This wedding dress of parachute nylon features a cathedral-length lace-trimmed train, rhinestone trim along the neck, and orange blossoms in the gathers of the skirt. The front of the skirt is gathered in three places to reveal a ruffled hoop underskirt. It also has a silk slip. This wedding dress is accompanied by garter belt 146430.1, bouquet 146430.2, purse 146430.3, headpiece 146430.4, and veils 146430.5 and 146430.6.
This wedding dress belonged to Rose Mary "Rosie" Monterusso who married Vincent "Jim" Sarnicola on April 19th, 1947. As children, Jim would babysit Rosie while their mothers went out shopping. Years passed and Jim shipped out to the South Pacific during World War II. Upon his return, he and Rosie began dating and soon got engaged. At the time, traditional wedding dress materials were very expensive so they decided to use parachute nylon for Rosie's dress which was made in Detroit. Jim had a knack for art and sketched this design for his bride's dress. Jim and Rosie entered a contest called "Honeymoon in New York" and, because of their unique story, they won. They were featured on a live nationwide broadcast and when Jim's employer, Steelcase Inc. (then known as Metal Office Furniture Co.) heard, they shut down the entire operation to watch the broadcast. That was the only time in 75 years that employees initiated a shutdown of production. An article written in the Grand Rapids Press in 2012 titled "More Than A Pretty Dress" discusses the history of Rosie's wedding dress.
Nylon Parachute, Lace, Rhinestones
Current Location Status:
Gift Of Mrs. Vincent J. Sarnicola
Fashion + Nature
(April 2022 – April 2024)Fashion + Nature examines the relationships between the natural world and the fashion industry. Clothing has long been produced with natural materials and inspired by the beauty and diversity of the natural world, but the fashion industry has had a largely negative impact on the environment. This exhibit showcases a wide variety of captivating scientific specimens and fascinating garments, to illustrate their relationship to each other and their interconnected histories. Fashion + Nature aims to inspire and educate visitors, encouraging us to become better consumers and reduce the harmful impacts of the fashion industry.
Mrs. Vincent J. SarnicolaRose Mary Monterusso married Vincent J. Sarnicola April 19 1947. In 2012 she worked at The Real Food Cafe on Eastern Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Together, Rose and Vincent had three children. Mrs. Vincent J. SarnicolaRose Mary Monterusso married Vincent J. Sarnicola April 19 1947. In 2012 she worked at The Real Food Cafe on Eastern Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Together, Rose and Vincent had three children. Vincent J. SarnicolaVincent J. Sarnicola married Rose Mary Monterusso on April 19 1947. He worked at Steelcase Inc. for 43 years before retiring. Together, he and Rose had three children.