All posts tagged: 1890s

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 …

Rate the Dress: a belle in bows, 1898-1900

Oh dear…last week’s late 1860s Rate the Dress… OK, some of you did like it!  But it came in for some harsh criticism, and some pretty bad analogies: tongues, teeth & Daleks for starts!  And even most of you who did like it liked it in spite of itself.  Kit promised to “enter therapy and bind 40 half ovals as a penance” for her high score.  I’m kind of in the same boat.  I know it was awful, and yet, I felt it could have been really effective on the right person – if it only weren’t for the mess happening at the bottom of the bodice.  I can forgive ugly (as long as it’s effective) but I can’t forgive bad construction, so my rating would only have been a 5 – lower than your average score, which was just a tiny bit below the average of 5.9 out of 10 that it came out at. I’ve kept within the same colour scheme this week: black and ivory, with just a touch of another colour. …