Recently in my Neurobiology class I’ve been teaching the students about the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The ways we can learn names, faces, and dates and evoke things long forgotten from our childhood. The ways that we form neocortical assemblies behind the things we remember, where a whisper of a perfume or a few notes of a song can trigger recall of the entire memory.
There is something remarkable about the way we can attach ourselves to the past. Remember sequences of events. Stitch seemingly insignificant things together. And it doesn’t take much for an entire memory to come a tumbling back.
When I was young I had a Strawberry Shortcake dress. To be honest, I can’t remember if it had a Strawberry Shortcake print or if I just felt like Strawberry Shortcake wearing it. But that almost doesn’t seem to matter. Because, oh I can remember the feeling. And how reluctant I was to let my mom wash it. I can remember the red & white hues, and the smell of my Strawberry Shortcake figurines, roses and perfume and sweet cream. A smell I can’t accurately describe but can instantly pick out of a crowd. I remember a flouncy skirt, with ribbon trim, and dashing through the green grass with youth on my heels. I remember sunshine and berries and the crystallized sugar on top of muffins my aunt used to make.
And for whatever reason, that same feeling burst out of this dress this morning. Be it the floral note in the detergent that was last used to wash her. The rosey hue of strawberry sunshine. Or the simple fact that she made me feel carefree for a brief moment in all of her stripey, candy-coated sass.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
Speaking of childhood memories, this dress is from a recently discovered vintage shop – Sarah & Ludo Vintage. I remember when I first came across their Instagram – I was a huge fan of Labyrinth as a kid and remember my sister and I watching it over and over. The amazing puppets. The special effects. David Bowie’s pants (spandex is not for everyone…). So, I knew that any shop that references that movie is one I need to be on my rotating vintage dance card. And my first dress from their shop definitely didn’t disappoint.
So, childhood memories firmly in tact, I’m off to educate the next generation on the way that we form and recall memories. Keeping them safe, however, that’s up to you….
Dress: Sarah & Ludo Vintage (similar modern & vintage here, here, & here)
Necklace: Gift (similar)
Handbag: gift, Intrigue You Forever Vintage (similar here & here)
Shoes: gift, Poetic License (similar here & here)
Lip Color: Dior