Dressing the part


Sir, – I refer to Arlene Harris’s Broadside column of August 15th (“My 1980s debs: a borrowed wedding dress and big hair”).

As the second eldest of eight, buying a ball gown for my debs in l957 was entirely out of the question, so my godmother, Auntie Joan, who was wardrobe mistress at the Gate Theatre for Lord Longford, told me to call into the Gate and she would find something for me. I went to my debs in the dress Iris Lawlor wore in The Lady of the Camellias. It was a flounced crinoline with hoop and had camellias perched diagonally on each flounce. Everything I wore that evening was borrowed. The shoes, the bag, the fur cape and the bracelet. The only money spent was on a shampoo and set at Lucilles in Nassau Street, and it was so awful it nearly ruined my evening.

My escort drove a Heinkel Bubble Car and he had quite a job squashing the dress in before he could close the door.

In retrospect, the theatrical costume must of have been so over the top for a debs, but I thought I was the bee’s knees. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 4.