1930s Silk Charmeuse Evening Gown detail

Historic Clothing Collection Highlight: April Showers Bring May Flowers

Apr 15, 2019
Allison Lauricella

Written by Charity Armstead

A selection of floral dresses and antique parasols from Brenau’s Historic Clothing was on display in Lockett-Mitchell Parlour during this year’s Alumnae Reunion Weekend & May Day celebration.

1950s Silk Damask Evening Gown & Stole

The mini-exhibit, titled April Showers Bring May Flowers, featured dresses from the 1930s to 1970s, including gowns that belonged to Princess Lucie Jadot Shirazi, a dress designed by Mollie Parnis and garments by designer Yukinari Yao. The parasols, from the Bete Todd Wages Collection, date from the 19th century.

The collection also included a May Day dress donated by Brenau alumna Elizabeth “Beppy” Rankin Wardrop (WC, ‘71) .  Worn in 1971, the dress was designed by Priscilla of Boston.

Brenau May Day Dress

Wardrop recalls that the dress was a real favorite.

“It was borrowed by numerous sorority sisters to wear to weddings or dances,” she said. “Both of my biological sisters wore it: one to a garden party and the other to a sorority event at her college. It made a great Halloween costume in the 1980s as Little Bo Peep, and a friend used it to pose as Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary.”