Brown 1890s-1900s "White House San Francisco" Label Dress with High Neck Lace Collar
August 14, 2021

From the our social media feed (Instagram) and September 2021 newsletter:

"This gorgeous dress and recent donation just became a part of the permanent collection.
     "The label on the inner waist belt reads: 'The White House San Francisco.' It also has the name 'Walker' handwritten inside. Lucky Ms. Walker got to promenade around as a lovely brown pouter pigeon, about a century ago!
     "The White House was the first department store in the city, originally on the corner of Post and Grant. Its second location on Kearny and Post was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. By the styling details of this dress, it could have come from this second store. (Its third location, clad in all white terra cotta, still stands on the corner of Grant and Sutter and is currently a Banana Republic store and public parking garage.)"

Museum ID: CDO 37135
Photographs & research: Julie Ann Brown

This item was donated by Jessica A. Little on behalf of Constance Williams. It belonged to her grandmother, Constance Lucille Branstetter Edwards. Constance wrote:

     "I am at a loss to know who Mrs. Walker was... I have a feeling that she might have been a friend of my grandmother's but that is conjecture. I had an affinity for the gorgeous clothes of my mother (mostly I. Magnin) and my grandmother's (I think she designed some of her cruise dinner wear) but they were both fabulous. This dress hung in there somehow although we will never know who Mrs. Walker was..."