The Blue Dress

From blue ball gown, into high waisted flares and cropped top

Back in Austria my next door neighbour, who I consider to be a great-Aunt, came over to the house one day with a garment bag in hand. As she didn’t have any daughters of her own, I was touched to have been given one of her favourite dresses that she wore back in the 70s. It seemed to have a wonderful life of its own, having been worn at extravagant parties and at glamorous venues – I believe the Casino was mentioned. The dress was gorgeous and fit me perfectly – we are both tall – but there was only one issue. Would I ever actually wear it? Apart from Prom, I never had a need for floor length ball gowns and to be honest, the dress wasn’t really my style. So, like the unfortunate fate of many clothes, this patterned blue gown hung in my wardrobe for years – never seeing the light of day.

Then I connected with Anna Schuster on RETURE.

Over our video consultation, I explained to Anna the history of the dress and that I desperately wanted to wear it. I envisioned the dress becoming something modern, something I would proudly wear for a night out dancing in Shoreditch or dining with friends at Dishoom. Having explained my own style to Anna, she recommended turning the dress into a pair of high waisted flares and a cropped top. After our consultation, Anna wrote up a design brief capturing what she would do to the dress:

– Separate top part and bottom of the dress
– Top part will be turned into a wrap blouse (will be draped): Sleeves will be the same but front panel will be reworked
– Skirt will be reworked in a high waist trousers, with no zip but a rubber band to be used as the closure

After a week, I received my revived garments and was overjoyed to not only have a “new” pair of trousers and top which is my style – but the garments hold these wonderful memories from my dear neighbour. Also, I intend to create some new memories here and have already made some thanks to the incredible craftsmanship by Anna!

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