Debutante dress and tailcoat with trousersDebutante dress
Dowty, New Orleans

Made by a popular New Orleans dressmaker, this velvet and tulle debutante gown is an example of the "New Look" with its narrow waist and full skirt. It may also reflect the popularity of gowns inspired by Scarlett O'Hara's wardrobe from the 1939 film Gone With the Wind.

The debutante tradition in New Orleans began in the mid-nineteenth century. The season in which a young woman is presented to society begins in the autumn and culminates during Carnival. Queens of the affluent old-line Carnival krewes are debutantes. Today women are generally presented at the age of twenty-one.

Gift of Mrs. Ashton Fischer and Mrs. Amie F. Paul
Worn by Mrs. Ashton Fischer, née Elizabeth Nicholson

LSM #1983.129.3

Tailcoat and trousers
Varsity Town, manufacturer
Walsh & Levy, Baton Rouge, retailer
ca. 1946

Gift of Mrs. Sue Turner
Worn by Louis C. Wilbert, the donor's brother

LSM #1994.022.1a-b