All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: 16th century splendour

Thank goodness for Rate the Dress!  It means that I have a definite excuse to focus entirely on historical fashions at least once a week! We were having such a good run on Rate the Dress: so many 8+ ratings in a row!  And then I posted the pink, pigeon breasted, ruffle-dy, smock-dy, totally over-the-top 1900s frock-dy last week.  Pop!  There went the high ratings bubble!  It wasn’t too terrible: there were a lot of 6s, and just enough 8s and 9s to bring it up to a nice, round 7 out of 10. For this week’s Rate the Dress, we’re looking at a period I’m not such an expert on, and going back to the mid 16th century, to a ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Peter de Kempeneer (Pedro Campaña).  Though de Kempeneer was Flemish, he mainly worked in Spain or Italy, and this portrait probably depicts a wealthy Italian noblewoman from Ferrara The sitters gown makes striking use of gold striping to emphasise the cut of the gown, and the fashionable features.  The stripes …

Rate the Dress: a garden-party gown, ca. 1905

Last week I presented a black and white trompe l’oeil 1860s summer frock, to mixed reviews.  The majority of you gave it very high ratings based on sheer cleverness, most of the rest thought it really good, but not quite resolved, but for a few of you, it really wasn’t doing it as a frock.  However, since only a sprinkling of the raters weren’t fans, it managed a rather nice 8.3 out of 10. I’m spending the week at the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, helping the museum identify and organise their textile collection (so far I have looked at all the doilies.  So many doilies…doyleys…d’oilies…d’oyleys…there are enough for dozens in every spelling!). In honour of my week, today’s Rate the Dress pick is an extravagant 1900s day dress that I could imagine being worn to Mansfield’s Garden Party. This pink ensemble is the height of turn-of-the-century exuberant frills and femininity: with lace, ruffles, flounces, and puffs from neck to hem. The hat appears to be a replica, but gives an idea of the sort …

Rate the Dress: Trompe L’oeil Summer Whites, ca 1866

Last week there were Arguments Over an Apron.  Did it’s fabulousness make the ensemble?  Or was it fabulous, but didn’t actually fit with the rest of the outfit?  Or, in its flimsiness, was it an insult to people who actually had to wear aprons to keep from really soiling their clothes?  If you were the first, you gave it an average of 9.5 out of 10, the second or the third, only a 7.  But the first far outweighted the second, bringing out lady in green and gold, complete with embroidered apron, in at a fabulous 9 out of 10. It’s actually, finally, getting properly warm down here in NZ, and I am looking forward to summer frocks.  This week’s Rate the Dress pick celebrates the warmer weather: This two piece ensemble is classic mid 1860s, and uses the typical flat braid or embroidery embellishment of the period in a particularly interesting way: to create two layers of trompe l’oeil overskirt, completed with turned back revers. What do you think?  Do you like the crisp black …