All posts tagged: 1870s

Two piece reception or day dress said to have been worn by Empress Eugenie, silk taffeta and faille with ostrich feathers, 1876, Helen Larson Collection, sold by Whittaker Auctions

Rate the Dress: Fine Feathers for an Empress

This weekend I gave a talk on the ways in which the Pacific influenced Western fashion, including goods made from very Pacific birds: kiwi feather muffs, and bird of paradise bedecked hats. So I have feathers on my mind, and have picked a very feathery dress for this week’s Rate the Dress feature. Last week: a 1910s dress from a brides trousseau I don’t think anybody is going to be hugely surprised that last week’s frock was pretty popular. Sure, not everyone loved the muted colour, or the floral ribbon, and some of you thought it was almost boring in its tastefulness and elegance and general perfection, but only one person actually disliked it and rated it less than 8. The Total: 9.3 out of 10 Nice!   This week: an 1876 reception or day dress said to have been worn by Empress Eugenie  This feather bedecked dress is said to have been worn by Victorian fashion icon Empress Eugenie (in her post-Empress days). Eugenie was known for her excellent taste, which combined impeccable intuition of …

Rate the Dress: a very matching dinner dress

Set aside your sweatshirting, it’s silk time!  For this week’s Rate the Dress I’ve chosen a lavish, high-end dinner dress, complete with matching shoes. Last week: an 1840s dress in striped silk Quite a few of you liked the striped/plaid silk dress from last week, but more of you had reservations about it.  You felt that the silk was neither one thing nor another (not striped or plaid), and that the dress itself was not one thing or another – and was definitely in need of accessories to bring it to life. The Total: 7.2 out of 10 A neither here nor there, needs some trimming, kind of score. This week: an 1870s evening dress ensemble – complete with shoes This 1870s dinner ensemble comes complete with perfectly matching shoes, which come with their own quirky design feature: binding and lining in blue on one shoe, and gold on the other.  The detail would have been hidden under the wearers skirt most of the time: a secret for herself, and anyone lucky and observant enough …

Rate the Dress: Bright blue & burgundy 1870s

One of my favourite things about Rate the Dress is the way it encourages me to find thematic links between different eras, and garments that seem otherwise unrelated.  This week’s 1870s Rate the Dress keeps with the theme of buttons playing peek-a-boo amongst the layers, and adds in a bold and unusual colour scheme that Poiret would have definitely approved of. Last week: Poiret plays with buttons Last week you either liked/really didn’t like the button trim, and thought the back bow ruined/made the dress, and were completely enamoured/turned off by the scalloped hem, and loved/hated the chemise effect and chiffon sleeves.  If any element of the dress was someone’s favourite, it was also someone else’s least favourite! Except for all the ones that only had favourites, and the significantly smaller group that totally disliked it.  It was a bit of a marmite dress. The Total: 7.4 out of 10 A dress where the total really doesn’t reflect the majority of individual feelings: out of 37 ratings, only one was a 7.5! This week: Bright …