All posts tagged: 1860s

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 …

Rate the Dress: Velvet & tassels

Last week I showed you a 1920s frock embroidered with poppies, cornflowers & wheat.  You almost universally agreed that my choice of hat improved the dress, mostly liked the embroidery, mostly liked the scallops, weren’t sure about the colour of the silk, and universally disliked the waist seam which interrupted the flow of embroidery.  So the ensemble received an 8 out of 10.    Pretty good, not fabulous. The dress did elicit much discussion over whether the poppies were a commentary on the recent war.  While I’d like the idea to be true, I suspect it’s too much of a modern take on it.  I have never found any period sources that suggest that wearing poppies was anything more than a fashion statement except on Poppy Day, any more than roses were a link to Alexandra Rose Day (which was also commemorated in NZ and other colonies in the 1920s), and I have found period sources that suggest it had nothing at all do do with commemoration, and was simply a fashion, so I’m not convinced. Even though …