Sunday, 3 August 2008
Clothes I have loved and lost: Part One
I have just read Justine Picardie’s book, “My Mother’s Wedding Dress” which explores the relationship we have with our clothes.
It prompted me to take a look back at my photograph albums and pick out a selection of “old friends I’ve loved and lost.”
The first to catch my eye was a photograph of me wearing this dress on holiday in Porec, a resort in what was once called Yugoslavia.It was taken outside the hotel I was staying in for the holiday. I can remember the dates: August 12th - August 26th 1983.
I was 17 when this photograph was taken. On the cusp of adulthood.
I had left school and was half-way through my A-Level course at sixth form college. It was my last year of living at home before I left to go to university (and never returned).
I had bought the dress with the wages from my weekend job at a sweet shop. It came from a Miss Selfridge store in Manchester (where I grew up). It was reduced in the summer sale to about £11.
It was a crisp, heavy cotton. It was quite shapeless with big patch pockets but the back had a cut out detail. I loved the muted blues and taupes and wore it to death.
It was the first item I packed into my suitcase when I went on holiday with my friend Tracey and her parents (which probably explains why it was a little creased!) It was an exciting time. I flew for the first time. And it was the first holiday without my parents.
It was before I started colouring my hair. I pulled the waist in with this (awful) white plastic corset belt and wore “Gypsy-style” ear-rings.
The holiday was a disaster. My friends’ parents didn’t stop arguing and they divorced a few years later. I fell out with my friend (after she read my diary and made some comments on what I had written).
But I remember coming home from that holiday sporting a golden tan. I wore that dress for the rest of the summer. It was the summer I started dating. I probably wore the dress on a date with the college heartthrob Ian Davidson and, later that summer, Antony Perkins who finally asked me out after a crush which had lasted years.
I have a clothing photograph memory for each day this week.
Tomorrow: "Club 18-30, the white jumpsuit and the children's TV presenter."