This weekend I gave a talk on the ways in which the Pacific influenced Western fashion, including goods made from very Pacific birds: kiwi feather muffs, and bird of paradise bedecked hats. So I have feathers on my mind, and have picked a very feathery dress for this week’s Rate the Dress feature.
Last week: a 1910s dress from a brides trousseau
I don’t think anybody is going to be hugely surprised that last week’s frock was pretty popular. Sure, not everyone loved the muted colour, or the floral ribbon, and some of you thought it was almost boring in its tastefulness and elegance and general perfection, but only one person actually disliked it and rated it less than 8.
The Total: 9.3 out of 10
This week: an 1876 reception or day dress said to have been worn by Empress Eugenie
This feather bedecked dress is said to have been worn by Victorian fashion icon Empress Eugenie (in her post-Empress days).
Eugenie was known for her excellent taste, which combined impeccable intuition of the right thing to wear with a willingness to be inventive and daring, and to set new trends. I suppose its easier to be a trendsetter when your husband is the monarch, though EE copped less criticism for it than Marie Antoinette, who she admired and purposefully emulated.
This dress is certainly inventive and innovative, with its fluffy borders of ostrich feathers (a feather that luckily, unlike the ones I discussed on the weekend, doesn’t involve killing its natural wearer to harvest).
The feathers create a little tail over the bustle, and delineate the lines of ruched fabric in the front skirt, and the picked up areas of bustling at the back of the skirt.
What do you think? Is this feathery frock a fun and memorable dress choice for a fifty-year old ex-empress, or a fashion faux-paus all around?
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. Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. 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!)