Can you say "retro"? This fabulous off-the-shoulder dress by Expo Petite, which I’ve owned since I was in my twenties (over thirty years ago), is fashioned after a style popular in the 1950s. Stiff elastic bands hug the insides of the fabric shoulders to keep the collar standing upright.
On Saturday night I tied a skinny black patent leather belt around the nipped waist and donned a pair of black patent sky-high platform pumps by Call It Spring for JCPenney. I added a gold-metal bracelet-watch from Chico’s, heirloom gold and rhinestone necklace, bracelet and earrings that had belonged to my grandmother, put a fashion ring on my finger and a Dea Dread by Thea Osato of Baltimore (http://DeaDreads.etsy.com) in my hair, and headed out the door.
The crisp black cotton dress holds its shape beautifully without a petticoat and the giant white buttons complete a look reminiscent of soda fountains and sock hops. But I was not on my way to hear the Dave Clark Five. My destination was the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where I found myself greeted with admiring glances by a number of women in the lobby for whom my dress undoubtedly brought back memories of root beer floats and bobby socks.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor Jun Markl from Germany, gave an outstanding performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major Opus 61, which featured young virtuoso violinist Arabella Steinbacher who knocked my socks off with her technical prowess. Ms. Steinbacher received four standing ovations and treated her appreciative audience to a spontaneous encore from the amazing 1716 Stradivarius violin on loan to her from the Nippon Music Foundation.
Following Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, I made my way to Miguel’s Cocina y Cantina, a sleek Mexican restaurant on the ground floor of a high rise condominium complex fashioned in 2008 from an old grain elevator, in an area known as Silo Point, a Baltimore port through which ships and rail still speed. The light rain all evening couldn’t dampen my mood or the feeling of good cheer I carried with me from a memorable evening of lovely violin strings and my "retro" retro, strapless dress.