Created by
Lowe, Ann, American, 1898 - 1981
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
late 1960s - early 1970s
silk satin, faille, lace, sequins, beads, fringe, and metal fasteners
H x W (flat): 53 × 21 1/2 in. (134.6 × 54.6 cm)
A miniature ivory dress inspired by First Lady Hayes made by Ann Lowe. The dress is made of ivory silk satin with heavy embellishments of lace, beading, sequins, and fringe. The bodice is fitted to the natural waist with a round neckline and full-length tapered sleeves. The front bodice and neckline are embellished with ivory and metallic floral lace that is further hand decorated with faux pearl beads and metallic sequins. Panels of the lace trim the neck and outline a stomacher-type center front bodice, reaching a point at the center front waist. A single panel of lace is also sewn on the outer side of each sleeve, with the cuffs trimmed in lace. A pre-tied ivory satin bow without tails is tacked at the outer side of each cuff. The skirt is gathered and tacked down at each front side thigh to reveal a heavily embellished petticoat. Both the skirt and the petticoat have a train at the back. The passementerie decorating the petticoat is arranged in tiers and includes the same floral ivory and metallic lace used on the bodice also decorated in beads and sequins, rosettes made from ivory satin, and gold colored fringe. The bottom hem of the petticoat has rounded deep cut outs resembling petals all the way around, with a pleated ivory ruffle sewn underneath the cut outs. The top front edges of the skirt are tacked down at the waist, then folded outward and sewn down at each front side thigh with the sequined and beaded floral lace covering the seams, each piece of the lace backed in the satin and with short strands of faux pearl fringe hanging from the tips. Flowers from a larger piece of metallic floral lace have been fussy cut and then sewn in a random scattered pattern onto the skirt around the sides and back. The back of the skirt has deep pleats at the center back waist to accommodate a bustle. The hemline of the back train is slightly shorter than the hemline of the petticoat train, revealing the petal shaped cut outs and pleated ruffle hem details. The dress closes at the center back with a zipper and one (1) metal hook-and-eye.
The interior bodice is made from ivory faille and includes shoulder straps made from the faille. Some of this lining shows through underneath the lace covering the stomacher section of the bodice on the facing side. There is an underskirt made from the ivory faille seamed to the bodice lining. The petticoat is fully lined in the ivory faille. The skirt is lined in the ivory silk satin. There are no labels.
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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