On Display: A Dressed up Affair

Titanic-era gown of Katharine Condon Foster, class of 1914

On Display - Titanic Era Dress

When Carolyn Chesebrough Foster ’58 moved to her husband’s childhood home in Friendship, Maine, she discovered an extraordinary relic hanging in one of the closets—a formal, Titanic-era, silk gown. Edged with ermine (short-tailed weasel) fur and veiled by intricate netting and small pearls, the dress was found underneath a quilted robe. In the pocket of the robe, Foster found a note with her mother-in-law’s name—Katharine Condon Foster (class of 1914)—scrawled on it. Foster brought the dress to campus when she returned last May to attend her fifty-fifth reunion. It joins the Katharine Eleanor Condon Foster Papers, which include letters written to Katharine Foster’s aunt, uncle, and parents. They describe faculty members, the end of the domestic work system, and events such as an ice carnival, Mountain Day, and the Freshman Frolic.

This dress would have been very expensive for the time,” says Elaine Bergeron, lecturer and costumer for Rooke Theater. “It would have been worn for an afternoon tea or party.

This article appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly

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