Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Formal Number Three: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime.

When The Baby Angel announced the invite to her THIRD Formal in one year, my heart sank. After the trauma of sending her off, partially clothed, to the last dance (and I use the term dance loosely), I was terrified by the thought of a) the cost and b) the modesty battle involved in this next invite.

I mean, I don't know what it's like in your part of the world but the early 70s fashion for ludicrously short skirts has re-emerged with a vengeance over here in Aus.
Girls are frequently attired in nothing more than a couple of tea towels tied at the shoulder, usually with a price tag equivalent to the GDP of a small African nation. When browsing the pages of online clothing companies of late, I have been confused by pictures of what seem to me to be obviously shirts, being described as dresses!

These two are some of the tamer examples.

And it seems that everyone is wearing them! Some of the nicest girls from the BA's former school, the really studious ones who don't even have facebook, are turning up to 18th birthdays wearing little more than extended 'boob tubes'.

At each party the BA attends, her dress gets shorter and shorter until I am entreating her to 'take a cardigan in case it gets cold'. I am, judging by some old photos I have recently discovered, possibly more prudish than my own mother!

And after seeing this photo (circa 1975) I will never complain about the BA wearing short shorts again either!

So it was with trepidation that I started to ask her about her dress plans for this next Formal. I bravely tried, once more, to suggest a re-run of the black dress worn at St Saviour's Formal. I should have saved my breath. Then, after a chance buy at the supermarket, the movie High Society came to my rescue. It turns out that the BA is a closet Grace Kelly fan with a penchant for the fashions of the 40s and 50s!! Having established this, I started to trawl photos of Grace and her outfits on google, comparing them to vintage Vogue patterns on ebay. Now don't ask me how we got to this one but the BA chose it:

And...she agreed to let me make it for her! Given the last disaster I was touched that she still trusted me.

We chose fabric, I made the whole thing up in a calico first and agreed to a few modifications. The sleeves were taken in, the skirt was narrowed and the split up the front was extended. So, here are the results...

I was pretty pleased with the result, with the possible exception of the obvious 'line' above the split (at knee height) where the facings had been tacked in behind. She was happy with it too and felt proud that she had been the only girl there wearing long sleeves! Not sure how her date felt about that :-)

(Oh and yes, that is a new beau. Already! Although I think he has competition from another. Oh to be so spoiled for choice!!)


BrightenedBoy said...

Nice save there with the Grace Kelly ensemble!

The next time you catch her slipping into a tube top you could just mention "glamour" and see how she reacts.

I'm pretty sure teenage girls wanting to get as close to being naked as they can without actually taking their clothes off is a pretty timeless phenomenon.

Boys do not seem to share that urge, a fact I can remember lamenting in college.

dawn marie giegerich said...

1971. My first serious boyfriend loved my short navy blue dress with matching panties. And soon after that he married pregnant me and college major interruptis and divorce shortly after.

Having dinner with my 88-year-old father last night and he reminded me that Kelly had a very loose moral character and I'm not particularly fond of the "X" design, what was Grace thinking?

Arizaphale said...

Really? Grace Kelly was of loose moral character? That's a new one on me. Oh well, guess it doesn't matter how many clothes you have on. You can still take them off.

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