This week’s 1890s Rate the Dress is inspired by last weeks, in that it feels like it was made for someone with very much the same taste – albeit at a different time in their life.
It’s extravagant, and over-the-top, and oh-so-Victorian (by which I mean it’s channelling at least four other timeperiods and using five different kinds of trim or fabric manipulation). Will you like it?
I’m not surprised that last week’s dress was a bit of a marmite option (and since it’s NZ, it definitely has to be marmite, not vegemite!). I actually thought that less people would like it than did. So I’m quite tickled that so many people were taken with its wacky, quirky, charm, and willingness to try all the things on one dress!
I definitely anticipated the two things that were least popular: the appliqued flowers tucked under the sheer over-layer, and the ostrich feathers. Marmite indeed!
The Total: 8.0 out of 10
Neat and tidy, if not overwhelmingly popular.
This week: a historically inspired 1890s reception gown
I feel like this week’s dress is the gown that last week’s bride’s 60-something great-grandmother might have worn in 1890 if she had the exact same dress taste as her future great-grandaughter. Will her taste inspire a better rating?
Like last week’s dress this reception gown has a distinctly whimsical air. It both enthusiastically embraces the latest fashion trends, and pushes the boundaries of the current mode.
This reception gown is also not afraid of grand gestures, or embellishment. Note the detachable collar, lavishly beaded with jet. The standing medici collar with dagged edges. The sheer silk mameluke sleeves, with their six rows of puffs caught by velvet banding. The lace cuffs. The velvet oversleeves.
It borrows lavishly from different historical periods. The standing Medici collar is early 17th century. The falling jabot from the end of that century, or the early 18th century. The sleeves are 15th century seen through the eyes of the 1820s, and reinterpreted for the 1890s. The large under-collar hints at 1780s redingotes.
It’s a smorgasbord of costume history, mashed together and re-assembled in high late-Victorian taste.
The only element that shows restraint is the colour scheme: wine red satin for the bodice, paired with velvet of such dark red it almost reads as black. Ivory lace and sleeves and jet beading provide matte light and shiny dark counterpoints.
What do you think of this 1890s dress? Sure, it’s over the top – but that’s very of its era. Would it be a fabulous and memorable outfit for a woman who wanted to make an impact? Or noted for all the wrong reasons?
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.