I am soliciting your help and expertise. During my twenties, I amassed a small collection of single-use ball gowns otherwise known as bridesmaid dresses. And while I am honored and flattered to have been asked five times to stand beside a close friend and support him/her on a significant day in his/her life, I am horrified by the sheer mass of shiny, synthetic fabrics now residing in my apartment. Also, I live in New York City where storage space is a precious commodity. Despite my jammed closet, I just can't bring myself to throw these dresses away. And, because of the evils of the bridal industrial complex, in addition to purchasing each, I also had to have each tailored to meet my particular proportions---donating them as they are to a used clothing outfit would not do anyone much good.
And anyway, what fun would that be? Instead, I am seeking your input for fabulous reuses for disposable formal wear. These are the raw materials at my disposal (though I would also be interested in some sort of tulle-pooling collective activity and already know a small army of women with the resources to participate):
1 Cherry red floor-length gown in chiffon, spaghetti straps;
1 Apple red floor-length gown in satin, halter top, miles of black tulle lining/stuffing;
1 Frosted raspberry floor-length gown in taffeta;
1 Berry-colored satin sleeveless shell and 1 berry-colored satin floor-length A-line skirt;
1 Serene (blue) chiffon floor-length gown with opaque lining and a billowy sheer top-layer that when pulled flat is the equivalent of three to five dresses worth of fabric; and
2 chiffon scarves, one in apple and one in serene.
Again, I love my fiends and was happy to wear these dresses (except the first one, which was for my cousin's red, white and blue-themed wedding just after he finished Navy boot camp---I still resent getting dragged into THAT pageant). What kills me about this collection is the commercialism. Four of my five outfits came from the same national bridal chain. This was convenient, since none of these weddings took place near where I live and I was able to try on and purchase the dresses near home or online, and affordable which is key in wedding planning since costs for all involved balloon easily. But I also find it depressing that a chain store has had so much influence over such important moments in the lives of those close to me, and by association, MY life.
SOOOO, please help me brainstorm! Any and all ideas for reusing these materials would be greatly appreciated. What better way to honor my friends' commitments than to upcycle the by-products?
5 CommentsAdd Comment
Little Shiva - wrote:
I read this whole post before realizing you wrote it, Leila. Ha – love it!June 23, 2009 | 3:28 am
Aerin Dunford wrote:
Hey Leila . . . so . . . I have a friend who started collecting old dresses and painting them, re-designing them a little bit and creating actually really interesting new outfits. Here is her website: http://www.deconstructressdesigns.com/. I don't know if this is something you would be up for . . . (I know I probably wouldn't have the sewing skills) but it was the first thing that came to my mind. I wonder if any of the folks at Haute Trash would have an idea!July 13, 2009 | 8:39 pm
Stephanie Upton wrote:
There are some programs in the US that accept donations of used formal wear to give to low income high school seniors going to prom. Just type "donate prom dress" into google and find the program nearest youDecember 15, 2009 | 9:19 pm