Last week I showed you an all-white 1820s frock with a profusion of detailing. I expected that you would dislike the slightly raised waistline, the mish-mash of design inspiration, and the plain white fabric, but, much to my surprise, most of you liked it! Some of you thought it was fussy, and that the hem was particularly misplaced, bringing the score down to 8.3 out of 10.
Since last week’s all white frock went over so well, we’re going to stick to pale tones this week, with just a bit of bright hues and florals to lift the design.
Sadly, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gives very little information about this gown, so we’re going to have to do a bit of guessing as we rate it:
The dress is of silk satin trimmed with lace (probably linen), and is shaped almost entirely through the use of pintucks. Long graduated pintucks in the torso nip in the dress around the waist, and short horizontal pintucks down the front of the sleeves help the sleeves to curve with the arm
When I first saw the dress I thought the floral patterns might be warp-printing (chiné a la branche), but a closer inspection reveals that they are appliqués, and it almost looks as if they might be hand-painted.
The simple, smooth silhouette without a waist seam, paired with very feminine trimmings and light colours, suggests that this gown may be a tea gown.
The relatively simple back closure, hidden under the floral appliques in the upper back, supports this, as it would make the dress easy to don.
While the dress is simple in some respects, the overall construction is very clever – the pintuck shaping is inspired, and the pink and blue flowers are carefully balanced across the dress. Clever it may be, but does it work?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.