All posts tagged: 1880s

Rate the Dress: An Empress in Tiers, 1886

The rate the dress of 7 days ago was a vivid green 1910s number, with black lace over-tunic, paired with a belt that, as it turns out, didn’t necessarily belong to the dress, and inexplicable modern necklace.  Whether you liked it or not hinged on how you felt about the colour (deliciously vivid vs. gaudy), and your attitude towards the white neckline filler (refreshing vs. abrupt).  Despite a few people who really weren’t fond of the colour or silhouette (or very obvious hem), it came in at a quite pleasing 8.2 out of 10.  Very nice! This week, we’re going from bold green to soft pastels paired with dark neutrals, but keeping with the theme of lace overlays, albeit in a very different mood. This mid-1880s dress with unusual asymmetrically tiered skirt comes from the wardrobe of the Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (aka Dagmar of Denmark, aka Princess Alexandra’s little sister).  You’ve rated Maria Feodorovna here on Rate the Dress before, and this dress seems in keeping with her taste as demonstrated in other paintings and …

Rate the Dress: a paisley tea gown

Last week’s rate the dress was a probably-by Callot Soeurs gown in what-do-we-call-this-bronze-blush-champagne with intricate embroidery.  A few people weren’t so enthusiastic, but most of you loved the dress – so much so it’s going to get a bit polygamous, because a number of us are in line to marry it.  (me too!).  The final rating was 9.3 out of 10. I’m currently obsessing over paisley, because I’m giving a talk on Paisley at CoCo, so this week’s Rate the Dress is on-theme.  In fact, it manages to combine paisley with another one of my obsessions: tea gowns. This tea gown is an example of a mid-century paisley shawl which has been re-made into a fitted garment.  This practice was very common from the late 1870s onwards, as shawls fell out of fashion as bustles came in, but the actual shawl fabric was still valued. Though paisley shawls of the 1860s were ENORMOUS, they still don’t contain enough fabric to make a full trained tea gown, so the dressmaker has combined the wool shawl with …

Rate the Dress: Blue & Green should never be seen?

Last week’s Rate the Dress was an 1830s dress in red, and while it got a few mark downs simply for being from the 1830s (sigh) most of you thought the combination of the colour and trim was fabulous, so while a few very low scores dragged it down, it still managed an 8.3 out of 10. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any children’s wear, and while that’s always a slightly risky proposition, ideals of how we dress and present children having changed a great deal over the centuries, I’m feeling daring this week.  Maybe last week’s red dress has rubbed off on me. This mid 1880s ensemble for a young girl features a blue and white brocaded silk paired with a teal green taffeta, blithely ignoring the old saying about never pairing blue and green in dress.  The cut of the dress takes into account the young wearer: the simple silhouette would allow more ease of movement than one with a fitted waist, and would allow longer wear for a growing girl. …