Last week I presented an early example of athletic wear for women, a red and blue wool gymnastics suit from the 1890s. Everybody was loving it for ‘sheer exuberance’, though you couldn’t agree if the pom-poms were ‘wonderfully ridiculous’, or just ridiculous. Then Stella & Lynn B had to go rain on the parade and hate it (don’t worry, I still love you two!). It still managed a very impressive 8.5 out of 10 – pretty good for sportswear as we aren’t really a sporting crowd.
This week I think it’s time to dial the formality up. Way up. So I present a mantua of Spitalfield’s silk from the 1730s. I think the dating for this dress is so fascinating: they know exactly when the fabric was woven (presumably based on dated design cartoons), and that the dress was made up within 5 years of the fabric.
The fabric dates are interesting, because the fabric really makes this dress. Is this good, or bad? Does the large print, so characteristic of the 1730s, balance the full silhouette, or dominate the design, making the dress look more like upholstered furniture than draped garment.
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.