Woman discovers grandmother’s vintage Dior dress, goes viral uncovering family history

‘The dress itself is in perfect condition,’ shared Adeline Vining on TikTok

Amber Raiken
New York
Thursday 23 June 2022 22:24
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A woman’s incredible family history has gone viral on TikTok after she found her grandmother’s vintage Dior dress and brought her now thousands of followers along for the ride of discovering where the garment originated from.

In April, Adeline Vining first began sharing her story in a video on TikTok. In the initial video, Vining detailed how she found a gown with a Christian Dior label that she believed belonged to her late grandmother.

Vining noted that her grandfather died over two decades ago and she only found the gown as she was cleaning out his attic. She shared that she believed the black gown was made specifically for her grandmother, who passed away around 1957, and went on to show the different designs and patterns on the dress, before noting how it fit her perfectly.

“The dress itself is in perfect condition,” she said. “With tons of cousins, I was the only girl who fit into it, so I ended up as its keeper. I dug it out recently wondering if I could still fit into it, and turns out I can, miraculously.”

However, she said that despite how long she’d had the dress, she didn’t have much information on it. With that in mind, she asked viewers for help dating it.

As of 21 June, the clip has more than 7.6m views, with TikTok users in the comments praising the gown.

“OMG!!!! This dress is stunning!! And so beautiful on you!!,” one wrote.

“Vintage Dior, would be worth a damn fortune,” another added.

Since her first video, Vining has continued to update her viewers with new information about the dress. She noted that after her first video went viral, she’s gotten in contact with London-based historian Henry Wilkinson, who told her all about the gown.

“He’s been so helpful,” she explained in another clip. “He’s given me more information in 24 hours than I’ve been able to get in 25 years.”

According to Vining, Wilkinson told her that the dress is called Autumn and is from Dior’s Autumn/Winter, 1949-1950 collection. She also said that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York previously had the couture gown on display.

Speaking to Insider, Vining explained that she reached out to Wilkinson via Instagram and how he encouraged her to get her dress insured.

“Henry encouraged me to get my grandmother’s dress valued and put me in touch with Kerry Taylor Auctions in London,” she said.

Taylor apparently told Vining that the dress, in its current condition, is worth between $36,700 and $42,800, which Vining said in one of her videos “completely floored [her]”.

Vining has since created a playlist of eight videos, titled “That Dior Dress,” which tells her whole story and family history with the item.

In May, she shared another video about how she found a photo of her grandmother in the dress and dancing with a man. However, she doesn’t know who the man in the photo is, as she said that it was not her grandfather.

She also detailed that she’s been in contact with other family members, including her eldest aunt, in order to learn more about her grandmother.

Elsewhere in her chat with Insider, Vining acknowledged how the dress encouraged her to reach out to her extended family, who have since shared anecdotes and old photos of her grandmother with her through a private Facebook group.

She’s proud of both of her grandparents and appreciates the opportunity she has had to learn more about her grandmother’s life and death.

“We’re all so proud of my grandfather for his services to France in the foreign office that he became the member we always talked about. I’m glad through the dress I’m finally able to meet my grandmother,” she told Insider. “The story seems straight out of Disney and once I have confirmed all the facts I will be sharing it on TikTok.”

Speaking to The Independent, Vining emphasised how her experience has allowed her to learn more and more about who her family is.

“The interest in the dress, and my family history has obviously prompted lots of discussion with my family, so I’ve enjoyed learning more about my mother’s upbringing, as she was only 2 when her mother died. It’s been very heartwarming, honestly,” she explained. “We’ve all found it quite mind blowing that so many people are interested, but it’s been an honour to remember my grandparents and share their story.”

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