Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Choose My Dress Part 2 or the Tale of Two Dresses

Alert! I now have TWO dresses in my hot hands to decide between for the Newbery Banquet! Both are beautiful (to me, anyway). Both have fun stories. Both need alteration badly (you might have to use your imagination a bit, picture the dresses actually fitting on me). Which do you think I should wear?


Dress #1, The Forgotten Dress

Before Robert's illness took a turn for the worst, one of the things I did to get my mind off of things was to surf the internet for pretty things (ok, I still do that now). One day, on Ebay, I saw this gorgeous, Chinese-embroidered pink silk dress. It was way too large for me and I had no place to wear it to, but it was so eye-catching and going for so low that I put a bid on it...and won!

After Robert passed, I went through a great purging period. Somehow, I thought if I got rid of my things, I could get rid of my sadness and grief too. Clothes, shoes, shampoo, curtains...all sorts of random things were piled and pushed straight to the goodwill. The pink dress landed at the top of one of those piles, but the bright color caught my friend Libby's eye.

"This is gorgeous," she said, "Are you sure you don't want it?"
"Take it!" I said, airily, waving my hand at it in disdain.
So, she did.

And now, 2 and half years later, she's given it back. "It's perfect for the Newbery Banquet," she said, "You bought it for someday. This is the day!"

Maybe, with alteration, she could be right. What do you think?


Dress #2, The Dress of Destiny?


So, if you remember from my last dress post, I had for a while been hoping to wear the "Painted Lotus" dress from Anthropologie but had continually struck out in my search for it. I had about given up, but after posting, I decided to try once again. I scoured the internet...and found a size 0. A friend's daughter had the dress...also in a size 0. For a moment, I considered dieting and going to the gym like a maniac to try to fit into a size 0, but realized that was a bit excessive (and unlikely).

Then, following the lead of some of my lovely readers, I contacted Anthropologie. They gave me a list of stores that, according to their database, might have the dress in a size larger than a 0. I called all of them--the store in Michigan, the store in CA, the store in New York. None had it.

At that point, I realized I had spent WAY too much time trying to find this dress. I really had to stop thinking about clothes and write my novel! So, with great effort of will, I attempted to switch gears.

Now, in the book I am writing now, "Dumpling Days" the main character takes Chinese brush painting lessons. This is based on my childhood experience of Chinese painting class, but I have to admit my memory of it is a bit fuzzy. There were so many little details about Chinese painting that I knew I was forgetting. I needed to do some research. I remembered fellow author and artist Cindy Pon (whom I am on the Enchanted Inkpot blog with)did brush painting so I went to her website and blog and nosed around and then there on her blog I saw....

Cindy wearing THE DRESS!!!!

Oh my! What were the chances? It felt like some sort of weird fate and I felt obligated to e-mail her. As it was NOT a size 0, she very, very kindly offered to loan it to me:

and here it is!

Unfortunately, this dress too needs a bit of alteration as I don't have the cleavage to hold it up and nor have I any desire to make a scandal at the banquet. But the dress is just as gorgeous in person as I thought it would be.

So, #1 or #2? Let me know what you think ASAP (the tailor must begin soon)! Leave a comment here with your choice and your reason why! To one random commenter I will send an audio book (4 cds!) of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (it's a really great recording!). Thanks!

22 comments:

Andrea said...

I vote for dress #1 - it seems like you bought it for something special and it's just mean to be.

Sharon Creech said...

Both dresses are beautiful, but if I had to choose, I'd say dress #1. Have SO much fun!

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

My vote is #2. It accentuates your waste and the length hits you in the perfect spot for your height! I love the pattern, too. I'm following "the rules" of Stacy and Clinton of TLC's What Not to Wear :) Truly, though... you're adorable and you'd look good in either!

Good luck!
Marissa

Katie Davis said...

Oh, Grace, dress #1 is so delicious! It's celebratory, and happy and pretty. I also like that there is a connection to Robert, and most of all, it's PINK! And really, do you need any other reason?!

Get yourself to a tailor, quick! You only have a couple of weeks!!!

Carmella Van Vleet said...

The pink one caught my eye. And I loved the story of how it found its way back to you.

laurasalas said...

