HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Once, on an airplane from Boston to California, I watched five straight episodes of What Not To Wear. I only meant to watch ne, but I was mesmerized. Riveted. Fascinated. I mean---Stacy and...what’s his name?—were amazing. Brilliant. It was Cinderella come to life. It was relatable. The women were thrilled (after they got over being embarrassed.). It was such a happy ending, every time.
There’s also my on the road staple (after CHOPPED): Say Yes To The Dress. Do you watch that? And, of course, Project Runway. I used to love paper dolls. I guess it’s the same-ish thing.
So! What fun to have our own little version on Jungle Red today. As Annette Dashofy—Agatha nominee Annette Dashofy!—takes us on her journey to say yes! And she has a very critical question for you at the end.
The Quest for the DressBy Annette Dashofy
First of all, thanks so much to Hank and the ladies of JRW for having me back. It’s always so much fun and a huge honor to hang out with you gals!
But then I’m faced with what to write. There are so many big issues out there today, but most depress the hell out of me. Or make me want to bash heads. Not good since I’m trying to stay out of jail and the psych ward. Some research, I’d rather avoid.
So I’ve decided to share what’s become a real hot-button topic over on my Facebook page.
What dress should I wear to the Agatha Awards Banquet?
By the way, congratulations, Hank! I’m still in shock to be nominated along side you, Margaret, Catriona, and Louise. I have to check the Malice Domestic page every other day or so just to make sure I haven’t hallucinated the whole thing.
Anyhow, last year, I already had a dress for the banquet long before the nominations were announced. The big question was what SHOES to wear with it. This year, I’m starting from scratch. Dress. Shoes. Accessories. All of it.
My quest started online.
And of course the thing with Facebook is once you look at one fancy dress on a store’s website, you receive hundreds of ads for similar dresses on your page. Cyber window shopping!
For a chuckle, I started posting a few of the ones I liked. Oh. My. My friends have very strong opinions about fashion. No black! No navy! You need bright colors! Looks like a mother-of-the-bride dress!
(Well, yeah. It is. They don’t label them Agatha Awards Banquet Dresses. Although I think they should.)
I was told I should wear red.
No, green. Definitely that blue one. No, hate the blue one.
It was so much fun! Like the fashionistas on the red carpet picking apart J-Lo’s latest haute couture.
Entertainment value aside, I couldn’t select any of the Nominees for Agatha Banquet Dress 2016 without first trying them on. With my good gal pal Jessi Pizzurro in tow, we headed to the mall to buy The Dress.
I started with three that met my criteria. No plunging necklines. Must have sleeves. Cocktail or tea length. Of those first three, one was a maybe. Two were NO FRIGGIN’ WAY. I handed those out to my able assistant who had wrangled several more. One was gown length. Another had a very low neckline. I told her, no. She said, “Try them on!”
This went on for close to two hours.
At some point, she brought me a navy blue number with a full skirt, lots of fabric and a very low neckline. I said, “No!” She said, “Try it on!”
I tried it on. And I didn’t hate it. What I did hate was that my friend and able assistant was totally right. The dress didn’t look like much on the hanger, but it looked pretty darned cute on me!
Eventually we had it narrowed down to that one and two others. My head was spinning, so we hid them on a rack near the fitting room and went for a walk through the mall, just in case one of the other stores had something I liked better. They didn’t. But while walking, my subconscious kept fixating on that one dress that looked sort of okay on the hanger, but pretty cute on me.
Yes, that’s the one I bought.
This is it.
It’s darker than it shows up in the photo. You’ll have to wait for the Agathas to see it on me, though.
Which brings me to the next conundrum. Shoes! What do you think? Navy? Silver? Beige? And accessories? I’m thinking pearls, but I’m open to suggestions.
HANK: Oh, black shoes. (My answer to everything, though. No matter what the question.) And no necklace. Big earrings, instead. But that's just me. And I agree on one major thing: always try it on.
So, fashionistas—what’s the shoe verdict? And do you watch Project Runway? Say Yes to the Dress? Why--or why not?
Annette's Agatha nominee is BRIDGES BURNED---but her new book is: