All posts tagged: 1840s

Ball gown, 1839-1840, maker unknown. Gift of Mrs Whitehead, 1966. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa PC001362

Rate the Dress: Early Victorian neutrals

I’m very excited about this week’s Rate the Dress choice, because it’s a dress I’ve actually examined* in person.  It’s not often that I get to show one of those!  I may love it because I’ve seen it, but will you love it for what it looks like? Last week: a late 1910s Lucile dress Well, Lady Luck doesn’t wear green as far as Lucile is concerned, because a lot of you DID NOT like the dress – though the vivid green colour was one of the few elements that was almost universally popular. There were a few people who did like the dress for the overall impression it created, but for most of you, it just wasn’t working. The Total: 5.8 out of 10 Ouch.  Anything below a 6 is pretty unusually bad! This week: Last week’s Lucile dress may have been a little too heavy on the quirkiest details of 1910s fashions (though you may be surprised to find how many examples of dangling-bust-trim were made in the 1910s), so this week’s pick is …

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? …