Stolen Gowns, Stolen Lives

What do Sharon Tate and Amy Winehouse have in common? 

The fate of dying young, beautiful and famous and the theft of their wedding gown posthumously.

Sinister and Sorrowful Endings

The horrible Hollywood murder story of the stunning blonde bride of Roman Polanski has been treated in print and on screen. The last days of the soulful British singer have been documented in film, too.

Curse on the Dress?

Insult to injury: their wedding gowns were stolen under strange circumstances. Yet, can we speak of a curse on a stolen wedding gown?  Unless the person who curses an object is known, this type of curse comes as a punishment for exploiting someone who is dead or vulnerable. The theft of a dead woman’s wedding gown sounds reprehensible. In the case of these two famous women, their pain would seem to continue through the theft. It may be primitive but disturbing the memory of the dead remains a delicate topic.

Curses, not just elaborate insults delivered, have power when you are superstitious. When my gown was stolen, an older woman of Egyptian origin tole me that the dress would be a curse to anyone who wore it. I wondered, though, what if the bride did not know the gown’s history?

In the case of famous brides, the wedding dress has a price tag. In fact,  the minidress Sharon Tate wore when marrying Roman Polanski was scheduled to be auctioned. This makes one think that the thief or thieves may want money, possibly a challenge, but may be avid fan or fans. Charles Manson and his ‘family’ made sure that the beauty below never saw her unborn child. The sixties youthful innocence of this simple black and white photo becomes all the more poignant, given how life turned out for this ‘flowerchild’ bride.

Poignant Old-Fashioned Black and White Portrait

ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA Wednesday, September 7, 2011 

This a blog for Sharon Tate’s family, friends and fans. It will be updated frequently. Please feel free to add comments. “She was a sensational person,” Debra Tate.!

Please be aware that someone out there has stolen Sharon’s wedding dress and mink stole from Debra Tate’s home.  If anyone has ANY information please let us know so I can pass this along to the Official Board, Debra and the police. Debra would just like to get the items back. These items mean so much to her as you can understand why.  Thank you in advance for any information you can deliver.  Please no phony emails, only serious ones.

Note: In 2017 and again in 2019, social media have helped two American brides recover wedding gowns stolen from cars or apartments. Honour among thieves?

Diva and Diana

Remember the French cult classic film, Diva (1981)? No spoiler: A young fan slipped back stage and stole the singer’s costume. Was it a trophy, souvenir or fetish?  He didn’t want to sell it to anyone.

A different saga is the wardrobe of the late Princess Diana.  Her clothing was donated to raise money for her charities. Diana: Her Fashion Story, an exhibition of gowns and suits worn by the Princess, was opened at Kensington Palace in February 2017 as a tribute to mark the 20th anniversary of her death. The exhibition opened on 24 February displaying a collection of 25. Similar smaller shows have travelled to various cities outside the United Kingdom. Legal issues involving inheritance and foundations have not guaranteed the initial success of Diana’s wardrobe exhibit.  Again, the posthumous value may be blurred and may blur the fine intentions of the original wearer or her family. 

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse’s wedding dress was a short, white halter dress with red anchors that she wore to her wedding to Blake Fielder Civil in London (May 2007). Unfortunately, for most of their two-year marriage, Winehouse and Civil lived a life tormented by the paparazzi and drug addiction.

A spokesman for the Amy Winehouse Foundation spoke to Reuters and confirmed Winehouse’s home showed no evidence of a break-in. Instead, insiders believe someone with access to the home and garments stole the newsprint cocktail dress and the wedding dress as they had just been cataloged and stored in the days before the theft.

Amy’s father Mitch was devastated over the theft of the bridal gown. “It’s sickening that someone would steal something in the knowledge of its sentimental value.”

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Guest Dress for Weddings: Decode the Invitation

When my wedding dress was stolen, the insurance company representative sneered. He told me that as a guest I would have received more compensation. Why? A guest’s outfit might be worn again hence held more value that a wedding gown which is worn once.

I was reminded of the cost of dressing for a wedding recently when a Montreal shop advertised what to wear to summer weddings. I like the ‘how-to’ approach in advertising; however, in this case the pricetags would wipe out the possible wedding gift for the couple!

SUMMER WEDDINGS?

Today’s couples are tying the knot in the most amazing places—so, what do you wear that feels just as special? Florals are a vineyard wedding staple, so make them feel fresh by going full bloom in a blouse with neutral wide-legged trousers and eye-catching metallics.

Personally, I avoid wearing trousers in summer, especially to a wedding! Exeception: lacey white or airy pastel perhaps. The greatest error is to wear polyester anything especially to a wedding in summer!

KEY to being a guest at any wedding:  Dress up but remember that you may be in a church so have a shawl or jacket and don’t outdo the bride.

