All posts tagged: 1860s

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 …

Rate the Dress: 1860s embroidery & steel

Last week I showed you a late 17th century ‘seamstress’ in pink petticoat and golden brown mantua, her dress covered by her sewing apron.  Her sewing apron received a lot of flack for being so little, which I didn’t understand – it’s not like you really get dirty sewing!  You just want something big enough to have a few pockets to hold things and a place to catch any little threads you cut off! In addition to the apron, very few of you liked the colours, or the overall proportions, or the headgear, dragging the score down to 6.4 out of 10 One of the criticisms about the fashion plate was that you can’t see the details, so this week we’re looking at a dress that while simple in silhouette, is all about the details.  This dress from the Victoria & Albert Museum features black embroidery with geometric and floral motifs, highlighted with steel beading, and is further trimmed with black silk and steel beading. The silhouette of the dress is very typical of the …

Rate the Dress: 1860s florals

Last week I showed you an unknown Italian woman in pink and ivory with gold.  While late Renaissance fashions aren’t always the most popular, you felt that this was the best possible variant of the silhouette (though you were a bit squicked out as to the probable point of the portrait – to advertise the marriageability of the very young lady). (I’ll get the tallied score up shortly – I’m currently occupied cuddling Felicity, and I can’t add them up without kicking her off my lap 😉 UPDATE: And, now, the score!  Despite a few people who really didn’t like the dress (and possibly disliked it even more because everyone else loved it, because that’s how the human brain works ;-)), and a few high scores that I had to ignore because they were weird fractions (I’m sorry!  Please spare my poor brain and keep your ratings to whole or half scores!  Adding up gets far too complicated if I have to deal with 7.3 and 5.6s!)  our lady was pretty in pink with 8.7 out …