Thursday, March 01, 2012

This Close to Paradise

Birds of Paradise are amazing flowers.
 It is a 10 hour drive from my house to the pretty side of Los Angeles, that part that goes no further 'cause it butts up against a sapphire blue ocean. And, all along the way you feel the air get warmer, the scenery turn greener, seasons morph from the dead of winter into a lively, summer day.

Imagine a gardening world where you can't keep these in check.
Flowers, sunshine, no jackets needed. Why, oh why, don't I live out here?? We had one long, lovely weekend to soak it all in before heading back to Siberia.

We took this road trip 'cause I did the coolest thing last week. Muscled my way into a Vera Wang [sold out] Wedding Dress trunk show ~ for my darling daughter. (Doesn't she look stunning?)

I know nothing about designer labels. Though I did think it was a little odd that (before hand) they refused to tell me how much these gowns cost...

And, even odder that they handed us champagne at 10 o'clock in the morning.

But, hey, I'm a pretzel. I can bend. Plus, I wasn't feeling too out of my element since the second I got us an appointment at this trunk show, I bee-lined it to the Anne Taylor outlet store, hoping to find an acceptable outfit that wouldn't instantly label me as a country hick.

I'm not fancy, I explained to the gals working there.  I lied my way into this trunk show and now I need to fit the part.

They kindly looked over all my clothing choices, of black, grey, more black and promptly put them back on the rack.

Then they ushered me into the dressing room to try on outrageously colorful stuff that made me shudder. I modeled the outfits while they ooh'd and aah'd. “This looks like LA,” they finally said. Delighted with my makeover.

Which got me wondering about me as the person vs. me as the gardener. 'The Staff' outfitted me in colorful, floral tops and bright, turquoise sweaters (apparently it makes my eyes pop.) That's nothing compared to the pink and orange gardens that blind my neighbors.

I guess, as a person, I'm more comfortable blending into the wallpaper. Though I'd like my flowers to boldly stand up and say howdy.

* At the end of the trunk show, they wrote down on a business card the price of those dresses and slid it over to me. It felt dirty. Like I was in a Sopranos scene without the pasta. The cheapest was $5,000, the most was $8,000 and I know we could sew them for 2. (The only reason I'm mentioning prices is because I met a number of other Moms via blogs in the same situation. So, now we know. Gorgeous gowns. But, very spendy.)

But, I'm also wondering about dying fabric. Have you ever done so? The new look this year is 'nude' ~ how hard would it be to purchase a white dress and dye it in her favorite color?

Where there's a will, there's a way, and I know we can make this work.


jan said...

She looks gorgeous - your best ever flower!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a beauty. Your daughter would look beautiful in a burlap bag dress.

Rose said...

What fun, Kate! I'm sure your daughter loved it and loved you for giving her this experience. She looks beautiful, by the way. Even if you came away empty-handed (and at those prices I'm not surprised!), this will be one of those times the two of you will long remember.

Oh how I can relate to you, Kate--I put on my most stylish outfit the first time I visited Daughter in Phoenix so I wouldn't look like a "country hick" in Nordstrom's:)

When is the wedding?

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey, Jan!
How are you??? Thanks so much for stopping by. I've been very negligent in visiting blogs. I need to get in gear and check up on and your sister. Hope all is well. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Lisa, dear, you are onto something!

A burlap bad we could easily afford.. ;>)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rose;
The wedding is 9/29, so we need to get our head out of the clouds and find a gorgeous dress that doesn't require a second mortgage. :))

But, it was so much fun. And, such a delight getting out of the snow and cold for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! on those prices. But, knowing my lazy self, I'd probably pay up in order to avoid the sewing machine. They're lovely, though...

Janie said...

Your daughter looks beautiful in the gowns, but I suspect she'd look beautiful in any gown. No doubt it was fun to be there with the elitest of the elite.
Wow, those are pricey. When my daughter married, we managed to squeak by in a $500 dress.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Patricia;
A fellow blogger found a wedding dress seamstress for us. I was sort of hoping we could get her to re-create one of these hellishly expensive designs.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Janie;
We're leaning toward that number, as well. :D

Lona said...

She looks beautiful in the dresses. The first one is so gorgeous. Girl I would have probably hyperventilated when they showed me the prices. LOL!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey, Lona;
Yes, stunning gowns. I waited until I was back out on the street to have my heart attack... ;)

Unknown said...

I agree, your daughter is just gorgeous! No pictures of you in your florals and turquoise, though?! ;-)

I'm getting married 8/4, and bought my dress (a Tadashi Shoji lacy overlay dress) at Nordstrom for $388. I see that they have a Vera Wang Lavender label that's much simpler than the dresses she tried on for $550... and a few really pretty layered Theia and other brand name dresses in the under-$2k range right now.

If you don't have one with a Wedding Suite near you, but are tempted by a dress, they do have free shipping and free returns. I actually did that with one dress before I bought this one... would recommend reading the reviews and/or calling them for sizing, though. One Tadashi Shoji dress I tried fit perfectly at a size 4... and that (really sexy, but too formal for my wedding) Nicole Miller pintucked strapless dress was form-fitting in a 12. Makes shopping all the more fun, doesn't it?! :-P

Unknown said...

Oh, also... I remembered seeing some Vera Wang bridesmaid dresses at David's Bridal, so I checked their site for Vera Wang bridal gowns, too. They do have a VW line that they call the "White Label"!!!

There's a fit and flare organza dress that's very similar to the ones she was trying on, and it comes in blush, ivory and white. (Two, actually, but one of them is a one-shoulder version.) I'm guessing that the material and workmanship may not be quite as good as the trunk show couture quality, but for $1248 vs the $5-8k, it might be worth a look. You can see them all here:

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...


Are we invited to your wedding? I certainly hope all your bloggy friends are positioned at the first table. Seriously, though, these are GREAT TIPS! We should have flown you out to LA to help us get a handle on things.

Now, I do need a few details (e-me plz) 'cause I'd like to send you one awesome pile o' flowers to do with as you wish.



sweetbay said...

What a fun trip! I figured those gowns would cost even more than that. They are gorgeous and your daughter looks beautiful in them.

Marguerite said...

My word that third dress is outrageous, think I'm in love with it. I could never step foot in a place like that because despite the fact that I couldn't afford anything I wouldn't be able to walk away without buying a dress anyway.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey, Sweet Bay!
Will you be at the bloggers' fling in North Carolina? I hope so! :))

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

That was my favorite, too, Marguerite. That billowy skirt is so lovely...