Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vintage Lace

In a surge of seasonal sentimentality, I wore a vintage frock to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Celebration last night at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. I bought the delicate, tea-length dress by Mindy Malone in 1986 when I worked for JCPenney in northern California, and carried it along with me when I took my mother to the World’s Fair in Vancouver, Canada, that summer.

Reprising the lacy shift last night, I made the look more festive by adding a pop of Christmas color with some gorgeous, glittery green Rachel Roy pumps I found on the clearance rack at Macy’s yesterday afternoon. I chose an antique choker necklace of green rhinestones that belonged to my grandmother, and added colorful holiday earrings and a fun, jingle-bell fashion ring.

As the BSO’s capable Pops conductor, Robert Bernhardt, led the orchestra, together with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Anacrusis Handbell Choir and guest baritone, Daniel Narducci, through a repertoire of traditional holiday music, I didn’t get to the third song, It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year, before finding myself misty-eyed and missing my late mother deeply.

Me with my mom at the World's Fair in Vancouver in 1986
My holiday cheer returned quickly, though, as I found myself basking in a string of compliments on my attire from fellow concert-goers during intermission and later by the hostess at the wonderful Pazo Restaurant in the Fells Point section of Baltimore ( My heart filled with joy over having saved such a romantic dress all these years. The sweet memories of having worn that black lace as my beloved mother and I celebrated a memorable trip together was the next best thing to being with my mom at this emotional time of year.  She would have loved my thriftiness -- and my new shoes!

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