Monday, January 31, 2011

A Girl and THE Dress - A Story About Obtaining the Seemingly Unobtainable

You all know this story...

Once there was a girl an overweight girl who loved Project Runway. She would watch the show faithfully often disagreeing with the judges and making snarky comments, but enjoying the show nonetheless. Every season she picked one or two favorites and hoped they would make it to the finale.

One day, a designer appear on the show who happened to be from Dayton. The girl dismissed the designer at first, thinking she couldn't possibly be that good being from this place. The girl was seriously wrong. As the season went on the designer's pieces became more and more intriguing to the girl. "There's talent like this coming out of Dayton???" she asked bewildered. It turned out that not only was the designer talented, but she would go on to the finale of Project Runway and almost win!

After the season was finished, the girl made an attempt to follow the designer's career. Twitter played a big part in her ability to do this. Through Twitter the girl discovered that the designer would be coming to the Dayton Art Institute to give a talk. Eager, the girl went to the the talk and got to meet the designer. She was thrilled!

The Lorenzo Dress
Shortly after that, the girl discovered that the designer was launching her own line to be sold online. The girl was on pins and needles awaiting shots of the collection. When they were finally online a particular dress caught the girl's eye. This dress eventually became known as The Lorenzo Dress. The girl had to have this dress! But she knew there was no way she could possibly fit into something so tight and shapely. She felt at her size it would be a farce. So she vowed to get in shape and lose weight and fit in the Lorenzo Dress by New Year's Eve proudly! She even went to a trunk show for the designer and told her about her goal herself. The designer was very nice and said that the girl could fit into it anyway and didn't believe her when she said she was a size 18. With the help of her lovely blog readers that's exactly what she did.

In November of 2010, the girl finally decided to order the dress. It turned out that the designer seemed to have taken an interest in the girl's weight loss journey and offered to deliver the dress in person, knowing how special that would be for the girl. The girl agreed. She couldn't believe it - the designer was going to come to HER house! Alas, the New York Snowpocalypse of December 2010 occurred and the designer's luggage was lost by the TSA. That was ok because the girl had a birthday in a month! A perfect opportunity for as second chance!

But disaster struck again. UPS failed to deliver the dress several times over the next couple of weeks. In the end it went back to New York City. The girl began to get nervous, but the lovely designer assured her all would be ok.

The weeks went by and soon the girl's birthday arrived. The dress was being sent by FedEx and was slated for delivery by 4:30 pm on the day before her birthday. The dress did not arrive. The girl called FedEx and asked about the dress. All they knew was that it wasn't even in Ohio yet. Over Twitter, the designer gave the girl the tracking number. Armed with the tracking number the girl awoke early and checked the status... the dress had arrived in Ohio. Quickly she called FedEx. They said that all of the drivers had been dispatched for the day and her garment was not aboard a delivery truck. That was ok - the girl knew where to go to pick it up. Just as she was climbing out of the shower and getting ready to head to FedEx to pick up the dress in person, the door bell rang. The girl's mother, who was visiting from out of town, answered. It was the dress!!!

I stand triumphant!
You can see the color a little better without the flash.

Fashion Art from Althea!!!
The girl was so excited and happy she called the designer and left a ridiculously wacky message on her voice mail thanking her for the lovely package. Not only did the package contain the dress but it also contained a tank, a scarf, and an AWESOME sketch of a woman with medium length blondish brownish hair (not unlike the girl) wearing a dress (not unlike The Lorenzo) which she took to Michael's to get framed immediately.

And they all lived happily ever after! (not quite the end)

I chose this dress as a weight loss goal dress because it was fun, inventive, and unlike anything I've ever seen in a store. The second I saw images of it I knew it had to be mine and I would have to go through incredible lifestyle changes in order to feel like I could wear it. Thank you all for supporting me.

I would also like to thank Althea Harper for being patient with me and my obsession over this dress. I'd also like to commend myself on not getting angry over how long it took to get this dress. I'm not going to say I didn't have a couple of sleepless nights - I did. This is literally the second most expensive piece of clothing I own (the other being my wedding dress).  That made me really nervous! I don't spend this type of money on one item often unless it has electrical parts and is somehow integral to my everyday way of life. So yeah... I'll lay blame where it belongs for being late in the first place: with myself (for saying yes to the invitation from Althea) and the TSA (for losing Ms. Harper's luggage). The rest of it is just wacky stuff! But I doubt I'll ever see a designer take as much personal time and interest in a purchase of mine as Althea Harper did.

The Fit and the Tailoring
The fit of the dress is actually a little large in some areas (you'll notice the bumps on the side seams). Althea advised me to get it taken to a tailor and to have them take it in from the patterned work, not the black, because that will allow the design to stand out. Or, if I get lucky and am in the New York area, she can take it in. Also, the finishing was a little off. There are some things that seam a little questionable, like the brand label falling off. There are places where I think the seams could have laid a little more smoothly.

Was it Worth It?
I spent a lot of time and money losing 45 lbs (ish) to get into this dress. I also paid close to $375 for the dress itself. Overall, I'm not sure I think the dress itself was really worth the price.  That being said, I think the story and experience is absolutely worth all of this!

Will I Purchase From Althea Harper Again?
I will purchase from Althea again in the future. After all, Harmonics is on the horizon, and I intend on getting several pieces! And of course, Fall 2011 will be debuting in a couple of weeks. Who knows what the future holds, but my closet will hold several more Althea Harper items! And if the same thing happens a second time... well I'll be prepared for it, right?

Thank you all for supporting me in my weight loss and reading this enormous post.  I would not be wearing this dress if it weren't for you!