All posts tagged: 1860s

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. …

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 …