All posts tagged: 1870s

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 …

Rate the Dress: Nadezhda in old fashioned fringe

I never thought I’d see the day when a yellow 1820s frock would beat a blue 1910s one in rate the dress ratings, but last week’s historical+classical+paisley number far eclipsed the blue grecian from the week before, with a score of 9.1 out of 10 to the blue’s 8.7 out of 10 – and those last few decimal points to break the 9 point barrier are the hardest to earn! This week we’re borrowing the two elements that lost the most points for last week’s frock: the sleeves and hem ruffle, and seeing if they can win the day in a totally different frock. This early 1870s portrait shows Russian heiress Nadezhda Polovtseva in a luxurious evening dress (probably for a court occasion) with definite elements of historicism.  Her sleeves, like those of last week’s dress, have a Renaissance inspired ‘slashed’ effect, and her tabbed bodice looks back to the 17th and 18th centuries.  Her bustling and folding back of her train is also a nod to 17th and 18th century mantua and court trains, but …

Rate the Dress: 1870s Japonisme swags & sparkle

I truly never know what you will make of a dress!  I thought that last week’s sheer red aerophane number would be just too wacky.  The 1820s are such a wacky era to start with, and this was a particularly out-there example.  But, while it only managed one 10, the overall reaction was very enthusiastic.  A few of you couldn’t get past the part where our modern mind screams ‘but her undergarments are showing!’ (trust me, that’s not how it would have been seen in period – I think I’m clearly due up to do a whole post about that!), but despite that (I know, it is so hard to stop looking at things from a modern perspective, and try to imagine it in period, I catch myself doing it all the time – like the way I hate fringe 😉 ) it came in at an eminently respectable (heh heh) 7.8 out of 10. This week I’m staying within the same general colour scheme, and sticking to a fabric with a similar shot effect. …