Buddha Dress

by Erin on March 22, 2007

Buddha-print dress

Marie-Christine sent this, and, alas, it's sold. (But there's plenty more good stuff where she found this, at Kitty Girl Vintage!)

I was going to make a ton of dorky jokes about this dress ("it's the 'one with everything'" etc.) but really, I just wish I'd known the woman who designed this ("Dorothy O'Hara" is the label, and she seems to have been a costume designer for the movies) or any of the women who bought & wore it when it was new. I bet I would have really liked them.

Of course, the other thing this makes me want to see is other religion-themed dresses. I'm assuming the Prophet, Jehovah, and Jesus are unlikely candidates for fabrics, let alone dresses, but surely there must be more-or-less inappropriate fabrics with Hindu figures on them, or perhaps figures of Greek and Roman mythology, and of course the Flying Spaghetti Monster … I bet the FSM wouldn't mind being on a dress. If there were a religious-dress meetup, would the atheist dress be a pure black, or a pure white? The agnostic dress gray? Would the animists have trees and rocks and plants and things? Leave suggestions for other (irreverent, impious, I know) suitable prints for the various religions in the comments, if you like.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Vildy March 22, 2007 at 7:59 am

Virgin of Guadalupe fabric. I saw someone redecorate their kitchen with this. http://www.ciaspalette.com/prod_pages/ahvg0199.html


Julia March 22, 2007 at 8:08 am

Okay, I’m a minister and I’d LOVE Jesus fabric. Or something allusive, like a loaves and fishes print, or locusts and wild bees (for John the Baptist). Probably not crowns of thorns or nails, that’s a little tacky. There are fabrics with palm leaf prints and, of course, angels, but they’re never the really scary kind of angel that has to say “Fear not” in order to get a hearing. Oh, how I wish I had what it takes to print my own fabric!


Julie March 22, 2007 at 8:09 am

I know as a jew, im not supposed to idol worship, but I could really go for something in a parting of the red sea theme, with a wave border print placed at a deep v (for the “parting”) and a giant Moses portrait on the back. I think a very full shirtwaist would work best. Wildly inappropriate, but I would totally wear it to our seder. I wish I had thought of this for my bat mitzvah…Also, this is a great religous fabric http://www.jandofabrics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=fla000203Too bad it’s flannel.Also, for agnostic theme, I think the prefect fabric would be a dress made from the same fabric as the infamous Matthew Lesko question mark suit(http://www.mlesko.com/images/matthew-lesko1.jpg). For those of you who don’t remeber this timeless informercial, you can get up to speed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Lesko


Jennette Fulda March 22, 2007 at 8:33 am

The athiest wouldn’t be wearing anything because there is no dess!


melissa March 22, 2007 at 8:39 am

a few years back, i make “garden of eden shoes”. i hot glued white flowers that looked like apple blossoms, snakes and apples onto a pair of sandals. funny enough, i was thinking about these shoes last night.


Theresa March 22, 2007 at 8:44 am

I’ve seen the Virgin Guadalupe Fabric! Check out Alexander Henry for Day of the Dead, Corazones and Angelitos!http://www.ahfabrics.com/category.php?cat_id=71&PHPSESSID=61242f487ed0100b319a86f13044dd75


Anonymous March 22, 2007 at 9:00 am

I don’t have the Guadalupe fabric mentioned by Vildy, but I do have some lovely Guadalupe fabric that I found on clearance a few years ago. Of course I bought a ton of it (in black and salmon) and I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y using it in various projects. No dresses yet, but one skirt–that got worn on my NYC trip a coupla years ago with some of the girls from Sewretro.–Lydia


webscholar March 22, 2007 at 9:23 am

This is a great dress, Erin! Dorothy O’Hara got her start designing clothing for the movies, but just after WWII she launched her own clothing line which lasted until her death in the early sixties. She was most known for her elaborate and innovative draping techniques, but early in her career she used some equally amazing prints. They were almost always very large scale, very colorful, and very memorable–although I can’t imagine how you could ever get more memorable than this!


