My friend Jo got married a few months ago and in the lead-up to the
wedding, her behavior was particularly shocking. Not in a Bridezilla
kind of way but actually the opposite. The invitations had gone out,
the wedding planners were planning themselves into a frenzy, relatives
were booking flights from interstate and overseas, the flower girls
were having dress fittings and the bride herself? Well, Jo hadn’t even
thought about what she was going to wear. I repeat: not only did she
not have a dress, she didn’t have a clue. And did I mention the wedding
was five weeks away?
I was baffled. After all, this was a girl who loves her clothes and
adores to shop. She was hugely excited about the wedding and couldn’t
wait to get married, so it wasn’t cold feet. So what was behind this
weird fashion reticence?
It was geography. You see, Jo lives in Sydney but she’s from Brisbane.
Her parents still live there. Her best friend (who was the only
bridesmaid) lived in London and Jo had no sisters. So without a mother,
bridesmaid or significant female relative to go bridal shopping with
her, Jo was a bit lost and very stuck. It wasn’t how she’d imagined
looking for her wedding dress: alone.
After finally working this out, another girlfriend and I quickly decided to take matters into our own hands. We made a few speedy calls to Rosemary Armstrong at Tea Rose, Collette Dinnigan and Lisa Ho and off we went, Jo, me and my digital camera. While she tried on about 17 dresses in four hours, I snapped away, making sure to get the all-important back view as well as fabric details and editing the shots as we went.
By the end of the day, we’d narrowed the field to four frocks. I quickly downloaded and emailed the photos to Jo so she could forward them to her mum and bridesmaid. They were, of course, delighted to be able to feel a part of the dress-choosing-ritual and were able to email back photos of their own outfits to make sure the bridal part would look cohesively stylish. And voila: a happy marriage between technology and fashion was born.
There has been so much chat about how technology has changed dating and relationships but I can’t help noticing how it’s also changed shopping. And brides aren’t the only ones to take advantage.
Apart from on-line shopping, the internet is a beaut way to check out trends and actual items so that you can recognize the good copies when you see them. I do this a lot on ebay and net-a-porter. And digital cameras and camera phones are great tools if you’re unsure about an item and want to either think about it from the safety of your own wardrobe or get a mate’s opinion. Fashion editors and celebrity stylists have replaced their sketchpads with phones and cameras in the front row at shows and many sensible shoppers use the same technique when they’re on the hunt for a particular item. They’ll go everywhere from Country Road to Charlie Brown, try on a bunch, snap the ones they like and then go home and compare before they drop coin.