Last week I showed an asymmetrical bustled 1880s dress that combined three fabrics. The dress was rather all over the place, and so were your ratings. There were so many different bits, and some of you liked some bits, and some of them others. The overall verdict was 6.5 out of 10. Not terrible, but certainly not great.
This week we’re looking at a painted frock that may be the artists fantasy, though the details are so precisely rendered, from the laced bodice to the seam-lines and creases at the hem, that one wonders if the dress actually existed.
There are two versions of the image, one which shows the whole scene, and a smaller cropped version.
As you may have guessed, we are rating the attire of the blond woman in white and turquoise at the centre of the image. Both she and her friend/attendant are dressed in luxurious, fashionable garments which reflect the strong strong classical influences, particularly in their hair and jewels.
In addition to addition to looking back to Classical Greece & Rome, our heroine’s dress shows the effect of the new political situation in France. Napoleon became Emperor of the French in 1804, and one of his early moves was an attempt to protect the French silk industry and to limit the amount of cotton being imported into France.
The attendant wears a cotton gown, but our heroine models a dress is the rich, heavy silk satins that Napoleon hoped to return to fashion for the benefit of France’s economy. Gérard probably approved of the move – she excelled at painting the light reflecting on luxurious silks, while her treatment of cottons was nothing special.
So what do you think of the blonde’s outfit, with its nods to both the ancient past and the new political situation?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10