All posts tagged: 1860s

Ball gown, Emile Pingat (French active-1860–96) ca. 1864, French, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art C.I.69.33.12a–c

Rate the Dress: An enormous Pingat ballgown

I enjoyed looking for examples of Pingat creations so much while writing my review of ‘My Official Wife’ that I had to choose one for today’s Rate the Dress.  To give a contrast to the ca. 1890s fashion of Savage’s novel, and the almost-modern dress Adrian dress from last week, I went with an 1860s ballgown big enough to smuggle an entire aviaries worth of budgerigars underneath. Last week: A cubist inspired Gilbert Adrian evening ensemble An interesting, but not surprising, mix of reactions to the Adrian dress.  I say not surprising, because I had a little spare time (for once!) when I wrote the rate the dress, and a made a list of predictions of what would be said – and you hit every one of them, from muddy colour complaints to notes of wrinkles (sans a comparison to mushrooms 😉 ).  And added the bit about it reminding you of Neapolitan ice cream. I’m glad I wasn’t quite alone in thinking that a bit of mint makes Neapolitan so much better. The Total: 7 …

First bustle era dress

Rate the Dress: Crinoline to First Bustle Era transitions

It’s Rate the Dress time!  Every week I post a historical garment, or a portrait, and we rate the garment in the context of it’s time.  This week’s pick is a 1868-70 dress that features the full skirts of the elliptical crinoline era, topped by the bustled skirts of the first bustle era. Last week: a Doucet evening dress in glittering gold organza: Last week’s gold evening gown proved that Doucet the Midas Touch when it comes to fashion, because you loved it.  No one was the least bit worried by the implied lingerie-ness of the dress.  It did lose a half point here or there for the extra back bows (you just can’t get behind those, can you?), and some of you thought there was a disconnect between the skirt and upper bodice.  Points were both gained and lost for fungus-y embroidery.  Mould that breaks the mould?  A few of you saw a face in the bodice, and took points off for that.  Apparently we like garments that have personality, not a personality! The …

Rate the Dress: a butterfly ballgown, ca 1865

Last week’s purple velvet aestheticism inspired reception gown / tea gown proved very popular, with many of you commenting that you loved it because you could actually imagine wearing it.  It did loose points for awkward lower-front rouching (which I hadn’t noticed and will now never be able to unsee!), and not everyone was on-board with the long train, all-over high-necked-with-velvet thing, or the Renaissance sleeves.  So, for lots of excitement with a few niggles, a still very regal score of 8.5 out of 10. Although no-one commented that last week’s gown made them feel hot as happened with the green velvet gown earlier this year, this week I chose a dress that seemed much more summery in theme: an 1860s ballgown of butterfly patterned chiné silk. Were it not for the striking butterfly patterned fabric this dress would never have made it as a Rate the Dress choice.  It’s almost completely devoid of ornamentation or design interest except for the tassel-trimmed sleeves, which would flutter and move with the dress, evoking wings, or delicate …