Friday, August 6, 2010

Mr. Wonderful and a Roberto Cavalli Dress

I was dancing in a Center City lounge when a handsome stranger seized my wrists with his thick, strong hands.  Instinctively, I growled at him. He grinned and furthered his caveman maneuver, pulling me onto his lap.

In one-hot-second I realized that I was seated on a rare genus of man - Mr. Wonderful.  The growling ceased. A date was planned.

Like many women do for a hot date, I went shopping for a jaw-dropping, make-him-want-me outfit.  I wandered into Second Time Around, a resale shop on Chestnut Street. There, among the frilly and the silky, the vintage and the designer, I found the ultimate thrift store find - a Roberto Cavalli dress. It was long, made of jersey fabric, and featured an animal print on the upper bodice. Flowers blossomed around the hips and hem. I made an excitable sound as my fingers touched that lovely, wild thing.

When I tried it on - to my dismay - I discovered that the dress from the knees down gave little ease when I stepped.  It had no flare. And it was a few inches too short. Then I had a vision.  The Roberto Cavalli dress needed some Ooh La Jena loving. I paid for the dress and carried it home.
Gently spreading it on the floor, I daringly cut four slits from the hem to the knees. Into each slit I sewed a tall triangle of black knit fabric that was the same weight as the dress fabric. The triangles created a mermaid flare. To lengthen the dress I added a 2-inch pleated hem.

On date night, Mr. Wonderful took me to an Italian restaurant.  His eyes followed my movements as I walked to our table. During dinner, he watched me eat. Later, at a jazz club, I tested the full effect of the re-design by sauntering slowly, in a hip swaying glide across the room. Oh-freakin'-yeah.  I captured his complete, stunned and smiling attention.

What more could a woman wearing an improved Roberto Cavalli dress want from a date with Mr. Wonderful?

A second date. At my place. Wearing ... less.