Object of the Day

Emerald Green Chiffon Gown, 1966

Worn by Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson wore this dress to a state dinner for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India on her state visit, on March 28, 1966.  President Johnson held a state dinner for Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the year she assumed the office her father had held for 17 years.

The gown is made from emerald green chiffon with the top beaded with green sequins and tiny beads. The gown has a simple round neckline, sleeveless and zips up the back. The dress was donated with a matching chiffon shawl.

Associated Press photo, White House Historical Association, March 28, 1966

Mollie Parnis, who designed many dresses worn by First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Betty Ford, designed this dress. Lady Bird Johnson and Mollie Parnis became close friends during her time as First Lady, Parnis designed Johnson several gowns providing her with her signature look.

Associated Press photo, White House Historical Association, March 28, 1966


Object of the Day

Two Piece, Silk Brocade and Taffeta Reception Gown, 1875-1880

This silk brocade and taffeta gown was made in the fashion of the early 1870s. It was made in Michigan and brought to Texas by the daughter of a lumber merchant. Some of the features of the dress are the asymmetrical draping on the overskirt, the trim of poufs around the bottom front of the skirt, shirring and knife pleating on the bottom back of the skirt and the crochet-covered iridescent pearls buttons.

Fashion Show Highlights

The Texas Tech Fashion Show, held in conjunction with the textile exhibit, “They Weren’t Always White” was a huge success!

A big thank you to the Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program and the Hi-Tech Fashion Group for their participation and for creating these amazing pieces. Congratulations to the Education Department of the Museum of TTU for developing and planning the sold out event. Funding for the event was provided by the Helen Jones Foundation.The show was held in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at the Museum of Texas Tech University followed by a reception where guests enjoyed wedding cake and punch.

For more information, you can visit the Daily Toreador which can be found here

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Photos courtesy of Bill Mueller


Staff Favorite

Maroon, Felt Cloche Hat, 1920s

This burgundy cloche hat attracted my attention because of its color and style.  This style of hat was most popular in the 1920s, and most associated with the Flapper style of the Roaring Twenties.

The cloche hat (cloche is the French word for “bell”) is a bell-shaped, fitted design invented by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908, and continued to be commonly seen until the early 1930s.  Cloche hats were usually made of felt  so that they better conformed to the head and were worn low on the forehead.  The style also inspired new hairstyles of the time, such as the Eton crop and the bob, to best showcase the hat’s shape.  The cloche could also be made of straw or sisal for summer, and beads or lace for evening wear, cocktails, dancing or bridal wear.

The maroon cloche hat in the Museum of Texas Tech Collections has a lighter-hued maroon grosgrain ribbon trim, and is lined with light tan fabric.

Designer Spotlight

KRAMER OF NEW YORK, Jewelry Set, Earrings, Pin & Bracelet, date unknown

Founded in 1943 by Louis Kramer, Kramer of New York was one of the largest costume jewelry design firms of its time and is recognized to this day for its ostentatious and extravagant style. Ranging from intricate beadwork to rare crystals and gems, Kramer of New York intentionally widened its accessibility to attract a broader audience. Prices were made reasonable, varying from inexpensive to over-the-top.

The three-piece set in the Museum of Texas Tech’s collection reflects the grandiose flair of Kramer of New York jewelry. The earrings, pin and bracelet are made from the same variety of cut crystal and mounted on sterling sliver backings. A small engraving on the interior of the pin indicates the Kramer brand.

In the 1950’s, Louis’ brothers Morris and Harry joined the business, leading to their partnership with Christian Dior to design a couture line of jewelry.

Kramer of New York closed in 1980 and remains a significant player in the costume jewelry industry today.

Object of Day

Two-Piece Burgundy Wool Suit, 1908

The military style, as a fashion trend, is a recycled themed which has inspired numerous fashion designers throughout the ages. It is a style that resurfaces one minute only to be pushed back down the next. Today’s military fashion trends are not inspired by the Georgian and Victorian era, such as the one shown here with its ornamental decoration, but with functionality and utility in mind.

During the Victorian and Georgian periods, certain elements seen on military uniforms were reworked into women’s fashion, especially on women’s riding habits and coats. Occasionally, woman’s fashionable garments, such as this two-piece burgundy wool suit, adopted a few military elements like a frog closers, chevrons on the sleeves and a particular style of jacket.

Like the notorious Heidi Klum’s saying on Project Runway “One day you’re in. The next day you’re out”, the same can be said about the military style.

Staff Favorite

Brick and Beige Striped Paisley with Brown Velvet Trim Dress, 1875-1876

This dress caught my interest immediately because of its multiple design elements.  Made for a woman, who could be only five feet tall at the most, this dress encompasses many different embellishments.  The piece was made between 1875-1876 yet, it is in excellent condition.  The green, beige, and orange striped paisley print itself is eye-catching.  Then added on top are brown velvet bows, a row of buttons, a trimmed ruffle on each side, a bustle, a collar, button-trimmed pockets, and cuffs.  For this look, more is more.  It took a bold, confident woman to wear this dress.

Detail of Bodice

Exhibit News

Today is the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for the First Friday Art Trail. Today we will be replacing the center dress with this 1908 wedding gown.

This one-piece silk and Chantilly lace dress with pearl and bead trim was worn by Nellie Dixie Connell at her home wedding to Isaac Newton McCrary on June 17, 1908, in Ft.Worth, TX.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite wedding dress here or at the museum for the dress that well be featured in the center May 2012.

Giles ‘Trey’ Connell McCrary III, great-grandson of Nellie Dixie Connell and Isaac Newton McCrary, was present during the instillation of this dress. The E&T staff was excited to meet him and to learn more information about the woman behind the dress.