Ok…so…last week’s Doucet evening dress…I did NOT see that coming! In brief, the dress itself was generally very well reviewed, but the embellishments got an…interesting reaction. Personally, no matter how hard I squint, I don’t really see it, but I can see where people are coming from when they say the scale of the bows it a bit off. With a few very high marks, and a few very low marks, and a few in the middle, the dress came in at a fairly disappointing 7.1 out of 10.
I’ve really been getting into Regency/Empire historicism, and more informal 1810s fashions (sadly, that’s not a hint as to what my historicism sewing project is), so this week’s Rate the Dress is a 1810s outfit with a little bit of historicism, a little bit of exoticism, and a slightly more relaxed feel:
This painting, usually attributed to Robert LefÃ¨vre, shows a lady, possibly Napoleon’s younger sister Caroline Bonaparte-Murat, Queen of Naples, in a white day dress with a subtle dotted pattern, and an interesting collared over-robe. Her standing collar gives a nod to the late 16th century, and her coral diadem, which matches her necklaces and bracelets, to the ancient Greeks.
The kashmiri shawl that ‘Caroline’ casually lifts adds the final fillip of casual luxury to the ensemble, adding to the desired impression of a wealthy, cultured woman. If this is a portrait of Caroline Bonaparte, the more informal Southern European styling and presentation would make sense in 1813, when Caroline and her husband were attempting to distance themselves from Napoleon as he declined in power following the disastrous Russian campaign.
Caroline or no, what do you think of the outfit? Do you approve of this version of luxe casual, circa 1813?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.