Dress (a), cocktail-style, of black accordion-pleated silk faille. Flat, 2" wide shoulder straps; top of bodice is straight across. A-line skirt. Wide black silk faille belt (b) closes in back and fastens to dress with hooks. Petticoat (c) of black taffeta. Petticoat not shown.
Worn by donor, Mrs. Gardner H. Stern, née Hanchen Strauss.
Silk was difficult to obtain during the lean years of World War II. Many countries restricted the amount of fabric for clothing production to make sure the military had enough for uniforms, tents, and other needs. The four-plus yards of luxurious, hand-pleated silk in this dress would not have been "legal" in many parts of the world just five years earlier.