All posts tagged: extent garments

Rate the Dress: Jean Patou in 1924

For last week’s Rate the Dress I showed a typical 1930s frock in vivid tangerine orange lace.  Some of you thought that, despite the bright colour, the frock was too standard been-there-done-that 1930s, and gave it a very middling score.  The rest of you either love-love-loved the dress, or really-really didn’t – all of which, not surprisingly, led to a rather mediocre score of 6.6 out of 10. (and well done to Daniel, for being the only one to notice that yes, I’ve been presenting the rainbow for ratings, but having come back around to orange, rather than re-starting with yellow, I’m now heading off in a new themed direction.) This Jean Patou evening dress is both extremely minimalist, in its muted colour palette and simple cut, and extremely maximalist in its elaborate Egyptian inspired beading. While the decorations on the dress are based on Egyptian & Byzantine designs, Patou has carried them out in pastel shades of blush, lilac and gold, subverting our expectations of the inspiration point. The overall effect combines the typical tropes of Western femininity, with a …

A 1920s Asian for the Western market coat

Mrs C has given me a very interesting textile on long term loan, and I thought it would be the perfect ‘Textiles on Thursday’ feature. The textile is an embroidered silk coat with a rabbit fur lining. The coat is fascinating for all sorts of reasons.  It’s an excellent example of an export textile, made in Asia (probably China, possibly Japan) for the Western market.  As an export textile, it’s particularly interesting because it isn’t a particularly luxurious item.  Chinese design features aside, the coat is a great piece of early 1920s fashion.  Finally, it’s an exciting vintage item because it isn’t that small, it easily fits a modern 14-16.  Poor Isabelle is a little swamped in it! So, let’s break it down.  First, what’s this export textile thing? Well, the West has had a love affair with Eastern goods and aesthetics for centuries.  Just look at Chinoiserie in the 18th century and Japonism in the 19th century, as well as the trade in kashmir shawls in both. The newest trends in Eastern imports always …

Rate the Dress: blue plaid in 1878

Last week’s 186os child’s party frock created the usual divisions I’ve come to expect with historical children’s clothes: some of you liked it for a child, many of you thought it would be much better on an adult, many of you wanted it for yourself, and a few of you questioned if it was appropriate for a child.  But overall, you liked it, and it rated an 8.6 out of 10.  I agree, but only if you take off that hideous overskirt.  With the overskirt my vote is only 4 out of 10! For this week’s rate the dress my jumping off point is last week’s poll which asked you what your favourite fabric colour was.  An overwhelmingly large percentage of you said blue (25 out of 52, compared to 11 out of 52, for green, the next runner up).  Now I want to know if this abstract liking of blue fabric translates into liking an actual garment, or at least helps you to like it more. So I present this blue trimmed blue tartan princess dress …