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Rate the Dress: Spiced peaches in the 1910s

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

I’m on holiday, but the blog is not, and so far my holiday Rate the Dress picks have been a spectacular success.  Last week’s pick was tropical sea and flower gardens, this week’s is mango and sand – or, as the title says, spiced peaches!

Last week: a Robe a la Francaise in sea blue floral silk

The blue francaise was a tropical dream.  It received a warm and sunny reception, with no hurricanes of criticism lurking on the horizon.

The Total: 9.8 out of 10

Divine!

This week: a 1910s dress in peach pink and cinnamon silk

Peach pink and coppery cinnamon brown were both very fashionable colours in the 1910s, and I’ve shown a few dresses of that era in variations of those shades over the years, to mixed reviews.

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

This dress layers cinnamon silk gauze over peach satin, and combines them with gold metallic lace (also an extremely fashionable 1910s element) and ivory, all accented with embellished details in brighter orange and darker gold.

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

The cut of the dress is as eclectic and layered as the fabrics: the cinnamon gauze overskirt is draped to create swags at the front, and reveals the peach satin in back, it too draped and caught up to create a back slit for ease of walking.

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

Madame Ernest Ltd cinammon gauze silk and satin evening gown, circa 1910, sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions

There are definitely a lot of elements to this dress: textures, fabrics, colours, drapery, square necklines and scooped necklines and V necklines and drapes and swags.

Will they all come together for a successful rating?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

(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!)

23 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says

    Liked the front until I saw the hip slits. They seem a little odd to me. The back is the part I’m really not sure about. It somehow feels backside exposing ? Like the colors though. One other observation. Please don’t criticize the poor belt for being badly arranged.
    7/10

  2. I very much like the color range and the elements of sheen and gleam.

    Although I dislike this sort of skirt that can’t really be worn by anyone with generous hips, I can’t reduce the score for it, since it was one of the styles of the time, and seems to be well-constructed.

    However, even though the belt may be equally a style of the time, I have to deduct for its general appearance of clumsiness, which to me seems due to construction than arrangement. It’s such a focal point that what I perceive as its faults are magnified.

    8 of 10

  3. I love the colors; the pale peach, the spiced orange, the gold trim.

    What I dislike is the cut of the dress; the hip swags combined with a hobble skirt, and the odd draping in the back. It makes me think of an ornate lampshade, rather than a woman. Disappointing, because the colors promised great things.

    7.5 out of 10.

  4. The colours are rich and lovely, the silhouette is glorious, and that back is wonderful.

    10/10

  5. I tried to comment earlier but my comment seems to have gotten eaten by dark Internet gods, so here goes again.

    I love the colors in this gown; the pale peach, the spiced orange, the gold trim. But I don’t like the low hanging cloth under the breasts, or the swags at the hips and in the back–they give the silhouette a dowdy effect. And that’s all aside from the fact that I’ve never been fond of hobble skirts anyway. It’s a shame–the color scheme has such promise!

    7.5 out of 10.

  6. My second attempt to comment got eaten too, so let me try once more:

    Love the colors; the spiced orange, the pale peach, the gold trim, all of it. Hate the swags, and the drooping fabric (especially under the breasts). It’s a shame–with those colors and fabrics it could have been something special.

    7.5 out of 10.

  7. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Love the colors, hate the saddlebag effect of the low hip drapes of that period. Unlike the “I love my butt” of the bum roll and bustle periods, or the wide panniers and hoops of the wide frontal eras, these efforts seem sadly deflated,

    I’ll attribute a lot to poor staging by the auction house. It was a stylish dress in its time, but a middle of the road effort.

    7.5

  8. I love these colors! And the over-dramatic-does-dignified effect of it all. The strange hip emphasis doesn’t bother me (I bet you could hide pockets in those drapes. . . ) and I like the draping of the under skirt in the back, the rosettes are sweeet. The belt is a dear and just needs some mending and a bit of pressing. However, the back skirt split just seems. . . . . like a bad idea? Backwards? I don’t like it.

    But the colors are what really make it for me, and the back slit can’t detract from them.

    9/10

  9. The colors are delicious! Although I don’t like the silhouette, it certainly is a fun example of its time and would probably look absolutely wonderful on a living, breathing, moving woman. I won’t fault the dress for the disappointing presentation.

