This gown from the Mystic Club is what a typical queen would wear to a Mardi Gras ball during the 1940s and ’50s. The floor-length gowns were made of satin, often with beading from top to bottom. The Mystic Club was known for its extravagant stage settings that depicted literary romances as well as historical events.
Mrs. Richard West Freeman wore this gown to a ball on February 19, 1955, with the theme “After the Battle of New Orleans.” The material is silver satin with a pattern of golden leaves. The bodice is neatly designed with rhinestones and sequins that are carried out in a geometric pattern down the front. The most exotic and outstanding features—the capped sleeves with shoulder pieces of stiff wire—also are embellished. Crisscrossed beaded straps on the back are anchored with a large flower of rhinestones, matching the one in front.
Although this dress doesn’t truly go with the style of the “after the battle” era, it is said that Mystic Club queens almost always dressed according to theme.
Citation 1: 
created for 1955; textile with rhinestones and sequins
Accession #: 
2014.0515.1.5, gift of Tina Freeman
Valeria Rodriguez, student, International High School