Surprisingly, I Did Say Yes to the Dress

There are things one wouldn’t mind seeing when rounding a corner, lost in her thoughts, bound for (she thinks) the wedding dress of her dreams. This is not one of them:

bigassratyourewelcomei66.jpg

Ah, the beloved anti-labor rat, inflatable cudgel of downtrodden carpenters and janitors everywhere. Don’t get me wrong. I love the rat. But when it and the surly proleteriat are in between me and said dress of my dreams, I tend to view it as an inauspicious start to a wedding gown shopping weekend in New York. So as I twirled and preened in front of the mirror in the Birnbaum & Bullock loft under the approving gaze of mother, sister, and one confirmed bachelor wedding dress designer, it was slightly disconcerting to hear, “Hey hey, ho ho, unfair labor practices got to go!” It was an otherwise picture-perfect moment. Dusk was falling outside the wide expanse of glass that separated my cozily lighted studio perch from a wind-whipped West 25th Street below. I concentrated on listening to my inner voice to mull the dress, rather than the gravely voices of Local 419.

But it was not to be. The dress that Messrs. Birnbaum and Bullock offered me was beautiful, but it was ridiculously expensive. And this is in a kookoo bananas world where a $4,000 price tag makes me say, “Well, that’s not too bad.” We’re talking two more dollar signs on top of “not too bad.” I bid adieu to their studio and headed home to bed, more than a little dejected.

The next morning it was off to Kleinfeld, the bridal mecca featured in TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” show, which chronicles all the wacky results when you cater to women who are full throttle into an inexplicably societally blessed period of insanity.

kleinfeld.jpg

I didn’t plan to buy a dress at Kleinfeld. I just wanted to compare the three finalists I’d tried on here in D.C. at separate boutiques. (Designers have the equivalent of non-compete clauses, prohibiting nearby boutiques from selling their line once they form a relationship with one. So it’s almost impossible to try on your faves at the same place. But Kleinfeld carries a bazillion designers, I’m guessing because they’re the grand dame of the business and wield a fair amount of power in the industry.) Anyhoo, when I got there I was bummed to learn that they had only one of my three finalist dresses. There went that plan.

And the saleswoman followed that news up by bringing in a few dresses that were just so-so. But then, she brought in another one. The One. [Editor’s note: As God is my witness, this is the first and only time I will talk about a wedding gown in such breathless terms. Seriously, I’d like to keep my non-gay male readership for at least a few more weeks before they realize that there are other internet sites out there that have boobies and such on them where they could be making much better use of their time.] When I stepped out of my little dressing room into the main area to examine it in the three-side mirror, it was as if, to quote a dear friend, “a unicorn had pissed a rainbow into my ear.”

I was in the highly unusual position of having just put on a dress that nobody had ever tried on before. (Most bridal gown samples look like they’ve seen more action than Elizabeth Taylor’s ring finger. Zing!) The buyer for the store, a lovely woman named Dorothy, came over and said she had just found the dress on a trip to Paris. It’s the creation of four young designers from Hong Kong who are designing as “Annasul Y.” As I stood in front of the mirror, salespeople kept coming by to ask whose dress it was because they’d never seen it before. One even asked if it was Badgley Mischka, who were having their trunk show at Kleinfeld that same weekend. While it’s quite similar to their style, it most certainly did not carry the boys’ signature $15,000 price tag. At one point two little girls trailing another client walked up, planted themselves in front of me and scrutinized me for a few seconds before one declared, “You look pretty.” Sold. Ring that puppy up. I expected a cartoon bluebird to land on my shoulder.

Unfortunately, I cannot describe the dress here, nor can I post a picture of it, because my fiancé is one of my male readers who hasn’t yet realized that thing about the boobies to be found elsewhere.

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12 Responses to “Surprisingly, I Did Say Yes to the Dress”

  1. etcetera Says:

    i realize this wasn’t exactly the moral of the story but all boys have realized the thing about the boobies elsewhere.

    but i know he prefers yours.

  2. I-66 Says:

    Boobies?!

    I’m outta here.

  3. K Says:

    Yeah, I never expect to see you say anything about Groomal Bird finding boobies elsewhere ever again.

  4. freckledk Says:

    Do you take email requests? I can’t take the not-knowing.

    Congrats on finding the one. Oh, and the dress, too.

  5. etcetera Says:

    also… WTF is that red blotch on the rat? yikes.

  6. Johanna Says:

    I’m counting the days (and episodes of ‘SaYeToTheDre’) until I can escort you to a fitting. Beware, though, I’ll be the bitch who looks you square in the eye as you pass Zabar’s and says, “Don’t even *think* about thinking about eating that black and white cookie — those are for girls who wear sleeves on their wedding day.”

    Boobies!

  7. Say No to the Spotlight « Bridal Bird Says:

    […] light of the fact that my wedding dress resides in New York, and I reside in D.C., all trips to the Big Apple now involve a little quality time at Kleinfeld. […]

  8. ISaidYesToAnnasulYToo Says:

    Hi,
    I just saw your post while trying to search for the designer of my dress as well, Annasul Y. I have received incredible compliments on my gown. It is not at all what one would expect in a bridal gown! Basically, I don’t look like a white ruffled cupcake! I actually went into Kleinfelds to try styles, just like you did. I had Audrey. She asked me what I wanted. I told her, “I want to pee by myself, I want to be able to dance, I want it to match this antique lace veil in my hand, I don’t want strapless, I don’t want poofy, and did I say I want to pee by myself in it?” Then she asked, “What do you want to look like?” I said, “NOT a princess… my fiance calls me his Italian goddess… I want to look like an Italian goddess.” She goes, “I have the perfect dress!” And there it was, the Annasul Y. I put it on, and I got so sad… my 4th dress in, I had found it. No more fun of searching. And what do you know, I was all by myself.

    Well, now that I’ve spilled my entire story (I apologize for the length here), I just wanted you to know that I had the same designer and that I would love to see what dress you have! I’m with your friend there… it was like a unicorn had pissed a rainbow into my ear. You’re a great writer.
    -MJC NYC, NY

  9. Curious Says:

    So can we take a look at your wedding pictures? REally curious about the dress! I’m looking at Kleinfield Bridal’s website, but Annasul Y is not listed under their collections..do they not carry them anymore?
    thanks for your sharing your stories!

    • Tiffany Says:

      Look under Lusan Mandongus. He is one of the main designers. I ended up finding one of the Annasul Y dresses at Couture Bridal Show in south FL, but from what I hear they are hard to get ahold of in the US. Kleinfeld also has alot more dresses in store that they do no put on the website.

      So sad, though I think I may have lost too much weight to have the gown altered down :(. I may have to get a new one.. and I cant even get another version of the one I have.

  10. Rachel Says:

    The same exact thing happened to me at Kleinfelds. I was the first person to try on my Annasul Y dress, never had heard of the designer before. When I saw it hanging I thought it looked so pretty but I was nervous about the price because it looked so luxe. It wound up being SO reasonable (compared to some of the others) and SO beautiful on!! I am very excited to see it again…too bad you have to wait so long before your first fitting 🙂

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