This is a heavy satin gown from the post-war 1940’s or maybe the very early 1950’s. The detail is incredible, while keeping the tailored, non-fussy style which was popular then. Take a close look at that cape collar. It is edged with beading all around. The buttons and loops in front are just for show. The bride gets into this dress by opening a long metal zipper on the left. So figure-enhancing! My first guess was that this frock had been custom-tailored – and perhaps a lot of custom-fitting did take place – but in truth it was sold by the high-end department store Harzfeld’s in Kansas City, MO. Part of an iconic chain of these stores, it was 11 stories high in the downtown. Undoubtedly, our blushing heroine received elite attention from the sales staff and tailoring department.
The skirt is very full, but there’s no crinoline underneath. That’s an easy thing to add, depending on taste. Just examining all the construction clues is a fascinating way to put together a picture of the era and the circumstances of this particular novia on the day of her wedding. We’ll get a chance to do some more similar sleuthing tomorrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY