Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twenty-Six Dresses in a Box

This blog entry is called Twenty-Six Dresses in a Box or What I did in My Summer Vacation Part 2. 

As a on-line vintage store owner I like to think every vintage dress has a story. Yes when I get the dress most likely the owner is dead or in a nursing home, this is what many people who look at an old dress think. That is just the facts of life. But I believe a dress has a life of it own and a story to tell. Sometime we can only guess at it's story but sometimes I get lucky and I get a story along with the dress.

A story of 26 dresses in a box.....

This summer I vacationed in the Catskills. It was quiet and there was good fishing for my husband and son and plenty of shops for me to visit.  The Catskills the the day used to be the hot spot of vacationing Jewish suburbanites. There were luxurious hotels like the Browns and the Pines where you can bring your family and enjoy the beautiful  environment and at night you can dance the night away or go see some of the best jewish comedians around.

The Concord 1958 (top) Martha Raye at The Concord (Below)

What does this have to do with 26 dresses in a box? Well the only vision of this era is the Movie Dirty Dancing.  Visiting this area now is nice but also depressing to me when I see the shut down hotels and the remnants of towns which had seen better days.  A time where there was cocktail hour. When you went out you dressed to kill with a sexy cocktail dress, gloves, heels and evening bag. I was brought back to this time when through a friend I was able to purchase a box of evening dresses from a woman who just lost her mother.

She did not want to dump the clothing at the Salvation Army. She wanted to honor the good times that her Mother had wearing these dresses. She told me of her memories as a child in the 50's and 60's going to flea markets to find dresses for her mother to wear out dancing and of the times she played with her friends whiles her parents danced. She wanted to give life back to these dresses to honor her Mother.

So, I ended my vacation by purchasing 26 cocktail dresses in a cardboard box. I went home and opened box and the dresses themselves told me more of their previous owner. She was fun and loved Ballroom Dancing. She had a great sense of style and knew how to dress with flair. And most of all she was resourceful and had a great eye for what would look good on her. So vintage dresses are not just discarded objects but they can tell a story and they can also take on many different lives. Maybe with someone who loves to ballroom dance or with a stylish fashionista who needs a dress for a special occassion. Maybe they could achieve their won sort of fame by being worn by an actress in a play or movie. You just have to use your imagination.

A sampling of the 26...

All available at buy one now and create your own story.

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