Song & Story
By: Dafne Sabanes Plou, Argentina
There it was. A French lace top and a long Swiss organza skirt. Beautiful, soft and with a lavender scent. Mummy had kept her wedding dress in a beautiful box, one of those you only see in the old movies. It looked lovely, even after so many years.
"Do you want to wear it for your wedding?", she asked. I doubted a bit. And what if I ruined it? I knew I would never get those fabrics anywhere in the world. Mummy had bought them in Paraguay, when she was a deaconess of the Methodist Church at a girl's school in Ascension. One of her best friends was a fine dressmaker, and she had thought out the pattern specially for Mum. To me, it looked like the sort of dresses you saw Rita Hayworth or Grace Kelly wearing in the late 40's and 50s.. It could look odd on a young bride in the 70's.
But I did try it on and fell in love with it. The long lace sleeves fitted gorgeously and the bright white organza skirt was just dazzling. I didn't mind it had nothing to do with what my friends were wearing at their weddings. This dress was something special, something rare and bewitching.
Fifteen years later, my sister Irene, who had been a flower girl at my wedding, asked me about the dress. "Is it still around? I remember the long lace sleeves and the splendid organza skirt. I'd love to try it on before I decide about my wedding dress", she said with enthusiasm.
And, of course, the dress was still around. Still inside the same old box and with that lavender scent. It fit Irene. And she also loved it and did not mind wearing something that had nothing to do with what brides were wearing in the mid-eighties.
"Would you ask granny to show me her wedding dress?", Natalia asked me. "I've seen the photographs from your wedding and Irene's and I think that dress has something special. I'm about your size, so it might fit me all right".
After almost 50 years, the dress still looked exquisite but the French lace had changed its colour to creamy-white. "I think the organza and the lace do not fit together anymore", said Natalia with disappointment. "But, I still wish to wear at least part of it. I'll use the French lace. I've never seen anything so refined. It's very impressive!".
I went with my daughter to the dressmaker. She tried on the wedding dress for the first time. She looked so graceful and charming. That creamy-white French lace was made just for her! "Soft pink and light yellow roses for the bouquet!", said the dressmaker.
After the wedding, we'll put the dress back into the old box. We still have lavender in the garden. We'll keep it well. Who can tell how many more brides will wear it in the future?
Dafne Sabenes-Plou is a free-lance journalist living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her focus is mainly on social and religious issues. She is an active leader and participant in many world associations. Dafne is currently the President of the Latin American Region of the World Association for Christian Communication whose headquarters is in London, as well as a member of both their Central Finance Committees.
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