Sorry! I’ve rather dropped the ball on Rate the Dress this weeks. Between travelling, switching time zones, and Costume College, I’ve just completely lost track of days, and my brain is too tired to remember which day of the week I ought to do it in the US, rather than NZ.
Last weeks Rate the Dress, which I posted from NZ, was a tea gown made from a paisley shawl. It copped a bit of criticism for the use of the lavender fabric as a match to the shawl, though some of you noticed that there were definitely lavender elements in the shawl, or simply liked the unexpected contrast. Whether or not the lavender worked was definitely the biggest consideration for rating the dress, and it balanced out at a perfectly round, if not perfectly awesome 7 out of 10.
For this weeks Rate the Dress, I have a little request:
Please don’t look at the baby.
Or, at least, please don’t include the baby in your consideration of the dress Rating. I can’t imagine that will go well. Spilberg was a fantastic artist in many ways, but babies were clearly not his strength.
Other than the unfortunate facial expression bestowed upon Eleonor (unless that was actually what she looked like…), Spilberg had provided a fantastic look at mid-17thc. fashions in the Holy Roman Empire, as worn by her mother, Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. Elisabeth Amalie, famously pious and famously blonde, is about 20 years old in this portrait. She wears a typical 1650s ensemble, with fitted, heavily boned bodice with wide sleeves and low neckline, of black velvet trimmed in silver, with matching overskirt and petticoat-skirt in turquoise blue, with the same trim.
Though black was becoming less common and fashionable as a colour in the 1650s, it was still an expensive shade to achieve, and helps to set of her unusual (and coveted) extremely fair colouring, and her blue under-skirt probably matched her eyes. The flower she holds is probably a rose, as camellias weren’t grown in Europe until the 18th century.
What do you think? Is Elisabeth the ideal picture of a Countess Palatinate in her ensemble? Regal, wealthy, demure, pious, beautiful, and, most importantly, as shown by her daughter, fertile. Beyond that, is it an attractive example of mid-17th century fashions?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10