Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heirloom 1924 Wedding Dress

Elizabeth's Wedding Dress - Worn October 25, 1924
Who could have guessed what kind of treasure hid away, inside this tattered art deco Christmas box? I lifted the lid, and what I found inside took my breath away! The most well preserved piece of fashion (and bridal) history I may ever lay my hands on. I can only imagine this is what it might feel like to win a jackpot.
As I uncovered layers of bridal attire, the story deepened. At the bottom of this box full of treasures, I found the invitation to the wedding! Thank goodness for Google Street View! You can take a look at the house where the bride's parents lived, and at the church where the wedding took place.
This bride had it all planned out. From stories I've heard, weddings were not as elaborate then as they are now. Well this particular wedding was no small affair. The bride, Elizabeth, had everything in order. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.... and a six pence in her shoe!
The only thing truly missing from this collection is a picture of the bride in the complete ensemble.
If you are looking at those pearl beads and flowers wondering how they were made and what from, then we think a lot alike! Glass seems like a possibility for the beads, but that would be very heavy! So I did a bit of research and found out that wax flowers were commonly used in clothing decoration. Surprisingly, the pearls used on the dress and headpiece are also wax. It's a miracle that all that wax is still intact after years in that old Christmas box. Some of the pearls are a little discolored, but still very beautiful. I can't find any missing beads or pearls.
Everything (except for the coin) is for sale. Please visit my Etsy shop to view the listings. I have not included any measurements. So if you are interested, don't hesitate to ask! I will measure anything you like. Click here to email me. Click here to view the listing and more details about the dress.

If you'd like to Google the church where the dress was worn, it can be found here:
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
210 E 4th Ave  Roselle, NJ 07203

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Early 1900s American Designer Dress

If I were asked which decade was my favorite for fashion, in the last century, I don't think I could pick just one. There are fashion elements from every decade that just call to me.

When I get my hands on a 100 year old dress something magical happens. To touch something with so much history is just an amazing feeling! It makes my imagination go wild!

Love at first sight when I found this amazing dress! This is the kind of dress that sets the scene for all kinds of classic novels and poetry. I can't help but wonder what this dress saw. Who wore it? I imagine the seamstress (or tailor) who created it. What a special thing to have a dress made for you, by someone else. This dress is from  a time when ladies made their own clothes.
Not only does this dress have a maker's tag, but the tag includes an address! I'm not sure if the tag displays the name of the dress maker or of the person it was made for. It says "Mme. Rizzi, 938 Rush Street, Chicago". Rush Street was first incorporated into Chicago in the 1830s. Based on the style, I believe this dress was designed around 1900.

I wish I knew what Madame Rizzi's first name was. It's hard to find any information on her.
Everything about this beautiful dress is just beautiful! The pleats, the bow, the horsehair mesh used for structure. 
Please take a look at the listing for this gorgeous dress in my shop. If you know anything else about this dress, I would love to know know more about it. 

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