Sarah from Oz March 22, 2007 at 9:30 am

I did a search for “bible verse pyjamas”, because I remembered that someone had sent me a link for such (protect your child while they sleep), and the Google ads on the side bar were:www.c28.com “Cool Jesus Clothing”www.starcostumes.com “Bible Characters costumes”The cool Jesus clothing seems to be mostly tshirts though.Oh! Here we are – Armor of God PJs:http://www.armorofgodpjs.com/


Jenny March 22, 2007 at 10:11 am

Wow. I would so wear a dress in Our Lady of Guadalupe fabric.Julia, a loaves and fishes dress sounds awesome– I’d wear it, and I’m not even Christian! Other ideas could be crooks and lambs, mustard seeds and plants, or go along the same lines as Melissa and make an “Eden” dress with serpents and apples.Actually, I’m Neo-Pagan– a Wiccan, more specifically– and I’ve seen plenty of websites and ads for “ritual wear” or “priestess wear” that includes things like triskelions, or the Spiral Lady image. However, I’d wear a dress with chalices and daggers on it. Another thought is a print with symbols of the four elements– Air, Earth, Water, and Fire.Great. I’m going to be thinking about this all day, now.


Diane March 22, 2007 at 10:14 am

wOW!Dorothy O’Hara is one of my absolute favorite designers. People say Ceil Chapman is the master of the drape, but Dorothy is so intelligent and thoughtful about the female form. So very clever. This dress is great to see. It shows me that Dorothy had a whimsical side as well. Dorothy is firmly on my list of top ten people with whom I would like to lunch with in the afterlife. I think she might like Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves, although they already might be great friends. Perhaps she is doing designs for them…..Diane


rjlona March 22, 2007 at 10:32 am

Pomegranates for Persephone?


Anonymous March 22, 2007 at 11:07 am

I have some socks with Gothic crosses on them . . .


Nicole March 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I would like to see the satanist dress – probably dyed with lambs blodd or something freaky. It would be interesting for all of us to make one religeon themed dress and then have some sort of “the costume of religeon” show – or am i just the biggest nerd on the planet?


Theresa March 22, 2007 at 12:25 pm

I would come to the costume of religion show. I am also wiccan. I was thinking of some kind of triple goddess print or maybe cycles of the moon. I love the Persephone Pomegranate idea. I really want to make a Dia de los muertos dress this year covered in miriachi skeletons. I’d love to see an all religions dress covered in lots of different culures Gods and Goddesses.


Theresa March 22, 2007 at 12:33 pm
samsara March 22, 2007 at 12:50 pm

I saw this dress when it was on the block and lament that it is not mine. I just hope it’s happy with someone else. I collect (and wear) fine art on 1970s polyester dresses. Especially East Asian art, and Persian and Indian miniatures. I’ve just started photographing my frocks, so I don’t have any good pics up yet,alas. I don’t know what print dress could express my atheist-commie-feminist-Jew belief system. This is indeed a challenge, Erin, and a great essay question to ponder. I would like a protest dress. Something that goes beyond the peace symbol and doves. Or the raised fist encapsulated in the symbol for female. Any ideas? Julie–You’ve inspired me! I love the idea of wildly innappropriate seder dresses. How about a repeat pattern of the 10 Plagues of Egypt on a shirtwaist dress? Maybe it would be too hard to show darkness and blood, nu? Perhaps just frogs, locusts, flies and slaying of the first-born.I’ve got a novelty print skirt with frogs on it that I am totally gonna wear to Passover seder this year. Tee hee.


