Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Seventh Day of a Feminine Christmas

Is there a grandmother who doesn't run out at Christmas to buy her first granddaughter a velvet dress?  My mother bought my daughter a Wedgewood blue velvet dress with a matching satin sash and a white lace underskirt.  When I was seven, my grandmother made me an unusual peacock blue one with perfect glass buttons, each with a golden marigold inside.  It was the most beautiful dress I ever owned.

Velvet is one of those luxurious fabrics with a lovely "hand".  Like silk, it feels good to the touch.  My memorable blue dress was a soft velvet and not the least bit stiff.  Black velvet too, is an elegant choice for Christmas attire and fortunately it is back in style in skirts, shoes, pants. 

One of my favorite black velvet dresses is one that Marlo Thomas wore during her That Girl years.  She looks so sweet and charming in it and if lengthened just a few inches, it would be perfect for today.  Not surprisingly, I read that she said it "itched like mad" because of the multiple lace petticoats underneath but I adore her in it just the same.

When I think of red velvet, I see Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis.  Last night, I was able to see a local production of a play of the film.  Esther didn't wear red velvet but she looked festive and pretty in a black velvet trimmed white dress.  I never tire of the scene where she dances behind a candlelit Christmas tree with her grandfather, only to emerge a moment later swirling in the arms of her true love, John Truitt.  Tears always well up in my eyes for the grandfather, Esther, the sudden appearance of John, and the magnificent red velvet dress. 

The top picture is an ad for Gay Gibson apparel.  They were known for feminine colorful dresses and separates during the 60's and 70's.  I am enchanted by their ads because they always used three alluring models in each photograph.  I especially love the velvet and lace sleeve on model Colleen Corby's dress on the left. 

Until I dress the little granddaughter that only meets me in my dreams, I will continue to look for images of velvet dresses at Christmastime.

1 comment:

  1. There is no fabric so steeped in holiday beauty than velvet...true velvet, with that buttery fluid hand and kitten-soft touch. You've hit on 2 of my favorite velvet dresses of all time! The other is the one my mother made for me...a red velvet vest over a black/red/white print dress in kindergarden. It had rhinestone buttons set in black resin and I felt like royalty in it. I still dream of it! Thanks for such a lovely reminder, my dear!