Last week there was no Rate the Dress, as I rated the Oscars instead. I hope you enjoyed that, and thank you for your patience.
The week before last I presented a very deco 1920s frock, and quite a few of you were vocally NOT IN FAVOUR of it. The poor thing got compared to a kindergarten uniform, a girl scout uniform, maternity dress, Nancy Drew (and you didn’t think that was a good thing), air hostess on a 1970s children’s show, or just the airplane the air hostess would be in. Maybe overwhelmed by the dislike, many of you quietly gave it rather high ratings, but it wasn’t enough to keep the much-maligned frock from a sad 4.8 out of 10.
This week, let’s go back a few centuries, and look at an always contentious ‘child in an adult frock’ Rate the Dress.
For a 17th century royal, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Anne of Denmark and James I of Scotland and England, had a lucky life. She had a idyllic childhood. She wasn’t married until she was 16 (hey, that was late for the 17th century!) despite numerous suitors vying for the political advantage of her hand. By most accounts her marriage to Frederick V, Elecor Palatine, (over her mothers objections) was very happy despite the numerous setbacks and tragedies they suffered as rulers and parents.
Her early life wasn’t all fun and games though, unless you count dress ups. I’m pretty sure not a lot of frolicking went on in this sumptuous frock. It may reveal something of Elizabeth’s personality though. She seems to have had an affinity for plants and gardens: her gown is embroidered or brocaded with elaborate botanical examples, and she famously created the Garden of Palatinate, the ‘8th Wonder’ of the late Renaissance world, at her new home of Heidelberg.
So what do you think? Does your cynical side remind you that Peale’s portrait was basically an advertisement for the eligibility of the then 10 year old princess, and ruin any aesthetic appreciation of the dress? Or does the glimpse into the princesses’ personality make an adult frock acceptable on a child? Or is it just so fabulously beautiful that it doesn’t matter?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10