Yes, I found it! "The Dress" for the Romance Writers of America RITA awards ceremony in Reno on July 30. For those of you who have never attended, the Golden Heart and RITA awards ceremony is very gala, very glitzy, very "Oscar-ish", and a Very Big Deal, with about 2,500 to 3,000 people in attendance. Since I was fortunate enough to have SHADOW FIRES nominated for a RITA in best paranormal romance, this means I must have "The Dress" to wear for the ceremony. I approached the shopping process with both anticipation (shopping—oh, boy!) and dread (mirrors in dressing rooms—arrrgh!) I also expected it to be a long, arduous process, which is why I started early in July. My 19-year-old daughter, Deborah, went with me, and we headed for Special Occasion Dresses in Dallas. It's a step above outlet evening wear, but a step below some of the Bridal/Formal shops and other high-end women's formal gowns stores.
I tried to look at something other than black—I really did. But not only is black a fabulous color for me, this year's top fashion colors appear to be a stunning gold, or beige, or a combination of colors over beige—all of which make me look washed out and half dead. I tried on some black and hot pink combinations, navy blue, aqua, eyed some red (not much selection and more of an orange red), and came back to the black gowns again and again. Deborah and saleslady Sue and I lugged armloads of gowns to the dressing room, staggering under the weight. Then I discovered I couldn’t zip any of them myself, so Deb helped with that. I also discovered that I couldn’t wear anything with a straight skirt, and had to pull every dress over my head (darn hips!). After two hours of struggling into and out of dresses, and parading them for the entire store (no mirrors in the actual dressing rooms), we had it down to three dresses—all black, and all gorgeous. I didn’t want to choose, but had to turn down Sue’s polite suggestion that I buy *all* three dresses.
We started a judging panel consisting of saleslady Sue, another saleslady, seamstress Keve, Deborah, and a friendly customer. They all sat in chairs lined up in front of the mirrored staging area, and cheered on their favorites as I modeled them (I really expected them to hold up cards with their vote—LOL). I was afraid the vote would be split, but after the modeling and much discussion, we all actually *agreed* on “The Dress” (whew!).
It’s an XSCAPE dress by Joanna Chen (have no clue here), and has a layer of black chiffon over solid black fabric. It has beaded spaghetti straps, a cowl-draped neckline (chiffon shot through with jet beads and sequins in a white flower pattern). The jet and sequined flowers sweep down one side of the dress, which is form fitting to the knees, then flares out to a flounce that goes to the floor. Right above the flare is more extensive beading and sequins. It’s a girly-girl, fairy tale dress with attitude! I’m delighted with it, was amazed to find it at the first place we went, and it was even on sale (although that only dropped it into the “non-fainting” price range). With the unanimous vote, the sale price, and my infatuation with the dress, I took everything as a sign that I’d found “The Dress” and purchased it.
So whether or not I’m graced with the RITA award on July 30, I’ll look pretty darned good—and no matter what happens, I get to keep the dress!
I’ll be sure and take pictures so you can see it. Until then, I’ll be practicing how to walk in it without tripping, and reminding myself to “suck it in”.
Everyone have a great weekend!