Crane dress mystery.
This dress, among many others, was a gift. I was in high school at the time and involved in costuming school theatre productions. That year we were doing the play "The Importance of Being Earnest" and I got to make all the over the top hats for it. Someone saw my work and liked it, and asked who the milliner was, and was told it was a student who wore vintage everyday. This person then invited me to their house and gave me pieces of their own collection. The collection itself was amazing, some she had kept from family members, and some she had purchased. I took home an arm full of clothing, including a black silk taffeta Victorian petticoat, late 40s navy blue dress, mid 40s bias cut dress, two formal early 40s dresses, and this amazing crane dress.
In high school my style interests were mostly invested in the 1920s, I had the bob hair that even somehow did a natural finger wave every day, not sure how. And I adored Coco Chanel and Clara Bow, still do, but I now lack the look they had. I wore this dress a few timed and it looked very 1920s, however it wasn't until yesterday that I really started thinking about when the dress was really from. Now since I've taken a special interest in the 1930s, I kept looking for aspects of it that would make it from the 30s. But because of the dropped waist, lavish fabric and pattern, and no bias cut, I thought it must be from the 20s, but one thing really threw me off: The length.
By the late 20s, the hemlines of dresses were generally higher up on the calf or even knee, but this one reaches down to my ankles, a traditional early-mid 30s length. Then I finally remembered one crucial thing about that lot of clothing I got years ago.
The collectors great aunt was a very tall woman, the two two early 40s dresses reach well past my feet, even with the highest heels on. The dresses were handmade for her because of her hight, and this dress could very well have reached to her calf once on. So I conclude this dress as made in the late 1920s for a very tall and stylish girl.
There. Mystery solved.