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Subject: Gowns
  • Wedding Dress, 1918

    This dress was worn by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward for her wedding in 1918. It was an exquisite, expensive gown. It remains in remarkably good condition. The overskirt feels like rayon, which may help to explain the excellent condition of the piece. Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward was born 1897 in Grand Rapids, MI. She was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Up…

  • Morning Dress, 1780-1795

  • Round Gown, 1840-1845

    The detachable sleeves on this dress make for a multi-purpose bodice. The back pleating is unusual and is more common in work and plain dresses, but adds ease. The back opening and narrow sleeves are suggestive of the 1840s. This was probably the better dress of a woman who usually wore cotton.

  • Gown, 1857-1859

  • Dress Ensemble, 1950-1953

    Another simple yet stunning evening dress and cape by the brilliant and dramatic Spanish-born designer, Cristobal Balenciaga.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.

  • Dressing Gown, 1840-1855

    This is a plain dress with a more expensive than usual lining fabric. A paper found with the dress indicates that it might be from Northeast Vermont.