A vintage wedding dress from the 1940s or ’50s became a prom dress for Washington High School senior Gia Mesz this year.

Mesz, who lives in Downtown Washington, saw the dress on display inside Tanglewood Cottage.

“The shop owner, Charisse, had dyed it a gorgeous neutral color. It was tattered, and Gia instantly fell in love,” her mom, Desiree Mesz, recalled.

Gia tried it on and found that it fit like it had been made for her. After some alterations by Toni of Toni’s Alterations and another local seamstress and costume designer, Hollie, the dress came to life once again.

Later, Charisse and Gia went through the vintage hats and gloves at Tanglewood Cottage until they found the perfect vintage pill hat and vintage gloves.

At Goodwill in Washington, Gia and her mom found the perfect shoes.

“All of this came together in a community effort through the inspiration of a young girl with an old soul and a love of history,” Desirree Mesz remarked, noting she would love to see more people venturing into local antique and resale shops for inspiration.

“There is something to be said for being inspired by the history around us,” said Desiree Mesz. “The city of Washington is rich in history and community, and nothing inspires me more than seeing that passion in our future generations. To fully appreciate the future, we must embrace our past.”

Gia Mesz is graduating this month. She plays violin and is first chair concertmaster in Washington High School Orchestra, was first chair concertmaster at Webster University Community Music School.

She won several scholarships including the Washington Rotary Club scholarship and First Student scholarship. She won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the World Languages Award from Washington High School.

She will be pursuing a career in languages and linguistics.