I've been soaking in all of it. On the high side, I made a prom dress for my friend Gabby, who's turning 18 and graduating from high school this month.
This is my third "Cinderella" dress. I made one in Schiaparelli pink for my daughter's Quinceneara, and I made one for myself— just because— in Cowboy Sleeping Bag flannel with minkish trim.
For you fashionistas, Gabby's dress is a riff off a McCalls pattern. Gabby had the idea of lime green satin overlaid with black lace, and my teacher Jill Sanders led the way, showing me how to make a corset lace-up in the back. It's simpler than a zipper for this sort of thing, and you can really make it FIT.
Ah, but in the meantime, one of my readers sent me the most amazing link: a photographer's portfolio of teenage girls in the Israeli army. It's called: Serial No. 3817131, which is the number the artist, Rachel Papo, was known by during her miliary career. It's also the number of her gun.
From Papo's artist statement:
The life of an eighteen-year-old girl in Israel is interrupted when she is plucked out of her environment at an age when sexual, educational, and family values are at their highest exploration point.
She is then placed in a rigorous institution, where individuality becomes a secondary matter, making room for nationalism. “I solemnly swear…to devote all of my strength and to sacrifice my life to protect the land and the liberty of Israel,” repeats the newly recruited soldier during her swearing-in ceremony.
She enters the two-year period in which she will change from a girl to a woman, a teenager to an adult, all under a militaristic, masculine environment, and in the confines of an army that is engaged in daily war and conflict.
I decided to portray female soldiers in Israel during their mandatory military service as a way for me to revisit my own experience.
I served as a photographer in the Israeli Air Force between 1988-1990. It was a period marked by continuous depression and extreme loneliness, and at the time I was too young to understand these emotions. Through a series of images showing female soldiers in army bases and outside, individually or in groups, I attempt to reveal a facet of this experience that is generally overlooked by the global community...
And speaking of prom dresses and the War At Home, did you see the story about the delivery of prom dresses, by the hundreds, collected for glamourous young misses in New Orleans? I would have liked to be part of that drive! Sometimes glamour is the only answer to utter devastation.