Bling!: Gorgeous Gowns and Dazzling Dresses :
Object Name:
Object ID:
circa 1920s
Morgan, Lillian
Martha Weathered/Chicago
Dress with top section of royal blue silk chiffon with black beading, and silver metallic embroidery; skirt portion black silk satin; label on skirt side seam, white with gold machine-stitched embroidery: Martha Weathered/CHICAGO; silk dress shield under arm openings (interior absorbent disintegrating), stamped, black: Puritan/REG. U.S. PAT OFF/TRADEMARK/WARRANTED/BODY SHIELD/G34

Dress worn by Mrs. Lillian (Thomas R.) Morgan. Her husband Thomas R. Morgan was murdered in August of 1903

Dress by Martha Weathered of Chicago. Martha Weathered learned the fashion business from many sources. First there was her mother Beatrice who was a dressmaker; then she worked as a buyer of women's suits at Marshall Field until 1918 when she became a buyer of misses dresses for Charles A. Stevens. In 1921 Martha borrowed money from relatives to open a fashion shop in the famous Drake Hotel, selling millinery and clothing. She advertized in 1921 to hire a professional seamstress in the Chicago Tribune as well as placing display ads for the shop. She described the shop as an importer of fashion. It is claimed that Martha was one of only two suppliers in Chicago that had won the trust of French Designers to represent their designs. The dresses were originally designed then the patterns and fabrics were sent to Martha's shop for fabrication, this way avoided high taxes on imported goods and purchases of custom fitted dresses. By 1923 Martha had expanded the retail business to a second location across the street. Martha died in 1941 but the family kept the business continued until 1971 when the building burned and was torn down.

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