Last week I showed you a striped Schiaparelli frock. It certainly caused a lot of commentary (almost twice the average for the last 4 months), but the response was quite divided. Some of you thought the gown the epitome of Schiaparelli’s clever design and cutting. Others thought it strange and hideous. Many, many of you loved the back view, but hated the front. I’m almost the opposite: I think the front is spectacular and unique and an absolute mastery of fabric, and without it, the gorgeous back would simply be run-of-the-mill red carpet: so sexy and pretty that it becomes boring. So we’ll have to compromise at 7.8 out of 10, which is still rather good!
This week I wanted to show you something in very bright pink, but couldn’t find the right dress, so instead let’s travel back in time to the Renaissance, to Domenico Ghirlandaio’s depiction of the birth of John the Baptist. While Ghirlandaio was illustrating a scene from the Bible, his paintings are exquisite glimpeses into domestic life in upper-class Florentine households at the end of the fifteenth century.
The young woman who looks out of the painting in this detail from The Birth of John the Baptist is a perfect example of this. Her front-lacing bodice, snug sleeves with her camisa sleeves peeping out in puffs, and pink-over-robe, along with her elaborately arranged uncovered hair, all represent fashionable Florentine dress for an unmarried noblewoman in the late 1480s.
What do you think? Most of what you can see is the pink over-robe, with its intriguing leafy trim hanging down from under her arm, but there are also the delicate patterns of the fabric, and the details of the lacing and sleeves to consider.
Does the whole look work for you?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.