Interesting Stuff

From the Huntley Film Archives, this video shows many examples of women fashion from the 1890s to the 1920s. It is very interesting to see how many of the clothes worn during these time periods move with the person in them. Many times when we see garments in our collection, we wonder how an actual person would look wearing the garment or how the garment moved with a person in them. This video shows a rare glimpse in how a woman would walk in a hobble skirt or how a woman would pose or style her hair. Also toward the end of the film, there is rare color footage from the turn of the century. Check it out!



Designer Spotlight

 LILY PULITZER, Cotton-Blend Shift, 1973

At age 21, Lily Pulitzer and her husband left their busy life in New York City to settle in Palm Beach where they owned several citrus groves.  There, Lily opened a juice stand.  To disguise the colorful juice stains that inevitably appeared on her clothes, Lily designed her own dresses out of brightly patterned fabrics.


Three years later, an old schoolmate of hers, then First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, wore one of her dresses and suddenly the brand was born (pictured below at far right).

“Jackie wore one of my dresses – it was made from kitchen curtain material – and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business.” – Essentially Lilly, A Guide to Colorful Entertaining


Since then, the Lily Pulitzer brand has stayed true to her original vision. Starting with a “spill-proof” color palate, the textile print team develops its own prints and patterns.  Drawing inspiration from the beach, museums, paintings, and gardens, the team gives each design a uniquely creative name.

Ricci Shift in the “Hotty Pink Scorpion Bowl” print

Although the Lily Pulitzer is still known for the classic shift dresses, the brand expanded to include tops, scarves, purses and other vibrant accessories.  She also developed a children’s line, and a sorority line with separate prints for each.

"Kappa Alpha Theta" Print by Lily Pulitzer

Staff Favorite

CHANEL, Two-Piece Wool Suit, 1960s

When I think of Chanel, I imagine stark black and white contrasts in boxy silhouettes, metallic and pearl accessories, and heavy wool blends. Mix these together and you have a recipe for the perfect Chanel suit.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the founder and namesake to the fashion house, turned the industry on its head with her androgynous approach to women’s clothing. She emphasized comfort and simplicity in all her designs and dared to utilize men’s clothing as inspiration. This 1960s, two-piece, wool suit represents the core ideals of all Chanel creations by playfully intermixing traditional feminine and masculine shapes. The form-fitted, mid-knee length skirt offsets the prominent shoulder structure of the jacket. Buttons on the cuffs and center closure are emblazoned with the classic double “C’s”.

The suit embodies not only the innovative character of all Chanel fabrications, but sets the bar for quality workmanship and design.

Object of the Day

Pearl Gray Chiffon and Beaded Gown, 1969

Worn By Ima Mae Smith

Ima Mae Smith was born in Jack County and later moved to Ralls, Texas. She attended Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas where she met Preston Smith. They were married in 1935 and settled in Lubbock.  Her husband, Preston Smith served as a State Representative for six years, a State Senator for six years, the Lieutenant Governor for six years, and Governor of Texas for four years starting in 1969.

This gown was worn for the inaugural ball in 1969. It is made with pearl gray chiffon and is empire styled featuring a jeweled covered bodice with crystal tulip beads, iridescent sequins and looped crystal beaded fringe.  Helen Rose, who won several awards including two Academy Awards for best costume design, and made famous wedding dresses such as ones for Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, was the designer of this dress.

Photo Courtesy of Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Ima Mae Smith’s community work included the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, the Women’s Organization of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Lubbock Country Club, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Alumnae, and the St. John’s United Methodist Church. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Texas Tech University.

Object of the Day

 Garnet Red Velvet Dress, 1943

This red velvet dress was worn by Carol Krueger (wife of famed football player Bobby Layne), to have her portrait painted in 1943.  The long fur-cuffed sleeves were removed from the dress after the portrait was completed.

Some of the features of the dress are the scoop fur lined neckline, the full skirt and the row of three velvet bows down the front of the 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 all the gowns displayed in the gallery with gowns from 1910 thru the 1920s.  The feature dress this month is this 1912 wedding gown.

This ivory satin de Chine wedding gown was worn by Ruby Barron for her home wedding to C. Fred Litton on September 26, 1912.  It was designed and made by Mrs. J.T. McNeill of 908 Elm Street in Dallas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These dresses shown here will be on display in Gallery 1 from December thru February.

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.