All posts tagged: 1860s

Rate the Dress: Trompe L’oeil Summer Whites, ca 1866

Last week there were Arguments Over an Apron.  Did it’s fabulousness make the ensemble?  Or was it fabulous, but didn’t actually fit with the rest of the outfit?  Or, in its flimsiness, was it an insult to people who actually had to wear aprons to keep from really soiling their clothes?  If you were the first, you gave it an average of 9.5 out of 10, the second or the third, only a 7.  But the first far outweighted the second, bringing out lady in green and gold, complete with embroidered apron, in at a fabulous 9 out of 10. It’s actually, finally, getting properly warm down here in NZ, and I am looking forward to summer frocks.  This week’s Rate the Dress pick celebrates the warmer weather: This two piece ensemble is classic mid 1860s, and uses the typical flat braid or embroidery embellishment of the period in a particularly interesting way: to create two layers of trompe l’oeil overskirt, completed with turned back revers. What do you think?  Do you like the crisp black …

Rate the Dress: 1860s florals and swags

I’ve been on a bit of a roll lately – two extremely popular Rate the Dresses in a row!  Last week’s Florentine noblewoman in green sailed in with a spectacular 9.3 out of 10, just missing out on pipping the princess from a fortnight before to the post – much to my disappointment, as I personally LOVE the green dress, and give it a perfect 10.  (actually, if we include my scores, the princess drops to 9.3 and this bumps up to 9.4 😉 ) Oddly enough, my favourite things about the painting – the reality of the partlet strings, and the faithfulness with which the artist rendered the sitters hands, rather than turning them into generic, idealised hands, were also the things it was most criticised for. This dress, from the (envy-inspiring) collection of Alexandre Vasilliev, would be a fairly unremarkable example of 1860s fashion, in a classic pairing of red and grey, were it not for the spectacular trompe-l’oeil floral and ribbon pattern bordering the skirt. The lush floral pattern, whether it is printed on …

Rate the Dress: green on green on green in the 1860s

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Please feel free to not like today’s selection, or any other garment that I present, but make sure that expressing your dislike doesn’t become an excuse to insult other people.  You can tear it to shreds sartorially speaking, but please take care that your comments do not attack any of the other commenters, and do not cast aspersions on any group that may choose such garments.  It’s fine to not like something, but make sure that you respect other people’s choice to feel differently. We’ve had some very amusing take-downs of garments over the years, and that’s not an issue (and even better, hilarious – the “I’m pretty sure that Worth’s cat stepped in a puddle of ink and walked across this sketch and then the seamstresses did their best to interpret those splodges as an actual design” is still my favourite), but lately there have been a lot of “Ugh, what sort of colour-blind cretin would like that?” comments (which you haven’t seen, because I’ve deleted them), and that is NOT OK. Right.  Last week.  Yellow …