Sunday, 22 March 2009

Costume Salon

Most of Costume Salon's Elizabethan gowns are spectacular... but look at them for long enough and they start seeming weird.

I have never seen an Elizabethan double overskirt, or one that stopped this far from the floor. And the further you go through their gallery, the stranger it gets. Bell sleeves beginning at the shoulder are Medieval, and the short skirt on this thing would look strange in any period. In another case, Rococo is thrown into the mix with gathered poofs. (Yeah, yeah, I know that in fashion it's a 'pouf,' but y'know what? I'm English. I Anglicise. Poof, I say, poof poof poof poof!!) In a case of confusion, we get an overskirt that curves to the sides. And as I look closer, it seems those puffed sleeves are separate from fingerless gloves and leave the arms bare. Now we seem to have gone from Rococo to 19th century! A short overskirt that crosses on the side makes this dress look part Tudor court, part Southern Belle. And what's this? A gathered overskirt with a lace ruffle? And is it just me, or does that headdress look more Alien Invader than Elizabethan Duchess?

A page later, we have a big mess on our hands. Sleeves puffed to the elbow? Fringe? And take note, ladies: that bodice front does not look Elizabethan. Foliate patterns ought to be more stylized... something like this. What they're using is not period, and not even Victorian. Such a jumble of flowers could only be 20th century.

Speaking of 20th century, some of the gowns are pure modern fantasy with barely a nod to the Renaissance. I swear I saw this same dress on a goth site, minus the farthingale. Slap the same bodice on pantaloons and you get 'Elizabethan Haute Couture.' There is so much wrong with this that I'm not even going to start. Oh, and did you know Mary, Queen of Scots was addicted to gold lamé? And if your thing is the Italian Renaissance, don't worry. They've butchered that too. Didn't I see this in a production of Turandot?

Then there's this. Oh god, oh god, my eyes!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the worst dress on the site. What the shit is this!? They call it Baroque? With puffed cap sleeves? A sweetheart neckline? A big belt trimmed with curtain cords? And plaid!??!

My head hurts.


  1. Not just wrong and fugly, but some of them also look a bit wrinkly and poorly-fitted. I don't think it's poor seamstress skills - someone can certainly handle fancy work there - I think it's just that some of them weren't made for the model and could have been pinned on a bit better.

  2. I don't think all of them are fugly. I'd wear that green goth dress in a minute. But some of them should be lumped in with 'fantasy,' some could have been fixed so easily to look period... and yes, a few are Things That Should Not Be.