Caroline's Party Gown Item# BKF69 Caroline can’t wait to celebrate in this elegant outfit—the fanciest one she’s ever owned! It includes: An ice-blue empire-waist gown with a gathered bodice and skirt, sheer puff sleeves, and an intricate lace hem A headband adorned with a pretty fabric rosette and faux pearl Long white gloves Satin shoes with crisscross ankle straps $36
I purchased this dress on eBay in May.
Caroline's Party Dress thoughts: -LOVE the color, looks stunning on Caroline! -Very thin fabric, but I wasn't horrified by the quality or anything. -The neckline isn't my favorite, it's rather hard to get it to sit right. -I don't have too much interest in historical accuracy, so I won't try to comment on that. -Definitely going to be a hit with the target market! Not so much with the more serious collectors.
I think my expectations are average and it definitely met my expectations! I think it's lovely! I'm 5 at heart though; I love the princess look.
First some indoor pics:
The large round item is in fact a headband. It is very cute, but very hard to get on! I predict even more messy-haired Carolines.
I actually love the lace detail!
The sleeves are cute. Very princessy which the girls will love!
Shoes! My favorite part of any outfit. I like the lacing on these. No idea about accuracy but they're darn cute.
I'm not a fan on the plain white gloves (and neither was Caroline), so we ditched those pretty quickly.
Last but not least, the new box!
Personally, I give this dress a sold A. I was surprised to really like it when it arrived and it has grown on me even more in the past three months. It looks much better in person than in the stock photos.
Ah, Caroline's party gown...the gown which has caused quite a lot of lamentation from Caroline collectors. When I first saw it on the Chinese Ebay seller's auction, I was surprised, but decided to remain optimistic about it. Having it in person, I definitely have some concerns and complaints, but there are a few good things about it too which makes me glad I asked for it in the Clandestine Coconuts, and glad I've got it in my collection.
Okay, first of all, everybody else is right - the satiny fabric was NOT the right choice for this character's collection. As others have said, it seemed AG was trying to capitalize on the Frozen-mania and create sort of a princessy dress. But the satin fabric, while it might have existed, is not accurate to Caroline's social status during the Regency period. I don't see why they couldn't have made it a crisp cottony material like her meet dress. The color is beautiful, but I think the overall look would have been much nicer, and less "cheapy" feeling, if they had used a more basic fabric, plus they still could have had the Elsa look they were apparently going for as long as they made it blue.
I like the trims on the dress. The wide lace hem looks like some of the fashion plates of party dresses I've seen from the time. It looks like it could use an underlay, though. In my pics, Caroline is wearing a petticoat, but if you put the dress on by itself you can see quite a lot of dolly-leg! I especially like the narrow ribbon used for the waistline. AG has a tendency to do these really wide ribbon belts which is actually not accurate (or at least not to scale) for 1812, where smaller ribbons were the norm.
In fact, this dress actually has a much better "Regency" cut than the holiday gown, believe it or not. The neckline is better, the ribboned sleeves are common in illustrations, and the waistline is at the right height (mostly, the waistlines in Caroline's collection look too low in 1:3 scale). However, there are also some problems with the construction. I think the waist might have been stitched a little lopsided, and the gathering at the front of the bodice is horrendous. I don't even know how they managed to do such a poor job with that area, I might take it apart and fix it one of these days. Fortunately the belt serves to hide some of the wonkiness.
There was also a quality control issue with her shoes. One of the backs is sewn a little bit lower than the other one. However, the shoes are so adorable I can ignore this. The shoes are PERFECTLY accurate to the time period. I love the satiny fabric, the bows, and the criss-crossed ties! They actually look a lot like the slippers to her nightgown set, just in fabric instead of pleather. The shoes are the best part of this set, IMO.
The headband is the worst. What were they thinking? Headbands were popular at the time, but they should have done something like a double-ribbon headband, like on some of the MyAG outfits. This looks like a Bitty Baby headband! Honestly, I'm surprised they picked this because, not only is it ridiculous, I can't imagine it appeals to the older girls in the BF target market.
Lastly, I haven't taken the gloves out of the package yet. THhy are identical to the ones with her holiday gown, so I'll save them as a backup in case the others get snagged or something.
All in all, this dress looks more like a 1950s Technicolor film imagining of a Regency outfit than a period-appropriate fashion. In fact, you could probably use it as a stage costume for Rebecca and it would look more accurate! Despite all my criticisms, though, I do like it. I think I will put Caroline in it on Halloween, and the more you stare at it, the more it grows on you, in its own way.