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Wedding Dress of Ellen Suydam Lott Rapelje

VC2007.006.q-001.jpg

Dublin Core

Identifier

VC2007006

Title

Wedding Dress of Ellen Suydam Lott Rapelje

Description

Dress of cream silk, lace, and chenille; S-curve silhouette; cream silk bodice with cream floral print has pleats extending from shoulder blades at back to waist at front; puff sleeves with draped layers of silk and lace, flounced lace at bottom of sleeve; high lace collar and neck inset of lace extending from under silk scoop neckline; hook and eye closures at center back; attached silk belt and natural waist with floral silk inlay mtifs outlined by chenille appliqués, hook and eye closures at center back of belt; gored floor-length skirt with floral silk inlay motifs outlined by chenille, scattered throughout front and back, with chenille fringe on the lower appliqués, three tiers of silk ruffles at hem of skirt, layers of billowed silk extending from the waist at center back down to a tiered train.

Date

1907

Subject

weddings
clothing and dress
1900s

Relation

For Better and For Worse

Extent

34 inches (chest); 30 inches (waist); 41 inches (center front length); 64 inches (center back length from waist to hem)

Medium

silk crepe, chiffon, and chenille

Type

Physical Object
Dress

Spatial Coverage

New York, USA

Temporal Coverage

1900s

Costume Item Type Metadata

Source Identifier

VC2007006

Cataloguer with Date

Bailey Strauss, 1/24/14

Color Main

off-white

A

dress

B

veil

Structure Silhouette

S-curve

Structure Cut

straight

Closure Type

hooks and eyes

Closure Placement

center back

Structure Neckline

band collar

Structure Torso

bloused
pleats

Structure Sleeves

puff
short

Structure Waist

natural

Structure Skirt

gored

Structure Hem

train

Dimensions Chest

34

Dimensions Waist

30

Dimensions CF Length

41

Dimensions CB Length

64

Dimensions All

34 inches (chest); 30 inches (waist); 41 inches (center front length); 64 inches (center back length from waist to hem)

Wearer

Ellen Suydam Lott Rapelje

Donor

Mrs. Kate T. Mathews

Date Earliest

1907

Date Latest

1907

Culture

American

Gender

female

Category

Wedding

Exhibitions

For Better and For Worse, spring 2013

Public Information

Ellen Suydam Lott Rapelje was the great-grandmother of donor Kate T. Mathews, Vassar class of 1978, and the grandmother-in-law of Barbara Thompson, Vassar class of 1953.

Condition Term

good

Condition

Massive tears in lining near train. Lining rips up entire skirt though less frequent than on minor tears at armpits and back closure in lining. Dirt at hem of train. Below waist band in front there is weight damage.


Found tiny brown bug casings in seams and removed them with tweezers-12/12 (many more were already removed in an earlier year)

Green rust stain on the back of the skirt-12/12

Treatment

A small foam mannequin was padded slightly to fit this dress. Some slight padding was added to the back hips to mimic the effect of a small bustle pad. A petticoat was dressed on the mannequin to provide a foundation garment.

Mannequin

Carol

Storage Location

N1

Repository

Vassar College Costume Collection, Drama Department, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Kate T. Mathews , VC Class of 1978

Donor Class Year

1978

Exhibition Notes

This wedding dress and veil was worn by Ellen Suydam Lott Rapelje in her wedding on December 12, 1907. She was the great-grandmother of donor Kate T. Mathews, Vassar class of 1978, and the grandmother-in-law of Barbara Thompson, Vassar class of 1953. Her dress epitomizes the popular shape of the time—with an S shaped corset that draws in the stomach, gigot sleeves that puff out at the upper arm and then narrow at the forearm, and long gloves. The asymmetrical appliqués of this wedding dress exemplify the curving shapes popular in the Art Nouveau movement. White on white would have been a conventional choice for a wedding dress at the turn of the century, but the
asymmetrical trimming would have been a bold, fashion conscious choice.

- by Bailey Strauss ‘14
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