Object of the Day

Three-piece second-day dress, brick-red wool, 1882

Mary Matilda Hancock and Frederick Wm. Watkin were married in New York City in 1882. This three-piece, brick-red, wool dress – a shaped-fitted, basque bodice with pointed peplum, a long gored skirt with overlapping ruffles, and a pouffed overskirt – would have made a wonderful impression when Mr. and Mrs. Watkin embarked on their honeymoon.

This three-piece dress was part of Mary’s trousseau. The word trousseau came from the French word ‘trousse’ which means ‘bundle.’ The Trousseau originated as a bundle of clothing and personal possessions the bride brought with her to her new home. In America, a girl might begin preparing her trousseau from an early age, saving treasured items (including clothing and household linens made by herself or given to her) in a Hope Chest to be stored for her married life. Among a bride’s trousseau would be the dresses and lingerie she would wear right after the wedding and on her honeymoon.

A Second-day dress was a semi-formal dress the new bride would wear when the newlyweds were visiting relatives and friends, or receiving guests in their new home. The second-day dress or suit was usually more modest in style and ornamentation than the wedding gown. It would be worn on special occasions and Sunday church services for years to come. A bride might also wear a going-away suit when she and her husband left for their honeymoon, serving the same function as the Second-day dress.

Original metal buttons have a moon and stars motif.

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Exhibit News

Friday was the May’s First Friday Art Trail, and the votes are in!  This month will feature the most voted for wedding gown from the exhibit They Weren’t Always White.  This 1948 ivory satin wedding gown received the most votes throughout the entire exhibition.

This ivory satin wedding dress with a fitted bodice and a gathered skirt with chapel train was specially made by Neiman-Marcus in Dallas for the bride Mrs. Marian Hinn Riggs, cousin of Mrs. W. C. Holden.

The next most voted for dress is this 1946 aqua chiffon, Lucien Lelong wedding gown, was worn for Kay and Paul Boutin’s May 29, 1946 wedding in Paris, France.

The third most voted for dress is this traditional style wedding gown in ivory brocade worn by Louise Hopkins for her marriage to Harris Faulkner Underwood II on October 12, 1941, at St. Matthews Cathedral in Dallas, TX.

Thank you for your participation!

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 1941 wedding gown.

This traditional style wedding gown in ivory brocade was worn by Louise Hopkins for her marriage to Harris Faulkner Underwood II on October 12, 1941, at St. Matthews Cathedral in Dallas, TX.  Included in the wedding ensemble is a long veil with face cover and adorned with feathers at the crown, and white satin, heeled sandals.

As with many wedding dresses during WWII, this gown was worn multiple times.  It was also worn by Mrs. Underwood’s sister, Madeleine Hopkins to James K. Wade, as well as her niece.

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

Exhibit News

An Interview with Mrs. Rueby Maeker

Today is the First Friday Art Trail, and we will be replacing all of the wedding gowns displayed in Gallery 1.

We are delighted to share this video interview with Mrs. Rueby Maeker of Lubbock, TX.  Married to Arnold Maeker in 1948, Mrs. Maeker wore this “heavenly” blue, cotton velveteen wedding gown (shown below) at her church wedding.

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 1930s thru the 1940s.  The feature dress this month is this 1939 wedding ensemble.

This deep purple wool and mink trimmed coat and dress ensemble was worn by Florence Lawson at her marriage to V. L. Lawson, on Dec. 23, 1939, at 7:30pm in Lubbock, TX.

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These dresses shown here will be on display in Gallery 1 from March – May 2012.

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.

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 1938 wedding gown.

This ivory marquisette and lace wedding gown, slip and veil was worn by Jane Richards for her marriage to Alton Wade on August 20, 1938, at St. James Episcopal Church in Lakewood, Ohio.

