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Glamour and Innovation: Sally Milgrim

Sally Milgrim got her start working as a dressmaker for her husband Charles’s suit-making business in the 1910s. By the 1920s, her business proved to be so successful that she began creating custom designs for the Hollywood elite and was eventually approached by Eleanor Roosevelt to design her inaugural gown in 1933.

Sally Milgrim

(c. April 21, 1898 - June 16, 1994)

Sally Milgrim got her start working as a dressmaker for her husband Charles’s suit-making business in the 1910s. By the 1920s, her business became so successful that she created custom designs for entertainers including Ethel Merman, Pearl White, and Mary Pickford. Milgrim’s line expanded to include eveningwear as well as ready-to-wear gowns and accessories like wraps, furs, and negligees. Milgrim’s attention to detail was apparent in her creations – she often incorporated embroidery, cross-stitch, ruffles, pleats, and embedded crystals. She was approached to design Eleanor Roosevelt’s inaugural gown for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Inauguration, a high point in her career. The pale blue, floor-length gown was embroidered with a leaf and flower design in gold thread and features detachable sleeves! It also included an intricate belt buckle, and shoulder clips made from rhinestone and moonstone.