All posts tagged: 1860s

Rate the Dress: an interesting take on late 1860s

Guess who forgot to do Rate the Dress last night?  Yep, me.  In my defence, it was a public holiday in Wellington, and my brain got stuck on Sunday mode. So, a few hours late, but here you go! The overall consensus on Vionnet’s green harlequin dress was that it, like everything Vionnet made, was practically perfect in every way.  It got very hard to keep track of the ratings, there were so many 10s in a row!  The neckline treatment, and alternating grainlines, came in for particular praise.  But a few of you couldn’t get Robin Hood out of your brain, and others assumed it was as simple as it looks (!), pulling the rating down to an exceptional, but not quite perfect, 9.2 out of 10. As a follow up to Vionnet’s diamonds and simplicity, this weeks Rate the Dress is an elaborate late 1860s confection featuring as at least as many half-oval scallops as Vionnet’s dress featured diamonds. The dress silhouette shows the transition from the late 1860s full elliptical crinoline, to …

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 …