by my own limitations.  I only know so much, and will only ever know so much.  I research, think about, and present ideas in a particular way, as we all do, so that means that I can only provide my perspective.  This is really obvious when you look at the comments: often with a terminology post I learn as much from your comments on it as I presented in the post itself. So in order to overcome my limitations, and give you terms and ideas and research that I might not think of, or don’t have the expertise to write about, I’ve asked some of my favourite fashion and textile historians …

Rate the Dress: 1950s does Japonisme

Oh dear, oh dear.  We were having such a good run with Rate the Dress, and then last week the grey & peach 1860s dress disappointed so many of you.  There were some that still loved it, to be fair, but not enough to raise the rating above a 5.9 out of 10 (and if I had accepted Sineuve’s ‘-8’ rating it would have been even lower!) Let’s see if this week’s dress can bring back the wins? My selection brings together all the things I have been blogging about in the last few days: early 50s, mid-50s, summertime, & Japan, all in one perky party frock. Caroline Schnurer’s ‘Rice Bowl Dress‘ uses Japanese paper tie-dye designs on cotton, a backwards kimono-collar, and a very innovative parasol-inspired pleated skirt supported by vertical bones. What do you think?  Is all that green fresh and summer-y?  Does the pairing of classic style with some very innovative construction work, or is the whole boned-skirt thing just a bit too odd?  And what would you think of the dress …