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Rate the Dress: Second Decade Devoré

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

Everybody knows that the 1910s are my favourite decade, and it’s been a while since I featured one on Rate the Dress, so that’s this week’s theme.

But of course, while I might like the decade, I don’t love every example… Is this week’s pick one you’ll like? 

Last Week: an 1860s day dress in raspberry pink

Well, when it comes to last week’s dress, you all agree with Maggie Prescott – it’s time to #thinkpink!

The Total: 9.4 out of 10

Pink perfection!

This week: A 1910s dress in devoré velvet and metallic lace

Last week’s dress was big, with bold design flourishes. This week I’ve gone for the slim, sleek lines of the 1910s, with an evening dress in devoré velvet and metallic lace.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The layers of different fabric, with contrasting textures of stiff lace, plush velvet, silky underlayers and glass beads, is typical of the aesthetics of the era.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

Also typical is the mix of symmetry and asymmetry.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The front bodice is balanced: a shallow scoop of neck, and swooping winged sleeves of gold lace, all held with an oversized beaded embellishment.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

The front beading is balanced by a large clip holding the back wrap, and more embellishment anchoring twin sashes of metallic gold.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

It’s unclear if the back bodice is purposefully unbalanced, or simply mounted badly, with the back wrap off kilter.

Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com
Devoré velvet evening dress trimmed with metallic lace, c.1910 sold by VintageTextile.com

What do you think? Is this example the epitome of late Edwardian elegance?

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

29 Comments

  1. Pal K says

    Heavens
    Two in a row
    I know some people will probably take off for the (to the minimalist eye) clunky bead things at center front and clipped on to the back (which I think is poor display)
    Not a choice for 2020 but terrific for 1910
    But I can just imagine it as the wearer walks around the gaslit room glinting
    I particularly like the layering of the velvet over and under the lace
    10/10

  2. Angelle says

    Oh my goodness: yes, yes, yes. I could live without the appliqué on the front bodice, but I can see that it adds interest. The graceful lines, asymmetrical draping, scrumptious velvet and gold lace contribute to a luxurious and sophisticated feel. 10 out of 10. With minor modifications I’d wear it to a ball right this red hot second.

  3. I find the ensemble of fabrics and trims strangely pleasing. It’s as if I ought not to like the combination, but like it very much in spite of itself. It’s certainly fascinating, and the lines are graceful

    10 of 10, because I’m hypnotized by it…

  4. Lontra Canadensis says

    Pal K is right, the clunky bead things don’t do it for me. 🙂 I think because while they may tie it together physically, they don’t tie to it harmonically. I think I’d like them better at about half the size, and in yellow or blue sparklies. Oddly enough the maybe-bees down near the train don’t bother me. May-bee (sorry…not-sorry!) because they say quirky instead of clunky and look like they’re meant to be there. Or I’m odd. 🙂 Overall, I liked the color scheme right away, and I like the combination of fabrics.
    9/10

  5. Tracy Ragland says

    This dress is practically perfect to my eyes. The beaded “brooches” at center front and back detract, however. It could be their color hasn’t aged well, but the off-grey seems out of place. If they were a warmer tone, were smaller, or both I would give the dress a 25/10 (I know). But there they are, hence my 9/10.

  6. nofixedstars says

    this is one of my very favourite time periods for women’s dress…and i love this example. i love both the velvets, and the combination of them. i love the colours. i love the elaborate metallic lace. i love the shape of the dress, the demi-train, the draped front. while i generally do love the beaded embellishments of this period’s gowns, i must say the ones on this dress seem a bit ill-conceived. they don’t match especially well with the gown materials/colours, and the one at the bodice is a trifle awkward. it’s almost like someone changed the original embellishments at some point, or requested these to match a suite of jewellery she wished to wear. without them, the dress is sheer perfection and i would wear it in a heartbeat. even with the clumsy beaded bits, it’s still gorgeous and probably looks fine in evening lighting. WANT. 10/10, because 5 minutes with embroidery scissors could make those embellishments optional!

