Vermilye/Potter Family dress

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Photo 57 : Dress owned by Kate Potter
(Photo courtesy of Linda Worstrel)

Leslie Bellais of the Wisconsin Historical Society writes: "The dress.... dates from 1905-1908. It is the height of Art Nouveau design and would have been very stylish for its time. I would be surprised if this was a mourning dress, since it has an exuberance to it. Black and white combinations were fashionable in the 1900s for evening wear, and I believe that is what it was worn for".

Linda McShannock, a clothing specialist with the Minnesota Historical Society, writes: "I'd agree with Leslie Bellais' assessment. The sleeves are definitely 1905-08 (upper sleeves were full at this time); the way the fabric sits close to the body; the design of the fabric - Art Nouveau influence. ....lace would have been a popular choice for a fashion garment. I agree, this is not made for a mourning situation. It could be a dinner or evening dress, though it could also be a visiting dress for daytime wear.