All posts tagged: 19th Century

Rate the Dress: Velvet & tassels

Last week I showed you a 1920s frock embroidered with poppies, cornflowers & wheat.  You almost universally agreed that my choice of hat improved the dress, mostly liked the embroidery, mostly liked the scallops, weren’t sure about the colour of the silk, and universally disliked the waist seam which interrupted the flow of embroidery.  So the ensemble received an 8 out of 10.    Pretty good, not fabulous. The dress did elicit much discussion over whether the poppies were a commentary on the recent war.  While I’d like the idea to be true, I suspect it’s too much of a modern take on it.  I have never found any period sources that suggest that wearing poppies was anything more than a fashion statement except on Poppy Day, any more than roses were a link to Alexandra Rose Day (which was also commemorated in NZ and other colonies in the 1920s), and I have found period sources that suggest it had nothing at all do do with commemoration, and was simply a fashion, so I’m not convinced. Even though …

Rate the Dress: Walking in blue, ca 1884

Last week I showed you a forward thinking and backwards looking tea gown.  It was quite a divisive garment.  Some of you appreciated the way the flowing fit would flatter a fuller figure, but others found the design confusing and unresolved, or disliked the colour.  It got a lot of very high scores, and a lot of very low scores, evening out at 7 out of 10.  I suspect it might have rated higher if we could have seen it on a mannequin that was really the shape of the original wearer. This week we’re sticking with the theme of slightly alternative fashions, with an 1880s walking dress with a bit of inspiration from the Aesthetic movement. This dress intrigues me because it almost looks like the mythical Regency dress-made-from-a-sari, only 70 years late.  The metallic trim around the hems works with the cobalt blue to give the dress a slightly exotic feel.  The trim is so unusual for a garment like a walking dress of this period, that I’m almost inclined to think it’s a …

Rate the dress: 1880s 18th century remake

Last week I showed you a blue-green & black 1860s dress with embroidered embellishments & a dash of Renaissance inspired historicism.  Your overall reaction to the dress was pretty positive – the vast majority of you either loved it, or felt that it was rescued from the potentially deadly frumpyness so common in 1860s dresses by the perfect colour combination and above-average embellishment. But nobody liked the collar! Collar aside, the dress came in at an extremely impressive nice round 9 out of 10. I’m sticking with the historicism theme of last week, but putting a different twist on it.  Many 1880s dress took inspiration from the 18th century, but this one from the MFA Boston has actually taken an 18th century quilted petticoat, altered the shape to fit the current styles, and used it as the entire skirt of the gown. The quilted petticoat has been paired with a bodice and trained overskirt of ecru silk with brocaded green and red flowers,  and trimmed with pleated silk in palest gold, and fascinating three-dimensional floral trim (I …