It would be hard to match last week’s Rate the Dress pick for sheer impact, so this week I’ve selected something a little simpler: a mid ’20s evening dress with a sense of fun and whimsicality, and a possible provenance to Poiret. Will you find it no less loveable (or no less hateable)? Let’s find out!
Last week: a c. 1892 Pingat ‘tea dress’ or tea gown
I knew when I posted the Pingat tea gown that it was going to elicit very strong reactions, good or bad. Some of you just loved it. Some of you loved it for sheer chutzpah. Some of you thought it was hideous, but were impressed by the design impact. And some of you thought it was just hideous.
(I fell into camp 3. I couldn’t help but to admit the dress was effective, but I just couldn’t like it!).
The Total: 8.5 out of 10
Forget the dress rating. Go check out the comments! 10/10 for those!
This week: a ca. 1925 playing card themed evening dress, possibly by Poiret
It’s coming up to Art Deco Weekend in Napier. Sadly I won’t be making it this year, but I’m using it as inspiration for this week’s Rate the Dress pick.
This dress was sold at auction in 2011. According to family history it was hand-painted by Poiret for one of his seamstresses (the grandmother of the seller) and worn to a ball held by the Compte de Beaumont.
The attribution to Poiret’s workshop isn’t confirmed. The dress does have design elements similar to his work. The gathered skirt at the natural waist and asymmetrical neckline are both details he used in numerous garments.
As a designer Poiret wasn’t known for his polished finishes. His garments were meant for overall impact, rather than close inspection. His relatively ‘crude’ sewing, however, rarely showed on the outside of garments. I’ve always felt that the description was someone in comparison to the other great design houses of the ‘teens, who were known for their exquisite detailing.
Whatever this garment looks like on the inside, from the exterior the dress has some nice finishing touches. The multiple rows of shirred gathering control the fullness of the skirt and help it to drape beautifully. Narrow white bindings or borders on the sleeves and neck are echoed in the skirt hem, pulling the shape of the dress together, and emphasising the angles.
The dress is presented for auction sale rather than museum display, so it’s still a bit crumpled, and lacks the fullness that a real body and the proper undergarments would provide. Even as it is, the intent of the garment is still clearly visible.
What do you think? Is this dress coming up trumps? Is it queen of your heart? A royal flush?* Or should it just be flushed?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10
(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5. I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it! Thanks in advance!)
* Did I get those right? I’m not very good at card analogies. Mr D & his cousins banned me from the family poker games when I kept mixing up poker & pool (I think it’s perfectly understandable. One has a pool and you poke things in the other – clearly the names are wrong, not me. (also the part where I kept winning while telling them exactly what I had – they just couldn’t believe someone would be that honest, and kept expecting that this time I must be lying. They thought it was bad form)).