Tag Archives: Ann Lowe

Upcoming!  A Major Fashion Exhibit at Winterthur Museum

Mark you calendars for a visit to Winterthur Museum in Winterthur Delaware, (USA) in the Fall of 2023.  Ann Lowe, American Couturier opens on September 9th and runs through January 7th, 2024. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Ann Lowe, she probably is best known as the designer of Jackie Kennedy’s wedding gown when she married John F. Kennedy in 1953 –  but Lowe is so much more than that.  For decades she was the designer of choice for “America’s most prominent debutantes, heiresses, actresses, and society brides.”  Despite designing couture-quality dresses and gowns for such an extensive and elite clientele, she remained virtually unknown in the public arena.  Even a feature in the Saturday Evening Post in 1964 calling Ann Lowe “Society’s Best-Kept Secret” failed to secure the recognition she deserved.  Recently, however, her place in the pantheon of American Fashion Designers has begun to be recognized, and this major exhibit of her work will undoubtably elevate Lowe to the pinnacle she so richly deserves.  

I share this short biographical blurb on promotional material from Winterthur Museum:  

Winterthur’s Exhibition will showcase approximately 40 of Lowe’s dresses and gowns, gathered together from museums and private collections across the country.  In addition there will be approximately 10 works by contemporary Black designers, influenced by the timeless style and legacy of Lowe’s volume of work.  

Here I share 4 images of dresses included in the Exhibition:

Printed Silk Ensemble, c. 1930s, Anonymous Gift to the Cincinnati Art Museum
Evening Dress, c. 1955, Silk Velvet, Lent by The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Gift of Eleanor Cates
Evening Dress, c. 1962-64, Made for Saks Fifth Avenue by Ann Lowe, Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Carll Tucker Jr.
Elizabeth Mance Concert Gown, c. 1966-67, From the collection of Elizabeth Mance deJonge.

Last Fall I had the privilege of visiting Winterthur’s Conservation Lab where several of Lowe’s dresses and gowns were being prepared for exhibit. Readily apparent in these pieces was the engineering skill of the designer – all those things going on inside the dress to perfect the fit and carriage of it for each client.  Although much of this inside story will obviously not be on display, each and every dress will surely tell its own story of beauty, quality and style.  

This Exhibition is guest-curated by Elizabeth Way, associate curator of costume at The Museum at FIT.  For more information, visit www.Winterthur.org.  

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