Last week I showed you a Titian portrait of a lady in all white. Most of you approved of the all white frock, and the way it focused the attention on the wearer, and would set her apart in a sea of Renaissance richness. It lost points for weird pleating, and for the very stiff bodice, but still managed a very respectable 8.7 out of 10.
While I can’t say I personally love the frock, I really feel I ought to recreate it. For one thing, I do LOVE all white gowns. For another, I’ve got exactly the right body shape to match Titian’s lady: no bosom means that bodice is going to be just as flat on me (really, check out my pair of bodies), just the right hair (blond-brown-red, with a tendency to fringe), and I even kind of look like her – too much nose and classic curved eyebrowns. If only I had teeny curvy lips and a little dinky chin I’d be all set! (side note: all the other historic costumers seem to be constantly finding old portraits that look just like them, but I never find an old portrait that looks like me, despite having an old-fashioned face! Perhaps I need to do a ‘find a portrait that looks like me’ contest 😉 )
Right, back to business! For this week’s Rate the Dress, let’s look at a late 18th century riding habit in rich red and gold:
The ensemble features a red waistcoat, and a jacket and front-opening skirt in rich gold, with revers and cuffs in red to match the waistcoat. The black petticoat and hat and white stock are almost certainly modern recreations to give the effect of a full outfit without being visually distracting. The front buttoning skirt is presumably to facilitate riding.
Most riding habits seem to have been in blue, red, and dark green, so this gold one, while not totally unique, would still have stood out as something a bit different.
Though it’s hard to tell for certain, the fit on the mannequin suggests it was made for a slightly larger woman.
What do you think of it? A nice way to set a riding habit apart? Or, because of the natural tones, would she just blend in to an autumn hunt?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10