Last week I showed you a plaid 1840s dress, and the loud pattern, amber and brown colour scheme, and uneven pattern matching failed to spark your interest and meet with approval, though the overall shape was deemed nice. The dress came in at a 6.9 out of 10.
This fortnight’s theme on The Historical Sew Fortnightly is ‘All that Glitters’ and glitzy, shiny items make for fun Rate the Dress posts. I’m really not going all-out with this one though, and have instead picked a dress with lots of shimmer – but all of it quite subtle and restrained.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art calls this Regency-Revival gown a ball gown, but with its relatively high neckline, and longer sleeves, I’m not entirely convinced, and the train makes me really doubt the ball-gown claim. I suspect it was more of a dinner or reception dress. I also wonder if there is a chance that this was a half-mourning gown, though by 1908 the trend towards chic-black for its own sake was beginning to emerge (long before the Chanel advertising team laid claim to the idea of the ‘little black dress’).
Despite the black, this gown is anything but dull. The white underlay (black lace or net over white was very fashionable right around 1908) lifts the dark colour, and the thousands of beads and sequins on the gown would have caught even the dim lights of older gas lighting, or the brighter glow of modern electricity.
While most of the dresses sparkle is tone-on-tone black, a bit of gold and blue-green beading frames the neckline, adding colour interest (or weird contrast, depending on your take).
What do you think? Just the thing to wear to a holiday do in 1908, or dark and dull?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.