Last week’s 1850s homage to the 18th century attracted a few ardent admirers, a few vehement naysayers, and a lot of people who thought it was soooooo close to great….but not there (mostly because of the blue-green trim). So it balanced out at 7.8 out of 10, which isn’t bad for a dress trying to carry SO many colours and design ideas.
I found I loved the dress if I just looked at it, but the minute I tried to inspect and analyse I found dozens of things I thought were awful. I suspect that if I saw it at a party I still would have gone away remembering it as fabulous and lovely, because the overall impression of delight would outbalance all the little niggles.
Since last week’s dress was so very, very sweet, I felt that we need a palette cleanser: something entirely free of florals and frills and pastels.
I’d already settled on this ensemble when I realised the base colour was actually quite similar to that of last weeks dress. Despite this, the overall feel, at least to me, is very different:
According to the Met, this day ensemble was worn by Amelia Beard Hollenback (1844-1918), wife of a wealthy New York financier, and may have been inspired by Amelia’s travels in the American Southwest.
The dress certainly features a colour scheme and design aesthetic that sets it just outside the general oeuvre of 1880s fashion, without making it conspicuously eccentric, or fitting it into any standard counter-culture of the period, such as the Aesthetic movement.
The Met believes that this dress would have been made by a very skilled, but unknown, high class Brooklyn dressmaker.
Certainly the fabric handling, cut, and finishing are all exceptionally well done.
One wonders how much input Amelia had into the dress, and how much was dictated by the dressmaker.
What do you think? Just right for a middle aged society woman to showcase a little individuality?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10