All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: All-Black Aestheticism

Responses to last week’s russet & cream pleats and drapes ca. 1880 Rate the Dress took me more than a little by surprise, as I thought the dress was striking, beautifully and skilfully made, and profoundly, irredeemably, ugly.   My opinion was clearly not shared by the vast majority of you   (and that’s totally OK!) – as most of you adored it, bringing it in at a rosy 8.5 out of 10!  The joy and beauty of Rate the Dress – seeing the beauty of a garment you think is terrible through someone else’s eyes and perspective, and vice versa! This week, to avoid any clashing colours, I’ve chosen a dress in black on black, enlivened with embroidery, smocking, ruching, and delicate buttons.  This aesthetic style dress may have been for someone unconventional enough to adopt aesthetic dress, while conventional enough to adhere to mourning customs, or simply for someone who liked the colour, as black became increasingly fashionable in its own right at the end of the 19th century. This dress is a rather unusual choice for …

Rate the Dress: ca 1880s precision pleats & points

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a 1910s lingerie frock with lace and embroidery embellishments.  And well, a LOT of you didn’t like it.  You didn’t think the different shades of white worked together, nor did the different textures of lace and embroidery.  But those of you who did like it, loved it.  Almost 20% of the ratings were perfect 10s, which is pretty darn good (but there were also two 2s, which is really bad…)  So, with a lot of mixed feelings, the dress got a mixed rating of 7.1 out of 10. This ca. 1880s dress makes slight use of lace, in the form of a crisp lace jabot, which is echoed in colour and shape in the lace-like motifs of the trim (which may actually be lace – my very minimal Italian consists of knowing all the basic textile names, and google translate isn’t even that good, so all I could tell from the description was lace was mentioned a lot!) that frames the bodice and the tiers of the skirt. What do you …

Rate the Dress: a flower garden in white, ca 1910

Last week’s Rate the Dress was an extremely mauve 1860s extravaganza with gold straw embroidery.  Some things you all agreed on.  By and large, everyone was very impressed by the straw embroidery, but not everyone liked the way it worked with the mauve, or the combination of motifs in the embroidery.  Some things split you into two groups.  Generally you were either very pro-bow, or very anti-bow when it came to the evening bodice, and very pro-mauve, or anti-mauve when it came to the colour.  The trickiest thing divided you into more opinions than I could count.  Was the day bodice cut for a fuller figure, or for a fashionably shapeless silhouette? (I lean towards the former, because as a dressmaker, I don’t think you could get the shape to stay without a body’s curves under it to support it).  And, whichever you believed, was the shape a nice change, or frumpy? The shape was very tricky indeed, because it brought up the issue of body shapes, and how we talk about them.  In Rate …