Consequences of Bringing Vintage to the Stage

August 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

About a year ago, I saved this dress from an uncertain future on the sale rack or in the free box at work.  I actually forgot about it until my trip to Lovely on Friday.

This poor dress was putt through the ringer as a rental.

Just for grins, I tried it on and discovered that in it’s heyday, this could have been the perfect dress for me – aside from the excess fabric in the bust, which was clearly made for a more endowed gal than myself.  But the dropped, pointed waistline on the bodice is a flattering shape for my torso.  It adds that extra length that some of my favorites at Lovely were lacking.  And I really like the slight curve in the waist line at center back.  I’m thinking if I can’t find something absolutely perfect in a bridal shop, I may have to rip a pattern off this poor, weathered dress and build it myself.  I’d make a few changes, of course, to make it oh-so-slightly more modern: I’d follow the sweatheart shape of the lining to make the bodice strapless, and I’d consider making it tea length with a fuller skirt.  And to be clear, that’s not just a glamor pose, I’m actually holding the right shoulder up because the lace has completely dry rotted through.

The damage is clear from the back.

I imaging the dress also got some rough treatment in her days as a rental costume.  Metal hangers and quick changes were bound to take their toll.  But this is what happens when you put a real vintage dress on stage.  A dress that does not have the same hearty construction of a theatrical costume.  It’s tragic because the skirt lace is still in very good shape.

Pretty vintage cream lace.

In it’s prime, this dress must have been breath taking.  Even if I don’t make it for myself, I’m sure taking a pattern of it will serve me well in the future.


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