If you’ve ever watched ‘Project Runway’ you will know that the most biting criticism Michael Kors can make of a design is that it’s ‘sooooo Mother of the Bride.’
Being Mother of the Bride entails almost as much beauty and dress consideration as that of the bride—there’s the same rush to lose weight or keep weight down, the same discussions with a hairdresser and/or make-up artist, and the same madness concerning what-to-wear, only there’s no bridal salon to help.
I lost some weight, but not much. Medication for AFib and blood pressure has got my metabolism going backwards while age has got my flesh sagging southwards. I envisage myself looking one way and find something totally different in the mirror, much to my disgust. With time at a premium, dress after dress arrived from every department store imaginable and was just as swiftly returned to them, with such speed it sent my credit card swirling.
A visit to Saks found me the most gorgeous
dress in which I felt like a princess, looked like a million, and fainted
at the $8,000 price tag. An overconfident salesperson? What would I be
paying for? It was just a floor-length,
shirt-waist dress that the designer had
manufactured in a rather nice silk.
|The $8,000 dress I WON'T be wearing!|
Cristal and I set aside another evening, after she got off work, to go look again, this time starting at Bergdorf’s. It was a disaster. While a dear friend had suggested I book personal shopping, personal shopping had lost my booking and handed me over to a gentleman salesperson who knew nothing about me, despite the lengthy info sheet I had completed. After trying several dresses, we headed off to what we believed was our last chance, a small boutique specializing in evening wear.
Nothing appeals to me much less than pulling off layer upon layer of winter clothing to slip into the silken folds of some evening dress that makes me look like Miss Piggy the day she danced with Nureyev, even if the dress was designed by the same Italian who did my daughter’s beautiful wedding gown. After about four dresses were discarded and handed out through the curtain to our nervous salesperson, I finally slipped on a dark blue dress, off the shoulder, with a low back, and very slimming. Cristal zipped up the back. Bingo! I looked fantastic. I stepped out of the dressing room—and was told the dress was on backwards. A wraparound belt hides the front zip. Wonderful! What better! It will save me the indignity of having to ask the doorman to unzip my dress in the back at two o’clock in the morning. No, it isn’t off the shoulder nor low in the back, but the cowl collar suits me and I was set to go. And it sure as heck didn’t cost Eight Grand.
While my daughter has been a major domo, working to both save the world and save the wedding, I’ve stood by aghast at the ideas that have flowed past me. Place settings, transportation up to the Botanical Gardens where the wedding is being held, a bilingual website with all the information and for easy R.S.V.P.ing, gift bags, ballet shoes so the ladies can kick off their heels to dance, hairdresser, and make-up. And spray tan.
What a super idea. I have such white, pasty skin I was immediately game for this innovation. My niece did this prior to her wedding and looked fabulous—immaculate. We decided both Cristal and I would go for a trial run at the same place as my niece. I tell you now I have never before had spray tan. I had used tanning beds ages ago before beach holidays, but never had the color sprayed onto me. I may have even tried the stuff that comes out of a bottle and leaves your bathroom a wreck but spray tan, not on your nelly.
Let me sum it up by saying nothing is more humiliating than standing stark naked except for a paper diaper and a plastic shower cap while some stranger sprays what looks like liquid poo-poo at you.
Still, the only disaster thus far in the proceedings is that Cristal’s hairdresser has family problems and won’t be able to do her hair. He is, however, training a replacement. If that’s all that goes wrong. . . .
And should Carolina Herrera wish to make a donation of her evening dress, she can find me at http://andreadowning.com