Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where can I find this $13K dress for, like, much cheaper??


Hello ESB,

I am totally in love with your blog and while scouring the "dresses" archive decided to just write to you myself. I recently got engaged and we're planning a spring 2013 wedding in Mexico. The "theme" (though I hate that word) is loosely Bohemian Glamour.... I have the venue, decor, and most everything else under control but the dress is starting to become my biggest worry... Because I already found my DREAM dress but its wayyyy out of my price range.

In a nutshell, I went to a bridal boutique and after telling the consultant my budget ($2000 - $3000) she pulled a bunch of dresses by this new designer, Tara LaTour. She told me they were within my price range or "a little bit more"... So I tried on this one first and LOVED it with all my heart.... (minus the blue - it would be custom made in ivory/champagne hues). This was MY dress.....

Then I tried on this one and it was a very close second.


Well, it turns out those dresses aren't even close to $3000. The first is over $13,000 (whaaaat) and the second is around $9,000 (better but still not happening). I totally get why they cost that much, they're gorgeous and handmade and custom dyed, etc etc etc. But as much as they are worth those prices, its just not a price I can pay. Anyways...

I would love any suggestions on designers who make dresses in a similar style (the rustic look, raw edges, ruffle/petal, varied colors, etc).... I'm in Washington DC now but am moving to Seattle next month. Maybe in Seattle or Portland??? I feel like a smaller boutique designer is my best bet but I'm not having any luck googling, blog searching, etc.

Also, I'm open to something not necessarily "bridal" and definitely doesn't need to be white - anything in the neutral ivory/champagne/taupe palette works.

Maybe you (or the ever-helpful readers) will be able to suggest something? Any thoughts would be helpful! Thank you so much!!

xoxo

*****

You are aware that I'm not actually a fairy godmother, right?

I mean. ICK on that a*hole for showing you dresses so far out of your price range, but I feel like you ought to just put em out of your mind and move on. If you try to replicate something like that (esp at your price point), you could end up with a real shit show.

p.s. Please, for fuck's sake, will you guys refrain from recommending Wai Ching. That hippie shit was all very well and good for our VENUS ON THE HALF SHELL, but not what we're looking for here.

58 comments:

  1. vera wang has a david's bridal collection - aka still the vera wang look, but priced WAY more reasonably. definitely worth checking out.

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    1. And those vera wang dresses at David's Bridal look like complete shit when someone puts them on in real life. There's a whole lotta photoshopping happening in those online promo pics. My 6'0" size 6 dress wearing sister couldn't make em look half decent. The skirts look like reams of toilet paper tacked to a burlap underlay.

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    2. Just wanted to second Kat. I saw them walking in a bridal show and they looked uuber cheap

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    3. yeah there's definitely a reason why if you want a Vera Wang you pay through the nose to have it

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    4. Let's be real. It's our faults for going to David's bridal in the first place. The Vera Wang White collection made me break out in to hives and immediately run screaming in to the arms of a Paleo diet, crying "I told you so, I told you so!". They spent money on uber-thin models, a decent photographer, and a stylist who knew enough to cut massive yardage out of her gowns before shooting them. The sales staff confessed they're having a hell of a time selling the collection which was comfort enough for me. Solidarity, ladies.

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    5. Dear ESB,
      My daughter is wearing your first choice in July. She will be selling it after the wedding. If you are not taller than 5'2" you might be interested.

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    6. Dear ESB.
      My daughter is wearing your first choice on July 13th. She will be selling it after the wedding. If you are interested and no taller than 5'2" contact me.

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    7. Hi Cindy, did your daughter end up selling her dress? If not, I'd be interested.

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  2. Marisa makes a raw edged dress, no petals, that the first one reminds me of. Its a bit less boho, but beautiful and definitely has some of that look. You can't really find pictures of it online (I think its number 180, maybe?) because they don't advertise, but find a salon in your area that carries Marisa and give it a shot.

    Oh! This bride is wearing it. Trying the linky thing for the first time, be gentle.

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  3. um.. is it just me or does the second one look like her vagina fell out the front of her dress...

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    1. I immediately thought of this one

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    2. I have been thinking about this comment for days! It still has me giggling at inappropriate moments... That's EXACTLY what it looks like. Uh oh.

