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  • Writer's pictureAmy Stein-Milford

Red Velvet, Then and Now

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

My mother in a vintage Harold Levine dress

My mother was a reluctant All Dressed, Nowhere to Go participant. While she has the most fabulous sense of style (and always has), she says that not needing to get dressed up is perhaps the only positive thing about the pandemic.

Mom, me and Ellice, vintage Harold Levine Dress, Amy Stein-Milford
Mom in the red dress holding me with my sister

Still, she allowed herself to be cajoled into getting gussied up. (My mother says “bullied” is more accurate.) From her closet she fished out the most fabulous red velvet empire dress from the 1960s, a vintage Harold Levine design. Her father, my grandfather, was a silk salesman and he got it for her from the showroom. She remembers wearing it only one time – for a dinner dance for my sister’s school.

The one disappointment, the epic rhinestone buttons had disappeared! Likely a casualty of dry cleaning fifty years ago. She hadn’t taken the dress out of its packaging since. I will find some awesome replacement.

My mother also lent beautiful dresses to my daughter Flora and me. So here we are a fierce tri-generational threesome.

Visiting my mother at her home has been one of the bright spots for me during Covid. I’ve seen her five times this past year, always getting tested and quarantining beforehand. By the time of this visit, she and my stepfather have had their first vaccine and will get the second within the next week. She is the only one who gets an indoor All Dressed visit! Every time I hear someone I know is getting the vaccine, I am so happy. This winter may be hard, but there is hope ahead.

What has helped you get through Covid? "My Zoom classes. Jewish Mysticism offered by the Museum at Eldridge Street, my virtual touring of art galleries with Dorothea Basile, and yoga.”

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