Brandon College Graduation Dress


Location: Dilys Collier CollectionSJ McKee Archives, Brandon University

This formal dress was purchased by Brandon College student Dilys Pearce in 1954 for $35 at a dress shop in Brandon, Manitoba.

The dress is made of gathered nylon net over a gathered nylon taffeta underskirt; the boned and tightly fitted bodice has rhinestone straps. The accompanying shawl and gloves are also made of nylon net. Ms. Pearce wore the dress with a stiff white nylon crinoline, sheer nylon stockings, and sling-back high-heeled shoes made of see-through clear plastic. Nylon and plastic were both new inventions at the time.

During the 1950s and decades prior, Brandon College held regular student-faculty dances throughout the school year. Known as “Formals,” the dances were held at fall, Christmas, mid-spring, and graduation, usually at the Prince Edward Hotel. Ms. Pearce wore this dress to most of the Formals during her student days from 1954-1958.

Research and description by Christy Henry, Archivist, SJ McKee Archives, Brandon University