November 16, 2013

As Seen On TV: Diane Von Furstenberg Carpreena Dégradé Woven Twill Mini Dress Edition

This is the story about a girl named Lucky.

I get most of my fashion inspiration from TV and the internet. It used to be TV almost exclusively because I was 16 at the time when Gossip Girl premiered. I was in love with Gossip Girl. Without a shred of irony, I feel that season 1 of Gossip Girl was good television. It was smart and filled with complex, three dimensional characters who you could relate to even though they were also wearing Balenciaga blazers just casually to school. It got aggressively terrible almost immediately when season 2 began but Gossip Girl was still pretty much the pinnacle of a television/fashion crossover. Remember wishing your school had uniforms so that you could pair a plaid skirt with a Nanette Lepore cardigan and not look like a try hard? Remember headbands? Everyone was wearing headbands in 2008 because everyone wanted to be Blair Waldorf (which was great for me because I'm a bitch myself and I was growing out some pretty hideous bangs at the time). I remember specific outfits from Gossip Girl and I'm sure other people do to. There was a pretty big sect of LiveJournal devoted to IDing all of Jenny's hats and Blair's headbands and coats and Serena's dresses so that you could buy them for yourself. I remember watching Gossip Girl and drooling over some of the clothes, frantically looking them up online and just staring at them longingly because I was a fat 16-year-old who couldn't afford or fit into Marc Jacobs dresses, no matter how discounted they were.

This is the dress I wanted more than anything else on the show - the Marc by Marc Jacobs Dita lace dress. The name itself is ingrained in my head, even though I never owned it, just because I wanted it so badly. I'm almost positive that it sold out immediately after it was worn on the show and ended up being one of THE pieces from Gossip Girl that you couldn't find anywhere because everybody wanted it. I had so many of those kind of moments while watching Gossip Girl and then just didn't anymore. I didn't have one of those "I NEED THAT!" visceral moments about an outfit I saw on TV up until 2 months ago. That moment was over the Diane Von Furstenberg Carpreena Dégradé Woven Twill Mini Dress. In what was nothing short of a miracle, I purchased that very dress today.

This purchase was truly, truly miraculous. It was a stroke of luck, the likes of which I never, ever have. I cannot emphasis this enough. I did not intend to shop today. I had a normal, run of the mill Friday and I was on my way home, a bit earlier than usual.

I take two buses home everyday because my apartment is in the boonies of DC. For the first leg of my trip I can take one of two buses depending on which one can pick me up first. One goes to my metro stop and the other goes to one of my favorite DC shopping areas. Usually, I browse some stores if I take the second bus option. I wasn't really in the mood for that today so I was cool with it when I saw the metro stop bus was arriving in a couple minutes. I arrived at my destination and checked out the schedules for my second bus - it would be 30+ minute wait for any of the 5+ buses that drop me off at or around my apartment. Nothing in the area was worth wasting my time, it's getting too cold to wait outside for any more than 5 minutes and there were literally FOUR buses waiting in a row to go in the opposite direction towards my favorite shopping area. Like, okay, don't twist my arm, I'll go shopping. I mean, I could wait at a bus stop in the dark and the cold or I could just walk onto one of four buses and walk around one of my favorite stores for a half hour until I could grab a bus home. Obvious choice. Even THEN, I was still feeling pretty meh about shopping. I'm planning on taking a day next weekend to shop the very same area. I didn't need anything. I figured I'd just get a leg up on Christmas shopping at Nordstrom Rack. Literally, in my brain I'm going, "Okay, I'll just browse for 20 minutes and maybe there will be something my sister or my boyfriend's mom would like." I was not even thinking about shopping for myself and I almost didn't even go to Nordstrom Rack. There are literally 8 other stores within this one city block that are all time, desert island favorites of mine. I almost went to Loehmann's instead because I've never been there, even once, and I've been kind of looking at it every time I'm in the area and thinking about going in. BUT, somehow, guided by a higher power almost, I went to Nordstrom Rack.

I'm adding all these seemingly superfluous details because I really want to emphasis how much I wasn't supposed to be there today. I was on an early bus home, a bus going in the opposite direction and just ended up at Nordstrom Rack anyway AND at Nordstrom Rack rather than 8 other stores I easily could have chosen AND without any intention to shop. I'm not even supposed to be here today.

So, I go into Nordstrom Rack. Not intending to shop. Don't even set foot in the women's clothing section. I'm certainly not planning to dig through the racks. I rarely even do that as is. I look through the clothing racks probably 10% of the time I go to Nordstrom Rack and I never spend more than 5 minutes doing it. I'm just always looking in virtually any other section - shoes, bags, home goods, jewelry, pajamas, coats, the fucking baby section - you name it, I am there and not in the women's clothes. I hate shopping for clothes and buy almost everything I own from Forever 21's website or J Crew. I don't like to paw through racks of random clothing at Nordstrom Rack hoping to find something to fit my distorted body. So, today, a day when I am not intending on buying anything for myself? I just walked around the perimeter of the women's section. Just a brisk walk AROUND the women's clothes, on my way to the kid's department so I can do some Christmas shopping. That is when I saw this dress.

Flashback to the end of September: the show formerly known as Dexter was having its series finale. Don't even talk to me about the Dexter series finale. It was awful in so many ways. Dexter was unsalvagable since the season 4 finale. I was barely paying attention during the series finale. All that I was doing was making rude comments and pretty much leering at this dress that Yvonne Strahovski was wearing.

