All posts tagged: 1870s

Rate the Dress: 1870s figure illusions

I missed Rate the Dress last week due to my brain switching into complete holiday mode, but at least I left you on a high note!  Peter de Kempeneers 16th century Italian noblewoman in blue-green was almost universally popular – but only almost, because there is always one or two who don’t like something!  Because of the only almost, our noblewoman came in at 8.3 out of 10. I’m feeling quite grey this week, so picked a dress to match: This circa 1880 evening dress from Czechia an unusual grey, and tonally, reminds me of the last Rate the Dress.  It features the (relatively) figure hugging natural form silhouette of the late 1870s and early 1880s.  The body conscious silhouette is emphasized by a curvaceous cream panel, beating 2011’s illusion dress trend by over a 130 years! Curve conscious it may be, but the curves are definitely Victorian: with full hips, and back emphasis that would have been supported by a small bustle. What do you think? Can grey be good? Rate the Dress on a …

Rate the Dress: 1871 butterflies & bows

For last week’s Rate the Dress I showed you menswear, and like most menswear Rate the Dresses, it wasn’t that popular in terms of votes and comments – it’s not that those that commented didn’t like it, just that very few of you commented.  I think we don’t really know what to do with menswear.  We’re so used to it being boring that super exciting and embellished historical examples are a bit weird and scary, and more restrained historical examples are, well, boring. The 1840s summer whites of last week straddled the line between weird and boring, but did it fairly well, so, despite slightly odd proportions, and an overall pyjama-y look, they managed a quite respectable 8 out of 10. I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted to show you this week, but every example I found was in white or ecru, and I thought that, as a contrast to last week, I should probably find something that was a colour. In the end, I’ve succeeded in finding an option that 1) …

Rate the Dress: Jules James Rougeron adds the finishing touches, 1877

Oh dearie me!  Last week I showed you a wedding dress in deep, rich aubergine, with a very assymetrical skirt that was dubbed: sloppy, saggy, limp, crushed, and like ‘stockings that got one leg twisted when you put them on’.  Poor bride!  Poor dress, and a very sad 5.5 out of 10. Some the criticism of the aubergine dress was of how limp and crumpled it looked, which is partly a product of time: you may have liked it a lot better had you seen it worn in the mid 1880s.  For this week’s Rate the Dress we’re going back just a couple of years and looking at a dress that is as fresh and crisp today as it was in 1877 – because it’s a painting. Jules James Rougeron (1841-1880) painted sweet, romantic genre scenes that met the popular taste for undemanding works that featured pretty women in pretty frocks. His works appealed to the same audience as his contemporary, Tissot, though Rougeron was, and is, less famous. In “Toilette” Rougeron depicts a fashionably dressed woman admiring …