Respecting the dress

Nora Edinger -- JOY Journal

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” Charles Eames, industrial designer

In its first life, the dress went to a summer dance on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1963. Not long after, it traveled with the teen girl who delighted in it to Appalachia — to a small city hugged by low, green hills on one side and a mighty river on the other.

This dress’s new life will likely be casual — hello, jean jacket. But, the design that made it work as a party frock in the 1960s established a framework that will hold true when it returns to use in 2020’s warmth.

When the girl grew up and moved to a home on the Mediterranean Sea, the dress remained here, sealed in a wrapper and tucked away. Until this summer, when the final shutting down of an American residence forced everything back into the…

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