I have been invited to deliver a keynote speech at a very formal event next month, which calls for a gown.
I’ve never been a gown person. I have always worn pants or a tuxedo whenever the dress code is black tie, with a silk blouse, or a lace shirt.
I didn’t wear a gown on my wedding day, I wore a cream pantsuit. But this event specified a gown and a theme – emeralds and diamonds.
So green it was. At least I had a starting point.
I then did a digital deep dive into local labels that I like, to see if anything was suitable, but nothing was quite right.
To be fair, I have a long and very rigid list of deciding factors. Ten to start with.
- It must be the right green. There’s a lot of truly awful greens
- It can’t be too revealing or tight.
- The event will be in a tropical location, so it can’t be too covered up.
- I loathe that quasi-religious cult/little girl look that is popular now with the childish big collars and yokes.
- I don’t want a caftan
- I don’t want a mini
- I want to be able to wear a bra
- I don’t want it to be horribly expensive
- I’d like to be able to wear it again
- I don’t really want to show my upper arms.
Next stop was the international sites, which are exhausting for various reasons, one, that there is just so much on offer, and two, the price of fashion is so out of control, it’s mindboggling.
Most of the dresses I liked, and there weren’t even that many to be honest, given my parameters, were edging over $3000 and up.
I even felt I needed some guidance, but last time I looked at a local glossy magazine there was someone called Bad Bunny on the cover and I neither knew, nor cared, what Mr Bunny wants to wear.
The perfect dress
I finally found what looked to be the perfect dress, in a dazzling emerald green silk, mid-calf, not too fitted, with a built-in cape so your arms would be covered, but you could still remain chic and cool.
It was more than I wanted to pay, but I rationalised it, a bit like having children, or ordering Uber Eats.
I sent a photo of the dress to my best friend, and we discussed what shoes would go with it for about two or three hours.
The package arrived and I opened it eagerly.
It was the last one in my size, so I was praying that it would fit.
Yelling for my husband to zip me up I quickly realised it didn’t.
But it was such an object of rare beauty, I checked the returns policy and checked the date of my event.
I decided that in the next 28 days I would crash diet to get into it, like Kim Kardashian going to the Met Ball.
I told my friend.
“You’re going to diet it yourself into it? Yeah, nah, we all know how that works out for us,” she said sensibly, which is the reason she is my friend.
Back to square one.
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