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All That Glitters - Part 2

Turn of the Century: 1890-1910

Prosperous Kansans had access to the latest fabrics and patterns via the railroad. New styles were just a train ride away.


Lavender silk gown, 1890s

Lavender Silk, 1890s

The bustle had fallen out of fashion by the 1890s, but fullness in the back of a skirt was still desirable.

Like many dresses of its day, this gown also has a slight train.

It belonged to Ivison Scott, who later married Samuel Coleman. The Colemans settled in Howard, Kansas, where Samuel farmed.

A seamstress in Toledo, Ohio, made this lavender silk gown. Its fitted bodice has an elaborate beaded fringe and is further decorated by appliquéd beaded silk trim in a scroll design.

View close-up of bodice detail.


Pouter Pigeon dress, 1900-1910.


Pouter Pigeon, 1900-1910

Women's dresses in the first decade of the 20th century puffed on the front above the waist. The style became known as "Pouter Pigeon" because of its resemblance to the high, full breast of this bird.

This typical Edwardian style dress is two pieces (bodice and skirt). Its fine black transparent net is printed with posies and feathers.

View close-up of neckline.





Net and satin dress, 1907.

Net and Satin, 1907

Another example of the Pouter Pigeon style, this gown is made of off-white cotton net heavily trimmed with blue sequins, beads, and satin. The waistline is sashed. The skirt is tulip-shaped, in that its design resembles an upside-down tulip by curving outward at the bottom. Both the bodice and skirt are decorated with large, pale blue flowers formed of petal-shaped sequins and opalescent seed beads, with centers of small brown sequins and silk chenille thread.

The dress' waistband has a woven mark reading, "Denova, 32 Avenue de l'Opera, Paris." Denova is listed in a 1907 shopping guide for women studying in Paris as offering "evening gowns, blouses, and street dresses tailor-made . . . specially good."

Although the specific history of this dress is unknown, it is believed to have been purchased, and later worn, by Hazel Fassler Dudley while she visited Paris in 1907.

View detail of beading at bottom of skirt.


Girl's Pouter Pigeon dress, 1900-1910.

Girl's Pouter Pigeon, 1900-1910

The short skirt of this Pouter Pigeon dress was typical for girls, who generally wore shorter dresses until they were older.

White cotton lace inserts offset the pale green silk of this dress. Its high lace collar is lined with wire supports to keep it standing upright.

View close-up of smocking and lace on bodice.





Black lace gown, 1905-1915.

Black Lace, 1905-1915

Unlike previous decades where hemlines flared, skirts of the 1910s became tubular. Some extremely tight versions were called "hobble" skirts because women appeared to hobble in them due to their stride being restricted.

This dress probably belonged to Barbara Harvey. She was married to Fred Harvey, founder of the Harvey House Restaurants. The frock was sold by Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods Company, a well-known department store in downtown Kansas City.

Black lace over a beige silk underlay gives this dress its elegant appearance. The bodice is trimmed with lace ruffles and heavily beaded bands. Floral lace encircles the skirt, and creates an angled line on front. On the skirt's back, lace is swagged near the train and trimmed with a black velvet bow.

View close-up of lace overskirt.


All That Glitters: Dressing Up & Stepping Out is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History.

  1. Hoops & Bustles: 1860s-1880s
  2. Turn of the Century: 1890-1910
  3. The Party Decade: 1920s
  4. The Honor of Your Company: Inaugural Ball Gowns
  5. Dressed in White: Wedding Gowns

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov