The undated photo above shows New York governor Al Smith and his wife Catherine in around 1925, judging by the length of her skirt. That would make Catherine, born in 1875, just about fifty here. This photo makes me reassess my unflattering comments about 1920s styles and the older woman. As we can see in this photo, Catherine didn’t have much of a waist indentation. The dropped waist, hip oriented, styles of the twenties must have been very comfortable for her to wear. She was a stylish dresser, judging from all the photos I have seen. I wonder how she adapted to the more waist-centered styles of the next decade.
But my fascination here is with her fur piece, an accessory that was all the rage in the 1920s. Usually they were made from foxes or minks, but she appears to be wearing an entire raccoon around her neck. Shaped like a live animal, it looks like it was created in a taxidermy shop rather than a furrier’s salon. Did it scare off little children? It certainly would have scared me away.