  7. Jules says

    I love the lines of this dress, and find the contrasting textures to be pleasing, but the conflicting colour schemes grate on my nerves. I find the idea of the oversized bling effective, but I think that they clash with the other colours even more.

    7/10

  8. Terry Walker says

    There is no part of this dress that I don’t want. Can I give it an 11? No? Okay.

    10/10

  9. Marjo says

    I love it all, even the more garish embellishments! After all, it’s an evening dress! Love the touch of asymmetry, the choice of fabrics. Love, love, love! 10/10 for me!

  10. Maryanne (MrsC) says

    Still my beating heart!!! It’s magnifique. I a such a pushover for navys/inky blues and golds. While I am wondering if the beaded motif has gone off in a different aging direction to be not quite the perfectly matching creature one would expect, I like that it creates a focus. Also, clipping down sashes, genius! I am forever getting the things caught under a chair leg or in a door.
    If I could give it eleventybillion out of 10 I would.
    10/10

      • Julia says

        I don’t usually read the other comments until after I’ve rated the dress myself (trying to be unbiased) and I’m glad to hear that it should be floor length. That was one of my nitpicks.

  11. Disie says

    So very “Titanic”. A very beautiful dress. The back and side views are stunning. But there’s something about the front view of the dress that doesn’t please my eye – and I’m having trouble putting my finger on what it is. Something to do with the balance between the blue devore and the metallic. I think it’s the flat expanse of the devore at the front – needed to be either more draped or more cut away. So half a point off for that, but still a lovely dress
    9.5/10

  12. vivien dwyer says

    Don’t like the clunky thing on the front, the rest is great…8/10

  13. ElOmbu says

    what everyone else said. onepoint deducted for the big bead clunker center front. Otherwise divine. 9/10

  14. Kathy Hanyok says

    I love the drape of the bodice, but I would lose the big clunky rhinestones, maybe because I’m too short to carry it off. The color of the lace is stunning and the pattern of the velvet is not too busy. 9/10

  15. Nannynorfolk says

    I love this except for the clip, too big so a bit off because of the clip.
    9.5

  16. Crumpled Rag says

    Oh to have a ball to go to….. If I was tall enough I’d wear it right now. As it is I might just have to work out how to make something similar for myself!

    10/10

  17. Lyn Swan says

    Also my favorite period, especially for clothing that I would love to wear. This dress is fabulous, and In my mind’s eye it is worn by a svelte red head with ivory skin.
    10/10

  18. Julia says

    I’m not usually a big fan of 1910s fashion (sorry Dreamstress!) but I really like this dress. It’s so elegant! I really like the combination of colours and the lace is wonderful. The blue velvet keeps the dress from being all the same colour and pops really well. It’s also a nice twist on the blue and gold pairing. The asymmetry is well done and the draping makes it look a bit classical to me.
    That said I wish that the beading was more gold than silver and not so huge, though I’m not sure what kind of ornament would look better. Personally I think the back isn’t arranged quite right as it looks like the back sashes are a bit crooked. Also I wish the skirt was just a touch longer.
    Very pretty despite the few nitpicks. 8.5/10

  19. I love the lines of the gown. I think I even like the fabric choices, & I definitely like the embellishments.
    I don’t know that I’m wild about the colors. Less mustard-y, more antique gold might be more pleasing? and I know that I personally would prefer a forest green to the… what even is that color? Cadet blue?
    8.5/10

  20. Emily says

    I’m so in love. The mix of light airy materials & heavier pieces is well done in my opinion- this dress must have moved beautifully. 10/10

  21. Hearthrose says

    My brains are melting. This dress is so beautiful, so graceful, the fabrics so perfect – and perfect together, after all these years…

    10

  22. Emma Louise says

    I do really like this dress, but like many others I’m not a fan of the oversized rhinestone embellishment on the front. I think it gets in the way of the drape of the lace, though I’m more undecided about the ones on the back. Other than that I like everything else. The colours bring each other out and the cut is elegant.
    9/10

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