Usually I think it is silly to like or dislike a Rate the Dress based on how it would look on you, but I found I could only like last week’s very decollate 1810s frock if I imagined it worn by my early 19th century twin, both in body and temperament. Even when I’m not very skinny I have a very wide, bony clavicle and chest, so that even the most daringly low cut neckline looks respectable until it begins to show my navel. And I’m so innately prim and prudish and flat out innocent (usually) that I can make the tartiest dress look demure (in high school a classmate told me that if the whole class walked into a room and found me and a guy in our altogethers they would assume there was a perfectly innocent explanation for it – because it was me). So on someone that it could not possibly look provocative on? I love the dress! On anyone else? Oh dear…
The question of who it was worn by was uppermost in the rating conversation for all of you as well. Was it someone very small busted, who could pull off the plunging neckline? (side note: it’s not just about how small your bust is, but how far apart it is and how little jiggle there is in the middle that makes a neckline look revealing or not) Or perhaps it was the frock of a member of the demimonde? (though your discussions on this topic made me suspect that some of you have gotten far too much of your Regency history from romance novels!). Someone pointed out that the embroider pattern on the body of the fabric might not just be kissing lips after all, which does put a whole new spin on the dress! (I said “Oh, OH, OH”, and blushed on the other side of my computer screen). It came in at 9 out of 10, not surprising as only two of the 35 ratings were below an 8/10.
This week, for the last day of the fairytale challenge, I’ve picked a frock that could fit in a fairytale. It’s not the frock of the pretty young princess, or something for the wicked Queen, but rather a frock for the fairy herself: if she were a woman of a certain age and certain gravitas. I could imagine costuming Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmother in this if the story were set in the late 1880s.
All of the details of the outfit are quite fantastical, from the lush florals to the beaded fan at the base of the jacket:
Even the matching bonnet is fairy worthy:
And look at the detail of the embroidery on the fabric! Even if you think the dress is hideous, you must admit that the needlework is exquisite!
Despite the whimsical collar, the fantastical beading and the romantic embroidery, this frock was no fancy dress outfit. It was worn by the wife of a senator to President Benjamin Harrison’s March 4th 1889 inauguration. Seen in that light, the lush velvet and embroidery become symbols of prosperity, the florals spring and hope and new growth, and the whole look makes sense for a politicians wife.
Green-gold and pink seem to have been very much the fashion for the inauguration, because I’ve shown another dress worn to one of Harrison’s inauguration events in a similar colour scheme. You were distinctly not keen on that dress, but perhaps this one will fare better?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10