But today I'm going to tell you the story about how I nearly had an excitement-induced heart attack when discovering a famous Paris designer label on something in the museum collection.
A volunteer and I were preparing a dress for display and something was funny about how the hemline was hanging. So I decided to steam it a little bit. It was a 1920s evening dress with sequins, and I knew that sometimes sequins from that period can be made of gelatin and can literally melt. So I decided to turn the dress inside-out and be extremely cautious. As soon as I had it inside-out I spotted it:
I was basically like:
Jean Patou was an innovative couture designer in the 1920s and early 1930s (he died in 1936). In his time he was on par with Chanel in influence and success. If you google image search him you will also discover that he was dapper AF:
|Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection, PD-US|
After calming down a little...
...I spent a little time researching the donor. Her name was Edana Collins Ruhm, and this is what she looked like on her wedding day in 1906:
Ok, ok, enough background. Here it is:
This is some HIGH LEVEL HARDCORE MUSEUM QUALITY FASHION
Also, look again at the wedding photo and then look at this dress (c. 1925-26). What better illustration of the seismic shift in women's fashion between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s? She was in her twenties on her wedding day-- all frothy and demure in ruffles -- and in her forties when she purchased the dress above.
also can we just recap the fact that THIS DRESS IS IN THE COLLECTION I MANAGE AND HAS A LEGIT MISSION-RELATED STORY
(It is on display now if you want to see it in person)