Saturday, 16 November 2013
But I cannot go a whole Saturday without a blog post, so I thought it would be amusing if we all reminisced about our prom dresses, or our grad formal dress, or simply our most important non-wedding dress ever.
So as you know I was a teenager in the 1980s, keeping detailed diaries, and actually I looked up to see what I was doing when my Polish Pretend Son was born and, depending on the hour of his birth, I was either at the local boys' Catholic school Christmas dance, sleeping off my exhaustion from same, or writing all about it. History does not relate if I afterwards had a good read of seventeen magazine, which in the 1980s was still literate, but I might have for I was a huge seventeen magazine fan. I wish I could tell you that I was a seriously intellectual teenager, reading Joyce and writing my own version of Ulysseys, but that would be a big lie. Until the pro-life movement came along, I was all about Star Trek, seventeen magazine, my crush objects, Top 40 and Le Chateau. (That said, before I turned 19 I could read Alberto Moravia in the original Italian, and Jean Anouilh en francais. Credit where credit is due.)
Anyway, I have never forgotten a six page advert in seventeen magazine for Jessica McClintock prom dresses. I must have drooled over it a thousand times. And I also drooled over an advert for a lavender sweater-dress, worn by a flame-haired model. The flame-haired model had brown eyes, and the flame was probably dye, but I decided that lavender was the colour for red-heads like me. Now that I have had my colours done, I am pretty sure it isn't. Lavender is for green-eyed brunettes like my baby sister and makes me look ill. However, my ideal prom dress (or Formal dress, as Canadians didn't call our graduation dances "the prom" in the 1980s) was a lavender Jessica McClintock dress, WHICH I GOT because my mother and I went to the fabric store and bought a Jessica McClintock pattern. (See photo.)
I wonder if the Eavesdroppers are still reading. Do you think Eavesdroppers have any clue how really important this is?
My dear mother has three daughters and became rather an expert at formal dresses. If I had been brighter about clothes, I would have made my mother sew me stuff night and day instead of mooning around the cheap knock-offs at Le Chateau. But to give my teen self some credit, I did realize that the dresses my mother made were of a much, MUCH better quality than the prom dresses in the mall. So I set my mother to whipping up the lavender creation, which was of a lavender gauze with a white rose pattern over lavender taffeta, with a princess bodice, a full ankle-length skirt and a sort of bandeau around the shoulders, to make up for the lack of sleeves. (I think my mother put her foot down re: strapless although she relented on this issue by Daughter No. 3.)
The formal itself was not terrifically memorable except that my date and I went to a party at a crisis pregnancy centre beforehand, and this led to one of our male friends sulking. He had badly wanted me to ask him to my grad formal, even though he was not at all romantically inclined towards me, for the sheer compliment of it, plus the girls' school Formal glamour. He thought we had turned up at "The Way Inn" to taunt him, but honestly it was because we didn't want to miss the party. Also, going to any kind of "before party" was a big deal, and the Cool Kids had invited me to theirs, but I had seen Carrie and feared what had happened to her might befall me.
So really the high point of the Formal was, of course, the dress. I believe I even had satin shoes (flat) dyed to match. Aw.
Okay, your turn. Reminisce about a dress in the combox, please. And in case you are wondering, no, I do not at all regret having been a teenager in the 1980s. Yes, the haircuts were terrible, but the music was great and there was no twerking.