Dress (remixed): Hera Couture
Shoes: Mel (similar here)
I’m not one of those people who thinks that your wedding day is the Most Important Day Of Your Life ™, but even I have to admit that your wedding gown probably is the Most Important Dress Of Your Life.
I still remember how I felt the first time I saw the dress I would be married in (Obviously. It wasn’t that long ago). I remember the excitement of being fussed over and fitted, the deliberations over colour (bone), train (yes), and whether to wear a red sash or not (not). I remember stepping into the dress on my wedding day, my best friend and sister zipping me up, and how beautiful it made me feel.
Since that day The Dress has been sitting in a garment bag in my wardrobe. It doesn’t take up much space; there’s no petticoats, no tulle, no boning. Without a body to fill it out it’s the limp promise of a gown, the matte sheen of silk and a hint of gossamer chiffon.
I un-zipped the bag once or twice this past year to run my hand over the beautiful fabric, and try and recapture how magical that day in January felt. There’s still the hint of my “something borrowed” perfume in the cloth.
With all that’s happened in the last few months it makes no sense for me to still be nostalgic about my dress. Looking at it makes me sad and wistful about broken promises and a future that is no longer on the cards. But I still couldn’t bring myself to part with it.
I moved into my new apartment (my new HOME) last weekend, and when I excavated my wedding gown from the bottom of one of my suitcases I couldn’t help but have a little bit of a cry. Afterwards I tried to think about what I should do with the dress. Keeping it was ridiculous. I wasn’t exactly going to save it for a potential future daughter, and it couldn’t stay in my wardrobe like an emotional landmine. But selling it seemed unthinkable; too many happy memories were bound up in its seams.
It’s a deceptively simple dress, my wedding gown. Unfussy in its construction, the only adornment comes from the elegant drapery of chiffon that is tacked to the bodice. It was short work to strip this layer off and reveal the bare bones of the dress itself: A simple bodice with a wide v-neckline, an a-line skirt that becomes full circle at the back, a matching waistband in the same, sumptuous matte silk.
It was easy too, to take inches off the bottom and convert the floor length hem to tea length. Dry-cleaning removed the creases from long storage, the last whisper of perfume and the inevitable smudges leftover from a long and joyous day as a bride.
Also gone are the less tangible ghosts: the memory of the dress swirling around my legs while The Sophisticate and I danced, the heat of his hand on the small of my back, the way the strap fell down my shoulder when we leant over, laughing, to cut the cake.
This new dress is a clean slate. Custom-made to fit me, from the most beautiful fabric – it’s either the cheapest, or most expensive item in my wardrobe.
I toyed with the idea of dyeing it, but I think I like the colour. It’s fresh, and full of promise.
I wanted to thank every single one of you who has left me comments and sent me emails of support and love. Thank you for sharing your stories, your prayers, your best wishes, and your condolences. I’m doing OK, all things considered, and that’s mostly because I know I have so many people who are standing behind me.
I’m stronger because of you.