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The Purple Dresses

Yesterday I revealed that my mum’s favourite colour is purple. Today I bring you proof. But there is much gold in these pictures too. Observe:

There is a heavy influence of Victoriana in the wedding photo above. It is my sister Serena’s wedding, and I am about eight or nine years old. I am wearing the reviled purple dress. I hated everything about it: the high neck, the long sleeves, the elasticised waist, the colour, the fabric. To this day I remember the itchiness of it, and I suspect it was made from acrylic crepe. I felt Dowdy. Even my tragic expression seems to presage at least a decade of unremitting, unrepentant purple-hating. However, the tall black leather boots are cool. (I looked way cuter in this wedding outfit [second photo].)

… my tragic expression seems to presage at least a decade of unremitting, unrepentant purple-hating

My sister Blossom, on far left is wearing oxblood velvet with a white lace jabot! And bridesmaid Star next to her is in a shade of light mauve. Her dress also features Victoriana style with that lace yoke and bishop sleeves. Mum is letting the side down and wearing neutral grey. Then there is the bride, Serena in a high-necked gown covered with lace, and … I am not sure what length to call those lace sleeves. They are between short and three-quarter. But – heaven! A bridal gown that is not a strapless princess line! Praise be. (Oh and that’s dad on the end, which you probably guessed.) But you can see mum’s influence at work here, right?

Here is my sister Serena as a young teen in the early 1970s, wearing a purple mini with bishop chiffon sleeves – a classic style from that era. Far more awesome than the purple dress mum inflicted on me.

And the pièce de la résistance: my mum in a glorious royal purple velvet gown, featuring pussy bow and matching bolero with flared lapels. I am sad to report that this garment has long since been removed from the confines of her closet, or I would undoubtedly have modelled it already on these pages. (Although perhaps I would have been tempted to turn that dress into a maxi skirt.)

I truly was born to the purple. 

Note: I have colour corrected these photographs – the originals have faded a lot, but I thought I should be fair and let you see these dresses as they were in their heydey.

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