Elizabeth Keckley, a remarkably successful dressmaker, built her career upon exacting technical standards, graceful clean lines, and an understanding of Parisian fashionable trends. She is well known for her work for the political elite of Washington DC, particularly for Mary Todd Lincoln. Keckley was one of the first African American women to publish a book and was an impassioned activist who created a relief organization for newly freed enslaved persons.
This 1863 gown, worn by Mary Todd Lincoln, is an exquisite example of fashionable dress from the early 1860s. With its elegant fabric and thoughtful details, it reveals more about the wearer and the creator, Elizabeth Keckley, an accomplished seamstress who is integral to the history of African-American fashion.
- 1780-1789In 1780-1789, 18th century, decade overview
- 1770-1779In 1770-1779, 18th century, decade overview
- 1760-1769In 1760-1769, 18th century, decade overview
- 1750-1759In 1750-1759, 18th century, decade overview
- Beetle-Wing Embroidery in Nineteenth-Century FashionIn 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, thematic essays