It’s happening again! I have another child graduating this month. And this is a completely different situation on so many levels…
First, we are coming at this milestone from an entirely different gender angle. Now, I get that there are probably many boys out there who fully immersed themselves in the grad lifestyle, the projects, the events and the clothes…not mine. If you remember my first born barely allowed me to acknowledge anything was happening let alone participate.
So now I have kid number two who, as a fully professed girly-girl means we are INVESTED (full stop); hair, manicures, pedicures, pre-makeup trial sessions, tan, flowers, photos, snap chats, Instagram profile, Yearbook awards, shoes, dresses X three; one for the Artona photo session, one for under the grad robe and of course the red carpet prom look…
Can I just take a moment here to wander down the whole ‘dress’ path? I remember also wanting a different frock for each Grad event but given the time and the budget, this was not a possibility. Thankfully for me, I am from the generation that still had to take home economics class (not ‘Textiles/Fashion Design/Nutrition’). This was helpful in that I had the wherewithal to sew one of my dresses. The fact that I had no actual skill did not deter me. I forged ahead and made a simple prom dress with contrasting taffeta sash. I chose a bold peacock blue in raw silk but because I was lazy and impatient, opted not to finish any seams so, for those of you who understand this particular fabric (it frays if you look at it sideways), you know that the dress basically fell apart by the end of the evening. My friend who was always an infinitely superior seamstress chose a gorgeous Vogue pattern executed in silk crêpe-de-chine. It was elegant in its simplicity and has stood the test of time as you can see (above). The ‘statement’ design feature was the bodice covered in approximately 45 individually folded, pressed and stitched pin-tucks. When I reached out to her to verify my recollection, she shared, “it felt like several thousand at the time!” My other friend searched for months for the ‘right’ dress and we had to convince her to wear a sari. I don’t know if her hesitation had to do with drawing attention to her heritage or just wanting to fit in with the other fluffy pink gowns but ultimately having confidence wearing a familiar design turned out to be a stunning choice! My grad dress was a cotton lace, flapper-style affair. Let me tell you, in an era celebrating the pastel hued, froth of frilly tulle confections, it was some job finding a sleek silhouette without acres of itchy net petticoats. Suffice to say, our trio of eleganza extravaganza was incredibly subdued in colour and design to most of the other dresses on parade that day.
These days, teens have a fantastic choice for colour, fabric and far more sophisticated design. Which brings me back to the grad at hand. The ‘show-stopper’ gown has been purchased and I am again putting my savage tailoring expertise to use, don’t worry, it’s just the hem. I can manage that much without increasing the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction. The rest of the festivities will be much modified by Covid restrictions and the kids are actually doing a great job of making lemonade despite the biggest events being canceled – prom banquet and the convocation.
We will take the Queen Elizabeth park photos, ferry her to school for the diploma pick up and organise a backyard BBQ to mark the occasion instead. To be honest, I don’t remember much of my grad. Apparently it wasn’t that memorable despite the hoopla… I do have lots of pictures though.
And we can certainly do that much.
To all the graduating class of 2021, I wish you good luck, an exciting future and my card (for when you are ready to buy your first place).