The URBAN UNION

Graphic is the way to go for an artistic wedding in the city.  Let the design do the talking by sticking to monochrome black and white. Note the rule remains: avoid too much white so as to be different from the bride.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST MAMMA MIA

THE ROMANTIC

Take a tailored approach to dressing for a European destination (Santorini maybe?) by pairing a razor-sharp blazer with an abstract printed dress and accessories.  My advice: AGAIN avoid synthetics and take and extra low-heel shoe for later.

How to Know What to Wear to a Wedding OR Invitation Terminology

https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-guest-attire-cheat-sheet

The Knot is a great wedding site on line. From the craziest question of etiquette to the last designer detail. For example, has a wedding invite ever left you clueless? Fear not, the clue you need is likely there—you just have to know how to interpret the dress code wording. Whether it’s black tie, white tie or something in between, here’s a list for deciding what to wear for madame.

If the invite says “white tie”

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). ‘She’ should wear: A formal, full-length ball gown. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.

If the invite says “black tie”

This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. ‘She’ should wear: A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown.

If the invite says “formal” or “black tie optional”

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. ‘She’ should wear: A long evening dress, dressy suit or formal cocktail-length dress.

If the invite says “cocktail attire”

This is slightly less formal than black tie and black tie optional, which means no tux required for men and no floor-length gown required for women (unless you’d like to wear a long dress). ‘She’ should wear: A cocktail dress or dressy suit or jumpsuit.

If the invite says “beach formal”

This suggests an elegant beach wedding—so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand and water I ADD WIND!). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer night is appropriate. ‘She’ should wear: A formal summer sundress at tea or knee length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural. Hats are great but remember the WIND!

If the invite says “semi-formal” or “dressy casual”

Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. ‘She’ should wear: A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top. 

If the invite says “casual” or “daytime”

Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side. ‘She’ should wear: A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural.

P.S. I don’t believe in casual (especially pants!) for a wedding. This should be an occasion.  At least ‘Sunday Best’!

CASA di MODA

MODA as in CASA di MODA

Francisco’s early morning theft of an Italian wedding gown in its own bag from the back of a car starts the entire story. The bridal ensemble included three parts:  a short sheath dress, a tulle overskirt, a delicate shawl.

The word moda is the same in Italian as in Spanish, but the thief recognizes that he has Italian couture on his hands. This stolen wedding dress will occupy him and 3 couples for the next 24 hours.

Extract from Madrugada in One Dress, One Day.

“This model [Renault 5 ]was like a gift asking to be opened: quick and easy. Grimacing, breathing hard, he [Francisco, aka Calif] began grabbing any objects worth stealing.

Bruised apples and mushy black plums, duty-free premium whisky as well as fluorescent green rain ponchos were rapidly rejected. In the glove compartment, a pair of sunglasses brought a grin to his chapped pale lips. This inventory wasn’t great but equalled half his debt. Unlocked canvas luggage made for quick work. Within three minutes it was already clear: no cash, no cameras, no electronics, no jewelry. Only well-folded men’s casual shirts, vivid cotton-knit sweaters and gently scuffed loafers tucked into shoe bags. Cursing through clenched teeth, Francisco stopped short when he spied the white plastic suit carrier marked CASA di MODA. It shone at that sepia-toned hour.

Italian!  Armani? Francisco exhaled the name. Although the thief looked like a sewer rat, with stringy chin-length hair and cruddy fingernails, he changed shirts regularly and never used supermarket colonia, only designer copy stuff  with slight misspellings on the label (Calvin Klien, Acua de Parna, Maximo Dutti, Eau Savage). …”

GRANDIOSE GOWNS

Do you know Angelababy?

It seems that she is a Chinese star who wore a Dior wedding dress.

No one knows how much the Chinese superstar spent on her custom designer gown at her extravagant 2015 wedding to actor Huang XiaomingDo the math, as they say– 115 feet of ivory satin organza, 165 feet of tulle, nearly 100 hand-cut rose bouquets of Chantilly lace, not to mention the 10-foot train.  By the way, it took five months to create. One can assume that a massive chunk of the $31-million wedding budget was spent on bridalwear. Shame that the traditional Chinese costumes and rituals are being forsaken by wealthy Chinese. Many now go to Crete and Santorini for weddings and honeymoons (with their relatives in tow). Imagine a remake of my big fat Greek in Mandarin?

Another star’s wedding once fascinated the world. However it falls much lower on the price list. Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III exemplified Hollywood and royalty. MGM costume designer Helen Rose made the American princess’ dress from 100 yards of silk and 25 yards of taffeta. At the time it cost around $10,000, but today, the price tag would be closer to $85,000

  • P.S. SUGGESTION: New Bridal List: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue plus garment insurance against stain, loss or theft.

