Showing posts with label Carmen Miranda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carmen Miranda. Show all posts

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 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:

 "'s different."

 Or "It's"

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?