DEXTER SPOILER: First of all, I just have to comment that I have fuck all clue as to why they put her character in a bright, sherbert, ombre shift dress when she's supposed to be a wanted fugitive. I'd be in a gray t shirt from the Gap or something with a Tampa Bay baseball cap over my box dyed hair and the biggest sunglasses you've ever seen on my face. You're hot as fuck, Hannah, you'd have to work about TWICE AS HARD to blend in as is. My boyfriend was really trying with the finale and wanted to like it but even he was like, "WHY THE FUCK WOULD SHE BE WEARING SOMETHING LIKE THAT??" when he saw this dress. Like, yeah, let me throw on a white shift dress to wear while I both care for a kid and try to evade the authorities, that is definitely the most appropriate outfit I could wear for this kind of life event. Whatever, this show defied logic more in that last season than Game of Thrones does on a regular basis. I literally nod my head and say, "Okay, that makes sense" to dragons and ice zombies than I do to anything that happened after Rita's death on Dexter. END SPOILERS.

I basically shit myself over this dress. I have been loving shift dresses lately and I had never seen an ombre one, let alone a pink ombre one. I said outloud to my boyfriend that I loved that dress and immediately went to my computer to try and ID it. I haven't done that in years. It has been such a long, long time since I saw something on TV and just zoned in on it and yearned for it. I managed to find it online after a few days and knew it was hopeless when I saw that it was Diane Von Furstenberg. No, sorry, don't have $500 to spend on a dress. Not now, not ever. I think the bag she was carrying with it was Target brand so I just kind of frowned at the injustice of it all. Like, why couldn't the killer dress be Target and $50 and paired with a forgettable Diane Von Furstenberg bag? Because life sucks, I said to myself, that's why. And then I forgot about the amazing, amazingly expensive, orange/pink/white, ombre, shift dress.

 Until I saw it today in Nordstrom Rack. I can barely describe it because it sounds made up. It sounds like I invented the circumstances under which I saw this dress but it's true. I was walking around the women's section and this dress was sloppily placed on one of the racks on the edge of the department. The hanger was jammed on the rack so haphazardly that the dress was pretty much laying OVER all the other dresses. On a rack on the edge of the department. And on the side of the rack that faced out of the department rather than into it. There is no chance that I would have seen this dress if any one of those elements was different. On the wrong rack even because this dress wasn't the right size for the rack that it was on. Even if it was placed on the rack NORMALLY - I would have walked right by it. There is no chance on this earth that I would have looked through the rack of clearance designer dresses even if I was planning to spend 2 hours shopping in Nordstrom Rack. On a day when I wasn't there to shop whatsoever? No way. Someone had picked this dress up and shoved it on the wrong rack in a jacked up way and I walked by it, NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TODAY, and saw it before one of the 20 sales associates saw it and put it back neatly or before another customer who was actually shopping today grabbed it. HOW.

This dress was also not my size. Not my size and had no price tag. I looked through the racks quickly, pretty much talking to myself the whole time, just being like, "HOW. HOW. IS THIS REAL LIFE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, NORDSTROM RACK?" and found that it was seemingly the only dress in the entire store. I didn't care that it was the wrong size or what it cost, that dress was mine and I was going home with it and sleeping with it like it was a security blanket. The size was still lucky, in my opinion - yeah, the dress is two sizes too big but what if it was two sizes too small? What if it was a 00 or something where I would just NEVER fit into it? Two sizes too big is something you can get altered. Nordstrom will even alter it. You just take it in two sizes. I would have never been able to get it if it was even a size too small without paying thousands of dollars for a breast reduction and hitting the gym like it owed me money. I would have had to leave the dress there and I would have been devastated. I never get over things. My friends make fun of me all the time because I'm still pissed at this kid who presented the same animal adaptation project as I did before me and took all the credit for it... in the fourth grade. I would have never been able to move on. Instead, I bought the dress and hopefully can just pay a few dollars to take it in. Small price to pay for getting a Diane Von Furstenberg dress I coveted for 1/5th the price.

The funniest part of this is that my boyfriend got insanely lucky with a purchase not even 24 hours before this happened. He randomly ended up at a store he wasn't intending to go to that day and through a casual conversation ended up reserving the last PlayStation 4 that they had and did it seconds before someone came in asking for it. Insanely lucky for him because he's the biggest gamer there is (has played 3 different video games since I began typing this post) yet hadn't preordered this new console and had been planning on waking up at 4AM and driving around to find one. He told that story and VERBATIM I said, "You're so lucky, stuff like that has never happened to me" AND IT HAPPENS LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER. I see a dress on a show I didn't even want to be watching anymore, fall in love with it, think I'll never be able to own it and then find it in the luckiest way possible 2 months later. It's only available on net-a-porter and for it's full $450 price and I found it for less than half that, purely by chance, last one in the store. This dress needed me. There is no other explanation.

Sadly, the dress does not come with Yvonne Strahovski's body to wear it with. She's one of those people like Mila Kunis who is 1200% Slavic and makes me mad that my Slavic genetics didn't create something nearly as gorgeous facewise. Just universally attractive, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation or whether you're blind or have 20/20 vision.

I suppose I'll live but only for the sake of my new Diane Von Furstenberg dress.

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