All posts tagged: 1900s

Rate the Dress: a garden-party gown, ca. 1905

Last week I presented a black and white trompe l’oeil 1860s summer frock, to mixed reviews.  The majority of you gave it very high ratings based on sheer cleverness, most of the rest thought it really good, but not quite resolved, but for a few of you, it really wasn’t doing it as a frock.  However, since only a sprinkling of the raters weren’t fans, it managed a rather nice 8.3 out of 10. I’m spending the week at the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, helping the museum identify and organise their textile collection (so far I have looked at all the doilies.  So many doilies…doyleys…d’oilies…d’oyleys…there are enough for dozens in every spelling!). In honour of my week, today’s Rate the Dress pick is an extravagant 1900s day dress that I could imagine being worn to Mansfield’s Garden Party. This pink ensemble is the height of turn-of-the-century exuberant frills and femininity: with lace, ruffles, flounces, and puffs from neck to hem. The hat appears to be a replica, but gives an idea of the sort …

Rate the Dress: a touch of green velvet, 1902

Last week I showed you a half length portrait of Anna Caffarelli Minutiba, ca 1676.  The overall reception was quite warm, but it lost a point or two here and there because some of you found the lace just a bit big, the contrast between it and the yellow just a bit stark, or the string bows just a bit odd.  Still, 8.6 out of 10 is an eminently respectable, if not absolutely fabulous rating! This week I’m carrying on the lace them from last week, with a dress that incorporates spectacular  cutwork lace worked into the dress fabric. I’ve used the term spectacular because I’m sure we can all agree that the workmanship of the lace, at the very least, is spectacular, even if you don’t find the overall effect quite to your taste. The dove grey colour, combined with darker greys, whites and ecru, are all typical of the soft, muted, hues favoured in the first decade of the 20th century, and the way multiple accent colours were often combined in one garment. What sets this …

Rate the Dress: subtle and sparkly 1908

There has been no Rate the Dress for the last two weeks, because I was focusing on the Fortnight in 1916, but it’s back!  Last time I did a Rate the Dress I showed two things that have not, in the past, done very well on RTD: childrenswear, and blue-green combinations.  In this case though, reactions ranged from a sprinkling of ‘it’s a nice dress, not fabulous, but I shall give it a 7’ to a LOT of ‘I want to make it!  Love!’ 10s.  Big pockets and historicism for the win!  It came in at a perfect 9 out of 10. The last couple of weeks have been very stressful for me, for reasons that had nothing to do with the Fortnight, so I’m feeling the need for something soothing and restful in the way of frocks.  While I would never say ‘oooh, that colour is amazing!’ about a length of fabric the shade of this dress, I find looking at it very relaxing and soothing. For me, it’s a shade that’s very appealing …