Once upon a time in Cyberland…

Cyber Cinderella is a real life story about how a West Coast designer loaned me a $10,000 gown over the internet to wear at a lavish East Coast gala.

Have you ever wondered how those actresses get those beautiful gowns for the Oscars? When you finish reading this story you will know how they do it.

The mansion where the Gala was to be held.

I was invited to a gala by this mansion's owner. The party was a benefit to be attended by many of the upper crust of our state. When the owner asked me to attend the gala, I immediately said "Yes!" This estate is located on a very historic street with many mansions. I have lived in this city several years, and have driven past the stately manor many times dreaming of what it looked like inside.

Fashion Crisis

I was invited on May 3 and the gala was May 13. On Monday, May 4, I meet with Fashion Crisis. What was I going to wear to this black tie event? My only formal gown is 20 years old. I am the mother of six kids who never thinks of wearing anything formal and funds are always tight.

Women are only supposed to have Fashion Crisis twice in their lives… for Prom and their Wedding!

Me in my office working on The Costume Gallery. Definitely not a place to dress up!

A strong believer in fate…

In April (a month prior to the invitation), a group of historic costumers and I were discussing on an email list about how the celebrities at the Oscars got those stunning gowns. I have a Fashion degree and knew that the gowns are loaners from the fashion designers. I told the email list this information and that the actresses are known in the fashion industry as "Walking Billboards". In layman's terms, they wear the gowns for free as a form of advertisement for the designers. The day after the events, many of the gowns go back to their creators.

Later in April, while sitting in a doctor's office, I read an article in a McCall's magazine about the actresses and the Oscars event. The article, "Oscar Confidential" explained how the stars prepped for the Oscars. Referring to the stars jewelry, Armand Galvan-Espinola of Harry Winston stated in the article, "Even the stars can't easily afford these treasures, so the pieces are loaned for the evening." For some reason, I had to have this issue of the magazine. I searched around at a few stores until I found this issue and purchased it.

When my Fashion Crisis presented itself, something lead me back to the McCall's Oscar article. I reread the article a couple of times and thought why can't I do it? I can be a "Walking Billboard". So I called one of my former professors, Karen Guthrie, and discussed my problem. I told her that I really wanted to wear something historically inspired since I work with historical gowns. This would say something about me. She offered to contact alumni of her university who design evening gowns and see if I could get a loaner. Karen said she would get back to me Tuesday night.

That evening, I wrote the historic costume email list and told them about the event and my Fashion Crisis. What was ahead of me is still hard to believe!

Click To Go To Part 2

Comments, email cyber.cindy@costumegallery.com



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