Last week a lot of you loooooooved the Poiret negligée gown. And then, predictably, some of you were less than enthused about the daring colours. Less predictably, some of you got hung up on the tassle, insisting the wearer would trip over it (you could clearly see the hemline behind it, no tripping happening there). Despite this perplexing criticism, the dress managed a 8.2 out of 10 – quite good for something so avant garde.
I had the hardest time finding a Rate the Dress for this week. I wanted to keep with the theme of _13 for the Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial Challenge, but simply couldn’t find a _13 garment that I hadn’t already featured and which appealed to me. I finally settled on this 1611 portrait of the noted beauty Frances Howard (this one, not the notorious Frances Howard) by Gheeraerts, with the assumption that there is every chance that the Countess would have been wearing the same items in 1613 (backed up by evidence that that definitely happened in this post).
Gheeraerts paints Frances in an elaborate embroidered bodice, rich green skirt with sumptuous gold trim, and elaborately rosetted shoes. The drape of fabric around her, the posy in her hand and the wreath in her hair indicate that she may be in fancy dress intended to represent an allegorical or classical figure – perhaps Flora, goddess of spring.
Frances was 33 at the time of this painting, still considered a great beauty of the Jacobean court a decade after she had driven a suitor so mad with despair that he killed himself after learning of her marriage to the Count of Hertford.
Is Frances the perfect early-17th century Flora, or is she doing it a bit rich, posing as the goddess of youth and new beginnings at 33? Are her clothes suitable to her age, position, the portrait, and and your taste?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10