All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: early 18th century Riding Habit stripes

Update: house tidied, votes tallied, and last weeks chrysanthemum and swags dress came in at 6.8 out of 10, loosing a point for awkward transitions, and lots of points for looking like eyeballs (a resemblance that I can’t see no matter what size I look at the image from, and how much I squint!) I’ll be coming back tomorrow morning to tally the votes for last weeks Japonisme-inspired ensemble, but I’m afraid I was too busy tonight getting the house ready for guests (why do you always get a spectacularly good evening when you have to vacuum the whole house instead of getting to go for a walk in the actually-balmy weather!).  For now, here is this week’s Rate the Dress for your delectation. Twenty-year old Henrietta Cavendish Holles, Countess of Oxford and heiress to one of the largest fortunes in England, is depicted in a suitably luxurious and decadent riding habit the year after her marriage to Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. Portraits in riding dress were all the rage in early 18th century …

Rate the Dress: 1870s Japonisme swags & sparkle

I truly never know what you will make of a dress!  I thought that last week’s sheer red aerophane number would be just too wacky.  The 1820s are such a wacky era to start with, and this was a particularly out-there example.  But, while it only managed one 10, the overall reaction was very enthusiastic.  A few of you couldn’t get past the part where our modern mind screams ‘but her undergarments are showing!’ (trust me, that’s not how it would have been seen in period – I think I’m clearly due up to do a whole post about that!), but despite that (I know, it is so hard to stop looking at things from a modern perspective, and try to imagine it in period, I catch myself doing it all the time – like the way I hate fringe 😉 ) it came in at an eminently respectable (heh heh) 7.8 out of 10. This week I’m staying within the same general colour scheme, and sticking to a fabric with a similar shot effect. …

Rate the Dress: 1820s flame red aerophane

Oh poor frock from last week! I think I doomed it by pointing out so clearly that it wasn’t Parisian.  If I’d only told you it was by Doucet you’d probably have lived it so much better! As it was, so many of you disliked so much about it.  The skirt fabric (one of my favourite parts actually, for being such a fascinating textile) came in for particularly harsh criticism.  I would have rated it an 8 out of 10, for being the absolute perfect balance point between 1890s stiffness and 1900s too-much-froth, but alas, not enough of you agreed with me, and it came in at a paltry 5.2 out of 10. Since you didn’t like the textured textile and the mix of different fabrics last week, this week’s selection is in just one colour, and predominantly one fabric. This evening dress or ball gown of flame red aerophane silk (one that I missed when researching aerophane, due to a spelling error in the LACMA catalogue) features self-fabric streamers bound in silk satin which flow …