Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Choose My Dress Part 2 or the Tale of Two Dresses

So,I've bumped this week's booktalk for more important things...my dress to the Newbery Banquet! ha ha. But I now have TWO dresses in my hot hands to decide between. 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, "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 Newbery 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!

42 comments:

Nature's Architect said...

I definitely vote for the Anthropologie dress. It is elegant and looks lovely on you. Plus you had your heart set on it. What are the odds that you would find one? Perhaps destiny...That being said, the pink Chinese dress is very pretty as well and a great color on you. You could wear that for sentimental reasons...Nah, I still vote for the Anthropologie dress.

Rachel said...

Such a tough choice-they're both marvelous & look great on you! The Anthropologie dress has a distinct elegance, but I do really like the vivacity of the pink one & the bird design speaks to me! Do you have shoes that go with one or the other? Which one makes you feel the most fabulous-maybe that's the way to decide?

S said...

I like both of them. But for the evening newbery banquet, I vote for the Anthro dress. Maybe you can wear the pink one when you're signing at the exhibits? It's not only very pretty but also looks very comfy. I hope to see you at ALA! Congratulations!

alice said...

I vote for the Antrhopologie dress too. Can the alterations be reversed though so that your friend can wear it again? Congrats...I buy your books as gifts all the time for the little girls in our lives! Alice

mommysweeps said...

if it's an evening banquet, i think dress number 2 is more sophisticated..
I like the suggestion of someone else, to wear the pink one if you have a day event/ signing at ala..
the pink is a gorgeous color, I just think dress 2 is better for a night event...

MotherReader said...

No doubt in my mind- the Anthropologie dress. You've looked for it for too long, and it was amazing that you found it. And with a supportive friend, no less. It was meant to be. And you look lovely in it, my dear.

pumpkingrrl said...

I vote for dress #2. I like the way the dress looks on you, and seems more appropriate for your affair. #1 is nice, too, but seems more old-school.

Pamela said...

The Painted Lotus has my vote. There are so many new-fangled bras that will keep the banquet g-rated but it would certainly keep the event lively otherwise ;)
While the pink dress is beautiful & your story gave me goosebumps, there will be many more occassions to celebrate!
Congratulations, again!

Kiy said...

Love them both, but I too vote for #2. While I love the fabric of dress #1 I am not thrilled with the cut. Dress #2 adds that touch of class and 'an evening out', dress #1 seems fine for a day outing. Although, really reworked, it could be awesome. But for this, I really would go with dress #2 - you look wonderful it in !

Barbara O'Connor said...

No question about it. #2. It was in the stars.

Joan said...

I asked my fashionista eight-year-olds - Janie & Suzie said that for themselves, they would want the pink dress, but on you the strapless dress is "so super awesome!" They said it looks more like you should win something wearing it. Congratulations and they are both spectacular!

Katy said...

I'm going to have to cast my vote with what is appearing to be the majority. The Anthropologie dress is perfect on you.

Ronda said...

I think you should wear dress #2 - the hard-won Anthropologie dress!! This is obviously a dress you wanted very badly and put a lot of effort into finding - even if you did end up finding it by accident!! Take it to the tailor now!! Enjoy your night!!

Linda said...

The bright pink looks so good with your dark hair and coloring.

I vote for number 1......even tho they both look good and are perfect for the occasion.

Maria Mercado said...

Anthropologie dress for sure. It looks better on you, though both are beautiful.

Redwinechick said...

I have to agree with the masses. Both dresses are lovely, but the Anthro dress is elegant and more suitable for the occasion. There must be some reason you found it (or it found you!).

jwstudio said...

Voting for dress #2...its perfect! Hoping to run into you at ALA. Good luck and have a terrific time at the dinner!

Joan

betsy said...

Definitely the Anthro dress. It is gorgeous, Grace, and you just sparkle in it!

Nicole Tadgell said...

The Anthroplogie dress! How about shoes? Jewelry? Hair? :)

So happy for you!!

jpetroroy said...

Go with Dress 2. It's your dream dress and perfect for a dream night. Don't settle for less!

Linda V said...

I have to vote for #2-even before I read all the other comments. Both dresses are beautiful, but the Anthropologie dress just looks like the one for an evening evening event and you look stunning wearing it. Any time a string of events work liked they did to really bring the dress to you, it was meant to be-don't fight it!

Amy said...

I vote for the Lotus dress too. It really looks stunning on you. I tried to come up with a reason that I didn't like the pink one and was having trouble, but the other commenter, Kiy, had it. It's the cut. Something about the cut of Dress 1 makes it not right for the banquet. I would go with #2.

Ruth said...

Absolutely dress #2 - such a beautiful dress & you look absolutely stunning in it!

kirst68hk said...

Your date with Destiny wins!

purple glasses club said...

#2 hands down. I agree with the others who said that #2 for the awards banquet and #1 for a more casual occasion.

BTW, I like your new hairstyle too.

karensbooksandchocolate said...

I vote for Dress #2. They're both beautiful but I can understand why you searched long and hard for the Anthropologie dress. I would too if it weren't too late. . . and I'm definitely not a size 0!!!

cxjcarey said...

#2--less sundress-y. Both beautiful, but #2 for sure. Have fun!

Mama to Mia said...

Our fancy and fashion forward four year old, Amelia MeiYun, says, "Tell Gwace to wear de pink one. Pink is for pwincesses." I second her vote. With the proper alternations, undergarments, and glammed up makeup, you'll be the belle of the ball. The color is beautiful on you and the embroidery is so distinctive and unique. Best wishes--have fun!

Love,

Lynne and Amelia
Oregon

Patty said...

How fun... #2

Creative Minds Wanda Ng said...

Dress #2. It just looks right for you.

reg said...

Definitely Dress 2 -- it's absolutely gorgeous and actually evokes the book a bit for me (which Dress 1 does not). Wish I could ask my students but we're out already for the summer.

Michelle Henninger said...

Going against the grain, personally, I think the pink one is stunning, and there seems to be some cosmic meaning to the fact that you bought it, tried to get rid of it, but it found you once more. With a little alteration, it seems to me the perfect dress for the Newberry!

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Chiming in with yet another vote for Number 2. You're smiling more in the picture! Congratulations again, by the way--we loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (all of your books, really. I need to write a proper note to you about them!).

anne said...

I would say dress number 2. Really lovely :)

Mary Beth said...

2nd dress!!!

Marjorie said...

I go with #2 too - both dresses are wrapped up in friendship and have special stories attached to them but the Pianted Lotus has a quest story to it, like Where the Mountain.... And surely the tailor will be able to work magic enough to mean any alterations can be undone before the dress flies back Cinderella-style to whence it came!

egirlsmama said...

I also vote for #2. I think the black lends it an elegance for evening. Both are beautiful... And what great stories.

lelapinamoureux said...

vote for #2 because of the confidence and thrill you show when wearing it.

Ladybugs' Mom said...

No Doubt! #2!!

Allison said...

Dress #2 is PERFECT! It looks stunning on you, and suits the formality of the banquet. What a find! You will be fabulous.

Dave said...

I like both, but I kind of like number 2 better because it dos'nt have straps, Leah Whalen 6 years old.

Quon_mom said...

I know you've probably figured out the dress dilemma by now. But in case you want to buy the dress after wearing the loaner....!

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Anthropologie-Moulinette-Soeurs-Painted-Lotus-Dress-12-/130404596308?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_CSA_WC_Dresses&hash=item1e5cb83a54#ht_500wt_1154