Friday, 15 March 2013

Frocked Up

It was 1986. I was 15 years old and madly in the throes of an Anne Of Green Gables fixation. I always had been since I'd read the book at age 10, but now there was also a current mini series starring Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. I loved it. So naturally, when my formal came around I wanted a dress with puffed sleeves, just like Anne had always longed for. Marilla wouldn't let her, but Matthew sneakily got her one.

Happily, my mother wasn't like Marilla and obligingly sewed up the puffed sleeve extravaganza in mint green taffeta with white polka dots and a satin bow sash. It looked like a typical 1980's bridesmaid's dress. Ignoring this, I loved it and thought I was quite special in it, which is apparent by my pose. Love the hand on the hip. That was as close to an attitude as I've ever had.

Initially, I wore it to a cousin's wedding. On that occasion, I teamed it with lace pantyhose and fingerless white lace gloves,like the ones Madonna wore. Thus, I cleverly and creatively, in my mind, combined my love of Anne with my love of Madonna.

I honestly don't remember much of the actual formal itself. It was in the school hall, where I probably hovered around awkwardly as usual, not fitting in with the crowd.  But at least I got to wear my puffs. I most certainly did not have a date. There was no Gilbert Blythe for me. Sigh. Not that I was remotely interested in boys anyway. There were so many much more interesting things. Like Anne Of Green Of Gables and Carpenters records.

There may have been a rousing chorus of That's What Friends Are For at the end of the evening.  Several class mates started bawling. I looked on, from my awkward position in the corner, impervious. I didn't know what friends were for, since I didn't have any. Impossible to believe, when I looked like this:



LOOK at the puffs!!


Two years later, in 1988, for my Year 12 Formal, I was so much more mature and sophisticated, going with elegant black. This time I decided to forsake sleeves altogether. However, the bow/sash became larger than ever, attached to a tulle bustle with little colourful diamantes decorating it. I had a lovely 'up' do, instead of the 'big' Eighties perm for a change. I finished the look off with some bling, which is not very visible in this photo. The carpet we used to have was quite eye catching, however. As well as the lovely lace doilies on the lounge chairs.

Incidentally, I actually have one of those chairs in this house. It rocks. Not in the sense of being awesome. In the literal sense of, it is, in fact, a rocking chair.
Which is more dated, the dress, or the carpet?

We set off to the Formal, which was in a function centre this time. I took along a girl friend,who didn't go to my school, oblivious to the thought of this seeming, erm.... odd. (Not that there's anything wrong with that..as they say).

In those days your parents dropped you off in the station wagon and you didn't think anything of it. There were no stretch limos or any of the over the top goings on of today's teens, who think they are all some kind of celebrity strutting down the red carpet. Seriously? 

Another school friend arrived shortly after us, dressed in some sort of weird Cyndi Lauper meets Carmen Miranda get up, featuring every colour of the rainbow, and some I'd never even seen before. She managed this on her face as well, with green mascara clashing with purple eye shadow. It was quite blinding. There was fruit and feathers in her hair. People gushed over my dress, saying how lovely it was then turned to hers and said things like:

 "Erm..it's different."

 Or "It's very..um..colourful."

She pouted at this, looking quite peeved. Long story, but there were times when she'd been a bitch to me (and other times,when she'd been kind and the only friend I had). On that night I seemed to only remember the bitchy moments, so I was not that sympathetic.  I flounced about in my frock, loving the swish of my tulle bustle.  While other girls would have been horrified for their mother to sew them a frock, I thought it was awesome. There was no chance that I was going to experience THE HORROR of another girl turning up in the SAME DRESS. I was unique. I was special.  I was frocked up.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.



What did your formal frock look like? Do you like getting frocked up?
Reactions:

25 comments:

  1. I love both your dresses, nothing like standing out in time. My dresses are all equally as stunning lovely. I also love that your mum made them. It was the same in this house, I loved knowing I would have my very own dress unlike anyone else.

