Last week I showed you an unknown Italian woman in pink and ivory with gold. While late Renaissance fashions aren’t always the most popular, you felt that this was the best possible variant of the silhouette (though you were a bit squicked out as to the probable point of the portrait – to advertise the marriageability of the very young lady).
(I’ll get the tallied score up shortly – I’m currently occupied cuddling Felicity, and I can’t add them up without kicking her off my lap 😉
UPDATE: And, now, the score! Despite a few people who really didn’t like the dress (and possibly disliked it even more because everyone else loved it, because that’s how the human brain works ;-)), and a few high scores that I had to ignore because they were weird fractions (I’m sorry! Please spare my poor brain and keep your ratings to whole or half scores! Adding up gets far too complicated if I have to deal with 7.3 and 5.6s!) our lady was pretty in pink with 8.7 out of 10.
This day dress from the Indianapolis Museum of Art features a sleek silhouette, and a very busy floral print.
The intricate print, with swags of spirea and mock orange, and vivid colours of the wool challis are testament to the advances in both dye and print technology happening in the 1850s & 60s (dye & print innovations other than aniline dye, because while this print is very bright, this shade of blue was achieved with natural indigo rather than a synthetic dye until the advent of synthetic indigo in the 1890s).
The fabric would have been quite exciting and novel when the dress was first made, and the dressmaker has kept the focus on the fabric of the dress, with few design details to compete with it.
The only ornamentation is the scalloped edges of the double-layered pagoda sleeves, finished with blue piping.
The same blue piping is used on the back seams of the bodice, and to define the line between the fitted bodice and tightly pleated skirt.
Interestingly, the dress description includes plastic as one of the materials used, indicating that either the dress utilised the first plastic, Parkesine, which was briefly available in the 1860s; the dress was altered with more modern materials at some point; or simply that someone cataloguing the dress got a little confused about their materials list (which definitely does happen!)
What do you think of the frock? Does the simplicity of cut balance the elaborateness of the fabric, or did the dress need a lot more details to tone down the print?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.