    10/10

  10. Apologies for the multiple comments! They were not registering for me. Leimomi, please delete all of them except the last one when you get a chance. Thanks.

  11. The colours are amazing but the hips swags? Not a fan of the draping at all. Too bad because otherwise it would be stunning.

    7/10

  12. Nicole B. says

    The colors work beautifully together, much to my surprise! I just never would have thought of that combination of cinnamon and peach on my own. The ivory is the a-la-mode on the peach pie.
    I love the way the top is constructed, which seems to be fairly common for the time, and I also dig the statement girdle, however poorly it is presented on that manikin. The dress would look much better on a live model, I am confident.
    The back of the satin underskirt is also lovely, with the sweet rosettes and the oh-so-necessary walking slit.
    However…I just can’t love the drape of the over-skirt. It puts me in mind of a piece of window dressing that a child has tucked up under her belt. The silhouette doesn’t suffer, but the execution seems sloppy, somehow. Perhaps it would look better if the fabric were new or stiffer, or had real hips underneath.
    Because the drapery is such a large part of the appearance of this dress, I have to deduct a few points.
    8/10

  13. Laura Gharazeddine says

    I want to feel it’s silky, creamy goodness wrapped around me. I would so wear this in a heartbeat. 100/10
    (Too high? Ok, 10 out of 10.)

  14. I do love this, not as ecstatically as the last blue, but this dress gets points from me for hobble skirt, fabric combination, belt, trim and repeated rosettes. Saggy-bagginess I am converting in my mind to swish in its past, so, only because it is not in personal favorite palette
    8/10

  15. I do love this, not as ecstatically as the last blue, but this dress gets points from me for hobble skirt, fabric combination, belt, trim and repeated rosettes. Saggy-bagginess I am converting in my mind to swish in its past, so, only because it is not in my personal favorite palette
    8/10

  16. Claire Payne says

    How very odd. I really don’t know what to make of it. I love the 1910’s and this reminds me so much of Poiret yet I just don’t like it. I find the belt vexing and all I can think of is a draft when I see the back silt. The one positive for me is the cut of the sleeves but other than that all I can think of is how odd it seems. Still, it is always good to see what you share with us. Enjoy your holiday.

    An odd 3 out of 10 from me. Sorry!

  17. Elaine says

    I love the colors and the belt, although it is presented a bit awkwardly. I really dislike the combination of saddlebags on the hips and the hobble skirt. I wonder if it would look better on the right figure? Doubt on that point is causing me to raise the score by one. 8/10

  18. Sam Sam says

    I would love to see it styled on a dummy that actually fits it, I feel it would look so different if this was the case. In my minds eye I imagine Edna Purviance wearing this or something similar in the very early Chaplin movies. I think it’s beautiful and love all of it’s quirky, 1910 details, the hobble, the detail on the back of the skirt and funnily enough it’s hip swags. Put a hair band with a thin feather standing upright and an ostrich fan and it would be just about perfect.

    9.5/10

  19. Magdalena says

    It feels… Odd, to me? Like it’s strangely unbalanced. I like the fabrics though!

    7/10

  20. This is the dress of a goddess. Unfortunately the elements that make it so exotic are the very things that time has not been kind to and it’s so very hard to see past the general clumsy sagging nature to the delight that once skimmed wonderfully over its wearer. The colours are rich and delicious but I keep wondering if I would have preferred that the peach was extended throughout rather than introducing the ivory. The details on the belt are gorgeous and the gold trim is a delight. The only real design detail that I dont like is that the top layer does not meet at the back and gives it a ungainly apron feel. If this poor dress was rescued and properly displayed I feel that I could mark it much higher.

    7.5/10

  21. Ava Loy says

    I’ve recently had more trouble than usual posting comments. I’ll try again, but I’ll keep it brief, in case this post evaporates, too.

    I dont like it. The color is great, but it looks like it is melting. The slashes made from draping the fabric, left agape, makes me feel uncomfortable.
    4 outta 10

  22. Lalaith says

    Hmm. Don’t like that much. The color reminds me of some sort of horrible insect, and the weird lumpiness of some part is only adding to the prickly feeling that settles deeper into the back of my neck the longer I look at it. And I don’t like this silhouette in any fabric, really.

    For looking like a melting waxwork of a mutant cockroach, 1/10.

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