I sidled up to Maria when the fashion show ended, weaving my way through the throngs of beauty-hunters turned loose on what was probably the first pop-up Goodwill store to grace the French Embassy. My eyes were trained on the beaded confection dangling from her arm. "Ooo," I murmured, "you got it." I pulled back the collar to look for evidence of its origin. "Handmade," she asserted, reading my mind. Peering inside the dress, I examined the nude expanse of its lining, unadulterated by the mark of a mass manufacturer. Of course, I thought.
Five minutes prior to this, I had encountered Svetlana among the racks - "I'm just looking for that beaded dress!" she'd exclaimed. "Me too!" I cried. "I just want to see it up close!"
Five minutes prior to that, the show had just ended. Cath and I were still in our seats, taking in all in. Maria, sitting behind us, leaned forward. "Which look was your favorite?" Cath didn't hesitate for a moment. "The beaded one. With the sleeves."
It had been about 20 minutes since we'd all seen it for the first time.
Can I even verbalize how gorgeous it was up close? The fabric hung perfectly; the beads were iridescent, tiny, and painstakingly applied. By hand. What is this dress? It just appeared out of the ether - unique, artful, universally stylish, its origin a permanent mystery. This is why we hunt, folks. This is what we are hunting for.
The blogosphere salivates. (Check out the pretty and sweet Ms. Anti-DC in the background -- we are working on making her Ms. Pro-DC;-)
Many, many thanks to Em for the invite, to Mark Silva for the photos, and of course, to Goodwill for the incredible, indispensible service that they provide to the community.