Fashion with History: Ultra Violet


Photos by Savannah Vasquez

I remember the first time I saw this dress.

Picture this. It’s winter of 2009. I’m at the mall with my sister Ashley shopping for a dress to my high school’s winter formal.

You can tell it’s been many years, because malls are practically a thing of the past.

We walk into a store called Caché, an upscale store I typically could not afford. Again, you can tell it’s been awhile, because this store went out of business.

It’s honestly kind of sad for me, because it’s the store I envisioned shopping at when I “made it.” You know, when I became rich and famous. Now, I guess I’ll have to settle for Chanel. Ha! If you thought my dream of "making it" died with that store, you’ve never been more wrong.

My sister and I meandered to the back of the store, where the formal gowns were displayed. Then, I saw it.

I knew in an instant this was the perfect dress.

At the time, I was going through a purple phase. In addition to its vibrant colors, the dress was silky and flowy.

I put it on, and bam! Mermaid status.

My mother paid for my dress, and I remember feeling so proud to shop at my fantasy store. I wore the dress my junior year of high school and had a magnificent time at the winter formal.

I’ve since parted ways with my prom dress, four bridesmaid dresses and countless other once trendy dresses, but never this one. It forever sits in the back of my closet.

I mean honestly, where will I ever wear it?

When The Oklahoman recently asked me if I owned any articles of clothing featuring Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, I initially thought not. Then, low and behold, in the back of my closet is this floor-length, psychedelic gown.

I checked, and I do believe it features Ultra Violet. It was fun to put the dress back on and fall in love with all over again.

Hey, I'm Savannah. I collect records, and they collect dust. Like my preferred media form, I strive to not become obsolete. I created Off the Record as a way to turn my mind inside out, into something visual and tangible. One is the loneliest number, so I asked my friends to join.