Monday, April 11, 2011

From My Mom's Stuff: Prom Night!

It's PROM season!  One of the the things my mom liked collecting best was cast-off prom dresses.  None of us would DARE be seen in that dress at more than one school dance.  Her collection even included a couple of my OWN dresses.  This light blue Gunne Sax dress was from my Junior Prom.  I grew up in a smallish city so I insisted we drive all the way to Seattle to buy a dress so no one else would have the same Gunne Sax (because that was pretty much what we all wore in the 80's).  Unfortunately, another girl had the same idea and we BOTH showed up in this dress.  

But, the best email I have gotten so far was on the day I put this dress in my shop.  I got an email not 15 minutes later from a woman in Vermont who said that the same year, she wore that same dress to her prom in Vermont - clear across the country from me.  Apparently, this particular light blue Gunne Sax was a hot seller in 1983.  I love this photo - it looks like we are standing on a fog bank and my date has a death grip on my arm.  My date was REALLY CHEAP so my mom made my corsage so I would have one and I drove.  After dinner, my date, who had already graduated from high school and was in his first year at college, said, "You can pay me back for dinner later".  Good times...

My Senior Prom dress is also in the shop.  I actually wore this one twice.  The following year at college, I cut it off to the then popular "tea length" and wore it to our Hall Formal.  This dress was the subject of much discussion in our house because of the scandalous "off the shoulder" ruffle.  My parents were much happier with the full body coverage of the Gunne Sax.  

Growing up with a house full of vintage dresses, I sometimes wore vintage for the non-prom formal dances at school. The photo above is me in 1984 sporting a vintage green taffeta dress, vintage black gloves and when we went to leave the house, I wore a vintage green felt hat with an enormous green feather and a vintage black velvet coat. Even the rhinestone jewelry I'm wearing was from my mom's vintage collection (and yes, I pawned off Mr. Cheap from my Junior Prom to my best friend at that dance).  Over 20 years later, I still have had people from high school say that they remember me for my vintage wardrobe.  

Then there is THIS dress.  "Stunning" is the best way to describe it.  I had a young girl from Iceland inquire as to whether or not it could be let out because she wanted it really bad for her prom.  Unfortunately, there is not much to work with to let out that form-fitting bodice.  I don't know if this really WAS a prom dress, but any girl wearing it to her prom would definitely get noticed.  

I love all the formal dresses my mom has collected.  It's like a walk down memory lane from the classy to the polyester to the lace and ruffles.  If these dresses could talk about the places they've been worn, we would get a very unique history of the prom in America.  

1 comment:

lovelypinup said...

That pink dress is just wonderful. I'd feel like a princess in it <3