Designed by
Lowe, Ann, American, 1898 - 1981
Worn by
Dowd, Barbara Baldwin, American
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
1966-1967; altered 1973
silk satin, chiffon, synthetic fiber, and metal fasteners
H x W (flat): 55 × 30 in. (139.7 × 76.2 cm)
White dress with handmade flower embellishments designed by Ann Lowe. The dress is sleeveless with a scoop neck and an asymmetric waistline that is cut as an empire waist at the front and then plunges downward at the side to the natural waist at the center back. The bodice is made from layers of white chiffon with the neck and arm openings trimmed in short pleated ruffles made from the chiffon. The front of the full-length skirt is made from ivory silk satin with a brocaded monotone medium-scale design of scattered chrysanthemums with leaves and stems. The back skirt is made from ivory silk satin with the brocaded flower elements present on the front of the skirt cut out from that fabric and then sewn onto the plain satin in a scattered manner similar to the look of the front fabric. The back of the skirt is pleated at the back waist for fullness. The bottom of the skirt is embellished with handmade flowers in white satin and chiffon. The flowers include roses in various blooming stages, chrysanthemums, and other unidentified species. There are handmade white satin leaves with machine embroidered veins and interspersed within the flowers, which surround a meandering satin tube representing the stem of a vine. Some of the leaves are sewn in pairs around the waist seam. The dress closes at the center back with a zipper and one (1) metal hook-and-eye.
The interior of the bodice is lined in light weight white rayon. The skirt is lined in heavier weight white synthetic fabric. There are no labels.
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.

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