All posts tagged: 1850s

Rate the dress: 1850s rainbow striped fringe

Last week I showed you Liotard’s mid-18th century ‘up-market shop girl’ as Lynne aptly identified her.  La Belle Chocolatière’s rust and grey-blue outfit was deemed equally beautiful – of only she hadn’t tried to pair it with a pink hat.  This dropped the rating from a perfect 10 down to a round 9 – still exceptional. I feel that I’ve shown too many muted, colourless dresses lately.  To remedy that, rather than showing you something black and white and stripey for the HSF Stripes challenge, here is something colourful and rainbow-stripey, with horizontal stripes and vertical striped fringing. What do you think?  Too much?  Does it look a little too much like a cupcake, or is it a fun twist on the usual floral, lacey 1850s evening gown? Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

The Raspberry Swirl at tea

I loved the chance to get the Raspberry Swirl out for the Afternoon Tea talk at Premier House.  It’s had so few proper outings, and I still can’t decide if the evening bodice is actually ‘finished’ or not. Does it need a bertha?  I’m beginning to think not.  As a cotton dress, an evening bodice is never going to be properly historical, and there are examples of plain evening bodices, sans berthas and much in the way of trimming, in the 1850s. So then all I really need to do is actually make the day bodice that was always meant to go with this skirt! Some of you may be wondering what a paisley evening gown has to do with afternoon tea.  It gave me a chance to talk about the continued links between England and India, and the cultural cross-pollination that characterised Victorian England. It also gave me a chance to talk about the re-thinking of manners and mores in the mid-19th century.  In the 1850s Queen Victoria attended official day events in evening …

Rate the dress: a paisley dressing gown of 1855

Last week you were divided on Anne Miller’s dance routine frock from Easter Parade.  Did you rate it as a dance dress?  As a pretend historic costume?  Most of you loved the stockings, but the reaction to the rest was mixed, balancing out at an unimpressive 5.9 out of 10.  Poor Anne. I usually present outerwear as Rate the Dress options, but since you loved Anne’s stockings so much, it occurred to me, why not present underwear?  Or at least informal wear?  And someone requested an autumn themed Rate the Dress (since it is autumn in NZ), and what is more snuggly and fall-y than a warm, cozy robe for curling up in in front of the fire with an apple and a good book? Something like this perhaps? This cosy wool wrapper from the MFA Boston features warm colours and a paisley inspired pattern.  It may or may not be made from a cheaper Western replica of a Kashmiri shawl.  It’s even paired with paisley embroidered petticoats. Here is a detail of the pattern: …