I don’t wear dresses enough. Oh, I wear dresses, but then I get lazy and can’t find my tights or don’t want to wear fancy shoes or fuck me it’s cold outside or I feel cranky or crappy or roly poly or just don’t feel like having a big dry cleaning bill (the last trip? Oy vey) and I put on a pair of trousers or jeans or yoga pants and call it a day. And I should remember that I actually look pretty good in dresses, not to mention the fact that it’s basically wearing a fancy nightgown all day, out in public. Also, dressing becomes Garanimals-easy, in that I don’t have to find two totally different, matching and clean items with which to cover my nakedness. Sometimes that’s harder than you’d think.
For Weetacon this year, my fabulous and wonderful friend Shawn and I made plans to hook up in Chicago and have a repeat of the amazing Alinea dinner we shared 18 months ago, only this time we were all in, baby, for the 24+ course TOUR, not just the paltry old 14-course Tasting Menu, which exists apparently for the working class or something.
Shawn flew into MKE and with Chicago traffic being as UNSPEAKABLE at rush hour as it is, the only hope of making our reservation meant that she’d have to take the train in, with me having a head start to brace through the traffic for six fucking hours. I got to my Chicago hotel of choice (The James, for the fucking win), stowed my car, stripped my driving clothes, brushed my hair and tossed on my favorite packable dress: a knotted Daniella print dress from Igigi, with a very comfortable but quasi-dressy pair of maryjane heels (I call them my Dorothy Parkers because they’re very 40s or were until the pug puppy partially chewed off one of the flowers, now I pretend that oh, I don’t know, they might just be vintage) and whipped a quick cat’s eye in liquid eyeliner and lined some red lips. I think I spent at most 9 minutes getting dressed, but I did snap a photo for posterity.
You can’t see the pop of lime-y yellow but while I’m not a yellow person, it’s the thing that makes me love this print so very much. You just don’t get prints like this on fat girl dresses, people!
I went down to the lobby lounge, where I texted and Twittered and waiting for my friend. Two fabulous boys came in, carrying a tiny bag from Gucci, and I laughed because that’s basically my favorite shopping experience ever… coming in winded from a busy street, carrying an impossibly tiny bag that you know has something expensive in it. I sipped an elderflower martini and when the first fabulous gentleman ditched his cap and asked the other if his hair looked okay, I couldn’t help but look up to admire them. He caught me and said “Oh you, miss thang, in that dress, you can look too! What do you think?” And I told him that he looked pretty damn fine. And then we were besties. They invited me over because of my dress, the print, he swore! The print was amazing! I told him the story of my special connection with Igigi, about how I’ve worn an Igigi garment at three of the past five Weetacons, how I wore a black Igigi wrap dress to the very first Bad Bar night and how I’ve been wearing Yuliya’s designs since 2003 (a Pucci-inspired portrait collar top) and how I’ve been to the headquarters a few times and how I fell in love with this print last year ON THE BOLT and love that very dress even now because you can wad it up into a ball and it doesn’t wrinkle. At all. LOVES IT!
Shawn came in from the cold, toting her baggage, and was invited to sit down by my new friends, and we chatted about all things fashion and fabulous. Then it was time for us to run, as we had a date with Grant Achatz and we couldn’t be late, but they wouldn’t let us pick up the check for our drinks. The dress, he said. The dress.
It’s things like this that would make me roll my eyes at me. You can go ahead. I don’t blame you. But it happened. It was the dress! ASK SHAWN!
The next night, I wore another ancient Igigi dress: this one was a red wrap dress that I’ve had since…oh god, a long time. 2005, maybe? It’s old. It also can be waded up into a ball and refuses to wrinkle. Unfortunately, it’s a very deep lipstick red and I can only get away with it when I’m winter pale, as during the summer, my tiniest hint of a tan somehow turns it into a bad red for me, but right now? With the faux dark brunette thing I’ve got going on (don’t let it fool you, I’m naturally three shades lighter than this) it’s nothing but a good thing.
We danced and danced and danced. And there were hearts broken. More drinks purchased. Was it the dress or my God-given assets somewhat falling out of said dress? Probably a little of both. But still, a good time for dresses.
The next night was the first night of Weetacon. Igigi graciously offered to provide Weetacon attendees with Igigi garments for review, so I jumped at the chance to check out the Spring release called the L’Amourette Dress. Pasta Queen also has great taste, so we agreed that she would wear hers at the Bad Bar and I would wear mine at karaoke. PQ and I weren’t the only two quasi-twins: Ladyloo and Poppy were black and blue versions of the same dress and yet, each totally made the design their own. What’s more, it’s so interesting to see the same garment on two totally different ends of Igigi’s demographic–Pasta Queen and I have different body types, but the dress just worked. It just worked. It was the kind of thing that if I had just seen PQ in the dress, looking so fabulous, I might have thought “Oh, I could never pull that off with this ass” but really, it was all good. It was also cool that I got to see the dress on another person the next night, from all angles. What is hard to see on the photos is that there is two layers of fabric, so when you move, the mesh has a faint sheen that moves. Also difficult to see is that the underlayer isn’t grey but rather a very pretty lavender that washes out to a more flattering pinky grey. Also, the skirt was super swishy and I couldn’t stop playing with the soft rosettes along the hem all night.
It’s SO hard to find awesome vintage clothing in plus sizes, but the L’Amourette dress satisfied all of my vintage longings without having the picky, stiff mothball-smelling “what is this stain, did someone die in this?” aspects of vintage that are not so awesome. So, I got this dress for free, but knowing my proclivities the way I do (and the fact that my closet is basically an Igigi retrospective, entirely funded by yours truly), I would have bought it anyway. So, clearly, I’m biased, so take that with a grain of salt, but I also do love the line. Yuliya is like the girlfriend you wish you had with you in the dressing room and she can do magic things with a dress. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
It was a super treat to coordinate the Weetacon Igigi review. I actually got to unpack all of the garments and check them out up close and while I have an Igigi addiction, I was turned onto things I wouldn’t normally have. For instance, when I first saw Karen’s Autumn Blossoms top, I gasped because it’s so pretty and vintage-y, but when I saw it on? DAYAM! And if you see Mary’s Carolina Swirl dress, you might be attracted to that great yellow pattern on the top (or her legs… woo!) but you should see her work that skirt. It’s swirl-on-swirl action! And BettyBighead’s review neglects to mention that when she walked into a crowded room and ditched her coat, it was totally a Marilyn Monroe moment: the entire room stopped talking and freaking APPLAUDED.
If you want to have your own Igigi fashion show, they’ve graciously extended a 20% off promo code to our readers* until the end of March. Just type in WEETACON when you’re checking out and then sit back and wait for the pretty. One bit of caveat though: don’t trust the website for availability on the size search. I found several instances where a dress was not showing up when I searched by size, but did have that size available, so if you love something, set it free, but also double check because it really might be meant to be. Shit, that rhymed. Sorry.
*Oh, and if you’re not plus sized, they have jewelry and accessories too and the promo code works just as well for that. Content yourself with the accessory rack, non-plus size girls! Ha! That never happens.