This week’s Rate the Dress is a little delayed because I was busy with all the exciting stuff for the Persis Corset launch.
Last week: an 1840’s dress with stripes and rosettes
Your ratings the dress from ranged from generally favourable but not wildly enthusiastic, to decidedly meh. As for the rosettes though? Everyone was pretty firmly in agreement that they had to go!
Daniel did point out that if the dress was paired with a pelerine with matching rosettes it would look much more balanced, which is absolutely true.
The Total: 7 out of 10
Just scraping in at a 7 (it was 6.95, but I round up).
This week: a 1906-9 formal day dress in warp printed silk
To celebrate the launch of the Persis Corset, this week’s Rate the Dress is something that might have been worn over a corset just like the Persis:
The pale colours and floral pattern of this formal day dress suggest it was a spring or summer gown – although hopefully not for a very hot day!
Warp printed silks were very fashionable in the late Victorian era and first two decades of the 20th century. Their soft, blurred patterning worked well with the extremely frilly, feminine aesthetic, and the pattern gave a nod back to 18th century fashion, which was used as a point of inspiration for Edwardian fashion. They were also known as chiné silks, or chiné a la branche. I’ve blogged about this type of fabric here.
If you look closely at the fabric of this dress you can see that it has both a floral chiné pattern, and a brocaded pattern, creating a double layer of texture and colour.
The layering of textures is a classic Edwardian touch. Look closely at the detail photo above and you can see that the edge of the berthe-inspired bodice pleating is finished with two rows of flat piping: one in eu de nil, one in pale coral. This same detailing is repeated on the centre front of the bodice pleating.
Those same colours come up again in the rosettes that decorate the front and back of the bodice.
This dress belonged to Martha F, Harris Hynes (1882-1946), the grandmother of the donor: Julia Wallace. The museum dates the dress to 1900-1909, but the wide shoulder berthe effect and sleeve shape of this dress were most fashionable in 1907-8. I feel comfortable narrowing the dating to 1906-9. Martha was 24-28 when she wore this gown: young, but likely married, not a debutante.
What do you think? Just the thing for a new wife to create an impression of both youth and responsibility at the social events of the summer in?
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.