Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Golden Bow

Next week is my birthday and I want a new dress. This dress to be specific.

Last year my sis and I had a party (we are born on the same day but are not twins). Leo Bash it is called and it is a most raucous party replete with multiple DJs, a kissing booth with Branson the dog, a trampoline and a wild dance floor.

Upon arrival to the festivities, I broke out into tears (and yes, I am a grown woman) because my sis had a new birthday dress and I did not. And yes, actual tears came. My sis was stupefied and rather embarassed, not sure what was wrong with me. I recovered quickly, but my disappointment was real. Silly, I know.

When my sis and I were little my mother would always buy us new dresses; the same style but in a different color. I can remember each birthday most vividly not by the presents received nor the party had, but by the dress worn. Fashion has always dictated my ability to recall events. I can picture the past perfectly if I know what outfit I donned at the time. I suppose this is what creates packrat mentality. How can I get rid of a shirt I can remember going to the best concert of my life in? Or a skirt bought traveling in Turkey? Thus, each fashion memory is cataloged according to style, trend and color and eventually filed away, in the attic.

So each season I go shopping. To the attic I go retrieving old fashions and reliving musty memories. I always come away with something gorgeous, a lovely frock exiled for no discernible reason, that carries a little piece of history and now has the opportunity to create more.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Art Deco Wedding

I have weddings on the brain. Working on marriage contracts (Ketubah) as well as various Art Deco inspired wedding invitations invokes visions of my own 1930s style wedding.

Executing my own Art Deco style invitations by hand influenced by a perfume bottle ca. 1925, I sought to create a unique invitation based on an Art Deco aesthetic.

Held at the Albuquerque Press Club, a rambling log mansion built in the 1880s by the architect of the Santa Fe Railroad, it stands in the middle of the city on a hill, minutes from downtown Albuquerque and my childhood home. An urban architectural gem, hidden from the freeway and old Route 66 by centuries old elm trees, it now serves as the local watering-hole for members of the press.

Both my dress and my shoes were ca. 1930. A simple sheath with a goddess neckline and a long lace panelled train, my gown took little in the way of preparation.

My betrothed wore a tuxedo from a Fifth Avenue tailor dated 1925. With tails, a separate collar for a shirt that buttoned down the back, two sets of cuff-links as well as two-part vest and high waisted silk-stripe pants, his ensemble was terribly complicated and took two people to dress him. He told me he felt like a monkey on show, and I told him to just deal, he would never have to do this again. After all, we were creating a scene, a mood, a time of old romance and sophistication.

With over 300 people, total chaos ensued. With rooms off of rooms off of rooms and stairways that led nowhere, hidden patios and terraces, the Press Club that night had the quality of a debaucherous wild Old West saloon with people dancing, singing and creating a night of revelry not to soon be forgotten.

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