All posts tagged: 1890s

1890s dress

Rate the Dress: an 1890s dress in floral wool

Last week: Last week’s Doucet-does-Cubism ensemble brought a resounding affirmation of Doucet’s ability to adapt to the post-Edwardian fashion world.  The only major quibbles were whether the cape and beading added or detracted from the outfit.  Some of you were extremely pro cape, and thought it made the outfit.  Some of you were…not.  Same thing with the beading. The Total: 9.7 out of 10! No wonder so many of you have added it to your sewing inspiration list! This week: For this week’s Rate the Dress we’re going back to the 1890s, with this ca. 1893 dress in floral printed wool muslin: Muelle designed costumes for the Paris Opera, so it’s possible that this dress was a stage costume – though costumers also designed clothes, and major stars went to known couturiers (including last week’s Doucet, who designed for the Divine Sarah, among others) for their stage and everyday clothes. The dress, with asymmetrical draping pulled over a very fitted bodice, A-line skirt, and smocked sleeves, combines typical elements of 1890s fashion.  Combined with the …

Rate the Dress: Very pink Paquin

Last week’s purple & black 1860s dress received a rather lukewarm response, with few strong feelings in either direction – and not a single 10!  Almost unheard of! I think most of you felt the way I did: that while there was nothing to actually dislike about the dress, there was nothing much to make you really love it either.  So a 7.3 out of 10 is an unsurprising score. This ball gown by Jeanne Paquin, widely acknowledged as the first female couturier, features a striking chine a la branche taffeta in pink and ivory, with pink chiffon overlay and very puffy spotted lace sleeves.  Anne would love them – do you? The full skirt of the 1890s (another one that could be easily adapted from the Fantail skirt pattern) provides an excellent canvas for the unusual fabric, and only the bodice blooms with the exuberance of ornamentation so beloved by the late Victorians. There are lots of exciting and interesting things going on in the bodice and sleeves, but alas, the Met does not …

Rate the Dress: All-Black Aestheticism

Responses to last week’s russet & cream pleats and drapes ca. 1880 Rate the Dress took me more than a little by surprise, as I thought the dress was striking, beautifully and skilfully made, and profoundly, irredeemably, ugly.   My opinion was clearly not shared by the vast majority of you   (and that’s totally OK!) – as most of you adored it, bringing it in at a rosy 8.5 out of 10!  The joy and beauty of Rate the Dress – seeing the beauty of a garment you think is terrible through someone else’s eyes and perspective, and vice versa! This week, to avoid any clashing colours, I’ve chosen a dress in black on black, enlivened with embroidery, smocking, ruching, and delicate buttons.  This aesthetic style dress may have been for someone unconventional enough to adopt aesthetic dress, while conventional enough to adhere to mourning customs, or simply for someone who liked the colour, as black became increasingly fashionable in its own right at the end of the 19th century. This dress is a rather unusual choice for …