Louisa Catherine Adams Johnson Clement (Mrs. Erskine Clement) wore this dress in the 1880s. A descendent of President John Adams, she married Erskine Clement of Boston. Her daughter donated the dress, along with many other family items, to the Smithsonian.
With its high neck and long sleeves, this dress was intended for a daytime event. Yet, given the opulent nature of the materials and the high skill needed to construct such a garment, it was probably worn to a special event. At present we do not know much about Mademoiselle Armand, who worked in Paris, but the dress shows that she was highly skilled. While on a trip to Europe, Mrs. Clement would have visited her shop to have the dress custom-made.