20 July 2009

Kate wears a dress

For most of my friends with daughters hovering around the age of thirty, photos of these girls in dresses are no big deal. In the Welland family, however, it's different. When Kate was a teenager, she and I reached a compromise that one day a week she'd wear a skirt to school. I only found out years later that her backpack contained trousers that she immediately changed into when out of my sight, then the reverse before her return home. One would never guess that this child gravitated towards clothes that were too ruffly, too lacy and too pink until she hit puberty, when those frills disappeared, never to be seen again even in subdued form.

Having chosen to work in the music industry, her job has put no constraints on her wardrobe. She's gradually moved away from t-shirts with skulls and dripping blood, but the look--which I have to admit does suit her--has remained the same.

Until last week. Most years since she was born, Michael has bought Kate an outfit for her birthday, continuing the tradition of the tiny dress (pink!) he bought for her to wear home from hospital. This year that outfit came belatedly, thanks to my sister Cheri playing so well the role of surrogate mother.

Robert loves the clothes of the forties, so Michael bought Kate a copy of Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs and we sent her off to Philadelphia for a day of exploring vintage shops, with Cheri along for encouragement and moral support.

The night before, Cheri patiently used bobby pins to put her hair in pincurls. We were astounded to hear that Kate had sat still for this. For those of you who are used to seeing Kate with light brown hair, she is indeed now a redhead--as her aunt has always been and her Grandfather Weisheit was--with black tresses underneath.

I actually didn't have a lot of hope for the shopping venture, but figured it would be fun regardless. However, the very first shop they entered had the dress they returned for. Plus, Cheri had spotted a pair of forties shoes, which turned out, amazingly, to fit: a birthday gift from her aunt and uncle. This was obviously meant to be.

Having had a detailed description of the outfit from Kate, Michael and I were dying to see photos of our little Rosie the Riveter dressed up. On Sunday, Cheri got out the curling iron, Kate posed, and Hans-Jörg snapped. We are thrilled and grateful!!!!!!!!!!

With her grandmother, looking at a photo of Henry and Lois during WWII--very dashing, both of them:

With Grandpa in his new wheelchair, a gift from Cheri and Hans-Jörg so that he can rest his weary knees when out and about:

Close-ups of Cinderella's footwear, c/o her fairy godmother (and hairdresser):

A last photo, helpfully provided by H-J, taken in Köln when Kate was there with Static X. Here she's in her more typical attire, flanked by cousins Justin and Emily. I think she's wearing the sneakers she managed to find for $1 at Walmart to win a bargain-hunting contest with Robert.

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