When I was a senior in high school, my parents were just starting the process of transitioning to New York. My father would work in New York on the weekdays, and return to Toronto on the weekends, but his commute provided my sister and me with the perfect excuse to go dress-shopping in NYC. After a few days of searching, I found what I thought was THE dress at a little store called Acne in Soho (no, not the ever-popular Swedish brand, whose Soho outpost opened a couple years after I graduated). The dress was from Preen's Spring 2006 collection (before they were so popular) and is pictured below (the plaid dress), except it was a variation that substituted the plaid cotton and gray jersey with the dusty pink silk and dusty pink jersey seen on the second dress shown below. The salesperson draped the dress a little more elegantly than it was styled on the runway, tying the midsection in a bodice-like fashion more reminiscent of the waist of the second dress. The result was immaculate.
My parents, unfortunately, didn't understand my vision. I thought that it was a great representation of my refined fashion sensibilities and that I could totally pull it off, but they thought that it wasn't formal enough and that it was too expensive. So I ended up wearing this very pretty, but much less interesting, Mandalay dress. The kicker? The Mandalay dress was more expensive than the Preen one! This story really has no point, other than the fact that I still get angry in a forlorn sort of way whenever I hear anything about Preen, and wish I had been able to wear the dress I initially wanted to wear.
I think that the only way I'm going to be able to get over the whole incident is if I get to wear a Preen dress to a formal event in the future, and maybe this time my parents' seal of approval won't be required. But just in case: Mom, any of the looks below (all of which are from Preen's Fall 2009 ready-to-wear showing) would do...
Pretty please with a cherry on top?