Last week I showed a smocked 1890s Liberty of London dress in black china silk. Half of you loved, loved, loved it, the other half of you thought it incredibly blah.
However, even those who loved it had small reservations. The display wasn’t ideal (granted, not the dresses fault), and you couldn’t decide if the back asymmetry was real or an illusion created by the display. Some of you thought that while good, it wasn’t as good as most other Liberty dresses made from the same basic pattern. And quite a few of you didn’t like the sleeves (which, ironically, were my favourite part, as I felt they made the dress more interesting than other similar Liberty gowns, and kept it from twee-ness).
Despite potential blah-ness and not-quite-perfection ratings, it managed an overall rating of 8.3 out of 10. Pretty good!
(Though it ought to win bonus points for inspiring only two #.5 ratings, making my tallying up much easier 😉 )
This week, I’m celebrating the launch of the Ngaio Blouse with a 1930s pick for Rate the Dress.
I’ve gone for a slinky, body conscious evening gown along the lines of something one of Ngaio Marshes’ glamorous actress femme maybe-fatales might have worn:
This Jessie Franklin Turner number in gold lamé uses bias cutting which flows and clings about the body. The unusual arm treatment blurs the line between sleeves and gauntlet-gloves, drawing attention to the glimpses of skin seen at the upper arms. The gold lamé has faded and tarnished slightly with time, but you can still clearly see how the gown would have shimmered and glowed and caught the light as it moved.
What do you think? Is the overall effect dramatic and alluring (as per the Met’s object description), or just a bit gimmicky?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.
(next week I think I need to pick something with pattern!)