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Wedding Dress


Nylon and satin
Worn by Catherine Clemens Scott
Gift of Catherine Ritchie

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Audio Guide

Catherine Scott (1928 – 2020) married her husband, George Ritchie, on January 12, 1952. The couple moved to New Canaan in 1957, and lived on Weed Street for over 30 years. They raised 6 children, and were members of First Church of Christ Scientist, New Canaan. Catherine, one of the first women employed by General Electric, worked in market research.

The interior label of the dress reads “Cahill, Beverly Hills”. William Cahill was a world – renowned wedding dress designer (1918 – 2005) who specialized in pieces that emphasized beauty, poise, and elegance. Cahill of Beverly Hills became the gold standard for bridal couture from the 1940s – 1970s.

Wedding dresses in the 1950s were characterized by their full skirts and slim waists. The boom of capitalism following the war introduced the concept of “off the rack” dresses, offering brides more affordable options while maintaining an expensive appearance. Lace was a popular accessory used to embellish either the top of the dress or the entire garment. Technical changes included metal zippers up the backs of dresses, replacing rows of tiny buttons.

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