Object of the Day

Rust Brown Velvet Dinner Gown, 1935

This dramatic velvet dinner gown from 1935 is representative of the way women desired to appear during the 1930s. The dress has a bias-cut skirt with a train and molds itself to the body to form a statuesque silhouette. The bodice is darted below the bust line and small covered buttons run down the back. The sleeves are made with red fox fur banding on the edges.

This dress was designed by Lettie Lee who was a Hollywood costume designer. She was a gown supervisor and also designed costumes for several 1930s noir and early “Talkie” films. She most notably dressed Fay Wray in Ann Carver’s Profession, a film that directly followed her to star in King Kong.

Gowns like this made ordinary women feel glamorous like Hollywood movie stars, and they are not as hard to come by as you might think. We have several in our collection that were worn by fashionable women in West Texas.

Have you ever found a glamorous gown like this in your mother’s, grandmother’s or great grandmother’s closet?  Tell us about it!


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