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely, thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks love. Mum also made my wedding dress. She is a whizz. Tragically the sewing genes skipped me. I can't even sew a button on. :(

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  2. you still get around in these up to the shops and a bit of mid week oh what a feeling i'm dancing on the ceiling - cleaning dont you ? :)

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    1. The sad thing is, if I could actually fit them past my knees, these days, I totally WOULD. Ahem.

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  3. Oh I LOVE them. My formal was in 1997 and my outfit was CRAY. Like I had lots of CONCEPTS all rolled into one outfit. Just BIZARRE!

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  4. Thanks dude. I really did love them at the time. Now you've got me curious about yours, I need to see that!

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    1. Ness I did a post of it ages ago ill find the link for you!

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    2. Thanks love. Now that you're a serious fashion blogger I'll be expecting something stylish! tee hee

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  5. You know what's wrong with the fashion of nowadays - the bows and the sleeves simply aren't big enough! I wore an emerald green taffeta number to my Year 12 formal with a bow at the waist the size of Tasmania. I thought I was just Dah-vine! I really should scan it on to the interwebs. The young ones of today need to be led by example. ;-)

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    1. Yes! DO IT! Let's bring back the bow! And puffs.

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  6. You look really pretty in both, in a very 80s sort of way :)

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    1. Thanks, I remember my green puffed sleeved number being fairly understated compared to some other frocks at the formal. I also remember feeling very special in it at the time. Good memories. xo

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  7. Aww... I love those pictures! You and the dresses are adorable. I only went to one formal dance. The dress itself isn't too terribly dated, though the shoes I wore were very '90s-ish, of the chunky wedged heel platform variety. And I think I've decided to dust off my copy of the Anne of Green Gables mini series and watch that this weekend. Thanks for inspiring this wonderful idea on what to do with my time! :)

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  8. Thanks! It's fun to look back at fashion anyway, even if it's embarrassing at times.

    Yes, LOVE Anne of Green Gables. Incidentally if you go onto Youtube and search for Megan Follows you can find a clip of her auditioning for the role, if you are as demented as me that is. Ahem.

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  9. A little bit of pouffy sleeve goes a long way in entertaining future family members :). Mint-green pouffery is not to be underestimated :). I wore a pink taffeta pouffy-sleeved number (with a 'dropped waist', 'sash', and 'sweetheart neckline') when I was 12 (as a bridesmaid's outfit). We also wore pink JIFFIES, with ribbons sewn on, to be 'ballet shoes'. No, really. PS I LOVED Anne of Green Gables.

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    1. I can totally picture that from your description. Stunning.

      Yes, the Anne books are awesome. Thanks for reading. x

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  10. Thanks for linking up! Had a super busy weekend so I apologise for not commenting sooner. You look great in both your dresses! And I love the fact your mum made them for you - it makes them even more special :) Hey, sometimes I look at the skimpy outfits worn by girls to their formals and I think we looked classier back then!

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    1. No problem Cathy, we all get busy. I think my Mum still has these dressed tucked away somewhere. I agree, we were classier!

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  11. Very stylish and typical of the period! Yes, my 2 girl friends and I arrived in a brand new Mazda 626 (it was 1983) driven by one of their fathers so we felt a bit spesh. Sadly, like Cinderella, we were picked up by the other girl's father in their decrepit old station wagon! LOL

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    1. Ha!Good old station wagons. Those were the days. Sigh.

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  12. You looked absolutely stunning, in both photos! I am jealous! I didn't do the whole formal thing, in fact, I don't know if we had them in year 10 in 1978? And, after having nearly been expelled along with a group of friends due to a little incident involving alcohol at the school dance in year 10, I think the school was glad to see the back of us ASAP! So I was not privy to the goings on of years 11 & 12. But I must say the lounges and carpet look very familiar! ;-)

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    1. Thanks Sandra! What a shame you didn't have one in 78. The fashion would have been so groovy then. Or not.

      Thanks for reading. x

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  14. Ness you looked gorgeous in both your photos. Very 80s on-trend! Both of my formal dressed were a disaster, as were my dates. The year 12 date was in love with my best mate! hmmmm....

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    1. Thanks Kim, I did feel gorgeous at the time. Sorry your formals didn't work out, maybe there was good side to me being date-less...

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