All posts tagged: 1840s

ca 1845 ball gown, 1840s evening gown

Rate the Dress: a ca 1845 ball gown with an unusual note

I think I may have slightly cheated with last week’s 1900s blue silk Rate the Dress.  Apparently I described it so thoroughly, and detailed all it’s good points so eloquently, that I convinced some of you to like it even if you might not have otherwise. I definitely enjoyed writing about the dress, but I wasn’t consciously trying to make you like it.  Ironically, I only think it’s OK!  It definitely doesn’t make my heart go pitter-patter as a whole.  It did make (almost all) of your hearts go pitter-pattern though – or, more accurately, skip a beat.  Claire dubbed it the swoon dress! The total: 9.3 out of 10 This week: a ca. 1845 ball gown   For this week’s rate the dress I’ve chosen a ca 1845 ball gown in classic white. “Oh no, not another one of those!” might well be your instant reaction.  After all, aren’t all 1845 ball gowns much the same?  Yes, maybe… However I think this one has enough interesting design details to merit your consideration. And that’s …

Dress of green changeable silk, 1840s, sold at Augusta Auctions in the Tasha Tudor Historic Costume Collection Sale, Nov 2007

Rate the Dress: Vivid green 1840s

It’s that time again: our weekly look at an example of historical fashion, where we discuss its aesthetic merits within the context of its time. Last week’s discussion around a gold lace 1920s dress got very…weird.  Comments mainly centred (ha ha) around how the hip-level centre-front blue-silk bow would have been perceived in the 1920s.  Was it completely innocent, or a very risqué fig leaf?  (I’m on team ‘innocent within the context of its time’.  After all, we live in a time where you can put a vertical seam with ruching right under a woman’s bottom, specifically to highlight said bottom, on a wedding dress, and no-one makes comments about poop!). Fig-leaf analogies I expected, but then Daniel said it made him think of something utterly repulsive – so naturally my Rate-the-Dress reading friend group has been wracking our combined and considerable imaginations for the last week to figure out what it might be (we’ve kept the discussion off the blog, in the interests of good taste), and we’ve come up completely blank (thank goodness? …

Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, Baroness Burdett-Coutts, ca. 1840, NPG, detail

Rate the Dress: the Philanthropist in Plaid

Last week’s peach-on-peach 1914 evening dress earned its rating almost entirely on how much you liked said shade.  If it was too much overtones of 1980s bridesmaids dresses – not so much!  I was highly entertained by the wildly varying opinions and some of the descriptions (peach flavoured onion!).  Alas, for something so entertaining, it came in with a rather nondescript rating of 7.3 out of 10.  The lowest in a long while, but far higher than some of the lowest scores. This week let us turn from soft peachy pink, to crisp black and white, as we look at philanthropist, heiress, art collector, honourary beekeeper and goat aficionado, Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Coutts. Angela’s life is remarkable; from inheriting one of the largest fortunes in England (though I’ve always wondered how her four older sisters felt about being left out of it); to using it for a huge range of Very Good Things (many quite unusual and advanced for a lady of her era); to proposing to the  45-years-her-senior Duke of Wellington, fending off …