Dream Wedding Dress?

OR Dream of a Wedding Dress with Online Interpretation

 My Celtic side makes me superstitious.

Standard interpretations learned at my grandfather’s knee include oppositions, e.g., if you dream of a wedding, you’ll go to a funeral!

I do dream of being in a wedding dress at least once a year. It is not always my wedding, either! I try to give my own twist to the dream by considering how I felt in the moment and upon waking.  If you ever look up dream interpretations, you may find something similar to what follows: 

NB The meaning varies depending on whether you are already married or want to be! PLUS how you feel about marriage in general! A few nuances are included.

OBVIOUS

Getting married in a dream

 To dream you are getting married may represent your commitment to or partnership with someone or something.

 OR  wish fulfillment, if you desire to get married in waking life. [Surprise?]

PSYCHIC/SEXUAL

May represent a union or merging of the masculine and feminine aspectsof yourself.  

Your unconscious may be telling you that you have met the one you should marry.

Marrying your current spouse

May symbolize reviewing and questioning the status of your relationship. Consider how you feel – are you happy or unhappy about marrying your spouse in the dream?

May symbolize recommitting yourself and reminding yourself of the love you share.

Marrying your ex!!

May suggest you have learned from the experience and accepted the end of the relationship. (You may be recognizing the similarities between your ex and a current relationship.)

 A dream about a wedding where someone else is getting married may be dealing with issues involving your independence or commitment in a relationship.

 May suggest feeling jealous of the happiness of others. [FOMO?]

If you see others getting married, consider the main character traits of the bride and groom and how they interact with each other. It may be representing oppositional aspects within yourself that you are trying to accept and merge.

Other wedding-related dreams

 If you dream of a wedding dress or wedding ring, you may be evaluating a current relationship andconsidering the prospect of getting married; you may be considering making acommitment to someone or something.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

A dream about a broken wedding ring may symbolize fear that your marriage is in jeopardy of ending or may be awarning that you shouldn’t get married.

A dream of being at a wedding reception may represent a family celebration or a reminder of the joy your partner and family bring to you.

Happy Ending? Sweet Dreams!

If treasured, preserved; if cursed, stolen?

Recently, a magazine editor wrote: Today’s brides have plenty of options for what to do with their dress. Some donate or sell their gown, others repurpose the garment into lingerie or cocktail attire, and others ‘trash it’ at a ‘wild and wet’  photo shoot. Many brides, however, want to hang on to that dress that represents so much love, happiness and celebration.

As a formal bridal wear model, I shudder to think of a gown trashed or destroyed. Perhaps an ugly divorce might justify that treatment years later, though.

What  really happens to a used wedding gown?
If rental, returned. If treasured, preserved.
If cursed, stolen?

Mine was stolen (after the ceremony), but I intended to have it altered to wear at least part of it again. I never got to the preservation stage but always wondered about it. My tale of a stolen gown is not the practical process described herein.

Tradition and Superstition

My mother’s very ‘Princess Grace of Monaco’ wedding gown dated from the mid-fifties.  A practical woman, she did have the skirt removed from the bodice and used the lace bolero separately. This was a glamorous side of my mother’s life that I rarely ever saw. She was my ‘mum’ not a lady out on the town. Nevertheless, that gown’s remnants remained stored in a wardrobe bag alongside an apricot bridesmaid’s gown. The scent of mothballs overlaid with dust from electric baseboards and a touch of cedar pervaded the decayed lace.

As a child, I would beg her to let me try on these frocks, hidden away in a closet. She let me play dress-up with a few pieces. Never the wedding dress, though.  Celtic superstition and sentimental pride of ownership may have played a role.

A family friend’s young bride paid a small fortune to have her gown preserved.  Her idea was to create an heirloom.  Fortunately, the couple were blessed with two daughters.  Question:  Who gets the gown? Both?  This starts to sound like Biblical arguments over inheritance.

What is wedding dress preservation?

Sounds simple but the answer is not.  One thing for sure:  NOT SIMPLE DRY CLEANING

A wedding dress is usually carefully designed and extremely delicate, and can’t be cleaned like any old dress. Wedding dress cleaning and preservation is key to making sure the dress lasts a lifetime.

Gown preservation begins with an experienced specialist’s assessment and then a unique treatment plan according to the dress’s fabric, stitching and details, and analyzes stains along the hem  (essentially unavoidable on a ground-grazing ensemble) plus the entire gown.

Whether it’s for sentimental value or the possibility of passing it down to your future daughter, preserving your wedding dress is the best way to retain its color, fabric and shape. it’s easier than ever, now in fact there are even wedding gown preservation kits like the one from Wedding Dress Preservation by The Knot. This detailed DIY includes an insurance option.

