There were so many factors in this challenge, that judging was very difficult. We almost bounced the challenge at the last moment, even, just because it was so hard to quantify too close to the original or too far, but decided the three rule would be good enough. I think it succeeded, because there was still loads of room for interpretation. I do think some lost their own voice in the references, while others were almost too loosely interpreting. So, naturally, I'm choosing the one that I think is the best combination of both: numberonekitty!
Using the same base color could have backfired in a big way, but she changed up enough other elements to really distinguish it from the original. I love that she researched time-period appropriate fashion, and the collar was the perfect way to reference the godawful thing on top of the original. It's classy and really adds to the dress.
The belt was also a great addition, breaking up the green and white, so that the eye isn't overwhelmed. The white trim adds even more interest. Remove any one of those elements and this dress doesn't work as beautifully, if at all.
While I do feel still feel a bit more like it's a Kit dress, especially since it's not full like original, I also agree that Ruthie might not have wanted to flout her wealth, and I'm willing to let that side.