- Jeanne LaSalle wore this dress designed by Adrian when she married Robert L. Rigley in July 1945. She had purchased it at Marshall Field and Company in Chicago. The wedding and reception were held at The Drake, a fashionable hotel near Lake Michigan.
- The donor called this "an afternoon" dress. It was typical of wartime wedding attire. Although wedding dresses had been declared exempt from government law L-85 (the purpose of which was to conserve materials used in the manufacturing of clothing), many women did not have the time to prepare for a formal wedding and thought it was frivolous to spend money on a wedding dress during the war. Instead, many purchased a "good" dress or suit that they could wear later for other events. In fact, many surviving wedding outfits from the war were made and designed by Adrian, the Hollywood designer who opened his own salon and ready-to-wear company in 1942. Adrian’s garments were more expensive than regular dresses and suits, but they carried a certain cache. The donor remembered paying $125 for this dress at the time, which was a significant investment.
- This street-length, one-piece dress is constructed from a gray rayon fabric. The V-shape opening at the front neckline fastens at the center with a hook-and-eye. A curving band is set in at the waistline, with two pleats on either side of the center front radiating diagonally from the waistband into the bodice section. The long, tapering set-in sleeves have a zipper closure at the sleeve ends. Two strips of fabric are attached to the right shoulder and the right upper sleeve and drape loosely in front of the bodice, where they are sewn into the right front waistband. The skirt section is cut fairly straight. A right front skirt panel extends to left of the center front, with a section of the skirt pleated on a diagonal to the panel.
- Currently not on view
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
- used by
- Rigley, Jeanne LaSalle
- purchased at
- Marshall Field and Company
- Date made
- Credit Line
- Gift of Jeanne LaSalle Rigley
- Object Name
- dress, 1-piece
- dress, 1-piece, wedding
- Object Type
- Main Dress
- Entire Body
- Other Terms
- dress, 1-piece; entire body; main dress; female
International media Interoperability Framework
IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and media viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. Visit the IIIF page to learn more.