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

Designer Spotlight

LUCIEN LELONG, Grey-Blue Chiffon and Silk Wedding Dress, 1946

Mrs. Kay Boutin wore this long grey-blue chiffon wedding dress with full-gauged skirt, wide scoop neckline and chiffon bow for her wedding to Major Paul Boutin on May 29, 1946 in Paris, France.  Paul Boutin was a Major in the US Army and Mrs. Kay Boutin  was an Army Librarian with the special services. The Bride wore a white orchid in her hair, carried a bouquet of white orchids and wore long white kid gloves. The dress was made by Lucien Lelong, and this particular one was one of his designs post WWII.

This is the original Bill of Sale for the Delong wedding dress purchased on May 27, 1946, days before the wedding.

Lucien Lelong (October 11, 1889 – May 11, 1958) was a French couturier who was prominent from the 1920s to the 1940s.  He is most remembered for his heroic diplomatic efforts to sustain Parisian couture during World War II. He was elected as president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in 1937, which would prove to be his greatest challenge and contribution to fashion.

As president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, it was his job to negotiate with the occupying German regime. The Nazis wanted to move Paris fashion to Berlin by any means, including violence. On July 20, 1940 five Nazi officers arrived at the headquarters of the Chambre Syndicale on an ‘inspection’; five days later they broke into the building and requisitioned the archive and seize all of the  documents pertaining to the French export trade.

Lucien Lelong

Under the plan of the Nazis, Paris ateliers would be moved to Germany or Austria, where they would train a new generation of German dressmakers. The designers would also be moved. Within a generation, the Nazis expected, couture would be German, not French. Lelong pointed out that the plan was unworkable. The skills, he explained, were unteachable, that you could not transfer them, and it took decades to reach the necessary levels of craftsmanship.

This iconic photo of Lisa in a Lucien Lelong gown swinging precariously off the Eiffel Tower, was taken by Erwin Blumenfeld for Vogue 1939

By 1941 the Germans had issued textile ration cards to every design house. It was obvious that compliance with these regulations would spell the end of Paris couture. Lelong, through difficult negotiations, obtained exemptions for 12 houses. Lelong said, “Unfortunately the Germans noticed at the end of six months that 92 houses were operating, which led to more discussions. Finally we succeeded in keeping 60.” Madame Grés and Balenciaga both exceeded their yardage requirements one season and were ordered to close for two weeks. Banding together in a show of unity and force, the remaining houses finished the two collections so they could be shown on time.

Natalie Paley (Mrs. Lucien Lelong from 1927-1937) wearing a black sequined evening gown by Lelong, photo by Man Ray, 1934

Lelong is credited with saving over 12,000 workers from deportation into German war industries. Over the period of four years, 14 official conferences had been held with the Germans, at four of them the Germans had announced that la couture was to be entirely suppressed, and each time the French avoided catastrophe.

Lucien Lelong evening gown design illustrated by Rene Gruau, 1947

 Lelong employed many talented young designers and gave them the opportunity to grow professionally. Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Hubert de Givenchy, and Jean Schlumberger were all employed by Lelong at one time or another.

Lelong retired in 1948 and died a decade later near Biarritz. He showed a total of 110 collections during his career, and though closed his couture business, he continued a fragrance business which he had started in the 1924 and is still in existence today.

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 1920 wedding suit.

This two piece reindeer-tan wool suit was worn by Ethel Teague when she married Ernest Raney on September 15, 1920 in Abilene, Texas.

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

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.

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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.

Up Coming Event

Texas Tech Bridal Fashion Show and Gallery Talk 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gallery Talk is at 2:00, Runway Show Starts at 3:00

The event is free, however, seating is limited to 275

Tickets will be handed out on a first come basis starting at 12:30

The Museum of Texas Tech is proud to present the Texas Tech Fashion Show and Gallery Talk. In conjunction with the textile exhibit, “They Weren’t Always White- Wedding Attire from the Museum’s Collection”, the museum is hosting this event with the Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program and Hi-Tech Fashion Group.  This event will be held in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at the Museum of Texas Tech University and a reception will follow after the show.