Last week’s dress, and the reactions to it, were rather restrained. This week I’ve picked a very un-restrained dress, from an era that was rarely restrained. The first-bustle-era reception gown we’re looking at combines bold fabrics, bold colours, and bold textures for maximum impact. Will you find it find it pleasingly exciting?
Reactions to last week’s embroidered morning dress were slightly more muted than the week before, both in the ratings, and in the number of people who were inspired to rate. You thought the dress was restful and comfortable, and perfect for a slow day after a big evening. The main complaint was that the embroidery didn’t have enough impact, though Emma Louise commented how balanced the dress would look with a richly coloured Kashmiri shawl, which is exactly the sort of accessory it might have had.
The Total: 8.5 out of 10
Very respectable, but not one for the rating history books.
This week: a brilliant blue and floral late 1870s bustle era reception gown
Late 1870s fashion is rarely subtle, and this end-of-the-first-bustle-era reception dress, in vivid sapphire blue satin and black and ivory floral brocading, combines the era’s love of the still-relatively-new aniline dyes and lavish textural trim.
While the patterned fabric and the coloured fabric are are unrelated, they have both been used very deliberately. The stripes of the floral have been carefully arranged to heighten the illusion of curves, emphasising the fashionable hourglass figure. The plain blue satin is used as the perfect canvas for fabric manipulation, arranged in a series of pleats and ruches.
The structured geometry of the pleats and gathers in the blue silk provides a counterpoint the the naturalistic draped fall of the floral bustling. A single lavish bow in the blue silk pulls the two fabrics together.
What do you think? Is it an elegant representation of its era?
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.