All posts filed under: 18th Century

Robe a la francaise, brocaded silk & metal, ca. 1755, Museo de Roma

Rate the Dress: a Robe a la Francaise in rococo brown, ca 1755

I can usually anticipate some of the reactions to a Rate the Dress, but I was completely blindsided by the initial reactions to last week’s royal fancy dress.  Sure, it wasn’t a court jacket, but badly made seems a harsh accusation for a 200+ year old costume that still looks nearly pristine!  The frat boy comparisons did crack me up.  Isn’t it odd how our modern perceptions of a ‘look’ completely change how we see it in a historical garment? However, after the initial wails of ‘tacky’ and ‘cheap’, a whole bunch of you swooped in with 10/10 ratings.  There were 14x 10/10 ratings, compared to only 11x of any other #!  The enthusiasts pointing out that the costume was awfully fun, did exactly what it said on the tin, and was quite practical for a theatrical performance.  After all, a real bear skin would have been extremely hot and heavy and hard to move gracefully in! Thanks to all those 10s, Karl got a 8.4 out of 10.  Rrrrowr! (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) This …

wild man co

Rate the Dress: 18th century Wild Man costume

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a natural-form day dress in palest blue and silvery ecru.  To no-ones surprise ever, the rosette bows festooning the lower front bodice of the dress were not popular.   You deemed the rest of the dress both boring and fussy. It didn’t score a single 10/10 rating.  The ratings, like the dress trim, mainly slid to the bottom of the rating heap.  Overall ‘Whirlpool: The Dress’, as Rachel dubbed it, managed a paltry 6.6 out of 10. Moving on: it’s time to look at a historical fancy dress for our annual Halloween Rate the Dress! Before there was Tarzan, there was Hercules, Bacchus, and Wild Men: all costumes involving animal skins, and greenery.  Variations on the theme date back to the ancient Greeks & Romans, (and possibly earlier).  Wild Man costumes were popular throughout the Middle Ages.  In the 18th century the wild man idea became linked to a romanticisation of nature and untouched society. Thanks to the Swedish monarchy’s fantastic habit of keeping their clothing, we have an extant …

Rate the Dress: A Lady on Horseback

Last week I showed you a really frilly, over the top 1870s dress – but in a very restrained colour scheme.  Unsurprisingly, for most people whether they liked it or not came down to whether they are maximalists or minimalists, though some with more restrained tastes conceded that it would look spectacular from a distance.  Surprisingly (to me at least) one of the things it got the most criticisms for was the black trim.  I thought the harshness of the contrast balanced the too-busy, too-sweet trim of the rest, but I was very much in the minority (though not entirely alone) in liking it!  The dress came in at 7.6 out of 10. For this week’s Rate the Dress, let’s look at some very feminine menswear inspired clothes in the form of a fluffy, pastel-y riding habit: Let’s take a slightly closer look: Campeche’s luxuriously attired horsewoman sports a white satin skirt, and a jacket and double-breasted waistcoat in robins egg blue satin, with white facings and self-fabric buttons.  Her cuffs and cravat are of hard to make …