29666 | Dress
1900-1910, 20th century
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
Significant transformations were occurring in many areas of early 20th-century New Brunswick society, not the least of them in fashion. Women were starting to adopt a lighter, lace-embellished and more lavish wardrobe, a shift set in motion by industrialization. Previously, only society's wealthiest women could afford fashionable laces, embroideries and cutworks. But now, growing numbers of women had the means to buy factory-made, yet fashionable clothes. A new look was also taking shape, due in part to a corset form that gave the body the exaggerated S-curve popular during the Art Nouveau period.
Following Queen Victoria's (1819-1901) reign, women started to adopt a lighter, lace-embellished, and more lavish wardrobe.
A fashionable silk dress such as this would have been used for special occasions or more formal events such as high tea or an "at home" visit.
The Edwardian era (1901-1910) saw a great transformation of dress styles, with elaborately trimmed light silks becoming very fashionable.
This dress was made from the silk of an 1860s gown worn by Mary Jane Dinsmore Sinclair (1840-1921) and was probably worn by her niece, Annie E. MacKenzie (born 1875). The material might have been recycled for economical or sentimental reasons.