I’m back on schedule with Rate the Dress this week, but still feeling blue – or at least that blue is the right hue for Rate the Dress!
This week we go from all the subdued evening blues of last week’s tea gown, to a brilliant blue 1860s number, with equally exciting (if quite different) sleeves. How will it fare in comparison?
Last Week: a 1910s Worth tea gown
Generally you felt that a dress by ultimate design house (albeit one in decline), purchased by a woman with all the money in the world at her disposal, should be good, and was.
There were a few small niggles though. A number of you felt the dress was less than the sum of its parts. Beautiful in details, but the details didn’t add up right, or were too much altogether.
The Total: 9.3 out of 10
Almost perfection, but not quite…
This week: an 1860s day dress in bright blue
Since I’m still in the mood for blue, and not everyone was sold on last week’s muted hues, I present a very different blue: a vivid shade in keeping with the bright hues popular in the 1860s.
The bright colour might be one of the fashionable new aniline shades: bleu de Lyon or bleu de Paris perhaps. It might also have been dyed with indigo. Most of the early aniline blues were either lighter, or very purple. It wasn’t until the 1890s that a successful synthetic alternative to indigo was invented, and consequently indigo remained a popular and heavily utilised dye long after coal based aniline dyes had replaced many other natural alternatives.
The dress is a very fashionable late 1860s day dress, with an enormous skirt, just beginning to have its fullness focused towards the back, anticipating the first bustle era.
The comfortably loose (or oddly bulky, depending on your feelings about 1860s fashion) sleeves are topped with short, full puffs, their volume and width serving to balance the full skirt, and emphasise the narrow waist and dropped shoulders.
The smooth silk of the dress allows us to see the line of stitching holding the very deep hem. The large facing helps the wide skirt to sit smoothly over its hoops, and pprovides some protection as it sweeps the ground.
The dress primarily relies on its striking hue, and the cut of the sleeves, pleats of the skirt, and points of the bodice, for visual interest. The only other bits of ornamentation are the large buttons (probably metal), and the small ruffle of lace framing the narrow collar.
What do you think? Is it beautiful, or boring?
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!)