I have a dress-up box in my daughters’ bedroom, full of treasures collected from my second-hand shopping adventures. There are silk scarves, fur stoles, antique clip-on earrings, hats, gloves and glomesh handbags. The kinds of things I adored as a child and still do.
Unfortunately, both of my daughters are only interested in wearing Disney princess costumes in various shades of glittery pink. Even more worrisome is their tendency to argue over which of them is the prettiest princess. It is going to be a long rest of my life.
I have tried explaining to my girls that in a constitutional monarchy, it is parliment which has the real power. I have told them that in the original version of “The Little Mermaid”, Ariel got her legs, forgot about the prince and walked straight to Just Jeans to buy jorts. I have told them that Sleeping Beauty took the boning out of her corset and used it to make man. However my protests are ignored, and they continue to role-play rescues by a handsome prince, followed by an elaborate, pink fairytale wedding.
Perhaps I am to blame because I make wedding dresses for a living. Perhaps I am to blame for letting my daughters inhale too much nail polish. Perhaps Disney is to blame for continuing to fantasise about an era that never really existed. Is there some kind of support group for parents of princesses?
Recently my daughter Keira, begged me to sew her a Snow White costume. My older daughter Nina, was busy drawing lace-up, princess-style dresses. I then had the idea of designing a wedding dress together.
Based on Nina’s drawings, I made a few dresses from salvaged antique embroidered tablecloths and doilies. Often the centre of the cloth is worn or stained but the embroidery around the edge is pristine. There are countless hours worth of hand-embroidery in these dresses.
Like the idea of a wedding dress with a history? I have a pile of hand-embroidered tablecloths and doilies, some of which are over 100 years old. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom order.
Reminder: If you accidentally fart during your wedding ceremony, follow it up with a royal wave, because you are a princess.