Boston Bridal Blog: Scenes from Priscilla of Boston's Final Days
Those of you who have read my posts before know that I have a vested interest in the now-shuttered Priscilla of Boston — it is the company, after all, that made the dress I’ll be walking down the aisle in on my wedding day. The closing of its salons was truly the end of an era in bridal fashion. But when I saw this report about employees at a Priscilla outpost in Minnesota who threw the store’s remaining inventory into a dumpster and spray-painted — spray-painted! — the gowns red, I felt my sadness turn to fury: Why would the company choose to destroy its beautiful dresses rather than donate them to a worthy cause?
One local bride’s story, however, restored at least some of my faith. Lindsey Angelo ordered her Priscilla wedding gown — a strapless fit-and-flare with crystal embellishments — months before she would find out by e-mail that the chain, a Boston-based business whose parent company is David’s Bridal, planned to close all of its locations in December 2011. When the bride arrived for her final fitting the day after Thanksgiving, she was shocked by what she saw. “There was a burn, they had forgotten buttons — it was a disaster,” says Angelo. “I work in retail, so originally I was just thinking, What can we do to fix it?”
With only a few weeks left before Priscilla of Boston closed its doors for good, the Newbury Street store manager asked Angelo to meet her at the Charlestown factory, where a team of three seamstresses vowed to re-create the dress completely from scratch — so long as Angelo vowed to stay “on call” for any impromptu consultations. “They were just amazing,” says Angelo. “I feel like they really didn’t have to do what they did, and they totally took care of me.” When the bride picks up her gown today, it’ll be one last dream fulfilled by a business that crafted them, stitch by stitch, button by button, for almost 65 years.