1925-1929 Black silk satin dress with ribbon embroidery


Black silk charmeuse sleeveless dress dating from mid to late 1920s. This beautiful sheath dress features a deep plunge V-neck and a slightly dropped waist which is self-piped above a skirt that has been sewn in three rows of stitches and gathered into the waist. The shawl collar is made of a light pink (blush) silk charmeuse, cut on the bias, it also lines the inside of the bow at the bottom of the neckline. The bow was made by cutting two rectangles, one in black and one in pink, stitching up the long sides and then sewing the short ends together. The bow was then gathered and, much like the skirt, and stitched to the dress with the top of the bow folded down to reveal the light pink contrasting fabric on the inside. The panel within the neckline of the bodice is of a fine silk tulle that has been decorated with three roses made of a light pink knit and curls of pink ribbons at the centers. Five leaves of various shades of green ribbon and embroidery yarn were embroidered around the center rose. Three rows of a narrow blue ombre ribbon have been over stitched in three rows in a twist pattern (five strands in each twist). The rest of the panel is covered in a narrow lace ribbon in a wandering pattern over the tulle. The bottom of the skirt is made in the same way but the embroidery overlaps the black silk of the skirt integrating the hem of the skirt into the main body. The dress closes up the left side with black metal snaps and a hook and eye at the waist. The panel within the neckline is backed in a light pink plain weave silk. The panel has been hand stitched onto the dress with thick black thread, stitches on the front of the dress lie under the collar. The bodice is lined in the light pink plain weave silk. A wide, two inch, strip of the pink silk was cut and trimmed, top and bottom, in the same narrow lace the decorates the panels. This wide ribbon was then placed over the interior waist of the dress and hand tacked down to cover/finish the raw edges of skirt and bodice. The armhole facings are made of half inch bias stripes of black charmeuse. Tag at right waist reads "Claire Gowns, New York, Paris, Made by Starr and Herbert."






Additional fiber images and information available at the CAMEO Materials Database at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.


This dress was donated by the original owner, Ruth Herndon. Ruth was born in Columbus, Ohio on 09/06/1907. Her father was William Weinman who was the owner of the Weinman Pump Manufacturing Company. Their family was well to do and Ruth participated in horse back riding clubs and other leisure activities. She graduated from The Columbus School for Girls in 1925 and The Ohio State University in 1929. She married L. Kermit Herndon in 1939. He was an assistant professor at Ohio State.

Design Elements

Low Waist Dress, Gathered Skirt, Tube Silhouette

Fiber/Fabric Information

Silk for all of dress with exception of lace which is cotton.




1984.29.1 F.jpg
1984.29.1 LF.jpg
1984.29.1 L.jpg
1984.29.1 LB.jpg
1984.29.1 B.jpg
1984.29.1 RB.jpg
1984.29.1 R.jpg
1984.29.1 RF.jpg
1984.29.1 Detail Front.jpg
1984.29.1 Detail Side C.jpg
Lace - Cotton Fiber
Lace - Cotton Fiber
Applique Ribbon - Silk Fiber
Ribbon Applique - Silk Fiber




“1925-1929 Black silk satin dress with ribbon embroidery,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed June 24, 2024,