All posts tagged: 1900s

Mansfield & the Modern Woman thedreamstress.com

Mansfield & the Modern Woman

My talk on Katherine Mansfield, the New Zealand Suffrage movement, and the changing roles of women in the late 19th and early 20th century was last weekend at the NZ Portrait Gallery. It went off beautifully, thanks to assistance from students from Toi Whakaari The New Zealand Drama School, who modelled and assisted as dressers. The talk coincided with the exhibition: Katherine Mansfield: A Portrait, which includes depictions of Mansfield by various artists, from the famous Anne Estelle Rice portrait, to more modern interpretations of Mansfield. They art provided an interesting counterpoint to the models in their outfit.  The costumes illustrate the development of more modern ideals and roles for women in fashion, and the different facets of the ‘modern woman’ that emerged in Mansfield’s lifetime.  The artworks show the different ways in which people view and interpret Mansfield: the facets of her personality. After the talk the models enjoyed the other, equally appropriate exhibition, Worn Identities: And the bookstore: And then we moved out to the waterfront for photos: (it is a truth universally …

Terminology: what is a lingerie dress or lingerie frock? (and blouse, and skirt)

Tea Gowns vs. Lingerie Dresses Start searching for the ubiquitous Edwardian white cotton & lace dresses online, and you’ll quickly find a name for them: tea gowns.  There are hundreds on etsy by that name.  Vintage Textile uses the term.  Augusta Auctions sells them in lots of three in every sale that includes 1900s garments. Those are NOT tea gowns (well, more precisely, they were never called tea gowns in any era in which this style of dress was fashionable).  Or tea dresses. Tea gowns is a specific period term that refers to a a totally different kind of garment.  This is a tea gown: As is this: And this. Note how different those examples are from the ones on all the sales sites?  That’s because they are totally different styles of garment. Tea gowns were made of rich, heavy fabrics, often in colours, and usually featured elaborate, trailing sleeves.  You can read more about them here. In contrast, the dresses called tea gowns by modern sellers are made in very lightweight, delicate fabrics, almost …

Evening dress in two parts, Mrs. C. Donovan, New York (Designer), silk, sequins, via Europeana.eu

Rate the Dress: Edwardian Embellishment, American style

This week’s Rate the Dress turns from bold primary hues on black, to soft pastels overlaid with sheer black organza, and from sleek ’20s, to frothy Edwardian. Last week: a 1920s little black dress with very bright beading by Patou The beaded and embroidered Patou number got a range of reactions.  Some of you absolutely loved it, and others thought the beading wasn’t quite resolved.  One of you docked points for the moustache belt, which I am confused by.  How on earth is a moustache belt a bad thing? 😉 I was intrigued by the number of commenters who felt that some 20s dresses ‘wear heavy’, and that this was one of them. The Total: 8.2 out of 10 A full point lower than the week before!  We’re slipping! This week: An Edwardian Evening Dress This dress (despite its weird pin-head) has been on my Rate the Dress list for some time, and this week seemed like the perfect time to showcase it. European dressmakers seem to get all the glory when it comes to Victorian …