Last week I showed you an 1820s fashion plate featuring a the epitome of youth and sweetness in ballgown form. Combined with the model’s expression, I call it the ‘Someday my Prince will come’ dress. There were the usual complaints about not liking to rate fashion plates because they aren’t fully developed dresses. I think makes fashion even more rateable, because we get to see the idea of a fashion at its most extreme and pristine, rather than a fashion adulterated by the skill of the seamstress, the preferences and body shape of the wearer, and the ravages of time. (So no, I’m not going to stop showing fashion plates, and please humour me and either rate them or just keep quiet about it). And it was certainly interesting to see the interpretations of the dress depending on exactly what fabric you imagined it in – and the comparisons to extant gowns of similar fabric and trims. A most fascinating discussion!
Overall, while a few of you really liked the dress for its iconically 1820s features, the rest of you just couldn’t get over the heavy hem decoration, with comparisons ranging from hoverboats to daleks. The visual weight of the hem dragged the rating down (Har har. I’m sorry, I tried and tried, but it is almost literally impossible to not make this sentence a pun!) to a very poor 5.8 out of 10 – the lowest we’ve had in a LONG time.
This dark blue dress from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, features the almost severely fitted and body-enclosing silhouette of the late 1880s, softened through the use of draping and ruching, a gathered skirt with a slightly bustle, and touches of lace and velvet.
What do you think? Do the floral fabric and the softer touches manage to give a bit of youth and levity to what can be quite a stark, restricting shape? Do you like the combinations of fabrics and textures?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10