For last week’s Elizabeth Amalie Rate the Dress I had one request: Please don’t look at the baby.
You looked at the baby. How could you not! That was some baby…
Luckily looking at the baby resulted in a very entertaining set of comments. If the baby itself didn’t make you fall off your chair laughing, then Rachel’s imagined conversation with EA, and Mrs C’s all-too-apt Harry Potter reference were sure to!
Beyond the most-unfortunate baby, Elizabeth Amalie’s dress was deemed very attractive, but not the most delicious creation of its time, coming in at 8.2 out of 10.
I’ve just been to see the Reigning Men exhibition at LACMA* (11 word review: fabulous garments, slightly less fabulous curatorial choices, slightly overwhelming, totally worth it), so have menswear on the mind. There aren’t that many museums that have a lot of images of fully assembled menswear outfits, so I’ve picked one that is from LACMA, though it isn’t in Reigning Men.
This mid-1840s ensemble was made with hot summer temperatures in mind: light colours give the impression of coolness, while stripes in the trousers and supplementary warp patterning forming diamonds and squares in the jacket fabric adds texture and interest.
Even the practically-mandatory top hat is made of straw, to keep everything breezy and fresh.
The jacket still has the more curvaceous silhouette of 1820s and 30s menswear, with an emphasis on the waist and a fuller skirt, and fuller pants. The far-back angled shoulder seam and wider collar roll that sits far away from the neck are other elements seen in earlier styles that will disappear as the century moves on.
The patterning of the jacket is echoed in the large buttons of the jacket, which repeat the diamond motif, and bring in a spotted pattern.
What do you think? Interesting without being ostentatious? Comfortable while still being elegant and formal? Or…no?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.
*Bonus info for those of you, like me, who live a long way away and have never heard it said by the museum/a local, and wonder how you say it. Is it L-A-C-M-A? Lahk-MA? Based on what I heard from locals and the museum it is LAHk-ma. 😀