All posts tagged: 1780s

Rate the Dress: Princess worthy summer whites?

Last week I showed you a very brief (from a historical perspective) 1920s Jean Patou dress with heavy beading and a bit of an Egyptian twist.  You generally agreed that the mannequin wasn’t doing the dress many favours, but after that your opinions diverged: some of you thought it would have been so much better in bolder colours, some of you though that the restrained colour scheme was all that kept it from being garish; some of you though the dark beads were off, some thought it was exactly what the dress needed.  Most of you thought that it was complete perfection, and the dress came in at 8.9 out of 10, just a hairs breath away from making a perfect 9. This week, let’s move from silk to cotton, and from beading to embroidery, for a dress that sounds much simpler, but has an even more illustrious pedigree, as it is said to have belonged to Madame Élisabeth, younger sister of Louis XVI. This ensemble is an excellent example of the transitional styles of the …

Rate the Dress: Dudes dress-off

WOW!  Such consistent ratings for the red-velvet-and-chains 1880s dress last week!  8-10 across the board!  I don’t think we’ve EVER had a Rate the Dress before (exempting, of course, the one and only 10/10) where everyone concurred so wholeheartedly on a frock.  The final tally was 9.3/10, for being unusual, striking, and restrained in the face of overwhelming temptation to just be…overwhelming. It’s feeling very spring-y here in Wellington.  The kowhai are in full flame of glowing golden yellow, my freesias and irises are blooming, and the promise of summer is in the air.  It’s also been a few Rate-the-Dresses since I’ve posted a Dress-Off, where you compare two garments on a similar theme, and rate each of them.  So this week’s Rate the Dress will be a spring-themed Dress-OFF. For your sartorial judgement, I present a spring-green gentleman’s suit from the end of the 18th century. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art gives us two views of this ensemble.  First, an elegantly sober variant, with matching pale green coat, waistcoat and breeches: Version …

The unseen accessory: my 1780 bum-rump

When I originally planned the ‘Accessorise’ challenge for the Historical Sew-Fortnightly I envisioned all the things that qualified for it as being things worn on the outside of an outfit: shoes, gloves, parasols, jewellery, headgear. Then, when I planned a photoshoot with one fully accessorised outfit, I realised that sometimes an outfit doesn’t look right without an un-seen accessory. Silk stockings, a bergere hat, a parasol and the right shoes all brought my pet-en-l’aire outfit together, but the ensemble just looked a little flat and deflated without one last accessory. Enter my bum-rump. Yep.  Without it my ass just wouldn’t look big in this. I based my bum-rump on Kendra’s excellent research into skirt supports in the late 18th century and this caricature of the ‘Bum Shop’: I went for the shape shown on the lady in the far right, only I assumed (this being a cartoon) that the original it was based on would be a bit more…restrained. I liked the shape of this bum-rump best of all the ones that Kendra trialled, and felt …