Real wedding dresses of 1911

Continuing with our 1911 wedding theme, here are some stunning extent 1911ish wedding dresses:

One from 1909, but on the cutting edge of fashion, so I’m including it:

Wedding dress, 1909, France (worn in Canada), Kent State

Quite a daringly low neckline for a wedding dress!  It was probably worn over a guimpe.  I love the satin on satin overtunic with a train.

Wedding dress, ca 1910

Anyone recognise what collection this is out of?  I know I know that background, but can’t place it.  The dress is such a great example of Medieval revivalism in the 19teens.

Wedding dress, ca 1910, silk, lace, silk, lace, M.L. Jansen, N.Y. Modiste, Met

Continuing the satin theme, a classic satin sheath with a bit of ruching and lace and a full train.  Also probably worn with a giumpe, as is the next one:

Wedding dress, 1910, US, Kent State Museum

This wedding dress looks like it has a marquisette tunic, just like Tara’s great-grandmothers (and yes, that’s a hint about tomorrow’s terminology post).

Wedding ensemble, 1910, Russian, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art

I just LOVE this Russian wedding dress.  I can’t quite tell what is going on at the hem, but it just ads to the overall graphic simplicity.  It manages to be both very traditionally wedding-y, and quite modern, foreshadowing Russian modernism’s influence on fashions and textiles.

Wedding dress, Otago Settlers Museum, 1911

From a NZ collection (awwww) comes this charming example shown on Isabelle’s body double.  I just adore the pointed side tunics with tassels.

Wedding dress, 1911, Kentucky Museum Collection

This wedding dress is much softer and less structured than the others, and such a simple pattern made interesting with beautiful embellishment.

Wedding Dress, 1911 Dressmaker's Salon of Berta Alkalaj, Kingdom of Serbia, Belgrade, MAA

And finally, a perfectly balanced lace and net and tulle and wax orange blossoms and satin example from Serbia.

Ah, to have been a bride in 1911!  The choices are so pretty!


  1. Tenshi says

    Wow, this last dress is perfect! I’m totally blown away by it, absolutely speechless. If this were rate the dress, I’d give it 15/10 at least. What a pity that there seem to be no photos from a different angle…

    • That dress is stunning isn’t it! I can’t decide if it is just that much more beautiful, or if it just displayed so perfectly that it makes it look that much more better. If only all museums could afford to display their dresses to that standard.

      • Laurel Parker says

        They can, if people begin to vote for public funding of museums! It’s always viewed as a frivolous expense, but here is the reality: Museums are where we put the things every day people dont have access to, at least not every day. Often it boils down simply to standards. Museums are where we put the things that are of a standard we normally do not have access too.

        We need exposure to high standards, especially as ours drop. Our children need exposure to high standards, because they may not *never* see something that has been well made.

        I was extemely fortunate, to have parents who appreciated, collected, and most of all, exposed me to things that were finely made. Not stuffy, ( and it really bugs me when people equate workmanship with stuffyness) , but lovingly, carefully, skillfully made. My dad actually collected primitive antiques and Native American artifacts, and there is a range of standards in both these things, as surely as there is in furniture or wedding gowns.

        Have you ever known people who grew up in a house where the TV was always on, there were no books, the toys were all made by Mattel, all color choices were either based on an Avocado green pallette or a Harvest orange one, and the fireplace burned ceramic logs? How do you think an upbringing like that impacts a person ( for life, most likely) compared to one that includes a rich exposure to variety, and most of all quality? I know, because my house was the ‘odd one’. What it does is provoke thought. In art class, I was the one everyone came over to and asked what they should draw. I loved it then; now it makes me sad to think of. Most homes I go to are still pretty sterile, truth be told.

        If people aren’t exposed to high quality *somewhere* in their childhood, the chances of their accepting and *doing* poor work themselves, is high. I don’t know if I’m really saying it well here, but I can tell you that when I walked into the then tiny and humble costume museum in Paris, and saw Worth’s work first hand, I literally gasped. I was there for an hour or so ( think there were only about 50 dresses then; several by different generations of the Worth’s) , but that hour will live with me, and guide my standards for the rest of my life. I’ve always been a bit of a perfection junkie ( I LIKE perfection, but am not ruled by it). A perfect stitch makes me happy ( I’ve often wondered if you inherited this from me, Leimoi, because your mom sure didn’t feel that way and neither did any of our siblings). I’m sure this is what more musical people feel when they hear a perfect note. It’s a pleasure so divine, that I believe it makes the world a better place, and that, IMO, justifies museums being paid for with public funds.

  2. Wow. I am in love with that first dress. And the last one. And possibly a few in the middle as well. They are all so beautiful…

  3. Ok, I don’t normally like this era, but I really do like the first one, and the 1910 Kent State Museum one (do they look alike or WHAT?), but the last one takes the cake! Perfect inspiration piece!

  4. I love the first and fourth dresses – they were what I envisoned when I thought about her dress. After speaking with family, it seems that the “lace coat” may actually have been a shorter jacket – either that or it was later made shorter into a bolero style jacket and dyed blue for her daughter to wear at her wedding(I have that newspaper article as well.). I haven’t seen anything that looks like a lace coat so far so I’m inclined to think that must be true.

  5. Caroline says

    These are really beautiful, I agree the first and last are my favorites to. I absolutely love them!

  6. Daniel says

    Isn’t the second one from one of the dealer sites? I want to say Antiquedress, but it’s been a LONG time since I looked at those sites…

  7. Laura says

    This era is one of my favorites. Love all of these dresses. It would be difficult to pick a favorite. I wish we had more close ups of the lace work and the bodice of the last dress in particular.

  8. I’m almost certain that I found #2 in the Augusta Auctions archives. Hope this helps!

Comments are closed.