All posts tagged: 18th century

Rate the Dress: a dress fit for a duchess?

You didn’t quite warm up to last week’s blonde silk Lanvin frock, declaring it underdeveloped in design an execution, and it came in at a paltry 5.9 out of 10 – quite poor for Lanvin! Since not-quite-yellow designer wasn’t your thing, this week I present a properly yellow frock, purportedly from the wardrobe of a duchess. This robe a la francaise of brocaded silk is came from the wardrobe of ‘Lydia Catharine, Duchess of Chandos (m. 1736)’, the third wife of James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. The gown shows evidence of re-styling common in mid-18th c gowns, as fabric was so valuable that even the wealthiest women often had their frocks re-made to match the current fashions. Lydia died in 1750, so the re-style would have been done by the next owner of the dress. I’m being fanciful here, but I’d like to believe the next owner might have been the 2nd wife of Henry, the 2nd Duke of Chandos.   Anne (d. 1759), a former chambermaid married Henry in 1744 (coincidentally, only 4 months after the death …

Rate the Dress: Princess worthy summer whites?

Last week I showed you a very brief (from a historical perspective) 1920s Jean Patou dress with heavy beading and a bit of an Egyptian twist.  You generally agreed that the mannequin wasn’t doing the dress many favours, but after that your opinions diverged: some of you thought it would have been so much better in bolder colours, some of you though that the restrained colour scheme was all that kept it from being garish; some of you though the dark beads were off, some thought it was exactly what the dress needed.  Most of you thought that it was complete perfection, and the dress came in at 8.9 out of 10, just a hairs breath away from making a perfect 9. This week, let’s move from silk to cotton, and from beading to embroidery, for a dress that sounds much simpler, but has an even more illustrious pedigree, as it is said to have belonged to Madame Élisabeth, younger sister of Louis XVI. This ensemble is an excellent example of the transitional styles of the …

Rate the Dress: Emperor Yellow

I do apologise!  Yesterday was Wellington Anniversary Day, which made it a public holiday in the Wellington region.  I was so busy painting and photoshooting and going on walks with Mr D and having such a typical weekend day that I entirely forgot that it was Monday, and didn’t finish my Rate the Dress post. Last week I showed you a WWI era dress in muted stripes, with quirky tassels & buttons.   Alas, Kathryn was the only one to my private opinion that the buttons are just the bit of unexpected not-matchiness that the dress needed: most of the rest of you took points off for the buttons not matching, or simply for the buttons overall.  While there were a few scores in the middle, in general it was quite a divisive dress: you either really loved it, or really didn’t (and one of the middle scores was from Hana, who loved the front and hated the back – those buttons! 😉 ) So the dress came in at a perfectly round 8.0 out 10. …