Source: TH - Opinion Article
| With a son and goddaughter getting married this summer, I'm suddenly attuned to wedding trends. An unsettling one is Trash the Dress, the spawn of wedding photographer John Michael Cooper, who overdosed on white lace and promises. |
Bored, he started taking post-ceremony pictures of brides defacing the fairy-tale creations they had so recently agonized over and starved themselves into. He's clicked brides in full wedding regalia languishing in streams a la Ophelia or even wearing the dress while it's set afire like Joan of Arc. (Don't try this at home.) The New York Times featured the trend in a piece entitled, "Is This Any Way to Treat Vera Wang?"
If you ask me, it's Vera Wrong.
Like all wedding rituals, this one comes with a price -- a post-wedding photo shoot for the trashing picture. Instead of the bride and groom gaily waving, it becomes the last photo in the album. If my daughter despoiled a pristine little number for which I had plundered my retirement account, the smoke would be pouring from my nostrils as well as her gown.
I was lucky, however. When my sweet, low-maintenance, classic old hippie Kate got married a few years ago, she bought a sale dress off the rack at Younkers and even then apologized for the price. She told her bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted: The first turned up in a vintage prom dress and plastic Rugrats watch from Burger King; the second in a sundress and Army boots; the third in a dramatic red-carpet stunner. They all looked perfectly darling.
The idea behind dress-trashing, some brides say, is to convince hubby they're so blissful they'll never need the dress again. Sure, it's a little weird to embalm a dress and stash it away like Mother Bates. But skeptics among us -- that would be moi -- point out that statistically speaking, the bride has a 50 percent chance of divorcing. If she remarries, she won't wear the starter gown anyway. Not only is there a 30-pound difference between a girlfriend and a wife, but the dress also would be besmirched by whatever combination of betrayal, ennui and loathsome habits drove the divorce.
More likely, trashing symbolizes the bride's love-hate relationship with wedding lunacy. The dress may conjure up nightmarish memories of fighting with MOTHER and wearing SPANX. (Guys, don't ask. It's not kinky, just painful.)
More fun is the dude who found his ex's dress in the attic and sold it on eBay with himself as model, writing, "I'm selling it hoping to get enough money for maybe a couple of Mariners tickets and some beer. This dress cost me $1,200 that my drunken sot of an ex-father-in-law swore up and down he would pay for but didn't so I got stuck with the bill. ... Personally I think it looks like a $1,200 shower curtain but what do I know about this?…Actually I didn't think my head would fit in the neck hole, but then I figured if she got her Texas cheerleader hair through there I could get my head in it."
Google it for a giggle, readers, and if you think that dress is ugly, consider the mother-of-the-bride dress, available in shades of a bruise from mauve to sickly yellow. Here the operative words are "faux," "mock" and "illusion." If you're old enough to have a sweet young thing getting married, you need illusion sleeves (to camouflage schoolteacher arms); a gently draped cowl (to conceal turkey wattles); a faux wrap front (to hide your not so faux tummy); a mock two-piece gown (a onesie, in other words, so the photographer won't catch you hitching up your gitalong); and puzzlingly, a bolero.
Hey, designers! We're dowagers, not bullfighters.
These abominations are splattered with beads and sequins that are meant to distract from your age and girth, but which actually scream Old Lady in a Neck Brace at the Nickel Slots Smoking Out of Her Tracheotomy.
If anything needs trashing after the ceremony, it's the tragic confection of tulle and casket lining that is a mother-of-the-bride dress!