Two weeks ago (we took a week off for me to Rate the Oscars) I showed a grass green gown from the 1860s. The ratings were hugely clustered around “I really like this, but not quite enough to give it a 10, so here is an 8.5” or “This just seems a little meh to me – not terrible, but a 6”. Quite a few people were surprised they liked it, which I always see as a huge triumph on the part of a dressmaker (as when Vionnet manages to make me like, nay love, a fringed dress!) – it’s almost better than when you already liked X thing, so of course you like dress full of X thing.
The dress came in at 7.7 out of 10
This week we turn from the structured geometry if the 1860s, to the soft draping of the 1910s
This evening gown from the Minnesota Historical Society features robins egg blue satin, brocaded with metallic gold or silver threads in a meandering floral pattern, interspersed with blond lace.
The dressmaker has arranged the lace and brocaded satin in panels which wrap around the wearers body, draping and pleating them, and tucking them under each other to create a sense of flow and movement.
The dress is an excellent example of how regional dressmakers interpreted European styles for local clients who had the opportunity and means to wear elaborate evening dress in lavish fabrics, but who chose to have their dresses made locally.
Despite the vivid colour, the dress is fairly conservative in cut, and is relatively large in size, indicating it may have been made for a more mature woman.
What do you think? Do you like the balance of statement fabric and more restrained style? Would the cut flatter a fuller figure?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10
(and, of course, EVERYONE is welcome to have a say, no matter what your historical knowledge and experience is, just make sure that your comments are courteous and don’t attack any of the other commenters, or cast aspersions on anyone who may feel differently than you about a dress. “This dress reminds me of a squashed toad on the road” is fine. “Anyone who would like this is an idiot” is not!).