Anonymous March 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm

I have a long skirted long sleeved high necked dress from the 70’s. It’s a satiney blue fabric with egyptian animal headed gods in a red sora brocade. I bought it at the 2nd hand store for the fabriC. I’ve never seen anything like it.cassandra


vespabelle March 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I have the Alexander Henry Virgin of Guadalupe fabric. The print is huge so I doubt I’ll actually use it for clothing. (I also most likely didn’t buy enough!)Equilter has a whole cateegory of “religion, inspiration, and spirit” fabrics at equilter.com


Kitty the Cat March 22, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Here are the religious (religion?) fabrics at eQuilter.I love the chalices and dagger dress idea. Too bad I’ll never find anything appropriate for a religiously themed dress around here…


Marie-Chrisitne March 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Actually, I used those huge Guadalupes for boxer shorts… One virgin on each cheek, and then some :-). One feels protected or something..


Anonymous March 22, 2007 at 8:29 pm
Val March 23, 2007 at 12:20 am

I think a print or dress with abstract, geometric Mosque designs would be lovely! In fact, I think a whole collection of dresses can be inspired by just the Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba, Spain. It’s Muslim Mosque, Catholic Baroque Cathedral, and ancient Roman temple rolled into one.I guess that’s what I’ll be sketching this week ;D


India March 23, 2007 at 10:18 am

Samsara, representing the more abstract plagues is the fun part. For example, in the plagues of Egypt plush toys set, they have:* A spooky eyed drop of blood* A Frog for frogs–of course* A Giant Lice [sic] for lice.* Cow for cattle disease* Black Locust for locusts* A white satin lump of hail* A black cube of darkness* An icky boil on a piece of flesh!* A snarling lion’s head for wild beasts* and last of all a very sad head–for death of the first born.The “black cube of darkness” is my favorite, favorite, favorite. Also note that “The frog, lice, cow and locust wriggle and roll their eyes, quiver, buzz and move when you pull their string.” Well, of course! You could use googly-eye buttons on your dress, too.


Jess March 23, 2007 at 10:50 am

I like the Moses parting the waters/deep V dress idea. Pretty cute.I think you could do a cute fabric in blues, with the ocean water, a big light blue/gray blue whale, and a pale and afraid-looking Jonah about to get swallowed… like a repeat pattern all over the dress.


zelia March 23, 2007 at 11:08 am

Dorothy O’Hara dresses are amazing. I’ve owned two and they fit like nothing else. They look weird on the hanger, but they fit a real person amazingly well. If you ever find one, you should snap it up!


Char March 23, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Satanists would wear clothing with their own image emblazoned on it.Satanists who were poor spellers would wear clothing made of satin with their own image emblazoned on it.I’ve always considered Vionnet to be the master of drape…


Karen March 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm

I’m a day behind here… coincidentally, on Wedesday I was browing at a fabric store and found some nice cotton with subtle crosses on it, and I thought… I need a dress out of that to wear if I am ever baptised. I’m only 27, it could happen.I also found some gorgous cottons for the Duro(s) in my head. Didn’t buy them, thought about them for 24 hours, and went back for them. AND the dress destiny lined up such that McCalls patterns were on sale once again, and there was ONE remaining duro pattern, in my size. 4th times a charm!!! I have been trying for weeks to pick up one of those, and I swear your blog has led to the complete unavailability of them. So… now I have fabric and patterns lined up for 5 dresses, and have absolutely no time to sew unless I take a leave from work. Which I am considering.


Anonymous March 24, 2007 at 4:04 am

At the rate people get offended at others use of religous symbols, I’d be hesitant to wear such fabrics. But the dress is very nice. And what religion worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster?


Joni March 24, 2007 at 3:50 pm

I’m a Mormon, so this fabric would make a great dress for me…http://www.michaelmillerfabrics.com/MMF/Swatch.cfm?&Kwds=jiggle


Garnet August 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

My sister (and I realize this is very very late!) has a skirt that she made out of Virgin Mary fabric. We call it her Catholic skirt. Because were Presbyterian, and refer to anything with pictures of Jesus, Mary, saints, etc. as popery. (Cause its a homonym, get it?)


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