All posts tagged: 1780s

George Romney Mrs. Billington as Saint Cecilia, 1787

What do you wear under a chemise a la reine? 2.0

Five years ago I wrote a post about chemise a la reine (also known as gaulle) dresses, and what was worn under them based on how they are depicted in paintings of the 1780s & 90s. Unfortunately that post is one of the ones that has fallen victim to the Photobucket 3rd party hosting debacle, so I pulled it.  I’ve had quite a few requests for it since.  I decided that as long as I was going to go to the effort of finding and replacing all my images, I should update the entire post.  I’ve learned a lot about chemise  and 18th century undergarments since I originally wrote the post – hopefully I can make more educated guesses.  However, the 18th century is still not my area of study and expertise, so my guesses are  just that, and not an expert opinion.  I’ve posted them to give people food for thought, and a jumping off point for more research of their own. So what was worn under a chemise a la reine?  Obviously you’d …

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. UPDATE: a historical costumer involved in the exhibition of this dress at the Palais Galleria informs me that it has NO provenance Madame Elisabeth. I’m leaving the blog post mostly as it was, so as not to sweep the mistake under the rug and cause confusion.  I’ll remove any reference to Madame Elisabeth in …

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 …