All posts tagged: 1880s

Rate the dress: married in purple poppies in the 1880s

Last week I showed a 1910s dress featuring draping in robin’s egg blue brocade and white lace.  Some of you loved it, only one of you hated it, and most of you found the fabric divine, but felt that the fabric handling was just a bit beyond the skill of the dressmaker, and the whole effect left the dress feeling unresolved and quite provincial. It came in at a 6.9 out of 10, which is basically the Rate the Dress equivalent of saying “Well, good on you for trying”.  (and also, someone noticed that the skirt slit means it should be added to the infamous Rate the Dress gallery of ‘dresses-that-look-disturbingly-anatomical-from-certain-angles (and ones by Charles James that look purposefully and unabashedly anatomical from all angles)’ ) This week I present another dress that features asymmetrical skirt draping, though this wedding dress, from an era when white was slightly less ubiquitous as a bridal colour, executes them in perfectly matched aubergine satin and damask, with taffeta ribbons and dark lace in complementary hues, rather than contrasting brocading and lace. …

Rate the Dress: Restrained florals and bows in 1888

Last week I showed you an 1820s fashion plate featuring a the epitome of youth and sweetness in ballgown form.  Combined with the model’s expression, I call it the ‘Someday my Prince will come’ dress.  There were the usual complaints about not liking to rate fashion plates because they aren’t fully developed dresses.  I think makes fashion even more rateable, because we get to see the idea of a fashion at its most extreme and pristine, rather than a fashion adulterated by the skill of the seamstress, the preferences and body shape of the wearer, and the ravages of time.  (So no, I’m not going to stop showing fashion plates, and please humour me and either rate them or just keep quiet about it).  And it was certainly interesting to see the interpretations of the dress depending on exactly what fabric you imagined it in – and the comparisons to extant gowns of similar fabric and trims.  A most fascinating discussion! Overall, while a few of you really liked the dress for its iconically 1820s features, the …

Rate the Dress: Walking in blue, ca 1884

Last week I showed you a forward thinking and backwards looking tea gown.  It was quite a divisive garment.  Some of you appreciated the way the flowing fit would flatter a fuller figure, but others found the design confusing and unresolved, or disliked the colour.  It got a lot of very high scores, and a lot of very low scores, evening out at 7 out of 10.  I suspect it might have rated higher if we could have seen it on a mannequin that was really the shape of the original wearer. This week we’re sticking with the theme of slightly alternative fashions, with an 1880s walking dress with a bit of inspiration from the Aesthetic movement. This dress intrigues me because it almost looks like the mythical Regency dress-made-from-a-sari, only 70 years late.  The metallic trim around the hems works with the cobalt blue to give the dress a slightly exotic feel.  The trim is so unusual for a garment like a walking dress of this period, that I’m almost inclined to think it’s a …