Fay G. “Virginia” Chin, 78, stands aing to her bells dress from 1960, on affectation at the Garrison House in Chelmsford. SUN photos /David H. Brow
CHELMSFORD — Kay Desmarais and Doris Holt advised the capacity of an 1880s-era bells dress, acquainted at the anxiously sewn beads, sequins and adornment basic aureate art nouveau-like patterns on the atramentous fabric.
“Look at the assignment on it,” Desmarais said. “Oh, attending at that.”
Wait, a atramentous bells dress? Yes, that’s appropriate — white bells dresses didn’t activate to appear into faddy until England’s Queen Victoria wore won for her 1854 wedding, according to Deb Taverna, who chairs the Garrison House lath of trustees.
Before that, brides “used to accomplish a absolutely nice dress they could abrasion afresh and again,” Taverna said.
Close-up of the detail on the bells dress of Kay G. “Virginia” Chin of Chelmsford, on affectation at the Garrison House.
Wedding gowns and accessories from the backward 1800s up through about 2000, as able-bodied as bells accoutrements from a cardinal of Asian countries, were on affectation Sunday at the Garrison House as allotment of a Sally’s Closet exhibit.
The accident is called in account of Chelmsford’s backward Sally Palmer Field, a acclaimed quilter and aged and best accouterment beneficiary who died in 2011, Taverna said.
It was consistently Field’s dream to affectation the clothes, abnormally the bells dresses she collected, Taverna said. Unfortunately, she said, bisected of Field’s accumulating was absent due to baptize accident at her home.
Taverna said the Garrison House holds the affectation every two years, cartoon aloft its own accouterment accumulating and that of Field, as able-bodied as items loaned from association and others.
The admirable white-turned-ivory dress Dolores Rawding, of Winer, wore for her 1952 bells was on display, with its 6-foot-long alternation and delicate high bodice. Originally of Continued Island, New York, Rawding recalled the backbreaking calefaction of the day and letters that bodies were frying eggs on the sidewalks in Central Park.
Her daughter, Linda Prescott, additionally wore the dress for her 1978 wedding, trading out Rawding’s beaded leaf-ringed Juliet cap for a continued white veil.
One of the oldest bells dresses on affectation at the Garrison House in Chelmsford, apparent actuality is the dress of Lizzie MacDonald who affiliated William Cachran in 1887. SUN /David H. Brow
Fay G. “Virginia” Chin had three dresses on affectation — anniversary from a altered allotment of her 1960 wedding, as is attitude with Chinese weddings, she said.
She had to accept her delicate white bells dress custom-built at a Boston bazaar to fit her tiny frame. The added two dresses, for her accession and honeymoon, came from Hong Kong, she said.
A dragon fabricated of argent sequins and blush and blooming bean accents stretches beyond the top bendable blush cottony accession dress, with a blush and blooming beaded phoenix, with argent applique accents, ascent from the bottom.
Chelmsford citizen Linda Prescott stands aing to the bells dress that was chastening in 1978 and her mother’s in 1952, on affectation at the Garrison House.
“I still can put this on,” Chin said, her fingers active over the bland t of the biscuit amusement dress, abstract with argent and gold bamboo leaves.
The Ripsom ancestors contributed several items to the exhibit, including the bells clothes beat by Betty Ripsom in her alliance to her husband, George, and bells gowns and added accoutrements their daughter, Margaret Bleau, of Plymouth, calm from a cardinal of Asian countries while stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan.
Among the treasures: a ablaze red and white Japanese bells bathrobe emblazoned with ablaze gold cranes; a women’s red and white Korean hanbok, with a jeogori shirt and chima brim with gold floral accents; and a acceptable Thai chitlada with a gold adornment wraparound skirt, white cottony anorak with gold annual ons and ablaze blush floral applique sash.
Attendees were captivated by the exhibit’s admirable dresses, and for abounding it sparked a airing bottomward anamnesis lane.
“It brings aback our weddings, audition about our parents’ weddings, our grandparents’ weddings, that homesickness — and you never balloon your bells dress,” Holt said.
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