China has been and always will be the king of knock-offs. They've got everything from Prada bags and Ray Bans to iPhones and even the Mona Lisa. It doesn't stop there though. Just about anything that has been done well elsewhere, you can bet will end up in China with one letter slightly morphed and a cheaper price tag. I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could find Chinese versions of yourself walking around…and probably with better style. I mean, come on, they have a white house??
Now, I'm not opposed to this in the slightest. I'm all about copying. I copy recipes, hair do's, styles, art, and have even been told on occasion that I have a Canadian accent. I'm a total poser. But, I'm of the policy that if you're going to copy something, copy it better than the original.
Someone should have told that to the ladies (or maybe children?) that made my wedding dress.
I'm not sure why I decided to order a dress from China, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I was an ocean away from any dress shops living on Kauai, and time was running out. That, and I could have a dress custom-made, for just under 200 dollars. It sounded too good to be true, but my curiosity and frugality got the better of me and I decided to go for it. I picked out the style (a copy of an allure gown I'd had my eye on), sent in my measurements, and hoped for the best. After all, most of the clothes I owned and loved were made in China anyway--how bad could it be?
A couple months later it came. I opened up the box, leery to say the least, and…I was pleasantly surprised. The lace was beautiful and the ivory color was just what I ordered. And then I tried it on. Now, you know those internet posts that go around about what a Barbie's measurements would be had she been human-sized? Well, somehow my Chinese seamstress must have lost my measurements and just assumed that I was a human-sized Barbie doll. It was about a foot too long, and the bust, which was at least 5 sizes too big, sat very comfortably…at my chin. Not your best work, China.
So there I was--2 months to go until I walked down the aisle, living in Waterton (which was just about as good as Kauai when it came to wedding dress shopping), and back to square one. That's when a miracle happened. I told my house-mate Holly about the Chinese debacle and her eyes lit up. And not just because she was amused. She explained to me that the style of the dress was awfully similar to the one her daughter was married in. Then she went on to tell me that her daughter had been divorced shortly after and wanted nothing to do with the dress, abandoning it in her closet. We rushed to said closet and pulled out what I can only describe as exactly what I wanted.
Now, I'm not superstitious, but I was a little concerned about the possibility of being married in a gown that someone had worn only to be divorced shortly after. Talk about a bad omen. But when we asked her daughter for permission, she said the most beautiful thing, "Of course you can wear it. I would love for such a bad memory to be turned into a good one." It was settled. And after a few adjustments and alterations, I made it my own.
A few days before the wedding, I tried it one last time to show my mom and sisters. As I came around the corner, my 2 year old nephew, Andrew, had just the reaction I was hoping for...
"WOWWW! You're my favorite!!"
Max's was almost as good.
I'll take that look any day.
Oh, and if anyone knows of a barbie in need of a wedding dress, let me know, I may be able to help her out.