Downtown ‘Fashion Week’ includes wedding gowns and stories

Downtown ‘Fashion Week’ includes wedding gowns and stories

Screen Print Northwest owner Jillene Holter will display her wedding dress during the “Walk Down the Aisle Again,” a way for people to see vintage and not so vintage wedding wear.

Holter’s 37 year old gown comes with great memories, but she also wants it to peddle some advice to those who may be thinking of getting married.

“My message to youth is, ‘You don’t have to go in debt to have a wedding,” Holter said. “Take 10 deep breaths, and realize that if one little thing is off, it’s not going to ruin your wedding. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”

Her folks were not poor, the business owner said. But they raised five kids on a policeman’s salary, and her father was not one for extravagance.

She and Jim Holter “were 18 and 19. My parents told us, ‘We have $500 to give you what can we do on that budget?’ ”

The families brought flowers to the December wedding. At Unity Church in Portland, a friend played the organ. And the dress?

“My mother, Joyce Patricia Tebo, made it,” Holter said.

She and her mom budgeted $50, which paid for fabric and a McCall’s pattern. The white dress has a high neck, long sleeves and frilly borders. For a head piece, Holter made a halo of netting and baby’s breath, pulled back her long hair and pinned it on top.

Her mother also sewed maroon and white outfits for three bridesmaids.

The money that was left bought mints and nuts for the Holters’ church reception.

“We went over to my father in law’s house for cold beer,” and then the newlyweds drove through a freak snowstorm to her grandmother’s house at the beach. “Our friends had put Limberger cheese on the dashboard, and we smelled that cheese all the way to the beach.”

The photographer never made it through the storm, so the Holters have a few aging Polaroids, a sketch made by her fashion illustrator grandmother, Dorothy Gearheart; hundreds of cards they saved; and the dress, which will be on display at Three Rivers Consignment, 1165 Commerce Ave.

“I just want people to know that, ‘Hey, you don’t have to spend $50,000,’ ” Holter said. “It makes me physically sick to see a young couple put thousands of dollars into a wedding that they could set aside for when they have a child” or buy a home.

Wendy Kosloski’s wedding dress, made by her mother, former wedding coordinator Shirley Bailey, will be displayed at Teague’s Interiors, the interior decor mecca run by the two women on Hudson and Commerce.

Also on display will be the handmade gown of Dolly Harvey of Longview, as well as a display of wearable art dresses and scarves boiled wool purses, hand made jewelry by award winning Woodland artist Suzanne Long, and samples from the 50 year shoe collection of Hope Wale of Longview.

Kosloski’s dress,
Downtown 'Fashion Week' includes wedding gowns and stories
now 40 years old, is white on white, with an empire waist, scoop neck, and organza flounce that Kosloski block printed with a floral design. She remembers sharing her bouquet of daisies and other daisy arrangements with a neighbor whose wedding happened to be later the same day.

In between the two weddings, Ron Kosloski “had this spontaneous desire for ice cream, so we went to 31 Flavors,” Wendy said, laughing. “Then we hurried to their wedding.”

Bailey also sewed the bridesmaids’ yellow and lime dresses.

Was it fun? “Oh yeah,” Bailey said drily. “We stayed up all night for days.”

Kosloski turned to Bailey and smiled. “It was a lovely wedding, wasn’t it, Mother?”

“I have a ‘boudoir dressing room,’ ” said Pet Works owner Rebecca Smith, “and I keep my wedding dress there on a manikin. I just love it, and I like to have it where I can see it, all the time.”

The dress will venture out this week, however, to be enjoyed by the community at Commerce Corner Collectibles for the Downtown Live! fashion events this week and next. Although she and her husband have remodeled and brightened Pet Works, “I didn’t want it here in the shop,” Smith explained.

The size 6 champagne colored gown from Michelle Renee in Longview has a beaded top and tulle skirt.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Rhonda Mosteller, animal technician at Pet Works, who attended the wedding. “It fit like a glove.”

Goff, manager of BYI Party Goods, is a certified balloon sculptor. The wedding dress she will create and display for the upcoming Fashion Week Passport event will be constructed from those long, skinny, latex balloons.

This is not something she thought she’d ever do, the party store maven said. That’s until she saw an announcement in Images, a trade magazine for balloon party decor.

“There’s a balloon convention every year in Dallas, Texas,” said Goff, who sent off an application a couple of years ago and got a scholarship that paid her airfare, lodging and class fees.

She learned the basics and has been practicing every since, whipping up balloon animals, spelling out people’s names in balloons, designing decor for weddings.

“I made the giant squirrel for the Longview Squirrle Fest, and a giant roller skate for the Slaughter Kittens,
Downtown 'Fashion Week' includes wedding gowns and stories
” a local roller derby team.