I did not make you.
But my love for you made you come alive. You are the velveteen rabbit of my closet, pulsing with meaning, animated with my body and my words.
Your origin story began long before you arrived in a much-anticipated box on my doorstep, wrapped with care and accompanied by a little note of thanks.
I do not know if you had already attained your dress form by the time I received the message from Ace & Jig, inviting me to use their fabric scraps to mend a vintage piece as part of a special release. Payment would come, they said, in the form of a dress.
Being a person who understands the true cost of a dress, and who sees perversion in the act of slapping a price tag on a piece of un-quantifiable handwork, I quickly accepted. It seemed radical, to subvert capitalism by exchanging stitches for stitches.
You started out as a cotton plant, fed by light, Earth, and rain. Somebody spun you into fiber. Somebody dyed you black. Your ecru stripes are, perhaps, your fibery birthday suit.
Someone wove you into a gauzy, textural plaid yardage. Who was it? How many days did it take them? What did they ponder as they passed the shuttle back and forth?
Somebody cut you out. Somebody sewed you. Did they hum a tune while they worked? Or were they metabolizing some bittersweet human experience as they pieced you together?
Much of your early story is, and will always remain, a mystery to me. In my imagination, I can trace your provenance from farmer to artisan to sewist to Ace & Jig storage facility, but the details are always blurry, in the way love and ideals mix to form a palatable, present-day narrative from the fuzzy details of very early childhood.
I hope you were loved.
I hope all those hands saw your beauty, the handiwork of nature and humans, and felt a sense of pride.
When I wear you, I am connected to all the others who brought you into existence from the raw fiber of the Earth, sustained and fed by our humble star.
You, my sweet, striped Mila dress that criss-crosses my body, hugging it in all the right places – you, the one I reach for whenever I want to feel both grounded and light – you are not just a dress.
You connect me to the life force we all share.