Silk, cotton, glass
Worn by Esther Frances Comstock
Gift of Ann Schmitt
Esther Frances Comstock, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Comstock was married to Stanley Penfield Mead on September 18, 1915 in New Canaan. Her husband, Stanley, came from one of the town’s oldest families and served as a legislator, state judge, and longtime chairman of the Board of Education. Both Esther and Stanley were life-time residents of New Canaan. The dress was donated by their daughter, Ann Schmitt.
The gown is elaborately decorated with beaded trim, as well as tiny silk flowers along the short sleeves, with a delicate train extending from the shoulders. The silhouette is very narrow and columnar, with a hem that reaches just above the floor. This dress is an example of the intermediary years between the heavily-corseted silhouette that dominated women’s clothing in the late 19th century, and the shapeless silhouette so famously associated with the 1920s.