In 1878 Ellen Garretson married Jeptha Homer Wade II, grandson of the Western Union Telegraph founder. The Wades often traveled and Nellie would have visited the Fifth Avenue firm Moschowitz & Russell to be fitted for this elaborate dress. The firm imported Parisian materials and no detail was overlooked, from delicately embroidered flowers to the sinuous, trained silhouette. Today, the Wade family’s impact can be experienced through the cultural institutions that they helped establish in University Circle, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the WRHS., Made of silk faille, embroidery, and passmenterie. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Ellen Garretson Wade (1859-1917). Gift of Ellen Wade Chinn, 1996.39.2. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
Ann Otis wore this dress in Cleveland during the 1860s, when it would have been an even more saturated green. During the period, toxic organic compounds like aniline and arsenic created novel colors but eventually, scientists discovered the negative effects of the dye agents. In addition to the bold color, her silhouette, with its small waist and voluminous skirt, would have been admired. As the wife of the prominent businessman and future mayor, Charles A. Otis, Ann would have had occasion to be in the public eye., Made of silk. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Ann Eliza Sheppard Otis (1838-1883). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harold T. Clark, 46.474. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
Clevelander Ada Yerkes wore this bold red dress to a dance in 1892 as a student at Smith College. She may have drawn attention on the dance floor, but she stood out amongst her peers for other reasons. At a time when not many women attended four-year colleges, she graduated from Smith and then completed her Ph.D. in zoology from Columbia University in 1900. Ada published her research in scientific journals, but her major accomplishment was the book she co-authored, The Great Apes, A Study of Anthropoid Life., Made of silk, velvet. Worn in Northampton, Massachusetts by Ada Watterson Yerkes (1873-1963). Gift of Robert H. Clark, 66.149.15. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
This silhouette, often called the robe de style, is associated with the designer Jeanne Lanvin, and mimics the wide skirts of the 18th century. Cleveland’s Phyllis Peckham wore French couture, and several of her Lanvin dresses are now in the WRHS collection. Phyllis pursued the latest fashions (thanks to her father’s ownership of the Cleveland Buick Company), but her life’s work became the support of Cleveland’s theater district. She even covered theater news in her radio program, “Eldred Theatre Players.”, Made of silk faille and chiffon, velvet ribbon. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Phyllis Peckham (1903-1999). Gift of Miss Phyllis Peckham, 75.124.19. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
Helen Bing was in danger of outshining the bride when she wore this dress to her daughter Marian’s wedding in 1929. She could afford designer gowns as the widow of Solomon Bing, former President of the Bing Co., one of Ohio’s largest furniture stores. In the face of losing her husband at a relatively young age, Helen raised three young children and served her community, as the President of the Cleveland Camp Fire Girls, President of the Temple Women’s Association, Vice President of the Cleveland Council of Jewish Women, and as a trustee of the National Conference of Christians and Jews., Made of silk, net, beading, sequins, faux pearls. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Helen Einstein Bing (1882-1976). Gift of Mrs. Thomas Cristal, 79.123.4. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
Mary Norton wasn’t shy about dressing in sequins from head to toe. She would have been the center of attention in this dress, glittering in brand new electric lighting. As one of Millionaires’ Row’s prominent residents and the daughter of former Mayor William B. Castle, Mary’s life was filled with parties and family gatherings, both intimate and elaborate. John Hay described her 1876 wedding to David Z. Norton, for which “the whole village came together,” enjoying a wedding reception at the family’s home for hundreds of guests, with dancing, food, and merry-making., Made of silk, sequins. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Mary Castle Norton (1854-1928). Gift of Mrs. Fred R. White, Mr. Laurence & Robert Norton, 50.624. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
The city’s eyes were on the White family, who made their name through manufacturing, with the White Sewing Machine Co., and later with Rollin White’s co-ownership of the White Motor Corporation. He and his wife Katharine had a taste for adventure and the outdoors. Family photo albums depict her enjoying golfing and sailing, and during the 1930s she and her family cruised around the world on the SS Columbus. Around the time she would have worn this dress, she took her granddaughter, also named Katharine, on a North Cape cruise aboard the SS Kungsholm. Kate would have been 65 that year, and her willingness to shine in this silver dress hadn’t faded., Made of silk lamé. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Katharine King White (1872-1949). Gift of Mrs. W. Griffin King, 58.282. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
At first glance, this dress is striking for its profusion of sequins, delicately stitched to a layer of lace. Michaeline, or Mike, Maschke had the option of wearing it as you see it here, or with the hood up, which would have given her an added air of drama. Although hooded eveningwear was fashionable during the 1930s and 1940s, not everyone could pull it off., Made of synthetic, sequins. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Michaeline Maschke (1918-1998). The Mrs. Maurice Maschke, Jr. Collection, 86.94.14. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
This silhouette, with its dramatic bustle, is unlike anything we wear today, but in its time it represented the height of fashion. The Laracy sisters in New York City created it for Sarah Hitchcock, who, as an avid traveler, probably visited their shop on West 36th Street to be fitted. Not only did the Hitchcock family shop abroad, but they explored and experienced; visiting monuments, riding camels, and traversing new landscapes. Both her travels and her fashionable dress illustrate Sarah’s willingness to embrace risk., Made of silk velvet and net, cotton. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Sarah Jane Wilcox Hitchcock (1840-1920). Gift of Lawrence Hitchcock, Jr., Mrs. Frederick McConnell, and Mrs. Henry Reynolds Hatch III, 91.52.5. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
This dress is a perennial favorite of visitors to the WRHS because of its sparkle and the pattern of sequins, which creates a charming motif of oversized buttons. Marguerite, or Greta, Millikin owned several mini-dresses designed by Courrèges, who was especially known for his mod, futuristic style during the 1960s. This dress was made for fun. To learn more about Greta, visit her red shimmering pantsuit, also in this exhibition., Made of cotton, silk, sequins. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Marguerite Sterkerl Millikin (1903-1989). The Marguerite Sterkerl Millikin Collection, Gift of Mrs. Millikin, 71.1.8. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
The layer around Honey Rosenthal’s shoulders can be primped and puffed to give it volume, creating impact with a dramatic silhouette. Honey wore this dress to the WRHS in 1977 for an event honoring Charles, Prince of Wales. Honey’s English-made dress subtly honored the monarchy: the designer, Norman Hartnell, was appointed dressmaker to the Royal Family in 1938. The press took note of Honey’s style, and in 1981 Town & Country named her one of the “Turned Out Twenty,” amongst the likes of Nancy Reagan., Made of silk. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Honey Rosenthal (1917-2005). Gift of Mrs. Leighton Rosenthal, 93.99.1. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.
Strong shoulders and bright houndstooth give this dress personality, and undoubtedly a boost of confidence to its wearer, Jane Horvitz. As a Carolina Herrera fan, she shopped at Cindy Halle’s boutique, and even once wore the very same ensemble as the designer to a local event. Design is in Jane’s blood: her grandfather founded the Cleveland Overall Co., later known as Work Wear. Today, she focuses her efforts on philanthropic work, running the family’s foundation with her sister., Made of wool, silk. Worn in Cleveland, Ohio by Jane Rosenthal Horvitz (b. 1952). Gift of Jane Rosenthal Horvitz, 2004.52.15. Featured in the "Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Clothes" Exhibit.