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  4. Hello, this is a UK brand, but you may be able to order this very reasonable dress
    <a href="http://www.allsaints.com/women/dresses/allsaints-heather-maxi-dress/?colour=245&category=22</a>
    In real life it's much more swirly at the bottom with huge pleated inserts, also for that price you could get it customised/tailored to your style (even dip dyeing the hem!).
    Good luck!

    Bride of East London x

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  5. Hi, I am from Seattle and there is a dress maker here who uses raw fabrics such as hemp and silk and hand dyes them. They are custom made so i am sure you could get something more to your liking done. The examples on her website seem a little bright personally for my taste but worth checking out since she could probably make a similiar dress as the ones you posted.

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  6. ahhh forgot the site from the post above...
    http://wai-ching.com/content/about

    there you go

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    1. um, did you not read the postscript?? no wai-ching!

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  7. "venus on the half shell" cracked me up! you are great, esb!

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  8. @esb, you might want to consider making your p.s. font size larger. Apparently, someone couldn't read it.

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    1. They just aren't into reading the fine print. Don't they know that's how they get effed?

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  9. Can you see if a local dressmaker can "recreate" the look? I almost went that route when I fell in love with this Vera Wang.

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  10. As mentioned earlier...David's Bridal, Vera Wang White:

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Organza-Fit-and-Flare-Gown-with-Bias-Flange-Skirt-VW351011_Bridal-Gowns-Shop-By-Designer-White-by-Vera-Wang

    I think that is the closest you will get for the price...lose the sash and you still have room for some serious alterations to tailor the dress to your liking.

    Good luck.

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    1. I don't know if this helps or hurts, but it looks like this dress was recently featured in an island/beachy wedding here

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    2. ACK! another VW David's Bridal recco... they're terrible awful ugly dresses when someone puts them on!! There's a reason why her dresses sell for more than $1k!!

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  11. Seattle has a consignment wedding gown store, Blue Sky Bridal. No guarantees that you'll find what you're looking for, but it's worth a look since most of the gowns will be in your price range.

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  12. That David's Bridal Vera Wang is actually not bad, I would get it, spend a little extra on a custom dye job.

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  13. I would recommend Kate Towers in Portland, she's awesome, and does more custom work these days.

    Kate Towers

    Her Etsy!

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  14. Sarah Seven uses raw edges and is based out of Portland. http://sarahseven.com/

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. why'd you delete that? email me, lady.

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    3. @Dead Flowers - I was going to say the same thing. Second for Sarah Seven.

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    4. I was married in a Sarah Seven dress, and it was beautiful, but be warned that she is a total flake. I didn't get my dress until 6 days before my wedding (4 weeks late!) and it was missing the belt I had paid for.

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  15. http://theenglishdept.com/ The English Department stocks dresses from local Portland designer/owner as well as other talented, unique dress makers. I tried a few on and fell in love more than once.

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  16. maybe you can call cameron diaz and ask to have the dress she wore to the oscars? she's probably not planning to wear it again.

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  17. I am from pdx and honestly most of my friends get their dresses made at Cocoon Silk...you just bring in a photo or two and the guy looks it over, shows you some fabric and he quotes you a price. I have heard nothing but great things about the place. Good luck!

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  18. have we learned nothing from celia? go custom! you could totes get a killer one for your budget.

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  19. SO I KNOW OF THIS RILLY GRET DRESS MAKER. WAI CHING. I THINK YOU SHOULD GO THERE OP.

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  20. I second the vote for The English Department. Elizabeth Dye makes beautiful dresses and I think there are multiple styles with that kind of raw edge ruffle you are looking for.
    maybe like this but not blue?

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  21. Kate Towers seems to me like the only suggestion so far that might actually fulfill the homework. English Dept. is great, too, but maybe too pretty/classic?

    Personally, I think the two dresses pictured look heavy for a Mexico wedding (the only thing that works for me IS the blue in the first shot).

    A couple of Etsy designers that might fit the bill:
    Ouma
    Grace Loves Lace
    Katie Jean
    Claire Le Faye

    That said, if we are suggesting stuff like VW at DB, I'm throwing BHLDN out there (at least as a reference point). This dress is pretty and I think it would look nice in Mexico (Bleubird's James wore it at her wedding and, say what you will about her blog/whatever, she looks stunning).

    This one is also kind of boho (check out the brides who submitted photos in the reviews section)--I don't really like it much, though. This one is also possibly in the same style ballpark.

    I do think it's probably all a bit "sweeter" than the bride wanted, though (and it's expensive for big-box).

    [Random: despite it not seeming like the bride's style, I love that All Saints, dress. I wish they showed it on a body.]

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  22. Totally, all the way, with Kate Towers-I'm still a little upset with her her for being too busy being pregnant while caring for a toddler to make my dream dress-another Portland designer, Holly Stalder, makes some pretty amazing stuff and has a lovely little shop

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  23. I work in the Minneapolis bridal industry where Tara LaTour is based and while I have never met her, all I can say is that she is known for being a b****.

    And, seriously everyone, this bride has a $3,000 budget and YOU ARE RECOMMENDING SHITTY VERA WANG DAVIDS BRIDAL??? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU.

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    1. What are you talking about? I have worked with Tara several times on a number of projects and she is total sweetheart and suppretty darn funny! I work in the wedding idustry and I don't know anyone who would say a bad word about her. We are lucky to have such a super talent representing Minneapolis.

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  24. Alright- word to the wise. I'm pretty sure anyone recommending Sarah Seven has yet to deal with her. She has an inability to communicate or produce (a decent) product in a timely fashion. She caused a GIANT head/stomach/heart ache for me over many engagement months.... I hesitate to speak up because I didn't lose money & the world didn't come to an end- but please at least google "negative sarah seven reviews" and read a story or two from the poor girls who are hitting up any websites they can to warn others. I emailed one or two of them for advice & they had yet to get money back for shoddy craftsmanship and/or no wedding dress by their date. Maybe she can get it together, maybe not. Do your research.

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  25. I agree with hk -- I had the exact same sort of problems with Sarah Seven. The world didn't come to an end, but it was enough for me not to recommend working with her to anybody.

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    1. Me too! Got married in June and the S7 dress didn't arrive until late May. I got a lot of compliments on my dress, but warned everybody to stay away...not worth the heart attacks in the week or two before your wedding.

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  26. What about Leanimal on Etsy?

    This sold recently but maybe something custom?

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/79628750/adrienne-hand-dyed-and-painted-beige-and

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  27. i second Leanimal! her hand-dyed silk shirts are killer.

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  28. Why don't you try posting the same question to Broke-Ass Bride? Shes great at finding cheap versions of expensive dresses

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  29. Those dresses are gorgeous, I can totally see why you are smitten. That being said, I would probably move on and keep looking for something else that makes you feel beautiful.

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  30. i highly recommend kate towers, too. she is super talented- she made my wedding dress 2 years ago, and she was wonderful to work with.

    -j

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  31. I know that someone mentioned this earlier, but Marisa style 815 is really similar. I would look into that one if I were you.

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  32. Take a look at RawHemline on Etsy. She made part of my wedding dress and I loved it.

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  33. There is a Tara LaTour truck show at Lovely Bride in NYC and LA March 2-11th.

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  34. I had an old Chanel dress custom made by JasminesBridalShop.com for $150, $180 after shipping. I ended up paying $50 in alterations, and it still didn't fit quite right (somehow the measurements I sent were wrong, or they messed it up - not sure)... But, most people have given great reviews about their experience with JBS and it wouldn't hurt to have a dress made by them just to see if you like it, considering how reasonably priced they are.

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  35. I don't know if you found a dress yet or not. But Tara LaTour is having a sample sale this weekend and she has one of her ombre gowns for sale at something like 50-%80% off. It says on her website that you can purchase gowns online. Just go to her website taralatour.com

    Good Luck

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  36. Hey there, I came across this BCBG dress online and though of you. Not sure if it's your style color-wise, but the price is right (going for $500 on eBay and has multiple colors in the organza. Hope this helps! http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-BCBG-Blush-Combo-Strapless-Organza-Gown-4-1998-/140565013460

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