The saying goes “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Well, Pennslyvania bride Abigail Kingston didn’t have to look far for the first part. The 30-year-old knew she wanted to be married in her family’s unique heirloom, a 120-year-old dress worn by 10 generations of women before her, including her mother.
The two-piece Victorian gown was first worn in 1895 by Abigail’s great-great-grandmother, and has been passed down from family member to family member ever since. It was last donned in 1991, almost 25 years ago.
Sadly, when Abigail came to put on the dress she found it had turned brown and was beginning to fall apart from age, so she turned to expert bridal designer Deborah LoPresti for help. Over 200 hours of painstaking work, Deborah added new sleeves, lightened the brown shade to a champagne colour and altered the silk and satin fabric to fit Abigail’s tall, thin frame.
Here is the dress before and after the repairs.
Now the dress has been restored to it’s original beauty, Abigail can’t wait to wear it on her wedding to fiancé Jason Curtis on October 17th. As the dress is extremely fragile, she will wait until after the ceremony to don the dress for the cocktail party.
Once the couple’s special day is over, the dress may be sent to it’s next potential wearer – the daughter of Abigail’s mother’s cousin, who has expressed interest in the dress. We don’t blame her!
“I truly felt the magic and love putting on the dress,” Abigail said. “It’s my Cinderella dress—and I have the shoes to match!”
Take a look at some of the other woman who’ve worn the gown over the last 100 years.
Bride #1: Mary Lowry, 1895.
Bride #2: Jane Woodruff, 1946.
Bride #3: Virginia Woodruff, 1948.
Bride #4: Sara Seiler, 1960.
Bride #5: Laird MacConnell, 1976.
Bride #6: Leslie Kingston, 1977.
Bride #7: Janet Kearns, 1982.
Bride #8: Jane Ogden, 1986.
Bride #9: Virginia Kearns, 1989.
Bride #10: Ann Ogden, 1991.
Abigail with her mother Leslie, who wore the dress in 1977.