29666 | Dress

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1900-1910, 20th century
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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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.

  • What

    Following Queen Victoria's (1819-1901) reign, women started to adopt a lighter, lace-embellished, and more lavish wardrobe.

  • Where

    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.

  • When

    The Edwardian era (1901-1910) saw a great transformation of dress styles, with elaborately trimmed light silks becoming very fashionable.

  • Who

    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.