The 4000 Dresses Collection

A friend of mine called me last week, telling me there would be a few vintage dresses for sale to help rebuild a school in Sénégal.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this.
There were 4000 dresses up for sale, all of them bought by this one woman who collected prom-wedding-evening ball gowns. 

Imagine, 4000 dresses in one woman's closet. I'm still speechless!

La Collection de 4000 Robes

Une amie m'a appelé la semaine dernière pour me dire que quelques robes vintage seraient mises en vente pour aider à reconstruire une école au Sénégal.
Imaginez ma surprise quand j'ai vu ça!
Il y avait la collection entière d'une seule femme qui toute sa vie a acheté des robes de bal, de mariée, de finissant. 

La garde-robe de cette femme contenait 4000 robes. Je suis toujours sans voix.

Prom Dress Update

Prom dress, refashionned

Tasia of Sewaholic, whom you should read because she makes very pretty clothes, just showed her prom dress and it reminded me that I promised a picture of mine way back in May. My sister was nice enough to scan some pictures of her wearing it in the short cut version. My Mom bought the dress for me on a trip to Hawaï. It was japanese influenced had a long slit on the side and had little surfers and palms trees in black and gold print. 
I can't beleive how elaborate Tasia's dress is. I couldn't have tackled that at 16. No wonder her sewing chops are so sharp! I did make a black satin jacket with red satin piping to go with it (Butterick 6571 view C) and that was difficult enough for me. 

Any of you living in 1979 will know this outfit was quite radical, punk even, the aesthetics of it, no ruffle, no frills, no petticoat, no pastel, no chiffon, was just reaching our far away St-Lawrence River shores. 
Just so you know, that year, being the rebellious silly youngsters we were, we boycotted the yearbook, the official photographs and we gave a piglet to the valedictorian. Carole, Lucie, Louise and I showed up unaccompanied as a small feminist stance. There are no records of that evening.
The satin jacket has long been lost but the dress is about to be passed away to my nieces if they want it. Isn't it neat that 30 years later, my prom dress will get a third life?

May 12th aka The Prom Dress Revisited

So bear with I go back in time to my first prom dress.
My first prom invitation came when I was 14. This created a big "I-have-nothing-to-wear" crisis around the house (thinking about it, it probably was an every day occurence) and I lived 500 miles away from ANY civilisation, Montreal, "where everyone is, no doubt, stylish and fashionable as it IS the center of the world", an idea debunked in about 5 seconds when I went to Concordia U which was full of people from Ontario wearing Sears mail-order polyester (another pre-conceived idea of mine, but not so far from the truth as they wore a poly/cotton blend ordered from Eaton's).
My very wise Mom did the sensible thing and sent me to the family's dressmaker (I was sewing already but not that well!). She'd already made this beauty for me, so there was trust between us : 

I chose Butterick 4043, a black and white cotton print and having no breast to speak of, the impending slipping dress during the slow song crisis (Aerosmith's Dream On, probably) was averted by putting in straps, forgetting about the whole wrap around idea and inserting a back zipper. Retrospectivly, you can only nod in agreement as dancing a slow still means I have to raise my arms to reach anyone's shoulders and it would have had a very unwanted effect. 

The only remaining evidence of the existence of this dress is in this picture. This is my best friend Hélène, with her 'beau Denis', who had nothing to wear and avoided a major crisis the year after.

My second prom dress was a red hawaïan dress with a surfer print refashion, in 1979!

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