Monday, January 28, 2008

sottero and midgley

for all of you keeping up with my gown play by play, i'd hoped to perhaps venture downtown today for my day off to get the last three great stores in the area over and done with....but we got a fresh blanket of snow this morning.
being a person from the westcoast, snow is scary, and this has kept me from jumping into my car truck (yes, my daily commuter vehicle it is a V6 pickup, a 4x4 no less) and braving the 520 across lake washington. this is a phenomenon only experienced by people in Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA, as people who've relocated from back east to these regions think we've got four heads coming JSM1122-CSout of our shoulders when we fret about 2 inches of snow. the fear of the 520 in bad weather conditions, though, is a legitimate fear i believe, since the waves can come up and over the edge on stormy days.

so today i've cozied up in some sweats and discovered some e-candy from sotteroandmidgley - who knew there was more great maggie goodness out there (well, i didn't)! this little image on the right did not have a corresponding large image on the site, but i love the concept of sleeves. why are sleeves so rare! and why are the two boleros that each store seems to carry so hideous looking? many a store has told me a seamstress can easily make tulle sleeves and tulle boleros but i'm a little hesitant.

i love this sweet little number (oh how i'd love to pull off pale pink on my wedding day). i can't decide if i like this one better than vernice, and then again, there was that pink madina vadache...:

these two dresses remind me of melissa sweet (although it could just be the effect the sashes have on me since so few of maggie's are featured with sashes):

i like the concept of this dress but a) the lace is too dense in the ovary-area and should just be limited to the bustline and the bottom, and b) i think the train should be either made entirely of the chunky tulle.

hello cinderella dress! this color is called oceana. i love it!

shag rugs!

velocity-areawarethis song bird self portrait mirror is very tempting, especially at the palatable $44 sale price tag. the mirror with a perma-mustache is pretty fun, too. wow, i had no idea velocity was a store in seattle!

here is a new zealand felted pebble wool rug that i am in love with. it's marginally on sale, but is it worth the price? rugs in general aren't cheap, as andrew says. i saw it at a store a few doors down from design within reach in downtown kirkland, but i'm entirely unable to google its name. the photos don't do this justice, it's so unique!


why doesn't ikea have these great contemporary shag rugs?

leather shag rug

another venture into home decor

another venture into home decor...or perhaps it's a really great way to procrastinate about the wedding, avoiding the urgent topic at hand just like i avoided studying for my US pharmacy boards for an entire month by asphyxiating myself with a one-thousand-some-odd-piece puzzle.

i have a problem, and i truly think it due to a highly overdevoloped area of my brain, namely, the right side (the one responsible for drawing, photography, dance, messiness etc etc). what little left brain i have was only given mathematical powers and i am saliently lacking in any sense of the words "organization" and "memory." i have problems organizing and disposing of my own things. ie i'm a pack rat? it's to the point where i almost don't want to acquire anything else that doesn't serve some useful function or have true aesthetic appeal to me. junk mail used to be easy to toss out, but after moving into a new house, companies send us glossy home decor catalogues, sometimes biweekly. at first the stores were far and removed from seattle with astronomical prices. but lately they've been getting a lot better. tossing these magazines has become an issue, and i don't want to fuss with saving the images i like. so here we go:

The Board ™ Home Design Planners - i thought this magnetic kit was super cute for planning the layout and furniture for a new house.

in no particular order: sakura rug, arcadian rug, courtship rug, ginko rug

map chests

fenton chair, $399

rattan and wood divider, $129-199. we have 3 sets of french doors in the house. i think drilling blinds into the downstairs ones is tacky and takes away from them, and the basement doesn't quite suit curtains for the i was considering buying a room divider - this one is so unbelieably affordable and much more classy than the shoji divider that i once thought was my only option.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

this one's for all the marbles....

okay ladies. so everyone with august weddings, i hope you've already put your orders in for your dresses, because i certainly haven't. i feel like perhaps i'm one of the few bees that doesn't have her act together (although what bride really does) - i'd love to be one of the bees that blogs retroactively, calmly outlining the details of events past, like fiascos that happened several months previous that can be uttered only now because it's taken this long to get over them emotionally. i'm not quite in panic mode yet, but i could definitely use some direction.
that montage makes me look like a bit of a freak, and there's a whole lot more than 26 dresses there. perhaps the scariest thing is not that there were 3 or 4 more stores that didn't allow me to take any photos, but that most of these were taken in the past 10 days!

so i've been waffling between two dresses i'd seen at the first two stores i ever visited, way back in may. did i just say may? yep. okay so there's been quite the lazy lull in the interim, my own proverbial 400 years of silence, if you will, and i've been mixing it up this past week, desperately trying to find what everyone calls "the one," all the while each salesgirl's voice is ringing in my head: place your order by this weekend. so that's why this post is for all the marbles. help me pick! (side note, i haven't yet had a chance to visit cicada, luly yang, or marcella's in downtown seattle....should i?). at every store, the saleslady waits eagerly for that moment, the moment where i "light up" upon gazing upon myself in that perfect dress. but it hasn't happened, and i never anticipated it would. they all naysayed that attitude, saying it would indeed happen, but perhaps one particularly coiffed salesgirl said it best the other day: "maybe it won't be that way for you. maybe it'll be one that you'll think about for a while and come back to." this was also the girl, who, after 2 hours with me, articulated, quite frankly, "i'm not trying to sound like a bitch {when does prefacing your rant with that ever make things better?!}, but i really think your needs would be best met by a seamstress custom designing you a dress. you've said you've tried on a large number of dresses and you haven't found anything you liked. you know you like silk charmeuse, you know you like the mermaid silhouette, you know you like a sweet-heart neckline..." she went on for a good 2 minutes, making me feel hot in the face like i was an insecure brigette jones and was wasting her time. but i give her credit, because she's one of the rare types i've met who is truly in tune with her brides' body shapes and tastes and can aptly anticipate what will and what won't look good, and what they will and will not like without having them get squeeze into layers of crinolin and tulle in dress after dress after dress.

