Not sure if dress is truly vintage or not because this pin lacked a date, but if it is then I'm guessing it's from the first half of the 19th century. I'd welcome input from someone more knowledgeable.
This dress represents the femininity that Gene's mother wants her to have. Gene does not wear a lot of dresses, she prefers dressing as a boy. Gene's mother wants her to be the perfect woman to find a suitable husband and to help her family move up from their current social class. The dress represents who Gene's mother wants her to be, "Mother had forced me to wear a horrible confection of a dress, with froths of white lace and a wide pale-pink sash high around my corseted waist" (Lam, 79).
Details about Victorian Gothic Lolita Luxury Dress Red Prom Ball Gown Cosplay Costume