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Black Lace Dress

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This black silk dress probably dates to about 1915-1920. It is deceptively simple in its appearance, made of black silk faille overlaid with matching lace. The straight silhouette of the garment signaled an innovation in women's dress during the second decade of the 20th century. Unlike other periods, there is no large skirt, bustle, or exaggerated leg o'mutton sleeves to change the natural shape of any part of the wearer's body. The skirt length, too, is indicative of a change; revealing the wearer's lower calves and ankles, it is the shortest length to date for women's clothing. The dress was made in Boston, and belonged to Gertrude Cochran Smith (1875-1956).


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