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  • Hat, 1950-1956

    Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Parke Firestone's clothing collection illustrates her impeccable taste in fashion.

  • Cap, 1956-1964

    Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Parke Firestone's clothing collection illustrates her impeccable taste in fashion.

  • Sleeveless Lace Cocktail Dress, 1953-1956

    Sleeveless dress of navy blue machine lace over navy organza and navy taffeta. Scooped neckline. Lace skirt stiffened with horsehair and taffeta. Seam at waistline. Taffeta petticoat is separate but snaps onto dress. Separate contour self-fabric belt. Clothing label: BALENCIAGA/10 AVENUE GEORGE V/PARIS. The use of lace was much favored by Balenciaga.

  • Two Piece Blue Linen Suit, 1953-1954

    Medium-blue linen suit. Very little shaping to jacket; curved seams in front and back. Six-button front closure with 3/4-length sleeves, small cuffs and collar. Jacket is weighted. Sheath skirt has separate blue China silk petticoat. Clothing label: BALENCIAGA/10 AVENUE GEORGE V/PARIS. Handwritten on tag sewn on back of label: 45 121. A designer sample of this suit is worn by a Balenciaga mannequin in a 1956 photo. The Henry Ford also owns a design drawing of this suit.

  • Sou'wester Hat, 1956-1965

    This style of hat is referred to as a Sou'wester. This name was originally given to hats worn by sailors at sea to protect them from rain and the stormy sea. It is characterized by a waterproof material and a brim that widens at the back to protect the neck. The shape was eventually adopted and used in fashionable women's wear, such as this example. The bright color, flowers, and straw indicate that this hat was likely worn seasonally in the spring and summer.

  • Women's knee-length brown and black wool coat from the 1950s

    Women's knee-length, knubby textured brown and black wool coat. The double breasted coat has a narrow collar, and a lapel of black wool. It is fitted over the chest, and flares out at the hips. The flare is increased by padding on the hips The sleeves stop a little short of the wrists. Graduated size buttons. The coat was purchased by the donor in 1955 or 1956 at Julie's Inc. for $350.00. Label: "William Popper, From a Design by Charles James."

  • Black wool cocktail dress from the 1950s

    One woman's fine black wool cocktail dress with a high neck cut in one with bodice and having a small 'V' at the neck. There is a front center seam, a center back zipper and elbow length dolman sleeves with a narrow hem. The wrap skirt falls just below the knees. It is lined in black taffeta. It is gathered on the right hip, and hem and the gather are edged in dark brown mink. Salvage of the fabric has "Lesur" woven in. The dress was designed by Ruth Joyce. Copy of original hat made by R…

  • Red damask evening gown from the 1950s

    One bright red damask, (diaper pattern), silk or cotton, floor-length, sleeveless woman's evening gown with a round neck has a princess line to slightly below the natural waist. The skirt is very full and deeply smocked at hip level fitting into the waistline with scallops. It has a back zipper. It has a matching stole with fringed edges and an organdy petticoat. Designed by Ruth Joyce.

  • Cocktail dress from the 1950s

    Woman's cocktail dress. White lace, one piece dress with slip. Dress is fitted to the body without waistline seams. Peter Pan collar, sleeveless, flared skirt. Center back zipper. Three wide bands of bias horsehair to maintain circle skirt effect. White taffeta slip has fitted bodice and full circle skirt. Narrow beige shoulder straps, padded bra, center back zipper, and one row of horsehair for maintaining circle skirt effect. Label: Ruth Joyce.