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Buying, Making, Re-making

Photograph of Wedding Dresses of Beulah May Christ Hummel, Isabel Miller Board, and Cindy & Karen Lipschutz

There are many stories here of how a bride came to buy, design, make her gown, or have her gown made by a family member. Then there are even more stories of wedding outfits being used again, and/or in different ways.

The expectation of having a wedding dress that you would wear only once, for that one special day, doesn’t go back much more than a century. The wedding dress worn by Isabel Miller Board, grandmother of Isabel Plambeck (Vassar class of 1962) was not a white dress, but rather a light brown and blue brocade, which could have been a formal dress for other occasions. Muriel Kahn Lampell (Vassar class of 1951) (dress #17) had the sleeves taken out of her dress after her wedding, in case she wanted to wear it as a summer formal dress. Dress #20 was worn by two different sisters, Cindy and Karen Lipschutz (daughters of Elaine Lipschutz, Lecturer Emerita in Education). Many photographs are of dresses that were worn again by subsequent generations, or that used elements of an ancestor’s dress.

- Arden Kirkland (Vassar class of 1993)