so i have the top two. and i don't have photos of me in them. which is perhaps a good thing considering i don't know how widespread my blog has become in terms of wedding guests. as a side note, did you guys know that the maggie sottero website showcases photos of real brides in almost all the dresses? i think that's brilliant. who cares that it lacks the java script coding to zoom in to 800%, i get to see real brides with real bodies, and in natural light!

this here is the closest dress i could find to my favorite at i do bridal in the wallingford area of seattle. it's a maggie sottero in the $900 range. it's very similar to this, except the lace is scalloped and there is no beading. it shares the straight across the top tube top look, and although i like sweetheart, this particular dress makes my shoulders look really great.
meet libby:

and here is the other top contender, birnbaum and bullock's hallie - okay the angle is hideous and does the dress absolutely no justice:
it's more like "nadine" on the right here, minus the flowers:

but now look i've found a maggie equivalent, "erin," and it even laces up the back! booya, birnbaum&bullock!
but then again i would never order a dress like this without being able to try it on, because i've tried on the slinky nicole miller dresses you'll all know from magazine ads and they droop terribly on me and kill any silhouette you thought i might have had. jenn i'm sure you remember those ones from west van.

maggie's cassady:

i think i like the cassady better than the allison marie i tried on (here in gold with a strange floral shawl):

and don't forget our $330 winner from before, here in white. i'm tempted to jump on this, except i was hoping it would come in ivory

perhaps the most suprising dress i viewed on the maggie website was the vernice dress. i was a little put off by how obnoxiously large the bust area was on me (the sample was a size 12 or 14 no doubt), but perhaps in a 0 the designer adjusts for the neckline/bustline, too?:


can we say, all your base are belong to us? check out the "engrish" skills of this ebay seller, where you can apparently get this jim hjelm dress that i tried on last week for one cent, plus a pretty penny for shipping. for a eighty-some-odd dollar investment and a one week turnaround time, i'm almost tempted just to order this dress just for the heck of it...a) i'm sure it would make great blogging material b) maybe it would be decent enough quality to wear for a trash the dress?

but seriously, has anyone out there purchased any made-to-order ebay dresses from china? share you photos, share your horror stories, or maybe someone out there has had some luck?

mod blobs and more

macystwiggyi feel like i've finally narrowed it down to a couple dresses, but the sad part is that they really don't match the birdcage veil thing i really wanted to do. can't i just get this cute little number and call it a day? so what's a girl to do? put off the decision by burying herself in this season's department store dresses. i love love love these two below, and the left one would make for a fabulous send-off type ensemble:
but hello mod bridesmaid options!
these are super cute but i wish they weren't babydoll length:

some dresses with more of a bridesmaidy feel:

almost all these images are from nordstrom, which seemed to beat out macys in the dress department this round, but here's a few picks from

Friday, January 25, 2008

pick your choose

i'm having a bit of a love affair and her name is madina vadache. from russia seattle, with love. this russian-born local designer uses the lightest silk fabrics to create simple silhouettes, and i love the unexpected use of lace in a lot of her pieces. not only that, but she's very flexible and can customize a lot of her pieces. want that a-line made into a mermaid? sure thing!

the turquoise silk sash i added to the dress is the most unbelievably rich color i have ever seen.

her work is carried at voletta in seattle and bellevue, wa, as well as la belle reve, a relatively new salon in bellevue run by some lovely russian ladies where i tried on all these dresses yesterday and my consultant happily helped me take photos (bonus!). i had so many photos of my bridesmaids trying on dresses that i was worried the bees would think i was my MOH, but lately i've managed to either find shops that allow photography, or have a bridal consultant that was so preoccupied with something else she'd leave me alone, clamped helplessly into a dress for 5 minutes at a time. i'm hoping my posts serve as a window into what dress shopping is like for those of you who haven't made appointments for the adventure yet. i need to write a post entirely devoted to "prepping for a day of bridal dresses," because i inhumanly squeeze two, sometimes, three stores into one day (which is strongly advised against by most brides because it gets exhausting). but i'll leave that for another post.

something about this one makes it my favorite. number one, it's a pink. number two, i love what's going on with the shoulder! DSC06394
number three: look at that back!

while i admit that this dress didn't look all that flattering on me - i love the concept! yay for cap sleeves and soft lace!

here's another clean silhouette:


and here are some of these dresses on women that are 6 feet tall so you can at least compare the look to real life:

i first fell in love with madina vidache at that salon in west van, that one that never told me the names of the designers i tried on *grumble grumble*. the owner also made a comment about my beautiful MOH's weight - which is ridiculous since she fit into every dress they had beautifully and well-without a tummy or anything else unsightly showing through. and then she had the audacity to make a comment about my weight. never piss off a bride that is looking at your $10,000+ dresses after you've already dissed her best friend.

back to ms. vidache. i later discovered it was her that created the gorgeously unique dress i'd tried on at that salon when stumbling upon some photos at chris+lynn, vancouver photographers.

here's another favorite of mine, i'm sorry i don't remember the designer.


and a crazy pronovias dress that basically filled up the entire dressing room it was so astronomically huge and glorious. i think i've seen it in ads. i'm super short (5'2"), so i outlawed ballroom gowns a long time ago, but if i were the height i was standing on the pedestal, this dress would be so stunning! it reminds me of the st. pucchi dress from a previous post, which coincidentally also happens to be that same blush bridal post!