Worn by Ada Hoyt
Gift of Suzanne Waters
Ada Ventres (née Hoyt) and John N. Ventres married in 1913 in a ceremony officiated by Reverend Howard Hoyt of the Congregational Church. Ada had attended the Rock School, but left when she was about 13 to work at the Rockwell Overall Factory, on the site of the current firehouse. John was a policeman and maintenance man for the police department, and was the first to conduct radar patrols in New Canaan for speeding drivers by using a tripod at the roadside.
The dress, donated by their granddaughter, falls in a column silhouette, with a natural waistline and elbow length sleeves. After the Chicago exposition in 1895, and the International Exposition in 1913, Orientalism played a significant role in shaping women’s fashion which can be seen in Ada’s dress. Its wrapped, asymmetrical bodice and small tassel embellishment on the skirt suggest the draping lines of a kimono. Women’s clothes also became looser and less rigid, moving away from the corseted style of the previous decades.