Oh how the mighty have fallen. How have I come to this? Hanging on a rack in the local second hand store with a graduation gown, a ballerina tutu, an old baseball uniform and a pair of lederhosen!
Back in the day I was a star, a designer gown, sparkling on the rack just waiting for the discerning lady with very, very deep pockets.
I remember that day so well. The ambiance of The Green Room at Saks Fifth Avenue. The dignified ladies perusing the designer ware, looking for that perfect gown for that very special event. I proudly carried the label of Mollie Parnis. I saw her from across the room. She was tall and model slender. She wasn't a sweet young thing but as close to it as you can get to it at the age of 30. Her figure was to die for and toned within an inch of her life, although she was the mother of two very active children. She glanced my way and made a beeline towards me.
Seconds later she was in the dressing room oohing and ahhing over the cut of me and the sparkle of my green and silver lame' fabric. Her husband had just made partner in the law firm, a long vied for position he had slaved for and they had reason to celebrate. The firm was having their Christmas party at the Rainbow Room and she wanted to put her best foot forward. With a designer gown from Mollie Parnis, designer of the first ladies, you just could not go wrong.
Luckily for her I needed no alterations and I was carefully packed in tissue paper and off I went to her Scarsdale home. I was given the place of honor in her already crowded closet, with all her fashion finds from Loehmann's. But this time she'd not picked up a discounted designer item. She had purchased me in The Green Room at Saks!
Although she splurged and bought me there, her common sense still ruled her and she paired me with a pair of silver stilettos that were her favorites and well broken in. A silver clutch purse already in her closet was added and to finish her look off, she added a pair of art deco teardrop green glass earrings she had found in a quaint little shop in Greenwich Village. She was ready for The Rainbow Room and just could not wait.
Flash forward 49 years later. Here I am hanging on this rack in a second hand store. Save me! Doesn't anyone hear me!! I don't belong here! I'm a star!
Suddenly I began having this old but familiar feeling. Someone is looking at me from afar. An overweight rather frumpy looking woman was making her way towards me. Goodness she's not going to fit into me. What is she thinking?? She's picking me up and the look in her eyes is the same as my original owner. She strokes my fabric and she has gentle hands. She flips me inside out and finds my label. I see her smile light up her entire face. Why she's not frumpy! She's just hiding her light under a bushel. Grinning widely and very self satisfied we make our way to the checkout line. The cashier shoves me inside a used plastic Wal-Mart bag (the peasant!) and off we go. I don't remember the rest of the trip to her home as I fell asleep from the suffocating plastic smell of the bag.
I awoke abruptly as I felt myself being slipped over a mannequin. Then hot lights were turned on me and she started taking photographs. She moved the mannequin this way and snapped away taking pictures of my construction, fabric and my label. I knew then that I was being handled by a pro. This frumpy overweight woman with the twinkle in her eyes was a vintage clothing entrepreneur. She was just the person to find me a new home where I would be cherished. At last I would be happy again, not relegated to the second hand rack!