All posts tagged: 1880s

Rate the dress: Mrs Wilton Phipps by Sargent

There were LOTS of opinions on last week’s gingham ballgown, most of them not complementary I’m afraid.  Some of you saw the humour and wit in dress, or appreciated the construction, some of you unabashedly loved everything about it, but it couldn’t bring the overall rating to more than a 3.6 out of 10. There is no clever reason why I picked this week’s Rate the Dress, other than that it is fascinating, and I mistakenly published it briefly last week (sorry about that!). Sargent painted Mrs Wilton Phipps in 1884 with a striking black and white striped waist cincher worn with a coordinating black and white striped bustle and black and white accessories. What do you think?  I can see all sorts of reasons to love this ensemble, but equally as many reasons to critique it.  It’s got black and white…but so many bows…and does that pastel dress really go…and is the pearl necklace combined with a velvet ribband really working…but OMG black and white striped corset!!!! Which will win out? Rate the Dress …

Rate the Dress: yellow and blue for a little girl

Whenever I post a late Renaissance/Elizabethan garment with a ruff, I know I’m running a risk.  Historically (as in, historically on this blog) ruffs have not been popular.  So I really wondered what you would make of Christina of Denmark (?) in her metal lace encrusted dress.  You have to admit, the look had a lot working against it: the terrible perspective issues of the painting, the ruff, the crazy upper-sleeves and even crazier lower sleeves.  And yet, you managed to look past the weird, crazy portrait, see the dress as it might have been in actual fabric on an actual person, and rated it a respectable (particularly for the era) out 7.3 of 10.  As Rowena said, it’s “the best Muppet costume I have ever seen.” This week we go from status and bling to sweetness with a little girl’s dress from the MFA Boston is made in the sweetest pastel yellow and blue taffeta. The colours remind me of a Beatrix Potter illustration, and the large pockets seem like a good idea for a …

Rate the Dress: Liberty of London Tea Gown

Dear Readers, I apologise that this dress is late.  It is late for the very best of reasons though: yesterday was my Afternoon Tea benefit talk for Save the Children at Premier House.  When that finished at 4, we had to get undressed, I had to grab a bite of dinner, and then at 6 I taught a Beginners Sewing class.  And I just may have been up into the wee smalls finishing things the night before.  Just maybe. So I’m a little bit tired, and went to bed early, and got up late, so the post is a bit late. Re: Last weeks 1930s dress on Myrna Loy.  The official rating is a 7.8 out of 10, but I really don’t think the dress deserves it, because most of you were too bored by it to vote (also it had waist ruffles (oops, did I just betray a prejudice!?)).  Those who really love 1930s weighed in, but there was a distinct lack of interest in the comments.  Alas, I have no way to calculate …