Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Gowns

My daughter, Ella, will be christened this weekend and we are fortunate enough to have close family and friends that we'll be celebrating with. Little Miss Ella is also fortunate enough to be wearing two special gowns on her sacred day.

The first dress is an antique- a ninety year old family heirloom. Deriving from France in 1921, my great, great grandmother, Madeleine Tailliez, sent this gown to the USA for her first grandson, Gabriel, to be baptized in in the Bronx, NYC. Gabriel ended up having six younger siblings (my grandmother, Helen being one of them), who were all baptized in this gown. After doing some family research on their own, my grandmother and her sister realized that 33 babies have been christened in this gown (including my mother, sisters and myself). Ella will be the 34th child to wear it.
Me in gown 1983

Everything about this dress is exquisite; the stitch work, the details, the lightweight fabric...the list goes on.

With all of the babies who've worn this gown recently, no one has thought to inquire about the slip underneath. We all simply assumed this piece was part of the dress, a two piece garment. During her research, my Nanny learned that the slip is actually the real antique. My great, great grandmother, Madeleine wore this piece to her own Christening in Paris, France. That means this slip is well over 100 years old! Ahh! I love it even more!!

What I love most about this gown? The simplicity of it and most of all, the history that comes along with it. This is a tradition that my own great grandchildren will hopefully appreciate someday, just as much as I do.
Every girl needs a party dress, right? Starting a tradition of my own, Ella will be wearing a second gown on her Christening day. As if no gown could be any more daintier than the first, this dress exceeds all expectations. Given to us by my husband's grandmother, Mary, before Ella was even born, was so hard to even imagine her fitting into it. It is the definition of elegant-- a piece of clothing that will be handed down to generations to come.

Made out of 100% silk, this Christening gown greatly resembles a bridal gown. The extra long length, like a bride's train; the sweet empire waist and beautifully sewn cap sleeves are just some of the extravagant details that make this dress, well...perfect.

Oh, gets better. The accessories..ohmygoodness..the ACCESSORIES! Perfect little silk shoes that are decorated with simple little silk flowers. And for anyone who loved Little House on the Prairie as much as I did back in the day, a matching silk bonnet to top the outfit off!

The purity and innocence of it, I love. The style and texture of it, I love. The fact that this was a gift to Ella from her great grandmother, I love.

I can't wait to dress Ella in these gowns, hold her tight and help her to celebrate her first holy sacrement. I know angels will be surrounding her tomorrow-- both the kind you can see and the ones you can't. We'll take a bunch of pictures, frame our favorites, and someday, in a day I know will come far too quickly, we'll look back on them and wonder where time went.
Until then, she's still my little angel and that's all that matters.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post...and I can't wait to give Ella her gift from her Godmother- an accessory that will match perfectly with these unbelievably gorgeous gowns ;) See you soon... xoxxo -Holly