Dress, Memory

Every Friday, a new dress and a new story. That is the concept behind the blog Dress, Memory. We originally saw this blog in last month's Marie Claire, and thought it was too lovely not to feature here at Ruby & the Swallow too. Written by Lorelei Vashti, this blog is a memoir of weekly musings of the dresses she wore through her twenties. But this story runs far deeper than that; these musings are one woman’s way of coping through the sudden anxiety attacks which began in her twenties. Instead of prescribing her with medication, a doctor whimsically asked her to focus her attention on anything other than the distorted white noise of her own mind, like for example, focussing on the hem of the dress she was wearing that day.
“That day I was wearing what my friend Beck used to call my Mintie dress—green and white—which I’d chopped off and re-hemmed myself, tacking it in a clumsy schoolgirl Home Ec way. As I sat and concentrated on the wonky stitching, I did calm down. Years later, of course, I understand how this sort of tactic can helpfully disembody oneself from one’s addled brain, but back then neither I nor the doctor could have known that her excellent advice would encourage me to go and build an entire pharmacy full of hems over the next ten years: one which—to my great pride and absolute shame—now fills six wardrobes across two states.”

Lorelei is a freelance writer and book editor. She is not a fashion model, but she was photographed 24 times by Lee Sandwith in her own different outfits so that each could appear on her blog every Friday for six months. With every post is a collection of heart-warming memories about sentimental attachment that we can all relate to. It’s that feeling of owning a piece of clothing that always brings you good luck, or feeling superstitious about another outfit that something bad happens every time you wear it. There is something for every woman to take out of Lorelei’s beautiful collection of writings, whether you have anxiety attacks yourself, or you’re just a hoarder who battles to throw sentimental clothes away.

An excerpt from No.22, Apricot Funny Face:
One day my friend Noe and I were walking in Surry Hills and this dress, the colour of a sunset, jumped out at me from a secondhand shop. It was too big and had stains all over it, and even though such things had never stopped me from buying a dress before I’d recently reached a new stage in my life: I didn’t want to keep repeating old patterns. No, I decided firmly. I don’t need any more ill-fitting, stained clothing in my wardrobe.”

Dress, Memory is going to become a book in May 2013. Watch out for it! 
Picture credits: Lee Sandwith for Dress, Memory blog

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