It’s entry #2 in my series of ‘Rate all the Party Dresses’. This week we’re going back in time 210 years, and rating a formal Regency gown. It’s a particularly exciting rating, because it also includes the shoes worn with the dress.
The reviews for last week’s frock were a very happy surprise. I was afraid many of you would find it too bold and outrageous – but just one did. I’m always delighted when you love a dress, and even more so when I’m really not sure you will.
(of course, it would be terribly boring if every one of you just adored everything, so don’t worry if you don’t!)
The Total: 9.5 out of 10
Definitely a belle of the ball dress!
This week: an 1800s dress – and the shoes to match
I found the bare footed mannequin that last week’s dress was displayed on rather disconcerting, so this week I picked an evening gown where we know what shoes it was worn with. A museum’s choice of accessories can make or break a rating, and while this dress is otherwise shown un-accessorised, the shoes give us an authentic glimpse into how it looked when first worn.
The dress is a typical classically inspired Regency gown, with raised waist, brief bodice, and short sleeves, all intended to evoke Grecian drapery.
The simple shape is enlivened by embroidery in fine red wool. Little scrolling floral motifs cover the skirt, and borders of modified ‘Greek Key’ or ‘Meander’ motifs follow the hem and divide the front of the skirt, emphasising the vertical lines of the frock.
The MFA Boston describes the ground of the dress as ‘cotton gauze’. The gown is probably made from gauze in the more generic sense: a very lightweight fabric with a slightly open weave, rather than the technical sense: a fabric with a leno weave.
The red and white slippers that accompany the dress feature a wide, low heel, and painted stripes that, like the embroidered lines of the dress, emphasise the fashionable shape of the shoe: in this case, the pointed toe.
So, with dress and shoes to imagine together, what do you think of our Regency Cinderella?
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! And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10. Thanks in advance!)