All posts tagged: 1900s

Dinner dress, 1910–12, American, silk, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1303

Rate the Dress: Ring a Ring o Roses

This week’s Rate the Dress moves from orderly paisley, to a more unruly pattern that mixes shapes, textures and floral types with wild abandon.  Will asymmetry, fringe, and wreaths of roses over orchid lei beat out last week’s rating? Last week: a green paisley 1850s dress   Last week’s 1850s frock made some of you remember how disappointed you were to discover that adult life involved far too few balls (after all, what’s the point of being an adult if not tea parties and balls?), and made others think of their least favourite salad greens and dressing combination (as a farmer’s daughter, I’m very alarmed if you’re buying lettuce in that shade of green, but I have no quibble with anyone who wants to claim that mayonnaise is revolting, particularly as a salad dressing). The Total: 8.1 out of 10 Well, it definitely beat the bustle dress of the week before! This week: I’m keeping with the feminine, romantic feel of last weeks dress, but in a very different era, and with a gold tinged …

Mansfield & the Modern Woman thedreamstress.com

Mansfield & the Modern Woman

My talk on Katherine Mansfield, the New Zealand Suffrage movement, and the changing roles of women in the late 19th and early 20th century was last weekend at the NZ Portrait Gallery. It went off beautifully, thanks to assistance from students from Toi Whakaari The New Zealand Drama School, who modelled and assisted as dressers. The talk coincided with the exhibition: Katherine Mansfield: A Portrait, which includes depictions of Mansfield by various artists, from the famous Anne Estelle Rice portrait, to more modern interpretations of Mansfield. They art provided an interesting counterpoint to the models in their outfit.  The costumes illustrate the development of more modern ideals and roles for women in fashion, and the different facets of the ‘modern woman’ that emerged in Mansfield’s lifetime.  The artworks show the different ways in which people view and interpret Mansfield: the facets of her personality. After the talk the models enjoyed the other, equally appropriate exhibition, Worn Identities: And the bookstore: And then we moved out to the waterfront for photos: (it is a truth universally …

Terminology: what is a lingerie dress or lingerie frock? (and blouse, and skirt)

Tea Gowns vs. Lingerie Dresses Start searching for the ubiquitous Edwardian white cotton & lace dresses online, and you’ll quickly find a name for them: tea gowns.  There are hundreds on etsy by that name.  Vintage Textile uses the term.  Augusta Auctions sells them in lots of three in every sale that includes 1900s garments. Those are NOT tea gowns (well, more precisely, they were never called tea gowns in any era in which this style of dress was fashionable).  Or tea dresses. Tea gowns is a specific period term that refers to a a totally different kind of garment.  This is a tea gown: As is this: And this. Note how different those examples are from the ones on all the sales sites?  That’s because they are totally different styles of garment. Tea gowns were made of rich, heavy fabrics, often in colours, and usually featured elaborate, trailing sleeves.  You can read more about them here. In contrast, the dresses called tea gowns by modern sellers are made in very lightweight, delicate fabrics, almost …