Going on a head trip — Circa 1986

Originally posted by Tova October 8, 2011 / Reposted after The Great Server Crash of 2011

I came upon this picture online and was immediately transported back through time. It was literally like looking down at my own two feet more than 15 years ago. I bought these boots a few weeks before my first day of college. I wasgoing to FIT. The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. My mom went there. My dad’s mom went there. And I needed cool shoes to go there too.

I’d been to the campus for the first time in 6th grade. My mom was working as a pattern maker for Bob Mackie. I didn’t know it at the time but Bob Mackie is aHUGE DEAL!!!! He is, like, KNOWN – by OTHER PEOPLE- as the Sultan of Sequins!!! He’s the original king of bling, the maestro of Muchness! People, he has his own collection of Bob Mackie Designed Barbie Dolls!!

I mean, what’s BIGGER than that??? (Am I right or am I right, Stephen Sumner?)

Anyhow, Bob Mackie was having his Bridal Collection fashion show at FIT. Mymom let me take off from school that day and go to the show. I went with mygrandmother. We got there early. Models were just getting there. They looked like regular, tall people in their street clothes in an Amphitheatre. But, when the show started it was like everything was transformed. The stage was lit like an aurora borealis phenomenon. The Models were statuesque and glamourous. Even the theatre seemed somehow elevated. But the dresses. Oh, the dresses. It was a bridal collection. In 1986. I mean, there were big dresses. And Little dresses. And BIGGER dresses, and Littler ones…. and some that were somehow both big and little at the same time. And. They. Were. ALL. Bejeweled. Spangled. Sequined. Rhinestoned. Feathered. Other, unidentifiable Muchification that made my still very much pre-pubescent heart soar.

After the show, I went backstage. I met the man. He shook my hand. Asked me if I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. I said Yes. And then I was hastily distracted by all the models walking around bare assed naked. That, somehow, left a huge impression in the mind of a 4’8″ 11 year old girl. Imagine that.

So that’s it. I started my fashion portfolio right after that life altering day. I graduated junior high and started high school with the mindset “I just have to get through four years of this place and then I can go to FIT.”

And it’s exactly what I did. Seven years of waiting to go to that school. Four years of cheating my way through high school homework assignments- skimming by with a C average (if I was lucky) just so I could go to FIT. And the very first day? I wore those boots. My glitter Doc Martens. With blue jeans and an oversized hooded red sweatshirt. The boots were pretty muchy and I didn’t want to appear like I was trying too hard on the first day of school. Therefore, the lame red sweatshirt. Always a secret regret. But I did get a compliment on the boots that first day from a stranger. And 17 years later I still remember. Funny how our brains hold onto Muchy memories even when we don’t even realize. I wore those boots to shreds. Literally. They were falling apart aroundmy feet, the fibers disintegrating at wear spots. I went looking online if they still make them. Nope. The few pics online are all of the ‘remember when?” variety. Oh well. What’s past is past.

Maybe one of these days I’ll upload some of my old fashion stuff from school. The more time that passes, the more perspective I have on whether it was any good.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tzippora October 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm
Love it! What a great story! Is there a youtube link to that show?? There’s nothing like the memories of an 11 year old…


Tova October 10, 2011 at 1:09 am
OMG- what a genius thought! I found this fashion show clip from 1985. The DRAMA! The DYNASTY Music! The lifted arms!!! oy. Too, too much— in all the good ways!


Tova October 10, 2011 at 1:17 am
in THIS amazing peice of history, Bob Mackies showstopper is at about 5 minutes in.

Love & Muchness, Tova

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