This fabulous 1920s yellow chiffon dress has all that could be desired in a summer party dress. The basic tunic construction is enhanced with a little extra fullness gathered at the side waist, further supplemented by additional, longer chiffon flounces set off by beaded medallions. The dress is lovely with Egyptian-inspired beadwork in scroll, leaf and sunburst designs worked in clear and gold beads, studded with rhinestones. The dress has an apricot silk slip underneath, giving additional depth to the color. The chiffon would flow and flutter and the beadwork would glitter, providing the perfect shimmering illusion.

While perfect for dancing the night away, beaded chiffon dresses like this one suffered badly from the sweat, fragility of the chiffon and weight of the beading. The majority of the damage is seen at the armholes and shoulder straps. Consequently, the dress is too fragile to go on a mannequin and must be displayed flat.

This gorgeous dress was worn by Julia Schirmer (1889-1985) of Charleston. One of six children, Julia never married; she lived on Smith Street at Bull. Her brother Charles was the city’s first electrician; her nephew, Arthur, was mayor in 1975.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday