Playing Dress Up
A Former Bride Revisits the Fun of Searching for the Perfect Gown!
Santa Barbara Aisle Style
Central Coast brides know all about Rumours, the boutique with a reputation for exceptional selection, service and inimitable Santa Barbara style. Like the rest of this casually upscale resort community, the Rumours bride tends to be confident, discerning and individualistic. For denizens of outlying areas, Santa Barbara has plenty to entice day-trippers…so next time you’re enjoying a stroll down picturesque State Street, go ahead and pop into Rumours.
I do just that on one sunny Saturday afternoon. And since this is my last stop on the wedding-dress train, I am determined to make the most of it. Luckily, sales consultants Laurel Adams and Marrie Reaves are all too happy to oblige. A whirlwind tour of the capacious store’s gorgeous offerings culminates in a dizzying cloud of petticoats, veils and satins as I’m zipped into one wedding dress after another. As each gown transforms me from princess to sophisticate to vamp, I am reminded of how important it is to determine how you want to “feel” at your wedding.
So though I admire the colorful crystals and embroidery on one of the masterpieces by Lazaro I try on, and relish the slimming cut of another Lazaro (truly one of bridal attire’s maestros d’elegance), I personally resonate more with the dresses by fashion’s newest diva, Amy Michelson. Modeled after the formalwear popular in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the fluid sensuality of these silk dresses makes them as beguiling as fine lingerie. Think Harlow and Bacall, and you’ll get a sense of the what a Michaelson gown can do for you. She also understands that what’s on the inside is as important as what’s on the outside—Laurel and Marrie show me that the gowns are lined with silk charmeuse that caresses your skin and keeps you feeling sexy long after your hairdo begins to wilt.
I leave Rumours disappointed that my “adventure in wedding gowns” is finally over. Settling into one of State Street’s trendy cafés, I review the myriad of bridal confections I have seen and worn. Which one would I have selected if I had “shopped right” back in those early days of my engagement? I take some time to mull over the drape of each train, the cut of each bodice, and to consider intangibles such as the effect each dress had on my mood.
Marrie had said to me, “When you find the dress, you’ll say, ‘I love it!’ and you’ll know.” Recalling her words I come to a realization: I had indeed found my dress—seven years ago at a funky shop with lousy service. Fortune smiled on me that day, and it gives me no small measure of satisfaction to conclude that if I had it all to do over, I would still make the same choice.
But I sure wouldn’t mind playing dress-up again real soon…hmmm…anyone need an extra bridesmaid?