All posts tagged: 1950s

Rate the Dress: mid-century ‘Drumbeats’

Well, last week’s dress was proof that not everything Worth did was perfection.  Due to a bit of un-subtle trimming, the dress had to bow out of the top ranks (pun totally intended) with a paltry 6.4 out of 10 – low by any standard, and terrible by the standard of Worth garments featured in Rate the Dress. I just can’t keep track of the day/time differences between NZ and CA, and when I’m supposed to  do Rate the Dress, so once again you’re getting it a little late.  Next week should be right on time though – I’ll be back home (yay! and sniff at the same time) This week’s Rate the Dress is California inspired – and what could be more California than a mid-century playsuit by a Los Angeles designers collaborating with Jantzen, now in the collection of LACMA? While the artist is Californian, the inspiration for this playsuit’s design comes from much further afield, with motifs probably taken from African textiles, and a name that reflects the mid-century obsession with all things …

Rate the Dress: Adrian does daily life

Last week I showed you Emily Warren Roebling in her court gown – as a painting, a photograph, and the extent gown.  Most of you appreciated being able to compare all possible versions of the dress, though that actually ended up dragging ratings down a bit, as each version showed you something you wished wasn’t so obvious in another.  It also made things a little hard for me, as some of you rated each different version, and I had to figure out what rating to take.  Overall, Emily came it at 8.9 out of 10, with kudos for balancing event appropriate fashions, her age, and the wacky factor of court dress. This week we’re toning down the formality, and cranking up the unconventional factor.  Gilbert Adrian was primarily a costume designer, responsible for some of the most iconic costumes of the ’30s & ’40s, and for creating the classic broad-shouldered, slim-hipped ‘Adrian line’ silhouette.  In addition to film costumes, Adrian designed ready to wear garments, though they often had a slightly theatrical twist, as with this dress: Without …

Rate the Dress: ’50s nautical Norell dress-off

Last week I posted an 1860s seaside frock in one of my (many) favourite colour combinations: white, yellow and aqua.  Alas, the colours, combined with the waistless bodice (so characteristic of 1860s outerwear, but so anathemic to modern aesthetics) elaborate scallops, and long tails with pom-poms had you calling ‘circus marquee’.  The circus left town with a disappointing 5.8 out of 10. Intriguingly, of all the votes, only one of you gave it a x.5 score  – I guess you all had solid feelings about it! Today’s Rate the Dress has a twist.  I’m not just showing you a dress to rate: I’m showing you two dresses with the same theme, by the same designer, but with quite different silhouettes, for a Rate the Dress-Off. You’ll rate both dresses, and we’ll see how the overall look comes off, plus which dress you prefer. First, a sleek shift dress, with Norell’s classic sailor collar, red silk tie, halter back and blue trim: Then a full skirted sun-frock, with exactly the same bodice, but a gathered dirndle skirt …