OK, I vote for both--wear Anthropologie to the banquet and the pink one to one of your special award committee breakfasts or dinners or whatever. Seems like both dresses deserve to be part of this wonderful celebration trip. If I HAD to vote for just one for the ALA banquet, I'd vote for #2. But you'll shine in either one!

Laura Ludwig Hamor said...

I am so happy you found the dress! And the pink one is beautiful too. Only, I can't decide.
I know you will look beautiful!

Geraly Unite-O'Day said...

i vote for the anthropologie dress! it's beautiful and you look like you're wearing the dress - not the other way around. however, you may want to bring both dresses to your tailor...

some dresses can be taken in easily.... other dresse can't without ruining the look of the dress... the one that's closer to your actual size will usually look the best after alteration...

so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I vote for #2. The silhouette is more complimentary. That said, if it's a borrowed dress, it might not be a good idea to alter it. I agree to take both to the tailor, though. Can't wait to see which is the winner.

Val

alexandra said...

i would belt dress #1. i saw a girl in target the other day wearing a dress (similar style and length as your pink one) and she wore a skinny brown leather belt high around her waist. it looked great. so great i could not believe she was in target!

i have also noticed the belt look in jcrew, too... it works best on clothes that are not too tight because the belt gracefully pulls in some of the extra fabric.

that being said, i don't think you can go wrong wearing either dress. they both have beautiful stories attached to them. best of luck on your special day.

Courtney said...

The shape of the second dress is more complimentary but the color on the top dress is super lovely on you. Go with the first one with some alterations!

cindy said...

i love the comment about wearing both! ha! there is much to celebrate! i hope it works out. i think it's a win win situation, whichever one you choose. of course, you know i think the lotus dress is gorgeous!

Sarah said...

They're both beautiful but I'd have to vote for #1 it's PINK!! And you look stunning in it. Also, if the lotus dress is just a loan, can you alter it? Or is it possible to temporarily alter it?

librarymoth said...

I love the stories with both these dresses, and isn't that really what the Newbery's are about? Stories we love?
For sheer aesthetics, I think (they are both really pretty, so I'm still on the fence, but I'm having a hard time picturing shoes for #1) #2 would be best for the award ceremony. You have lovely skin, and I like the neckline with the exposed shoulders and where your hair falls-- it really frames your face.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, I vote #2 for the banquet. But here is the thing: there will be several dress up events that weekend, so you should still actually take both dresses anyway, no matter what you decide.

That said - the best way to make a decision between two things you feel pulled between: try flipping a coin. Because sometimes when it is in the air - you will suddenly KNOW which one you really want...!

Tracey said...

I like the Anthropologie, but for peace of mind (no constant pulling up/adjusting) I'd go with #1. It'll also be simpler to have altered, and the color looks lovely on you.

Mary Jane said...

I am jumping in here because I think number two is THE ONE. you have spent so much time searching for it and now it suddenly appears when all hope seems lost so I think it has to be the right one. It was meant to be! The universe opened up for your dream. And it looks GREAT on you.
And I think the red can be worn later at another major book award event. That's my two cents worth.
And in the end the choice is yours of course. Follow your heart.

Mary Jane said...

I meant pink when I wrote red. Forgive me.
And follow your heart. Get both adjusted and take them both along with you so you can decide.

Martha Flynn said...

#2 is (to quote a bunch of teenagers in the changing room next to me at Forever 21) "totally boss" and "buff" which I *think* translates to "hawt and sassy" so I'd go for that!

elisabethellington said...

I vote for #2. I think it photographs better. It's absolutely beautiful without overwhelming you. #1 is a beautiful dress, but I notice the dress rather than you wearing the dress. If that makes sense.

Have fun!

Abigail said...

I would go with #2 for the serendipity alone! Also, and this is a bit silly, but if you were standing on stage, holding your book, I think the #2 dress makes a better backdrop. The book would get lost against #1.

Both gorgeous, though!

yamster said...

Both look great, but I vote for the Painted Lotus! You've been searching so hard, and it seems so perfect for the event, and I think it flatters you more. The top also reminds me of dragon scales (in a good way)!