I’ve had a love for theatre ever since I was really young. I was definitely the shy, quiet kid who found herself amongst like-minded misfits. Theatre tends to attract other creative souls who want nothing more than to be themselves and somehow find it in becoming someone else for a few hours. I made some of the best friends of my life in those shows: performing, stage managing, painting sets, and flipping through racks in the costume closet. And there was something magic about the curtain call. Not just the feeling of being applauded for something I truly loved. But, finding that when the curtain came down and I shed my costume, I was somehow more myself after I had the chance to play a character and bare someone else’s soul.
And I really think my love of vintage was first sparked in that dusty costume closet. Finding pieces true to whatever era the show required – whether it was early 1960’s Motown costumes for Little Shop of Horrors or garments that spoke to 1900’s imperial Russia for Fiddler on the Roof, I learned silhouettes and hemlines and found a passion for understanding both the story on a page and the story behind the woman who wore these clothes.
The minute I saw this dress at Sweet Life Vintage, with a hem so reminiscent of that falling curtain, my heart leapt into my chest. And it was one of those exciting-meets-gut-wrenching moments, cause the Mr. and I make a pact to avoid shopping for ourselves around Christmas. But Santa’s Little Brunette Helper (aka my fabulous sister) saw to it that she appear under my tree on Christmas morning anyway….
The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen
I also seem to be having incredible luck finding novelty wicker handbags lately. One that has been on my wishlist for AGES is a vintage bust purse. These are few and far between in good condition, and I just about fainted when I saw this one pristine one appear in Hunter Gatherer Vintage. And when she arrived and reminded me so of the dress forms that would sit in the corner of our costume room all those years ago, whispering of past and present and possibilities that would appear on that stage each night, I knew the perfect outfit was born. And naturally I had to give her some of her own bling. (how many handbags do you know can wear their own necklace?? Not many…)
It’s funny how certain things can be so formative. How I just have to close my eyes and can remember exactly how the wings of my high school theatre smelled. The clanging way the old piano used to sound, muffled just so by the side doors as those keys were pounded each night. How those sights and sounds and smells are reminiscent of anticipation commingled with fear and a sense of belonging.
I didn’t feel I belonged in very many places as a teenager – but I knew I belonged on that stage. And I knew I belonged in this dress today, with this amazing bag on my arm, heading into the lab to (hopefully) science like no one has ever scienced before.
So, let’s go Friday. Time to take the stage!
Dress: gift, Sweet Life Vintage (similar modern and vintage here, here, & here)
Necklace: gift, Swarovski
Bracelet: gift, Swarovski
Vintage Bust Purse: Hunter Gatherer Vintage (similar here & here)
Necklace on handbag: Olive + Piper (pink version sold out)
Heels: Irregular Choice (similar here & here)