It’s Rate the Dress time! Every week I post a historical garment, or a portrait, and we rate the garment in the context of it’s time. This week’s pick is a 1868-70 dress that features the full skirts of the elliptical crinoline era, topped by the bustled skirts of the first bustle era.
Last week: a Doucet evening dress in glittering gold organza:
Last week’s gold evening gown proved that Doucet the Midas Touch when it comes to fashion, because you loved it. No one was the least bit worried by the implied lingerie-ness of the dress. It did lose a half point here or there for the extra back bows (you just can’t get behind those, can you?), and some of you thought there was a disconnect between the skirt and upper bodice. Points were both gained and lost for fungus-y embroidery. Mould that breaks the mould? A few of you saw a face in the bodice, and took points off for that. Apparently we like garments that have personality, not a personality!
The Total: 9.6 out of 10.
Despite a few niggles, the dress had the highest total points in over two years! All added up and divided, it came out .1 point shy of the 9.7 highs of Doucet’s Cubist dress. So close, but that record still stands!
This week: a crinoline-to-first-bustle-era transitional gown in jewel green patterned silk
This very-late-1860s day dress in rich green silk with a small floral print is an excellent example of aniline dye influenced fashion.
The pairing of vivid colour with black trim was oh-so-fashionable at the time, showing off the aniline brights, and the equally desirable aniline black.
The black trim is used to highlight the dresses details. The bodice trim widens the bust and shoulders, to assist in the illusion of small waist.
The skirt trim emphases the newly fashionable overskirt with bustling effect, which which quickly become the full, wide bustle of the first bustle era.
Note the extremely narrow back panel, a classic ca. 1870 cut:
The piping that frames the bodice panels was used throughout the 19th century. Some high-end examples even have double-piping, particularly at the waist.
What do you think? Does this dress balance the end of the crinoline era and the beginning of the first bustle era successfully? Is it attractive as an example of its period? Interestingly and beautifully enough arranged to stand out in a sea of wide skirts in vivid aniline tones?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10
(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5. I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it! Thanks in advance!)