OK, the Claire Pettibone shopping experience certainly was an interesting one...in some ways, exactly what I expected. In others, a complete surprise.
One thing that surprised me was how disappointing most of the gowns were in person. I expect gowns that look great on runway models won't always look great on me, but shouldn't they at least look good on the hanger? The poor sample gowns looked like they had been through some serious abuse. And much of the ivory dresses looked almost yellow.
It was kind of refreshing that I didn't fall madly in love with a $5,000 gown that I know I couldn't afford. All of the ones I tried on were pretty underwhelming...except one: the Demetra. It looked FAB. Here's a photo of it from the Dream Bridal website, a source that sells samples and gently used designer gowns.
What has been the most surprising about gown shopping is that oftern what looked underwhelming when I was browsing collections online has ended up looking great on me, and vice versa. What was not surprising when shopping at this particular venue was the "these gowns sell themselves" attitude that came along with the experience. Not that anyone was rude, but no one was going out of their way to help me by any stretch. And of course, there's no actual photo of me in the Demetra gown because they wouldn't let me take one.*
*Side note: I really don't understand why the "high end" designers won't let you take photos in their salons. If you really were going to "copy" one of their designs, couldn't you just as easily use the photos of their websites? Wouldn't allowing brides to photograph themselves in the dress make most brides more likely to purchase from that salon? OK, rant over.
If I do choose this gown in the end, I will probably be purchasing it used/sample/whatever to save some money.