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That Dress You All Noticed

Well, in my very-long post the other day, where I posted photos of me wearing colorful garb… you sure noticed dress #1. It’s worth a chat because it was SUCH a find!

This dress I found on an adventure to Grand Rapids, Michigan, I think in June this year… I started a long post on that day which included three different areas of Grand Rapids, and never finished it.

Brian & I were in GR for a family gathering. We decided to go early and hit both a funky part of town (East Town) and a beautiful park (for the Water Festival which deserved its own post). In the funky part of town is City Knitting, a really fine shop I had not visited before… and a very nice Indian restaurant which unfortunately was closed that time of day.

But we were there during a street festival, so not only did we visit the knit shop and look for food, we shopped. And I found a booth that was not only resale (clothing), but very fine funky multicultural resale.

And I ended up with a lightweight cotton embroidered dress from India, and three dresses from Hawaii, approximately 1970-73 if I can tell from the fabrics. (I remember that era well… I was young but I was IN LOVE with the styles).

The dress here was pretty incredible… the tag inside indicates it was from a tailor rather than a clothing line, and it says Hawaii. The inside of the dress has details that really look as though it was handmade to order. And the dress perhaps had been worn once and then dry cleaned, or maybe never worn at all.

As far as I can tell, someone went to Hawaii on vacation and had something made for them as a souvenir, then never wore it. I got another dress that is very different in style (probably a few years later) but the same size, which I’m guessing was also from the same person’s wardrobe.

I could not believe I could actually wear this thing… and it fits me as though it was tailored for me! The woman selling these items was not only delighted that I bought so many dresses but that they fit so perfectly and that I clearly loved them for their history as well as their style.

I can’t believe my luck. We had been to a wonderful, much larger clothing sale in NYC in April and I found wonderful things but none of them fit. Here I went home with four items. One does need a good deal of alteration but the others were perfect as they were.

And for those of us who love clothing, who find costuming ourselves an everyday artform… well, a find like this is something we remember always. That dress waited for me. I’m pleased as punch!

By the way, I’m clear the pose is artificial, I was trying to imitate Twiggy. In the era when this dress was made, Twiggy was *the* model especially for anything geared to girls of my age. Someone bought me a subscription to Seventeen Magazine during that time frame and I drank in all the styles that were clearly too big-city for me to find them in my town.

Twiggy was always photographed as though she was on her way somewhere, legs always looking in motion. I’m not Twiggy (and this photo was taken with a timer, no photographer behind the camera) but it sure was entertaining to pose like her in the garden (on a very, very hot day).

One Response to “That Dress You All Noticed”

  1. Mom Says:

    I love it! I will enjoy seeing it in person some day.

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