The Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD)

Student studying costume history in Goldstein Museum of Design

The Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD) is dedicated to sharing the value of design through its 34,000+ multidisciplinary objects. As an academic teaching museum, we are committed to advancing learning for students as well as the greater community.

Featured Object

Yellow Velvet Wedding Dress, 1918

Helen Minneapolis
Gift of Cleo Zalk

Lylian Shapiro wore this stunning yellow silk panné velvet dress to marry Louis Zalk on December 23, 1918. The couple was wed at the bride’s parents’ home in Duluth, Minnesota, with the ceremony performed by Rabbi Dr. Maurice Lefkowitz of Temple Emanuel. The newlyweds left the next day for their honeymoon, taking the train to Chicago, Washington, D.C., and finally, New York City. Lylian writes in her wedding memory book that she and Louis “had nine glorious days there, going to theatre, opera, concert, shopping, and hubby visiting East Side, his delight.” The couple stayed at the Biltmore Hotel and spent New Year’s Eve on Broadway; how very glamorous! 

Sadly, we don’t have a photo of the beautiful bride in her dress, but her wedding memory book notes that she wore it with the amber beaded belt and paired the ensemble with “aluminum cloth slippers” to match the silver panel at the neckline. The dress was made by Helen of Minneapolis, a specialty dressmaking shop within Dayton's department store run by sisters Helen, Belle, and Marie Gjertsen from 1906-1923. The sisters made semiannual buying trips to London and Paris to ensure their clients had the most up-to-date fashions. While yellow velvet seems like an unconventional choice, women throughout history have often chosen to be married in an elegant dress they could wear again, and the “traditional” white wedding gown we think of today has only been popular since Queen Victoria wore a white dress for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. Lylian Zalk’s yellow velvet was both stylish and practical.

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Yellow Velvet Wedding Dress, 1918


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All GMD programming is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operation Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.