This pink party dress is made of silk and has a blue net overlay. There is white lace applique that holds in place a net swag diagonally across the bodice and down the proper right side of the skirt. The bodice is strapless and fitted. The full skirt is gathered and there is a metal Talon zipper on the proper left side of the waist. Features that are indicative of the 1950s are the A-line silhouette, the full skirt, and the cinched waist. This dress was purchased in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was worn by Janice Cole to dances at Ottawa Hills High School from 1952 to 1954.
This dress is part of a collection of 18 party and evening dresses purchased at department stores and dress shops in downtown Grand Rapids between 1952 and 1955. They were worn by sisters Doris and Janie Cole to parties, dances, and various social events.
circa 1952 – 1954
Tulle, Silk, Net
45" h 46" w
Current Location Status:
Gift Of Janice E. Cole, Doris A. Cole Louis and Helen Cole
All Dressed Up, 1950s Style
Doris ColeDoris Cole was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1938 to Louis and Helen Cole. She had a sister, Janice Cole, who was born in 1936.
Doris was raised in Grand Rapids and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1955. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Radcliffe College in 1959 and went on to earn her Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1963. Doris began her career in Paris and Boston but in 1981 she became a founding member of Cole and Goyette in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She stayed with the business until 2012 when she opened her own practice, Doris Cole FAIA. She is also an established author, writing five books about architecture including the first book in the United States about women in architecture. Talon International, IncorporatedTalon International, Inc., sometimes referred to as Talon Zipper was founded in Chicago in 1893 as the Universal Fastener Company. The company moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania and thrived in the zipper business, due to being the first zipper manufacturing company. In 1968 the company was acquired by Textron and faced many difficulties. The Japanese company YKK was also producing quality zippers but for less money which caused the company's market share to fall to 35% by 1981. In 1981, the company was sold to Nucor Holdings. Production was moved to Mexico but the company still suffered. In 1996 the Universal Fastener Company was acquired by Tag-It-Pacific. Production moved to Asia and in 2007 the company name was changed to Talon International, Incorporated. Janice ColeJanice Cole was born in 1936 to Louis and Helen Cole. She had one sister, Doris Cole.
Janice graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1954 and later received her Bachelor of Arts and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. She became a professor of English at Hood College in Fredrick, Maryland. Janice passed away in 1996.