Last week’s 1950s Jantzen playsuit attracted either very high ratings, or quite low: there was only one 8 amongst the ratings, and not a single 7! It lost a few points amongst the high ratings for not matching at the waist, and a most of the points in the low ratings simply for being strapless and/or a playsuit. But there were more high than low in the end, and it came in at 8.5 out of 10
I wonder two things about the playsuit: first, were people going to like, or dislike, the non-pattern matching at the waist (I looked at it for a long time, and realised that there is no way it could have matched as it’s an un-balanced print and the seams on the bodice and pleats on the shorts don’t line up, so came to the same conclusion as SueAnne – you couldn’t match the stripes, but a belt would make the non-matching look right, as it did with the skirt, where two mis-matched wrongs really do make a right!), and second, if the topic of cultural appropriation would come up. Surprisingly, not so much, despite the fact, that, as Daniel noted, the playsuit might have been an excellent example of tasteful inspiration, had not the name landed it firmly in the mire of obvious and oblivious stereotypes.
This week let’s look at a flip to last week’s choice: a very covered up garment, that was, for its time, more avant garde than the ’50s playsuit.
This 1880s reception gown of dark purple silk velvet with satin contrast and machine lace trims shows clear Aestheticism influence in its unbroken princess line combined with heavy use of ruching and historical-inspired details, such as the slashed ‘Renaissance’ sleeve puffs, and ruched cuffs and draping ‘engageants’ taken from 18th century fashion.
Individually, none of these would be enough to clearly mark a garment as noticeably artistic, but combined, the effect is an undeniable nod to Aestheticism, while still remaining within the conventional norms of early 1880s fashion.
What do you think? Do you like the tone on tone embellishment, the mix of high-fashion and aestheticism, and the dark, rich colour?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10