How Women Have Shaped the State

Women in Minnesota: Weaving the Web of Society in the North Star State

Expert Essay: Rhoda R. Gilman, a founding member of Women Historians of the Midwest and a former candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, considers the influence of women in Minnesota: the Willmar 8, the Schubert Club, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, and much more.

Gown with bustle and train

Gown with bustle and train

Two- toned blue and teal taffeta bustled and trained silk gown attributed to Mary G. Worley, a dressmaker in St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1875.

Wedding gown

Wedding gown

Silk taffeta wedding gown, Lina Christianson, 1880.

Net and Satin Dress

Net and Satin Dress

Sequined net and satin dress attributed to Hattie H. McGahn, 1918–1923.

Bodice

Bodice

Chiffon bodice with lace made by Caroline Mundahl, 1915–1917

Rose Crelley Boyd

Rose Crelley Boyd

Rose Boyd operated the largest dressmaking business in Minneapolis between 1886 and 1917, employing between 40–100 seamstresses, fitters, designers and tailors and creating gowns for Minnesota's fashion elite.

Satin gown

Satin gown

Brocaded satin gown. Made by dressmaker Elizabeth Elser, Minneapolis, Minnesota, ca. 1911–1914.

Evening gown

Evening gown

Debutante's floor-length evening gown with short train. White net studded with glass beads over grayish pink silk crepe chiffon over pale yellowish pink silk taffeta. Made by Helen Gjertsen, Dayton's Department store dressmaker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, ca. 1912.

Lavender satin dress made by dressmaker Caroline Mundahl, St. Paul, 1910–1913.

Lavender satin dress

Lavender satin dress made by dressmaker Caroline Mundahl, St. Paul, 1910–1913.

Evening gown

Evening gown

Evening gown of cream colored silk faille with chiffon inlets, pleated off shoulder style enhanced by large bunches of white velvet ribbon flowers. Worn by Jessica De Wolf as the soloist at the opening of the St. Paul Auditorium, April 1907. She was for many years a member of the choir of House of Hope Presbyterian Church and active on the Schubert Club Board of Directors. Attributed to Mary Abigail O'Keefe Molloy, Saint Paul, Minnesota dressmaker.

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