On View
Cultural Expressions Gallery
Cultural Expressions
Designed by
Lowe, Ann, American, 1898 - 1981
Worn by
Patricia Schieffer, American
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
silk, tulle, linen, metal, and elastic
H x W x D (On form): 54 × 33 × 29 1/2 in. (137.2 × 83.8 × 74.9 cm)
Waist: 23 in. (58.4 cm)
A cream silk faille dress with embroidered floral appliqué decorations designed by Ann Lowe. The dress has a bodice with cap sleeves, a scoop neck front, and a deep scoop neck back. Shaping of the bodice and waist is created with princess seams, but there is no waistline seam. The skirt is shaped round and very full, with some additional fullness at the hips. The dress is decorated throughout with machine-embroidered cream and pink flowers with green leaves. The embroidery is stitched to the dress at the neckline, the center back seam to the back waist of the bodice, and in six large sprays to the skirt at the front left, proper left, back left, back right, proper right, and front right. Two lengths of cream silk faille are pleated and attached at back waist to create streamers that reach to the hemline of the skirt. The streamers are decorated with small machine embroidered pink flowers that are basted by hand to the fabric. The dress closes with a zipper running from the top of the center back bodice to center back below the waist.
The interior of the bodice is lined with cream fabric. In the front and back of the bodice, boning is sewn at regular intervals to provide structure and shaping. Individual breast cups are shaped into the cut of the garment. A thin piece of elastic, attached in three places at the proper left, center front and proper right, provides support underneath the bust line. A wider elastic band is tacked at the center front and closes in the center back with two hook-and-eyes to provide further bust support. An interior waistband of cream grosgrain ribbon is tacked to the interior waistline and closes at the center back. Lengths of thin elastic are sewn over the tops of the shoulders to keep the sleeves in place. The interior of the skirt is unlined and has one petticoat. The petticoat is made of a cream faille lined with heavy linen. The petticoat is hemmed with ruched cream tulle and edged with stiffener. It attaches to the waist at the center back with a hook-and-eye and a metal snap. Nylon netting is gathered and attached at the left and right interior sides as pannier-like structures undearneath the petticoat. There is no label in the dress.
Place made
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Collection title
Black Fashion Museum Collection
Clothing and dress
Fashion design
Social life and customs
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

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