In the Royal BC Museum there are 2 Art Deco garments that are well worth the hunt to find.
This silk georgette evening dress, 1926-28, illustrates well the shock of the new. For the first time in European history women went out in public wearing garments that exposed their lower legs and the full length of their arms. These garments reflect the hard won freedoms women enjoyed for the short time between the wars in North America.
The dress is heavily embroidered with beads. Loops of seed beads make the red flowers in the floral bouquet 3 dimensional.
I am always fascinated by the strong bond between women and flowers.
Next to the dress, in the display cabinet, is this interesting hat. It too is an important social commentary on how women, for the first time, voluntarily cut off their ‘crowning glory’ as though they were removing a burden from the past. Then they covered up their heads in the Asian style, with form-fitting hats. It was such a shocking protest at the time. They seemed to want to remove the inequality of the gender issue so they could be seen as another human being.
The hat is covered with dense long and short stitch and ribbon couched down in a similar technique to quill work.
I don’t know what to make of the design. Any suggestions?