I do apologise! Yesterday was Wellington Anniversary Day, which made it a public holiday in the Wellington region. I was so busy painting and photoshooting and going on walks with Mr D and having such a typical weekend day that I entirely forgot that it was Monday, and didn’t finish my Rate the Dress post.
Last week I showed you a WWI era dress in muted stripes, with quirky tassels & buttons. Alas, Kathryn was the only one to my private opinion that the buttons are just the bit of unexpected not-matchiness that the dress needed: most of the rest of you took points off for the buttons not matching, or simply for the buttons overall. While there were a few scores in the middle, in general it was quite a divisive dress: you either really loved it, or really didn’t (and one of the middle scores was from Hana, who loved the front and hated the back – those buttons! 😉 ) So the dress came in at a perfectly round 8.0 out 10. Still not bad!
To provide balance for anyone who thought the colours of last week’s frock too drab, this week, I present Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, & Serbia, Archduke of Austria etc. (etc. is literally what Wikipedia says about his titles too).
As emperor, Charles was foolish and shortsighted. He spent the majority of his rule desperately working to ensure that his daughter, Maria Theresa, would succeed him as ruler, despite the fact that he had promised his father that his older brother’s daughters would take precedence over his own if there were no male heirs.
In the process of making sure that his daughters were heirs, Charles bankrupted his treasure and country, agreed to compromises that were not to Austria’s benefit (such as abolishing their overseas trading company, the Austrian equivalent of the British East India Company) from other countries in exchange for their support of Maria Theresa’s rule, and left his army in shambles.
All of this might have been forgiven if his reason for wanting Maria Theresa to be ruler was a firm conviction that she was more able and would do a better job than his nieces, or if he had taken care to educate her and train her to be a capable monarch. Unfortunately Maria Theresa was given the standard training of a princess who was being raised to be a Queen Consort (heavy on the decorative arts, light on politics, language, writing, military strategy etc.), and came to the throne woefully unprepared. Charles lived till the end in the desperate hope that he would have a male heir after all, and did not care if Austria had a good monarch, as long as they were his direct descenant. While Maria Theresa eventually became a capable monarch, the fact that she survived the first decade as monarch with any land is almost as much due to luck as any clever political manoeuvring on her part.
Today, however, we aren’t worried about that. We’re concentrating on Charles’ gloriously yellow ensemble. From his lavishly feather trimmed chapeaux to his red-tongued and red-heeled shoes, his outfit aims to create an impact. He is almost luminous against the dark drapery, all other accoutrements in the room reduced to insignificance.
What do you think? The epitome of early-mid 18th c sartorial splendour? Or a trumped up canary?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.