Get Dressed/ Outfits
Kristin Booker • December 16, 2013

My Mother’s Dynasty Dress

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

I think I’ve announced my lifelong love of the television show Dynasty. I’ve seen every episode at least twice (at least that’s how many times I’m willing to admit I’ve watched it) and I have nothing but love for the lead character, Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan. I demanded to drink my mom’s cinnamon iced tea out of a crystal glass like Alexis drank her Scotch.

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

I wanted big shoulder pads, big gems and could recite every big line that woman ever uttered on television, especially when she flipped her giant fur coat at her ex-lover/husband and rebuffed his advances with the gem: “Too bad you’re not more, Dex. I only hunt big game.”

And there there were the fights with Krystle.

My hero. Damn, I loved Joan Collins in that role. The ultimate power chick.

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

As a young girl, I sat at my mother’s incredibly fashionable feet and lived to watch her shop. We had a boutique that used to exist in my hometown of Charleston, WV, called Risk’s, and my mother was a favorite customer of the fashion-forward store. Back when my city had a thriving economy, this boutique housed all the glamorous labels of the 80’s. The first time I had ever seen anything from a little designer named Karl Lagerfeld, it was a skirt that had managed to filter its way down to this evening gown and power suit laden island of fashion. I lived at Risk’s, and it was in that boutique that my mother purchased this gorgeous dress.

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

I remember when she got the dress, with me cooing on the leather dressing room chairs as she spun around in the printed satin confection. “Mom, you are SO Alexis right now,” I said.  When it was purchased, it was laid carefully on acid-free paper and placed into their signature white paper box embossed with the logo on it. Someday, I said to myself, I’m going to wear this dress.

About a year ago, I found this dress in our house in mint condition, and proceeded to abscond with it. I’ve shortened the skirt through the magic of tucking and a few whipstitches so it’s shorter and more modern, but the vintage appeal of the dress still gives me a thrill. I may have removed said shoulder pads and added black tights and ankle boots, but it’s still Mom’s Dynasty dress, and its glamour cannot be contained.

Photo: giafrese

Photo: giafrese

I love re-imagining vintage pieces for today, especially when they have such personal ties. I’m wearing this to a holiday party on Friday night and not only am I excited for the big debut of said dress 30 years after its original purchase, but I’m absolutely certain no one else will be wearing the same thing. When it comes to getting dressed for that big moment, borrow a note from the past and go vintage. Unique and utterly fantastic, no one can touch you when you do.

What I’m Wearing: vintage dress, Donna Karan Luxe Layer tights, Vince Camuto Hame ankle boots, AJ’s Collection Nostalgic 14k Gold-Filled Initial Necklace, Juicy Couture earrings (no longer available)

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