Your opinion on last week’s dress very much depended on whether it was seen from the front of the back. This week I present another dress that is quite different depending on the angle you see it from. How will it fare in comparison to last week’s pick?
Last Week: a summer 1940 evening dress by Schiaparelli
The verdict on last week’s dress was pretty clear for most of you: fabulous back, boring front. A few people disagreed, and thought the dress would have been overdone with a more elaborate front, and was perfection as it was.
And a couple of you went looking and found the matching jacket that could be worn over the dress. I’d deliberately left it off, because the dress was clearly designed to be worn with or without the jacket, and I thought it would be interesting to see your reaction to Schiaparelli’s cutting, without the more obvious flourishes of the jacket.
The Total: 7.5 out of 10
A slight improvement on last week, but still rather disappointing.
This week: an early 1860s dress in blue floral silk
I’ve passed this dress by as a Rate the Dress option for months, because it looked too simple: very basic 1860s shape, with only interest coming from the double-floral overprinted fabric, in the extremely fashionable blue and black combination of the early 1860s.
But then I looked closer, and saw the trim on the sleeves:
And the back view:
The dress is a classic transition between the slightly smaller skirts and more restrained trim of the late 1850s, and the large ellipse hoops and bold trim of the mid 1860s.
It’s even possible that the sleeve and back trim, and the sash pieces, with their elaborate passementerie trim, now faded from black to dark brown, were added to the dress a few years after it was made, to update the style to the current trends.
The collection record shows the dress is in three parts, which may mean that the sash pieces are fully separate.
The bodice fit of the dress on the mannequin is, admittedly, not ideal, but an exhibition photo shows a better bodice fit (and a significantly inferior hoop fit, but you can’t have everything…):
What do you think?
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!)