Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yay or Nay? Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Enough of all these pleasing Russians! Ekaterina Ivanovna Nelidova continued with the tradition of pleasing everyone with her frock, earning her a Yay. Time to skip off the Russian runway and check out what the Danes have to offer. But can they give us the glitz and glamour we crave?


Johann Georg Ziesenis paints the Queen of Denmark (1766) as she shows off her son in her conservative gown and sheer shoulder shawl. Yay or Nay?

[Frederiksborg Castle]

24 comments:

heidenkind said...

Whoa! Girl's got some pretty thick thighs, there.

I have to say nay. The shawl is nice, but the dress looks like someone ate too much curds and whey and then threw up all over her lap.

Isara said...

The gown is known as a Brunswick, a traveling outfit that has a hood and a man's waistcoat front. It would be worn while traveling or just lounging about. The lower sleeves are detachable. The neckline could go up to the neck or, as shown here, cut low. The waistcoat front could be long or short (1750's were mostly longer, with 1760's being the shorter version).

I just finished making mine from a Burnley and Trowbridge workshop, taught by Williamsburg mantua-maker Janea Whitacre. Check out Kendra's research about the Brunswick: 18th Century Brunswicks and Jesuits.

I say yay for style, nay for color and applied decoration. Could you imagine the mud on this thing while traveling!?

Lady Z said...

I appreciate the general concept of the Brunswick, but in this particular case, I have to say -- unless the Queen is much older than this portrait suggests -- NAY.

Heather Carroll said...

Thanks for the info, Isara! And goodness yes the mud! Perhaps her highness only had the trouble of traveling around the palace, which I could only hope was clean!

The Dreamstress said...

In contrast to the previous commenters, I give this a big YAY!.

I love the colours - subtle without being boring, and the same description applies to the cut. Yeah, the light colours would get dirty, but that is what being a queen is for, right?

The trim is beyond fabulous - possibly my favourite trim on a 1760s dress EVER.

I will admit that all together they aren't the most attractive thing, especially with the shawl, but the elements are all so beautiful I have to say Yay

Ingrid said...

What a lovely dress! Yay!
I looked Queen Juliana Maria up on Wikipedia, and it says that she became a widow in 1766. So she's probably wearing white as mourning.
I'm not mad about the black fichu in combination with the white dress and the positioning of the order on the shoulder joint (it looks uncomfortable), but I do like the black cap.
She was born in 1729 by the way, so she is 36 or 37 here.

Pauline said...

Yikes. Nay regardless. Really, mourning or travel it is unfortunate in color, decoration and balance.

Hester said...

I have to say: NAY!

Camille said...

A big nay ! The colour is too pale for a woman this age, it looks like it was made for a 15-year-old. The concept of this dress, explained by Isara, is very interesting, but the colour doesn't suit such a dress. Plus it looks like someone has been making pâtisserie on her dress all day long. Very pretty face, but this dress is not cool at all/

Comtesse Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne said...

I think that if the dress were in a brighter color or several colors that it would simply be too much, but in this milky simplicity it is quite lovely. It does wash her out a tad, especially with the contrasting black near her face, but then pale is en vogue. Yay!

Tara Finlay said...

Unfortunately, to me, she looks like she is sitting like a truck driver. Big Nay.

nightsmusic said...

My first thought...

Oh, she looks like a wedding cake with a mourning sash over it!

The Brunswick could be a gorgeous outfit with the right colors and fabrics. In this case, whoever foisted this atrocity on her ought to be shot.

Nay.

Tulip said...

Oh, crikey, NAY!

Yuck, in fact.

Jessi P (AKA Emily Ryder) said...

I wasn't sure at first but I think I quite like it. The combo of the skirt and waistcoat seems to really work. If it weren't for the fact she was in mourning, though, I'd say the shawl has to go. Overall, a yay.

MmeHistoire said...

Looks like she can't decide which mode of mourning she wants to adhere to...white or black!

Lauren said...

Yay! That frock is wonderful!

Sunny @ the Library said...

Ew. Nay.

(Although the lady herself is quite lovely and as a portrait I would give it a big yay, but based solely on dress it is a nay.)

Cherylynn said...

Can something be too fussy and boring at the same time? I think I like the style if I can see past those curly-que things. It could do with some colour too. So I think we're looking at a big Nay here.

Laura said...

I love the expression on her face! Doesn't she look friendly and kind? I agree with the "sitting like a truck driver" comment - who's bright idea was it for her to sit that way? Other than that, I give it a yay!

Anissa said...

I agree with Laura regarding her expression and pose.
over-all it rates a nay from me.

heidilea said...

I give it a yay, as well. I second (or third or fourth!) that it's a brunswick, and the color shows off her status quite well.

Molly M. said...

Yay. What a beautiful dress.

Linda said...

Yay to the dress and nay to the hat and shawl. She seems happy and bright, and I like the trim and the color of the dress. But the black is too stark and I think detracts. A different color that is not as harsh would have been perfect.

Aileen said...

Hmmmm... Neither a yay or a nay. I don't love it, but neither do I hate it. Just doesn't leave me with much of an impression. She's playing it a bit safe with black and white.