Last week I showed you a blue-green & black 1860s dress with embroidered embellishments & a dash of Renaissance inspired historicism. Your overall reaction to the dress was pretty positive – the vast majority of you either loved it, or felt that it was rescued from the potentially deadly frumpyness so common in 1860s dresses by the perfect colour combination and above-average embellishment.
But nobody liked the collar!
Collar aside, the dress came in at an extremely impressive nice round 9 out of 10.
I’m sticking with the historicism theme of last week, but putting a different twist on it. Many 1880s dress took inspiration from the 18th century, but this one from the MFA Boston has actually taken an 18th century quilted petticoat, altered the shape to fit the current styles, and used it as the entire skirt of the gown.
The quilted petticoat has been paired with a bodice and trained overskirt of ecru silk with brocaded green and red flowers, and trimmed with pleated silk in palest gold, and fascinating three-dimensional floral trim (I think it’s a lace, but can’t zoom enough to see if it’s lace or a very lightweight embroidered silk). The pleated collar and heavy trim around the neckline are a clear nod to 18th century fichu.
The low, square neckline of the dress and the slightly paniered effect of the overskirt further evoke the 18th century, but the overall gown is decidedly 1880s in its silhouette and sensibilities.
It’s definitely slightly flattened and crushed with age, so you have to imagine it fresh and bouncy. What do you think dear readers? Has the re-use given the petticoat another shot at elegance and glamour, or is the whole thing a twee travesty: slightly too little Bo Peep for good taste?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10