All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Uber-lingerie frock by Lucile

With an impressive score of 9.3, last week’s Russian evening/court gown on Nadezhda Polovtseva continued our run of well-received Rate the Dresses. It came up in the comments, so I thought I’d reassure you that I’m really not trying to pick garments that I’m sure you’ll like!  My goal is always to choose something that I think it interesting and provides grounds for discussion, and (with a few exceptions) I can rarely predict how a garment will taken.  So let’s find out how this one does… I’ve been looking at lots of 1910s evening gowns for the construction of my Costume College Gala gown, so this week’s Rate the Dress is on-theme, with a confection by the queen of 1910s romantic froth: Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon. This dress is the ultimate mid-1910s iteration of a lingerie gown: a delicate lace frock which uses techniques borrowed from lingerie construction, like lace insertion, hemstitching, faggoting, layers of texture showing through sheer veiling, and dainty ribbon trimming. The overall effect is etherial, fragile, and utterly feminine, with a sweetness …

Rate the Dress: Nadezhda in old fashioned fringe

I never thought I’d see the day when a yellow 1820s frock would beat a blue 1910s one in rate the dress ratings, but last week’s historical+classical+paisley number far eclipsed the blue grecian from the week before, with a score of 9.1 out of 10 to the blue’s 8.7 out of 10 – and those last few decimal points to break the 9 point barrier are the hardest to earn! This week we’re borrowing the two elements that lost the most points for last week’s frock: the sleeves and hem ruffle, and seeing if they can win the day in a totally different frock. This early 1870s portrait shows Russian heiress Nadezhda Polovtseva in a luxurious evening dress (probably for a court occasion) with definite elements of historicism.  Her sleeves, like those of last week’s dress, have a Renaissance inspired ‘slashed’ effect, and her tabbed bodice looks back to the 17th and 18th centuries.  Her bustling and folding back of her train is also a nod to 17th and 18th century mantua and court trains, but …

Rate the Dress: A little bit of yellow, 1820

Last week’s vivid blue 1909ish Grecian inspiration frock did extremely well, but not quite as well as the green velvet 1710s number from the week before.  Too many of you didn’t love the trim (too heavy), or the fashion-forward tulle undersleeves (too quirky) or the pale guimpe and sleeves (which were pale because most guimpes and matching sleeves reference the idea of white chemises/undergarments peeking out and framing a coloured garment).  So, with a few points lost for details, the dress came in at a still extremely respectable 8.7 out of 10. It’s a lovely sunny (if chilly) day in Wellington today, and those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are in the middle of summer, so I thought a light, airy, sunshiny rate-the-dress was just the thing.  And yellow is such a nice balance to blue, so perhaps this will do just as well as last week’s dress! This frothy, airy concoction of a dress makes full use of John Heathcoates Old Loughborough machine for making cotton bobbin net, which he patented in 1809. …