Monday, June 8, 2009

I've Been Duped

It's been a total of eight months since I've seen Julianna. That's the name of my Christos gown. Today, she arrived with an unexpected (and not entirely welcome) surprise. 

Me Getting Ready to Be Reunited with Julianna (who also happened to be on this mannequin)

I made the trip to Saks this morning with my mom for my first fitting. While my wedding isn't for another four months, I had to take advantage of my time home in Los Angeles to have my alterations done at Saks as I might not make it back to California before October. New Mexico doesn't have a Saks and, when I bought my dress, I got a $450 gift card for free alterations so I opted to have them done there. That means all of my alterations have to be completed in one week. Once they are finished, the dress will be sent to the Saks in Denver where I'll pick it up a few days before the wedding. I'll never have to stress about stuffing it into an airplane cabin, nor will I have to drive more than two hours with it. The trade off? I have to make some major decisions in very little time. 

MR. COWBOY BOOT. This is your cue...exit. Muchas gracias. 

Julianna as she fit out of the box--a little loose on top and long on bottom

Trying to show off my shoes

The cap sleeves that came with the dress arrived detached which was fine with me as I don't prefer them, and I immediately tucked in the spaghetti straps that come attached to make it strapless.

Strapless Version

As my fitter, Jean, entered the room she said this to me: "This dress cannot be done strapless." 

"What?!" I replied, "That was the whole reason I bought it. The saleswoman said it would be no problem."

But Jean pointed out how the straps come down to points on the back--without the strap, it looks like something is missing. I took a peep and, as much as I didn't want to admit it, I agreed. I asked her if she could just tuck the pointed areas in and re-sew it to be straight across the back. Apparently, because it has a sleeve-cut under the arm and not a straight cut (as strapless dresses are meant to), "people who know couture will notice," Jean said. Plus, the straps will make it more comfortable for dancing.

The right picture shows the points on the back (where the cap sleeves are attached)

At first I was upset, pouty, and felt like I wanted to throw a tantrum right there. I'm spending how much on this dress and I can't even have it the way I want it? She was right, though, the dress looked weird in spots if it wasn't worn the way it was designed to be worn. As she got to work, the straps started to grow on me. 

Jean pinning a layer of satin over crinoline while I hold up the tulle

Here was the end result of fitting one in which she pinned the back about a quarter of an inch, inserted some padding in the top so I don't have to wear a bra, and pinned the lining underneath. 

After the fitting, I went back and looked at the pictures on my camera. I'd tried to convince myself that the little satin straps (meant to go under the cap sleeves) were simple and elegant. But the more I looked at the pictures, the more I thought they looked casual and more functional than anything. So, now, I have to figure out what I want to add to them to make me happy. 

Here's what they look like with the cap sleeve. I think it's pretty but I prefer the dress more plain--the sleeves have rhinestones and sequins and feel more trendy than what I'm going for.

My thought, right now is to take some tulle from the bottom of the dress and lay it flat over the straps, letting the raw edges of the tulle come out a little wider than the strap. This would give it a ruffly, softer effect. While it wouldn't be as wide or as ruffly as this dress (below), this picture is my inspiration behind the thought.

What do you think, hive? 
1) Stick with the simple, satin strap
2) Screw "couture" and make it strapless
3) Add a layer of tulle a little wider than the straps to soften and ruffle
4) Reconsider the cap sleeves
5) Do something else (please explain below)

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