Saturday, 21 March 2009


Who came up with the name 'Dressbuilder?'  It sounds like a site for some tragically trend boutique where you can put together your own 'edgy' yet somehow desperately boring outfit. Even 'Fayre Laydie Wynnoyll's Threads of Enchantment' would be better than this!

Oh dear lord, where to begin?  There's very little actual imagination in the Fantasy section.  I have seen this exact dress on a goth site.  Fairy Wedding is a steal from The Dark Angel's Fairy Dress, with sleeves.  Edenfairy is Galadriel (except it's just plain white gauze and not cool enough to be Galadriel). My mother made a much more intricate take on this turkey for my Barbie doll in 1985!  And how many pseudo-Greek gowns can you stick on one page?  Let's see... one, two, three, four...

Some of these are described as 'Renaissance.'  How so?  And why, then, do you stick four identical versions of this in the Medieval section (passing them off as different styles because hey, they're different colours!!)?  It is neither Medieval nor Renaissance and should be lumped in with Fantasy... but I guess having six identical gowns on one page would be even more boring.

Here's where we go from boring to ugly.  What the shit is this??  Off the shoulder, with a floofy neck ruffle and crushed velvet... this is not Medieval, it's a cheapie romance novel cover from the 70s.  And this just leaves me puzzled.  A cummerbund with a big frilly bow in the back?  Bodice detail that looks like an overbust corset?  Dagged hip-hugger belt!?  Wear it alone for a bridal Warrior Princess!  Hey, let's mix Medieval with Victorian and add a little Conan the Barbarian!

Oh god, we're really confused about the Renaissance.  Did you know they wore 70's bridal gowns back then?  And bared their shoulders?  With strapless gowns and puffs of fluffy shit around their arms?  And wore hoop skirts?  They wore a lot of hoop skirts.  In fact, this same horrible muddle crops up under Southern Belles!

Not all the gowns are ugly.  I'd like this thing if it weren't made of chintz (and it looks cool in gothy red and black).  But there's no historical accuracy here.  The lace trim looks Victorian.  The hanging sleeves are Medieval and the thought of a lacy undersleeve is Rococo.  Juliette would blink at this dress in confusion.  And this would be pretty close to period if only they hadn't used ruffly lace and lightweight satin.  But I guess that's not surprising; they put together a reenactor's Simplicity pattern and didn't credit it.

I can't resist checking out the Civil War and Victorian stuff.  Oh dear, it's Southern Barbie.  And the Victorians used their curtains for overskirts.  And wore muffins on their heads.  :P

Go browse the site and see it for yourself.  I've left you plenty more to mock!

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