It sounds terribly dramatic doesn't it?
I can hear a gravelly voiced announcer intone, "It was the dress that changed her life!"
Dum dum dah!
So dramatic, but also so true.
When I ponder my vintage journey I realise that I have always loved the music, the style and especially the fashions of days gone by.
When everyone was listening to Bros in their faded ripped jeans I was bopping away to the Beatles and Elvis (unfortunately still in ripped jeans) and was dreaming of living in different times.
I'd yearn to live the lives of yesteryear literature heroines like Anne of Green Gables or Elizabeth Bennet.
I had always had that unsettling feeling that I didn't quite belong in this day and age.
I used to dread looking in my wardrobe. I hated myself in the jeans I felt I had to wear because everyone else was. I despised how I looked and felt that there was nothing that suited me in the myriad of chain stores out there.
Whilst I had always loved the fashions of my vintage icons (Audrey! Marilyn! Judy!) and would watch classic movies over and over just to glimpse the divine frocks and hats, I never even entertained the thought that I could emulate those screen goddesses and wear those fashions.
How could I? Sportsgirl doesn't sell frothy prom style 50's gowns! Never spotted an adorable wiggle dress in Portmans. And to my young and naive self those chain stores really were my only avenue of fashion self expression
Then I discovered this dress.
Just a vintage reproduction of a 50's style frock you may say, but the purchase of this dress was like an epiphany. I had never realised that there were labels like this "Black Roses" that made repro clothes (you have to remember that this was before the Internet was an everyday shopping tool - yes I am that old!) and in styles that I had long coveted and adored.
I began hunting down similar reproduction clothing, but my poor young self could never afford such expensive luxuries. $150 for a dress? Are you barking mad?
And then I began to op shop and it dawned on me that I could perhaps unearth some frocks that looked pretty damn close to those lovely concoctions in my classic movies that were originals, not just repro's. I could also op shop outfits that had a vintage feel even if they weren't true vintage.
I began to go to rockabilly gigs and burlesque shows and the Internet began to become a vital mode of research in my vintage awakening. The more I immersed myself in this new lifestyle, the more I experimented with these new (old) fashions the more I began to feel like ME. I suddenly experienced the feeling of having my insides match my outsides. And it felt freaking AMAZING!
I feel great in vintage! I love the styles of the 40's, 50's and 60's and when I wear them, I feel beautiful. It is that simple!
I have battled many body image demons, and although I haven't won (do we ever?) the style of the dresses I love flatter my curves and never do I get so many compliments on my clothing as when I am wearing vintage or vintage style.
So this little frock with it's cool skull and rose pattern, is where it all began for me; the beginning of the long journey of discovering who I really was. The journey is, of course, still underway, but bloody hell I am enjoying it! (And I now NEVER wear jeans!)
I wore my epiphany dress to the wedding I recently attended (yes, skulls for a wedding - I was warding off bad energy!) with my Martin Moddel fur capelet and op shopped bag, belt and shoes and I danced the night away, petticoat swirling and swishing to the terrible 80's and 90's dance music that is traditional at weddings and I had a blast!