This pink party dress is made of silk and has a purple iridescent organza overlay. The short puff sleeves are unlined and feature ruching. The bodice is fitted with a midriff panel and a gathered section across the bust. The full circle skirt has an attached underskirt of tulle, a matching buckled belt, and a zipper on the proper left side of the waist. Features that are indicative of the 1950s are the A-line silhouette, the cinched waist, and the short hem. This dress was worn by Janice Cole of Grand Rapids, Michigan for a color portrait taken by David B. LaClaire in 1952. It was photographed with petticoat number 155226.
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.
Organza, Tulle, Silk
54" h 43" w 31 (belt)" d
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. David B Laclaire