All posts tagged: 1860s

Dress, ca. 1865, Mme Marguerite, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.69.33.11a–f

Rate the Dress: party all day, party all night, 1865

For entry #2 in ‘Rate all the Party Dresses’, the historical version of that holiday classic, the ‘day to night dress’.  This frock would be equally at home at an afternoon reception, and an elegant evening soiree. Last week: an 1800s dress – and the shoes to match A lot of you did love last weeks frock, and its shoes, but it wasn’t quite as popular as the dress it followed.  It was just a tiny bit too dull (or high waisted, or filmy) for some of you – the curse of Regency evening dresses strikes again! The Total: 8.8 out of 10 Not that much of a curse though – still an eminently respectable rating! This week: an 1865 Robe à transformation This mid 1860s dress comes with both a day and evening bodice, to make best use of the huge amount of fabric required for the full skirt. This dress could also be used for day events, with undersleeves and a guimpe to fill the neckline – both of fabric as luxurious and delicate as …

Ball gown, probably American, ca 1860, silk, cotton, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983.479.1a–c

Rate the Dress: Pale Blue Paisley

Last week: a 1770s crewel embroidered Robe a la Française When this Française first made its debut on the internet it received nothing but rave reviews on every forum.  You’re a tough crowd though. Some of you gave it top marks for its uniqueness, but quite a few of you were not wowed.  You found it too costume-y, cartoon-y, clumsy, and Christmas-y (kaftan-y was a good thing though!). The Total: 7.7 out of 10 A polarising pick, with a meh result.  Will this week do better? This week: a pale blue paisley ca. 1860 ballgown Last week’s dress featured cypress. Cypress trees are an important symbol in Zoroastrianism, and often feature in the Zoroastrian art. They appear in Indian art after the Zoroastrian exodus to India after the rise of Islam in the Middle East, and are probably one of the motifs that led to the development of the boteh or paisley design. So it’s fitting (at least according to the logic of my brain) that this week’s Rate the Dress should feature paisley. This ca. …