Donor claimed this dress was made by the House of Worth, which was waning in influence by the early twentieth century, replaced by more forward-looking French couturiers such as Paul Poiret, Jeanne Paquin and Callot Souers. There is no identifying label to verify this, and it is possible that the wearer purchased a copy of a Worth model from important Boston dressmaker Mary Ruby (see V.096A). The dress was worn by Olivia Endicott Hutchins (1872 - 1954), the mother-in-law of the donor. She was a direct descendant of former Massachusetts Bay Colony govenor John Endicott, and married John Hurd Hutchins in ? It is thought this and her other dress in the museum's collection (V.096A) date to after her marriage. Regardless of the actual maker, the dress is a good example of clothing commissioned by wealthy Bostonians in the early 20th century. While exclusive dressmakers did exist in the Connecticut River Valley, their access to imported couture models was more limited than their urban counterparts. Dresses such as this would have informed more local clothing choices. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Muusem of Art owns an 1896 unlabled court or presentation gown attributed to the House of Worth (formerly owned by the Brooklyn Museum), suggesting labels could be removed from Worth garments for various reasons. Charles Frederick Worth's son, Jean-Philippe, was designing for the House by this time (1896), as well as the time that this dress would have been made, c. 1910-1914.
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