Flashback to the late ’80s: My mom, Marilou (Malu) opens a package from her mother in the Philippines and finds a metallic rainbow skirt and matching halter top. It’s an eye-catching number — a glistening gold, perfectly pleated, technicoloured treasure.
In fact, after my mom wore it once to a wedding, she put it away and kept it in storage where it stayed as buried treasure for almost 30 years.
Metallics were so in back then. But when I wore this dress to the wedding, you know what my uncle said? ‘Stay away from the microwave!’
— My mom
Until one day earlier this year, I went to visit my folks and did some treasure hunting in the garage for my old Sailor Moon memorabilia. Instead, in one of the boxes of old clothes, we found the metallic rainbow outfit, perfectly preserved. My mom gushed at how outrageous the dress was while I marvelled at its beauty. She happily gave the outfit to me, knowing it would be perfect to feature on my blog.
What she didn’t know was how much I had identified with this dress — so much that I wanted to wear it to my first time at Pride Toronto this year.
This past Sunday, I wore this 30-year-old dress up and down Church Street like it was truly a part of me. I believe this dress represents every fibre of the woman my mom was when she wore this dress, and still is today: fun-loving, free-spirited, and classically outrageous. Similarly, I recognized the way I wore this dress was the way my mom inspires me to wear all my outfits: with a vibrant lip colour, a big laugh, and an open heart.
But most importantly, I know the true message she shares with me is to always make a statement, live boldly, and love freely. Especially during Pride Month — and every day with some of my closest loved ones — I feel privileged to learn even more ways to keep making those statements loud and clear with the LGBTQ community because we all have the right to live and love boldly.
Side note: Tonight, out of curiosity, I discovered what was written on the tag on the inside of the halter top portion of this outfit. It was also the first time ever, in 30 years of owning this dress, that my mom bothered to look. We were surprised to find the “brand” of this dress is “Bob Marley by Reggae”? I’m not sure how much sense this makes from a manufacturing and branding standpoint. But in terms of themes, I’d say it’s pretty fitting that the man who preached “One Love” is somehow connected to this dress I wore to Pride.
Photos: Thanks, Eric!