Ever since I was little, I’ve loved dressing up. I remember throwing a tantrum with great gusto when my grandmother tried to force me to wear a scratchy tartan number…

Dressing up as an extension of oneself, runs through my veins. Uncompromising style. To wear whatever whenever wherever is part of the parcel. A “parcel” containing a yellow paper dress in my mom’s case (or closet) when she was a willful six…

And like all children carrying their memories in that precious suitcase called one’s heart, my mother recalls her fleeting joy in wearing it.

We were visiting my uncle’s farm in Rouxville in the Free State. It was a cold, dismal day brightened by a gift from my cousin Dalene: a sun-yellow paper dress which she had worn as a whimsical fairy in a school play.

I just HAD to wear it that very instant and got dressed with a big rustle and bustle. To my mother’s utter dismay. On my defiant refusal to put on my warm clothes, my brother was “dispatched” to get hold of the yellow streak that was me.

The girl in the yellow paper dress got as far as the river…a torn and tearful testament to the fleeting quality of a paper dress and I daresay, fashion…

  • Cornelia le Roux is a sub-editor at Avusa with a lifelong passion for fashion.

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