Creativity, Fashion Features

Friday Fashion Feature – WWII Parachute Wedding Dress

I was looking into a little bit of World War II fashion yesterday and found this dress. . . the story behind it makes it amazing!

Parachute Wedding Dress, 1947
Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
This wedding dress was made from a nylon parachute that saved Maj. Claude Hensinger during World War II.
In August 1944, Hensinger, a B-29 pilot, and his crew were returning from a bombing raid over Yowata, Japan, when their engine caught fire. The crew was forced to bail out. Suffering from only minor injuries, Hensinger used the parachute as a pillow and blanket as he waited to be rescued. He kept the parachute that had saved his life. He later proposed to his girlfriend Ruth in 1947, offering her the material for a gown.
Ruth wanted to create a dress similar to one in the movie Gone with the Wind. She hired a local seamstress, Hilda Buck, to make the bodice and veil. Ruth made the skirt herself; she pulled up the strings on the parachute so that the dress would be shorter in the front and have a train in the back. The couple married July 19, 1947. The dress was also worn by the their daughter and by their son’s bride before being gifted to the Smithsonian.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display. 

Additional info can be found here.

I just had to share it!  I think it would have been really neat to make a wedding dress out of a parachute that had saved your fiance’s life.  😀

Happily yours,
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3 thoughts on “Friday Fashion Feature – WWII Parachute Wedding Dress”

  1. Thanks for the comments, ladies! I know, the story is great and I love the creativity and love that went into the dress. . . that just makes it more memorable.


  2. That is entirely awesome, sweet, and romantic! I love the story — and the dress is REALLY pretty…especially when you realize what it was made of!


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