Apologies for the delay in a Rate the Dress post. It has just been a significantly busier week than I anticipated. Better late than never, Rate the Dress is back on track with an 18th century confection featuring hand painted silk and a bustled skirt. How will it fare…
Last week: a 1910s number in embroidered pink chiffon
I watched the comments come in for last week’s Rate the Dress. When I thought back to them this week, I thought the final total must be pretty dismal: I had such a strong memory of dislike. But when I looked back over them, and tallied the total, I realised that most people actually liked-to-loved the dress. There were just a couple of people who really did not like it, and their reaction was so strong that it really coloured my memory of the comments.
The Total: 8.8 out of 10
Like I said, mostly like-to-love!
Because it’s been such a busy week, my Rate the Dress pick isn’t particularly inventive. Just a classic 18th century Robe à la Anglaise in a floral fabric in a range of pretty pastel shades (or not pretty – you get to be the judge of that!).
An Anglaise is an 18th century dress style with a fitted back bodice, with the central upper back pieces cut in one with the centre back skirt, with no waist seam.
This Anglaise features picked-up or bustled skirts, which used to be referred to as Polonaise in the historical costuming world, and still is in many museums, including the Met. Historical costume researchers have since determined that ‘Polonaise’ referred to a specific cut of bodice – not the bustling of the skirt. So this is not really a Robe a la Polonaise, but I’ve left the Met’s title as-is.
This makes total sense: almost any dress could have its overskirts picked up and bustled: why change the entire name of a gown when you do this?
The fabric of the dress appears to be a hand-painted silk, probably from China. The mis-matching on the seams indicated that the fabric was pre-painted, and not intended for this specific dress style. It’s also possibly that the dress was re-made from a gown of a few decades earlier.
Depending on how you look at it, this 18th century pick is either Rate the Dress in its purest (a dress only, almost totally devoid of styling and accessories, and thus completely without distraction), or least pure (a dress only, almost totally devoid of styling and accessories, and thus furthest removed from how it would have been worn in period) form.
What do you think of it?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10
A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting. It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.
(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!)