All posts tagged: 18th century

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. …

HSM16 #1: The chiné a la b’retch petticoat

Have you ever been obsessed with a period garment made from very unusual fabric, and, of course, you’re heartbroken, because you think you’ll never have the chance to recreate it, because where would you get that fabric? That was me with 18th century chiné a la branche. I’ve loved ikat in all its forms since I was given a hand-woven ikat skirt when I first started sewing, but chiné is definitely my favourite. But so hard to find! And then, three years ago, ikat became fashionable, and Wellington’s The Fabric Store started having the occasional bolt of silk or silk blend chiné.  Oh, the temptation!  But none of it was quite right : wrong blend, very modern pattern, colours that are only achievable with modern dyes, etc. And then, they had a short bolt of this: Oooh! So I snapped up everything they had, which was only 2.3m.  I really wanted to make a française, but at least I had a bit, so could do a pet en l’aire if nothing else. The idea of a …

Rate the Dress: A man in stripes, spots, lattice & lace

Last week I showed you a Gilbert Adrian dress with a simple silhouette and a muted photographic print of bread and milk.  Alas, quite a few of you found the colours, silhouette, and print a total dud, dragging the rating down to a disappointing 6.5 out of 10. I think the dress lost a lot in the translation of time: for us, photographic fabric prints are common, and thus uninteresting, an the use of mundane images on fabric has been done multiple times.  In 1951 photographic printing on fabric was groundbreaking, and pop art was still half a decade away.  While novelty print fabrics featuring food and kitchen tools were very popular, Adrian’s use of an everyday scene in muted colours turns both the novelty trope and the classical tradition of still-lifes on its head.  (Obviously I thought the dress was incredibly clever, subtle and bold, both less and more in exactly the right ways.  On a tall, slightly curvy woman with Hepburn-esque colouring and attitude?  Oh my!  It would make every other woman at the afternoon …