Definitions

Preservation refers to the special cleaning and packaging techniques. One key point is to ensure the removal of all the stains, including  hidden ones containing sugar that turn brown over time. This is a big and serious business. There is are various agencies, like the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists in the USA. Similar groups exist in other cities, provinces or countries.

Everyone agrees that you can usually wait until after the honeymoon to take your dress to a preservationist, but remember it’s better to take your gown in while the stains are fresh and not set in (especially if it’s stained with mud or red wine). if you wait years, your gown will need restoration rather than just cleaning!

Finding a Preservationist

Before choosing a preservationist, do a little detective work before the wedding. That way, if your dress is stained badly or damaged on your wedding day, a family or bridal party member can take your dress to the preservationist while you’re on your honeymoon. Ask friends and family, bridal shops or your wedding consultant for preservationist referrals.

A wedding dress is often one of the most important clothing purchases that a young woman makes.  One Montreal wedding boutique advertises preservation as a selling feature. This reminds me of fur storage.  People forget that a fine mink or other animal needs to be maintained in different conditions than your hall closet.

Overall, it’s not really difficult to maintain the quality of your wedding dress. In fact, my mother’s gown hanging from special ribbons in a cloth bag at the back of  a dark closet was not so bad. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when it comes to hanging, storing, and cleaning the dress. Much depends on your lifestyle, and intentions, e .g. souvenir in the attic  or heirloom to a daughter.

Hanging the Gown Right

Wedding dress materials aren’t known for their strength and durability. Rips, split seams and/or other damage can be easily avoided by simply hanging your dress properly. Hanging a wedding dress is different from hanging a regular dress. The weight of the wedding dress can easily rip or tear if used on a regular hanger. Instead, small loops of fabric sewn into the interior of the dress should be used to hang the gown safely. These loops are placed on the strongest seams in the gown. These offer sufficient support for the weight of the gown and avoid any possible damages.

Cleaning the Dress

Before picking a dry cleaner, make sure that  all of their clients’ clothes are processed on site and that they do their work by hand instead of using an automated system. Try to narrow down your search to dry cleaners specialized in wedding dresses. They will be more familiar with the material especially if it’s intricately designed with beads or gems.

Take a few minutes to learn about the options and check local suppliers first before your decide who to trust with your wedding gown. Bridal boutiques usually are run by experienced owners who have seen a few weddings and can guide you.

Here are the three basic options with their respective benefits:

Sealing Benefits

  • May be acid-free environment (check for lignin-free)
  • Easily stored
  • Protected from dust and light

Boxing Benefits

  • May be acid-free environment (check for lignin-free )
  • Easily stored
  • Protected from dust and light
  • Can be inspected and admired
  • Can be refolded periodically

Bagging Benefits

  • Acid-free environment
  • Easily stored
  • Protected from dust and light
  • Most easily inspected and admired
  • Does not need refolding
  • No permanent creasing
  • Best air circulation
  • Needs minimal maintenance

A FEW HELPFUL ADDRESSES :

https://www.heritagegown.com/wedding-gown-preservation-options/

https://www.mariagepc.com/preserving-wedding-dress/

http://montrealweddingdresscleaning.com/en/

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO capitals onedresoneday

Explanation: The real title is One Dress, One Day, but I saw a bridal blog with the name using that punctuation. This was not mine! Oh no.

OneDressOneDay Blog      @onedressoneday

One Dress One Day is a blog for all brides. Enjoy things that are traditional, modern, unique, and creative to help you create the perfect wedding day.

Yes, I deal with a wedding dress  but I felt like a counterfeiter making Channel, Pierre Cadrin or Luis Vuiton. Just like one of my characters who trains others to sell stuff on the street. This kind of selling happens anywhere but especially in  NYC or in capital cities like Paris, Athens, and, of course, Barcelona. Here Francisco is on the street training two Latinos selling cassettes of pirated foreign films and music.

Acting like a patronizing big brother, Francisco was selling his unique expertise. His innate ability to scheme and scavenge was worth more than most loot, even the gown. The two Salvadoreños under his wing were heavyset twins, villagers ignorant about life in a town, let alone a European capital like Barcelona. Stepping in and out of the shadows, they sold pirated films like Robocop plus compilations of international singers. They had no idea who the performers were but hissed names like Ricky Martin and “Yanet Yackson” to passersby. They were held responsible for all inventory crammed into plastic shopping bags and then into schoolboy backpacks. Francisco coached them in basics like how to dump the backpack and run with the plastic bags or where to hide other material on the street. Desperate to survive in Spain, they had to learn fast who was friend or foe. Hand signals, whistles and other tricks had to be learned, too. An old cellmate from an overnight prison stay supplied the pupils while Calif himself remained untouchable because the cops never saw him take any cash and he had nothing illegal on him. Francisco took a percentage of sales every so often.