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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Culture:American
Title:dress
Date Made:1926-1929
Type:Clothing
Materials:textile: brown, orange and off-white printed silk chiffon; machine-made mace
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield (probably)
Measurements:Center Back (CB): 43 1/2 in; 110.5 cm); Center Front (CF): 39 1/2 in; 100.3 cm)
Accession Number:  HD 2012.23.3.1
Credit Line:Gift of Sylvia Smead Gallagher

Description:
Woman's dress of brown, orange and off-white printed silk chiffon, worn by Ruth Searles Smead (1899-1991) of Greenfield, Massachusetts. The wearer paired the dress with a shawl printed with a different pattern, but in a similar colorway (2012.23.3.2).The dress features a large draped collar edged with machine-made lace, a dropped waist, and a hem consisting of serveral panels inserted on the bias to create a flowy, airy skirt shape without significant volume. The insertion of these bias "wedges," sometimes referred to in the period as shells, reflects the influence of the bias cut in dress construction at this time, pioneered by French couturiers such as Madeleine Vionnet, among others. Bust 38", waist 35", hip 40". See also 2012.23.1-2; .4-.9.

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