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4. 1981 Wedding Dress of Leontine Hartzell


an interview with Leontine Hartzell

ID#: VC2007021
Date: 1981
Materials: cotton, metal zipper

In the 1960s, counter-culture brides began to use their wedding dresses as means of rebellion.  By breaking away from the traditional gowns favored by their parents’ generation, they were able to explore dresses that reflected their own views.  Decades later, this Mexican wedding dress can be seen as opposing the bridal traditions of its time, which are best showcased in another dress of the same year: Princess Diana wore the most famous wedding dress of 1981.  Characterized by a massive twenty-five-foot train and large, puffed sleeves, it stands in direct contrast to the light fabric and open lace-work of this dress.

Leontine Hartzell (Vassar class of 1979) married in 1981 in this Mexican wedding dress. She is the granddaughter of Leontine Kennedy McPhillips (Vassar class of 1926), daughter of Mary Lee McPhillips Hartzell (Vassar class of 1953), niece of Ellen McPhillips Baumann (Vassar class of 1963), and mother of Anna Kichorowsky Langdell (Vassar class of 2006).

- Alexandra Figler (Vassar class of 2016) and Holly Hummel (Vassar College Drama Depatment faculty emerita)