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Marjorie Merriweather Post wore this clothes of cottony satin, silk… (Edward Owen, Photo courtesy…)

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July 18, 2011|By Mike Giuliano

Walking bottomward the alley seems to accept been a anatomy of exercise for Marjorie Merriweather Post, who got affiliated four times. An basis to alteration appearance trends, her bells dresses are at the affection of the display “Wedding Belles: Conjugal Fashions from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Family, 1874-1958.”

This bunched appearance appearance offers the absolute alibi to appointment Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, the northwest Washington acreage that stands as a attestation to the atom heiress’ taste.

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A acclaimed socialite and philanthropist, Post (1887-1973) has a name that is best accustomed to bodies in Maryland attributable to the concert pavilion that bears her name in city Columbia.

A airing through this display and the blow of Hillwood makes one admiration what she would accept fabricated of the a bedrock music that now predominates at the concert pavilion, because her own acceptable accession habits ranged from awe-inspiring administrative Russian art to fancy, careful and adorned 18th-century French adorning art.

Her absorbing abode and its 25 acreage of landscaped area and close dupe reinforce her acceptability as a affiliate of what amounted to American aristocracy.

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It seems like her absolute aloof ancestors was adored with a faculty of style. Besides showcasing what Post wore for her weddings, the display additionally includes bells dresses beat by her mother and her own daughters. Incidentally, Post’s youngest babe is the extra Dina Merrill. These affluent women cut absolutely a amount through decades of American history.

“This display encapsulates her claimed story, but additionally the change of American women,” acclaimed Kate Markert, controlling administrator of Hillwood. “It’s a ancestors of able women that we get to know.”

Basically, we get to apperceive them through their choices in conjugal gowns. The exhibit’s aperture area includes the bells dress beat by Marjorie’s mother, Ella Merriweather, back she affiliated Charles William Post in 1874. This gray taffeta dress has an abundantly ruffled, actual abounding architecture accumulation the bound corset advantaged in the Victorian era.

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For Marjorie Merriweather Post’s aboriginal bells in 1905 to advocate Edward Bennett Close, she wore a white glassy clothes abstract with an orange bloom design. This Edwardian-style dress emphasized the 18-year-old bride’s alarm figure.

When Post affiliated her additional husband, banking broker E.F. Hutton, in 1920, she autonomous for a lighter cast dress that seems to ahead the accessible bender era with its almost college hemline. By this time in her life, she was the acknowledgment of New York and Palm Beach society.

Husband cardinal three was advocate Joseph E. Davies, whom she affiliated in 1935. Back Davies was appointed the American agent to the Soviet Union, Post began accession the Russian art that now fills so abundant of Hillwood. The dress she wore for this third bells was purchased at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. This acceptable clover dress with white fox fur trim on its ample alternation looks like article you’d see in a Hollywood cine of that era.

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For her fourth and final bells to agent Herbert May in 1958, the adept helpmate wore a almost aseptic anemic blue, ballerina-length dress befitting the then-71-year-old socialite. The bells reception, which was captivated appropriate there at Hillwood, included an orra and a ballet performance.

Marjorie Merriweather Post knew how to accurate herself through her apparel choices, so attractive at the displayed apparel absolutely does accord you a faculty of her personality.

“She had a actual accommodating faculty of self. She knew what was her appearance and she created her own style,” says Howard Vincent Kurtz, abettor babysitter of apparel and t at Hillwood, who curated this exhibit.

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Just as Post anxiously preserved and archived the adorning art she collected, she kept her old dresses. Kurtz relates a adventure he heard from Dina Merrill attesting to how Post admired to booty out these dresses and try them on again: “Dina Merrill says that she and her mother played dress up and afresh put aggregate abroad afresh for addition day of play. Starting her affected career, Dina was fatigued to the abstraction of bathrobe up and presenting yourself.”

Post, who was appreciative of the actuality that she retained her corset-enforced alarm amount throughout her life, clearly never had adversity applicable into her bells gowns and added by-then aged dresses.

Dresses beat by Post, Merrill and added ancestors associates aren’t the alone wedding-related items in this exhibit. There are hats and veils, bells invitations, bi-weekly accounts of these above amusing events, and alike a Cartier bells purse.

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The bells dresses and accessories brought out of accumulator for this baby display are but a tiny allotment of Post’s all-embracing apparel holdings. Hillwood possesses a absolute of 175 dresses and 400 appearance accessories. Consider those numbers the aing time you attending into your own closet. Some ameliorative arcade may be in order.

“Wedding Belles: Conjugal Fashions from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Family, 1874-1958” charcoal through Jan. 1, 2012 at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, at 4155 Linnean Avenue in northwest Washington, D.C.. Call 202-686-5807 or go to http://www.HillwoodMuseum.org.

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