Last week I showed you a floral 1880s dress with a modest but-revealing silhouette, and some rather unusual trim choices. It got compared to everything from real-life steampunk, to Star-Trek does 1880s, but overall, the lace insets and velvet bows were NOT a hit, and the dress scored a pretty dismal 6.1 out of 10. Slightly better than the week before, but hardly brilliant. Can this week’s frock do better?
This week I’m showing you a dress that has many of the same themes as last week: a demure and almost restrained silhouette, a simple fabric, and a few touches of quirky trim.
This Harvey Nichols dress from 1916 (from the Helen Larson collection that the FIDM Museum is hoping to purchase – hop on over to their blog to read about and support their fundraising efforts) is typical of the mid-teens WWI influenced fashions. The dark colours reflect the dye shortages (Germany was the primary dye supplier for most of the world immediately prior to WWI), the shorter, fuller skirts a more practical silhouette and conservative mindset.
While the restrained colours and simple shape are very much a product of the times, so are the whimsical details that bring a bit of interest to the outfit, without compromising practicality, or using a great deal more fabric.
The perky little collar and cuffs add colour while using very little dye, the tassels add movement, and the dress takes full advantage of the stripes placement across the pockets and belt. Finally, an extravagance of buttons gives interest to the back view.
What do you think of this bit of wartime luxury? Elegant and fun, or drab and childish?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.