Last week I drove from Wellington to Gisborne, 9 hours drive up the eastern coast of North Island, and back, and was reminded again how stunningly gorgeous New Zealand is. The country is currently bedecked in autumnal splendour: end of season flax flowers standing in stark black against the sky, pampas grasses blushing pink and champagne and silvery lavender, the occasional stands of deciduous trees in a blaze of colour, meadows returning to lush green with the resumption of rain, and sudden storms bringing exhilarating downpours and rainbows at the end.
So my Rate the Dress pick for this week comes in all these colours: though it’s not a style of dress that was ever worn in New Zealand!
Plus, the totals are (finally) in for the feather bedecked confection of the week before!
The general reaction to last week’s dress was that it just didn’t quite get the balance right. Something was missing, or was there that shouldn’t be, for almost everyone who commented. But as it was, not that many people commented – it got just over half the comments of the dress of the week before.
The Total: 7.8
Technically much more popular than the feathered dress of the week before – but certainly of much less interest to you!
This week: an 1780s gown with an embroidered hem.
This 1780s gown features fabric with a small scattered floral motif, and an elaborate border of larger flowers and geometric patterning worked along the bottom of the petticoat and the edges of the overskirt.
According to the Palazzo Pitti this dress is an Anglaise (bodice back and skirt back cut in one piece at the centre panel), but I think it’s actually an Italian gown (bodice back and back skirt cut as two totally separate pieces). However, the image resolution isn’t high enough for me to be certain, so I’ve stuck with the given description.
The elaborate borders make this dress quite formal, and at the cutting edge of fashion for the 1780s, showing the move away from the three dimensional trimmings & all-over patterning of rococo fashions, towards the flat embellishment and emphasis on lines and borders in neoclassical fashion. While the heavier fabrics, shape of this dress and the natural waist are still very much in the 18th century tradition, you can see how the design is moving towards the aesthetic seen in dresses like the embroidered 1790s number I posted a few months ago.
This gown was definitely meant to impress in its day. Is it impressing today?
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. Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. 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! And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10. Thanks in advance!)