Last week’s frock, featuring Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, in a gown that was part fantasy, part contemporary to the 14th century ruler, and part contemporary to the 16th century artwork, evoked some very interesting discussions. It seemed the more you knew about 14th century fashion, the less you liked the frock and the liberties the 16th century artist took with earlier fashions. Despite an impressive swathe of 10s, the historical inaccuracies, and the dud of a cape (let’s face it, no-one liked the cape) dragged Margaret down to a respectable but not exactly impressive 7.3 out of 10.
Today’s pick for ‘Rate the Dress’ is an interesting sartorial balance to last week’s frock. The silhouette (which was generally quite popular last week) is strikingly similar, despite the centuries that separate the garments. And both frocks owe their exotic flair to the same area of the world: what we today would call the Middle East. But where Margaret owed her frock’s aesthetic to status and technological limitations, rather than a specific desire to reference exoticism, this week’s frock flaunts its explicitly Orientalist look. It comes through in the challenging colour scheme which evokes images of spice bazaars, with mounds of tumeric, saffron and paprika. Even more obvious is the embroidered and beaded bolero, with motifs taken from Moroccan tile work.
What do you think? Do the orange and red create a delicious frock? Does the bolero add interest to an otherwise simple gown, or does it look like she’s wearing a bit of a courtyard across her chest?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10