Designed by
Lowe, Ann, American, 1898 - 1981
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
mid 20th century
silk satin, silk faille, lace, tulle, cotton, plastic trimming, elastic, and metal fasteners
H x W (flat): 59 1/4 × 36 in. (150.5 × 91.4 cm)
Ivory lace and satin evening dress designed by Ann Lowe. The dress is sleeveless with a scalloped front neck and plunging V back neckline. The skirt is floor length with a slightly ruffling hem. The dress consists of an under dress made of ivory silk faille with a thin covering of white tulle, including a thicker ruffled tulle section at the bottom of the skirt. It is hidden from the exterior by an over dress made of ivory floral net lace with ivory satin accents. It mirrors the shaping of the under dress, but is slightly longer. The lace is embellished with trim made from thin short strips of iridescent white plastic attached at the middle to white thread, with the thread sewn onto the lace outlining the floral design of the lace. The lace extends beyond the under dress around the neckline and onto the shoulder straps and upper back where it is only backed with white tulle, with the edge cut in a scallop outlining the neck and arm openings. An ivory satin ribbon is wrapped around the waistline. A band of ivory silk satin is sewn on the skirt in a diagonal that begins at the hip of the proper left side and then extends downward across the skirt near the hem of the proper right side, bisecting the lace portions of the skirt. The satin band is continuous around the front and back of the skirt. Pieces of the trim-embellished floral lace are cut so that floral elements extend onto the sides of the satin band. Two wide satin streamers are pleated and sewn at the proper left back, one at the top of the satin band and the other at the waist underneath the ribbon waistband. The top streamer reaches nearly to the hemline of the skirt, the bottom streamer extends slightly beyond the skirt hem. The dress closes at the center back with a zipper and one (1) hook-and-eye. The waist band closes separately at the center back on top of the zipper with one (1) metal snap.
The interior bodice is lined in the ivory silk faille used for the under dress. Boning is sewn around the bodice between the faille layers. A thin band of elastic is tacked across the bodice outlining the breast cups. A wider band of elastic is tacked at the center front under the bust line that fastens at the center back with two (2) metal hook-and-eyes. An interior waistband made of ivory ribbon is sewn around the interior empire waist that closes at the center back with two (2) metal hook-and-eyes. The interior of the under dress is lined in white cotton. The interior of the over dress is lined in the white tulle used to cover the under dress. The edge of the skirt hem on the over dress is trimmed in plastic buckram. Hanger loops made from the faille are sewn at each interior front side. A white fabric label with black embroidered text is sewn at the center front of the interior waistband that reads "ANN LOWE / A. F. Chantilly, Inc. / NEW YORK" with a woman in a ball gown at the right.
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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