Yesterday afternoon, when the Peter Pilotto dress fell short, I dragged myself up the stairs to the 2nd level, to try and sort out a dress for Chinese New Year.
The SA suggested Erdem. Erdem has some exquisite dresses; all that floral prints synonymous with the brand is right up the alley with Chinese New Year dressing. But as Chinese New Year also coincides with my husband’s 50th, I thought to best steer away from the Erdem rack. Erdem’s prices might give poor Jon, a coronary.
No, to Erdem, to Stella, to Dolce. No, to Isabel Marant at full price. No, to Ellery. No, to Balenciaga, even though I do find the designs directional and strong.
I’m so sorry, I said to the sweet SA. I hate shopping.
Self-portrait? She suggested hopefully.
Hmmmmm. Ok, I’ll give this a shot.
Er, I am afraid it’s not your size… It’s a size 14.
Oh. Never mind- I’ll just try it.
So dear reader- if you are curious about Self-Portrait, a very current, young London brand making what seems like tidal waves in the industry, here’s something I learnt. The dresses are cut very, very small. Fashion designer Bav in Milan had explained what sample size means. On my anorexic days, I am sample size. But I could not fit into any of the UK 6, 8, nor 10 (!) Self-Portrait dresses. If I held my breath and fully engaged core, I could zip myself up, but then I could not sit down, nor exhale, for fear of tearing the dress.
The SAs all agreed that the sizing is a problem. One of them said that it can be an upsetting experience for a woman to suddenly not be able to fit into her regular size. Another also pointed out that the materials used in constructing the dresses do not allow for much give.
Size 12 (!) came home with me. I’m swimming a little in it, but with styling and the right amount of nonchalance, I’ll make it through the festivities, appropriately dressed.