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Mama's Gorgeous Gold Gown


Besides important documents, the only thing Mama kept that she brought from the Philippines in 1949 was her gold Maria Clara gown. (So called because of the fancy bell-shaped sleeves.) For as long as I can remember, she hung it in the back of her closet. 

Before I was born someone borrowed Mama's gown to wear in a parade. The borrower returned the gown soiled and torn. Mama always shook her head when she told the story, which she did every time she looked at her dress. 


When I was a teenager Mama had me take photos of her posed in her gown around the house. I hope those weren't the only times she wore it.

I never thought to ask her: What was the story behind the dress? Did Daddy buy it for her? Did she own it before they were married? Did she think she'd go to a lot of fancy dances in America?

Back in December I went into a panic thinking I donated the red suitcase in which I stored the gown. Lucky me. I found the suitcase just where I put it behind the wheelchair in L Studio's closet. Not wanting to go through that again, I decided to display Mama's gorgeous gold gown in L Studio. There it shall stay until I figure what to do with the dress. 


Linking up with Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf and Say Cheese at The Ched Curtain.


Comments

  1. OMG the gown is fabulous and those pic of yohr mum wearing it just gorgeous

    Much💝love

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    1. I knew you'd like it, Gillena. :-) I'm going to research the fabric. It looks like silk but not silk.

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  2. Su-sieeemac - oh, what a relief to discover that you still have the gown! It is a masterpiece and a family heirloom to be treasured. By the way, I have started to ask my Mom some questions about her childhood and her married life - I would like to document her stories before it is too late. Thanks so much for sharing the gown and your beautiful mother with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

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    1. Good for you, Angie, learning more about your Mom's story. If our moms won't tell their story, then why not us. We are writers, after all. :-)

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  3. That's why I don't let people borrow anything.

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  4. Lovely story and I love the photos of Mama in her golden dress

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    1. Thank you, Carol. The leaves on the skirt look to be gold thread but they don't go through, which has me wondering if someone used gold leaf for the leaves.

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  5. Hello, pretty photos of your Mom wearing her favorite dress. I am glad you are keeping the dress and the memories. Enjoy your day!

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    1. I do have memories of the dress, don't I? There is that. Thanks, Eileen.

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  6. What a beautiful gown your Mama had and she looks gorgeous wearing it <3 It is a treasure, indeed.

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    1. Mama was in her 40s when the photos were taken. By then the dress was at least 20 years old. The more I think about it, the more I realize what a strong character Mama was. :-)

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  7. Perhaps she wore it to some important event, and she kept it around for the memories. Glad you didn't accidentally donate it, (You could probably sell it vintage someplace and get a good price for it, so don't ever donate it.)

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    1. I hope I told her back then how pretty she looked in her dress.

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  8. What a treasured photos of your Mother wearing her special dress! It must have had a very special meaning for her when she brought it with her from the Philippines., and I'm glad you are keeping it displayed.

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    1. Mama's favorite story was Cinderella. I wonder if she felt like Cinderella when she first put the dress on. :-)

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  9. What a beautiful remembrance for your mom to bring from her homeland. Treasure it always!! ♥

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  10. What pretty dress. Lucky for you to have it.

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    1. It's only in displaying it have I come to appreciate the dress.

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  11. What a beautiful gown, and your mama looks really pretty wearing it - definitely something to be kept and treasured rather than given away.

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    1. I wonder what Mama would've wanted for the dress. I think of it as delicate and fragile, but maybe it's not. Like Mama was.

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  12. Beautiful story! Love the photos of Mama in her gorgeous dress.

    Happy Wednesday!

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  13. I'm sure you will find a spectacular use for the fabric and still have those wonderful memories. :)

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    1. I'm going to leave the gown alone. The material is too delicate and fragile for me to repurpose into something else. :-)

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  14. It is so beautiful and so was your mother. I’m glad you decided to display it in your studio. ... yes, those things we forgot to ask ...I have so many!

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    1. I've a few more dresses of Mama's that I'll hang on the wall when I'm allowed to get up on the ladder again. :-)

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  15. I looked up Maria Clara and sure enough there's a photo of a woman in a gorgeous gold gown. Your mom and her gown are quite stunning. She looks very proud to be wearing that dress and I would also be ticked off if someone returned something I loaned to them in that condition. Had they not heard of dry cleaning and tailors? I love all the different backgrounds for the photos. What's L Studio?

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    1. Now that I see the gown in its full stunningness, I appreciate it. Also the fact that of all the things she might've brought with her, Mama chose this. She regretted that she didn't bring her photo albums. She thought it would be easy to visit the Philippines.
      L Studio is Mama's once master suite. It's a catch-all place for creativity and family history.

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  16. A beautiful dress and a beautiful mama. I am sorry I didn't ask my grandmother and mother more about their lives before I came along. I have snippets, but not as much as I would have liked to learn. By the time I got around to it for each of them, their memories were faded a bit. - Margy

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  17. Fabulous! Just keep it hung like a work of art.

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  18. Awww, the Philippine national woman's dress. I'll be wearing something like that in six weeks (niece's wedding) and I was told it would have to be gold. I took note of this detail looking at your Mama's Maria Clara gown. Thanks!

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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