Saturday, November 12, 2005

Personal Shopper As Fairy Godmother

Yesterday I drove an hour to Tampa in search of a dress to wear to a black-tie family party in NY. I'd been looking for months. The problem isn't so much that I'm fussy (which I am, in spades). It's that designers aren't making dresses this season to fit my hourglass shape. I have to say here that my shape is all natural. Hasn't been enhanced. Which makes finding a dress that much harder.

The vast majority of dresses and tops this season are empire waisted. Not a good style for someone like me. I was ready to throw in the towel. Well, not the towel. (Where did that expression come from anyway? Boxing? Dishwashing?)

Then, in the way that fate sometimes has of putting the perfect person in your path, fate aligned me with a saleswoman in the WestShore Plaza Tampa Saks. The saleswoman, Dagny Rivers (who I think should be immediately promoted to the store president), had infinite patience, a lot more than I did. For hours, she brought me more and more things to try on, clothes best suited to my body type, which takes some vision when your own body type, like Dagny's, is tall and willowy like a model. All of the dresses, skirts and tops she found for me were wonderful, even if they didn't fit me (blame the designers for that, not Dagny), although some (like the Nanette Lepore skirts) were a bit more wonderful than others.

I felt like a movie star or a princess. I guess it's my Leo moon. Dagny went beyond the call of duty to snap photos of me in the various outfits, with my cell phone, which I then sent to my mother's cell phone. My fashion-maven mother called me back each time to give me her always-expert opinion.

Dagny made what would have been an ordeal that I wasn't willing to go through something fun! I told her that I would be writing about her, but that she might wind up getting too much business, which would then prevent her from doing what she does so well. So, if you do seek her out and find that she's too busy, this article might be why. (But maybe Saks will promote Dagny by then, anyway. In that case, Saks shouldn't worry, because the Peter Principle won't be operating!)

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