Katherine McConnell has cherished her over-the-top ruby red evening gown since 1989 when her husband originally bought it for her.
“When my grandmother passed away, my mom was super depressed and my dad wanted to cheer her up, so he took her dress shopping,” Katherine McConnell’s daughter, Christine McConnell, of Los Angeles, told GoodMorningAmerica.com.
With its ultra-poofy sleeves and snazzy sequin-trimmed lining, Katherine considered herself the ultimate “Lady in Red” when wearing her prized gown.
“She wore it to two parties and had professional photos taken in it because she loved it so much,” Christine McConnell explained. “She stuck it in the back of the closet, and even kept all the original jewelry.”
The photo of her mom in the unforgettable ruby red dress was always prominently displayed in the foyer of their home in Redlands, Calif., a memory Christine McConnell carried with her all these years.
Now, 25 years later, McConnell, a photographer, decided it was high time to dust the cobwebs off the immaculate ’80s gown that had been carefully preserved in the back of her mom’s closet.
“I don’t want to call my mom a hoarder, but she does tend to keep things,” McConnell said. “And since I’m a photographer, I’m always looking to do something interesting and weird, and this is the perfect Valentine’s dress.”
Not to mention, McConnell is currently 32 years old, the same age her mother was when the original photo was taken, proving it was the perfect time to recreate the epic side-ponytailed picture.
“I couldn’t find the wicker chair so I went to Home Depot and got materials and made this wicker chair,” said McConnell, who wasn’t willing to forgo even the smallest detail for the photo shoot.
The results are totally gnarly, as they’d say in the ’80s. The two women really are the spitting image of each other.
And as for the dress?
“It’s sensational,” said McConnell, who couldn’t be happier she brought the vintage gown back to life.