All posts tagged: 1872

Rate the Dress: Mourning in 1872-4

Despite the fact that most of you thought Marie Christine looked like a “blinged-out sheep” with “an 18th century mullet” the essential loveliness of her pink dress (and a general weakness for diamonds on the part of some voters) brought her in at a respectable 6.5 out of 10.  How to improve the rating?  More flowers, less jewellery, and no rat-tail curls! This week I’ve tried to move as far as possible from frilly pink status frocks while still staying very feminine and detail-oriented.  You can’t get much further from pink party dress than a Victorian mourning dress. Admittedly, this 1872-4ish mourning dress from the Met is still clearly a status garment, demonstrating that the wearer could afford specialized mourning clothes and completely impractical garments that they couldn’t do any real work in. Impractical is one thing, but as long as a garment isn’t ridiculously confining by the standards of its time, we are more worried about looks. What do you think?  Is this frock an elegant way to navigate the social requirements of mourning …

Trying my hand at hatmaking

I’ve always intended to try a bit of millinery, or at least hat alteration, so last week I finally took the plunge. I decided to start with something really simple, a 1872 summer hat from the Met’s collection: You can’t really get any simpler than that, right? I thought it would go nicely with the frills of my 1871 pink extravaganza afternoon ensemble. So I trotted off to an op shop and bought myself a decent straw hat.  It looked like this: Unfortunately I forgot to double-check my inspiration picture, so I got one with a wide braid instead of a narrow.  No matter, I could still make it work. First thing: take off that hideous raffia ribbon! Then I picked apart the braid at the bottom of the crown.  My inspiration hat has such a shallow crown that I could save the whole original brim and use it for another hat, and make the tiny brim of my inspiration hat from the bottom of the crown. Then I started sewing, turning my loose braid …

Rate the Dress: 1870s colours

A few of you liked Maria Theresa’s masque frock last week, but most of you were rather lukewarm, with the main complaint being that the patterns were too busy and aggressive, and the whole thing didn’t go together. It rated a 5.9 out of 10. This week, our rate the dress is a bit toned down pattern-wise, but not colour-wise. Yep.  That’s quite some colour in quite a combination.  What do you think? Rate the dress on a scale of 1 to 10