Spring is here! Today, March 20, is the first day of spring for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring brings longer days, warmer weather and a host of colorful blooms. In celebration of spring's arrival, we offer you an array of flowers from our collection. Enjoy!
This pair of nineteenth century evening boots feature a pattern of roses and twining foliage. Made of a lightly iridescent silk damask brocade accented with green leather foxing at the heel and toe, these boots were almost certainly made to match an evening gown. Because of their delicacy, they would have been worn indoors only. As was common throughout much of the 19th century, these boots have undefined left and right soles. Shoes with distinctly different shapes for the left and right food didn't became widespread until the late 19th century.
This hand-painted child's dress is decorated with whimsical imagery, including a winged fairy perched in a shell-shaped coach. The coach is pulled by a team of butterflies and hovers over a field of daffodils. When we first published this ensemble, we suspected that the fanciful images were related to a fairy-tale, but couldn't make a correlation with a specific story. Our curators later realized that the hand-painted images are linked to Thumbelina. In this fairy-tale, written in the 1830s by Hans Christian Andersen, tiny Thumbelina is pulled by butterflies through a daffodil forest to marry her Flower-Fairy prince.
This 1950s bathing cap features a large, flocked flower on a cap styled to resemble hair. Bathing caps were common during the 1950s and were usually much more than a utilitarian rubber cap. The models in this short film clip showcase a variety of decorated bathing caps. The importance placed on wearing a stylish bathing cap was probably an extension of the expectation that a well-dressed woman wear a hat outside the home. The variety of bathing caps available in the 1950s was also an indicator of wide-spread economic prosperity. With this prosperity came more frequent vacations, often to locales near or on the water. Beachside vacations required specfic wardrobes, including fashionable bathing caps.
Normal Norell's explosive floral evening coat would envelop the wearer in a floral cloud. Though Norell's day-wear was practically minimalist, his evening wear was much more playful. His most famous evening wear design was the sequin-covered Mermaid gown, which he produced from the 1950s until his last collection in 1972. This floral coat is equally eye-catching, and features hand-dyed silk petals and a pink silk lining.