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Catalog Data

Designed by:
Zelda Wynn, American, 1905 - 2001  Search this
Worn by:
Ella Fitzgerald, American, 1917 - 1996  Search this
synthetic fiber, velvet, glass beads, plastic sequins, and metal fasteners
H x W: 46 x 20 in. (116.8 x 50.8 cm)
late 1940s
This black beaded full-length gown was designed by Zelda Wynn and worn by Ella Fitzgerald. The dress is made from black synthetic crepe fabric that is hand beaded with black glass seed and bugle beads, and black sequins in a floral vine design. The bodice is short-sleeved and has a scoop neck in the front and a V-neck in the back. There is a metal zipper in the center back that goes to the hip, and a hook-and-eye at the top of the zipper. The gown has a princess cut waist, but there is no seam at the waist. The gown has a column skirt with a slit on the proper right side that is 24 1/2" high and contains a rounded hem. At the top of the slit, there is a pre-tied black velvet bow that is sewn to the dress.
The dress is fully lined with a black synthetic fabric, except at the bottom of the sleeves. The hem of the sleeves, the interior neck line, and the skirt hem are finished with black ribbon. The designer label on the interior proper left back of the bodice is cream with black embroidered text and reads: "Zelda Wynn / NEW YORK, N.Y."
African American  Search this
Clothing and dress  Search this
Design  Search this
Fashion  Search this
Fashion design  Search this
Jazz (Music)  Search this
Singers (Musicians)  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Estate of Ella Fitzgerald
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture