Cotton Gauze Dress with Peasant-Style Embroidery, 1926
Light beige cotton gauze dress with polychromatic, peasant-style, machine-embroidered designs in shades of red, turquoise, purple, green, yellow and pink. Bodice and sleeves have floral and leaf pattern. Smocking at hip line, back of neckline, and cuffs. Collar has turquoise cotton cord ties with tassels. Probably ready-to-wear. This garment was owned by Elizabeth Parke Firestone, daughter of Mr. Harvey Firestone of Detroit, Michigan. An important part of the collection, this dress was purchased for Elizabeth Parke Firestone's 1926 trip to Liberia with her husband. She wore it when she met the President of Liberia and his wife. It is light in color and weight and would have been comfortable in Liberia's summer heat. The peasant-style embroidery was popular in the 1920s and shows the influence of the Ballet Russe and the stage costume designs of Leon Bakst.