This week’s Rate the Dress is very on-theme for the seasons here in New Zealand. Spring is in full swing, daffodils abound, and the first butterflies are out. So I’ve picked a frock with daffodils and butterflies, perfect for frolicking through meadows of blossoming bulbs. Maybe next week I’ll pick something very autumnal, for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere!
Last Week: a ca. 1880 afternoon ensemble
The ratings for last week’s dress were pretty clearly divided into three camps. Quite a lot of you thought the muted colours and single tonal range balanced the excessive details nicely, resulting in a good, but not great dress. And some of you thought that more is more is more is fabulous, and gave it a perfect (or nearly so) score. And then, there were those who thought the dress was just awful, resulting in an extremely unusual proportion of 3s and 4s!
The end result?
The Total: 6.9 out of 10
An average which accurately represents the opinion of exactly one of the raters!
This week: a 1920s child’s frock.
This week’s pick is very different to last week’s: a simple silhouette, with simple trim, and a simple, but unusual, mode of ornamentation.
This mid 1920s child’s ensemble is decorated with hand painted butterflies, daffodils, and a fairy riding a snail’s shell chariot.
In addition to the whimsical hand painting, which has echoes of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite’s fairies, the dress features ribbon trim held on with french knot embroidery.
The colour scheme and decoration are an excellent example of the merge between the aesthetic of the Arts & Crafts movement, and conventional design and fashion. While the fairy suggests Outhwaite, the daffodils suggest John Henry Dearle’s work for William Morris.
The outfit is most decidedly a luxury item: a decadent piece for parents to show off a beloved child at a garden party, carefully chaperoned and attended while the guests cooed over them, before they kid was given sensible clothes, a bit of ice cream, and allowed to go make mud pies on their own!
The FIDM blog (linked through each image) has more information on the dress, and the fad for hand painting in the ‘teens and ’20s.
What do you think? Is this so utterly adorable that its impracticality doesn’t matter, or is it terribly twee?
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!)