Last week I showed you an 1880s dress, with a skirt that had been re-made from an 18th century petticoat. You were almost unanimously in favour of the petticoat – though not necessarily remade into a 19th century gown, a bit of re-use which frankly, horrified some of you! The more recent additions to the ensemble got mixed reviews. Some of you REALLY didn’t like it (it’s hard to get past our modern sensibilities that see quilting like that as a home furnishing look, rather than a clothing look), and some of you REALLY liked it. The dis-likers brought the score down to a still very positive 8 out of 10.
This evening dress by obscure French designer Raoul Lafontan features the soft, romantic, slightly transitional 1900s silhouette, with the bodice moving from the more fitted 1890s style, towards the full pigeon breast of ca. 1904.
The bodice fullness may be slightly restrained, but the colours, fabrics, and other design details are heading intp full-blown Edwardian mode. The dress is made from fabric striped in chiffon and eu-de-nil satin, with the chiffon sewn together in tucked pleats for most of the skirts, only releasing to its fullness near the hem.
The dress is trimmed in eau-de-nil chiffon and a gauzy ecru fabric, looped round the neckline in asymmetrical swags, and bound around the arms in a style that evokes Greek & Roman drapery.
There is a slight suggestion of fading and darking in the fabrics of the dress, so it may have been slightly lighter and brighter originally, though the golden ecru and palest eu de nil were certainly fashionable shades in the first five years of the 20th century.
What do you think of the dress? I think we can all agree that Lafontan displays exceptional technically mastery in this dress. But does that make it a good design?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10