Gentle readers, I beg your indulgence. I did a photoshoot for this absolutely fabulous dress, the Amazonia by DD Atelier, with the intention of telling a bit of a story in my review. Then as the shoot went on and even more as I looked at the pictures, I realized that really we had taken a photo essay, and that a true integration of story and review would do disservice to them both. Sometimes things take on lives of their own, and this brog has been such a lovely creative journey for me… So here’s what I propose. From time to time, I want to change up the format of posts a little. Whenever I do that, I will make sure to incorporate a bit about the clothing in question in whatever I’m writing, and there will always be a to-the-point review at the end, so if you just want to check out the pictures and get the details, you’ll know where to look. And for those of you who want to join me as I explore a bit… Thank you. It’s lovely to have you along. The brog has grown so much since its inception (just under three months ago!), and I imagine it will continue to evolve with time, as all artistic endeavors do. Not that this is high art or anything, but it is nurtured by my creative spirit (and insatiable desire to dress up and be silly). So yes. I gave you a letter, and now a fairy tale, and what comes next only time will tell. The bulk of the posts will probably be the same as ever, reviews with a bit of a theme, but I hope you all will be with me in my pursuit of something different now and again. And of course, please remember that these are all characters, and their actions and such do not reflect the views of The Management. Even if The Management does enjoy acting out a bit every now and again. And now… the story.
Once upon a time, there was a young girl who was carefree and full of joy and love for the world. She was sweet, and she was kind, and she dreamed of finding a loving man one day with whom to run off and share grand adventures.
And so she kept her heart open and gave it freely to beautiful, smart, talented young men, who each in turn took her heart, dashed it to the ground, and stomped upon it. They begged for her trust and then left her unceremoniously. She grew guarded and her heart hardened like petrified wood, growing gnarled and twisted. She went out into the world to make a name for herself, and the men who had authority over her belittled her, stole her ideas, addressed her with familiarity inappropriate and unwanted, and generally behaved as if she were good for little more than their amusement. Until one day, cowed behind a desk, she received a present from the CEO of the company. A billionaire, and not afraid of showing it with every gold cufflink and private flight to God-knows-where, he had chosen to show his appreciation for her years or service with… A letter-opener. A simple, plastic-tipped little gadget. He’d bought them in bulk. The other employees gossiped about whether they were expected to send thank you letters and the like, but not this woman. Something changed in her that day.
Petrification complete, her heart closed like prison doors, she knew that she was not going to be at the bottom of the totem pole the rest of her life. She wouldn’t be taking the offhand remarks and glances, the throwaway menial tasks. She wouldn’t go home to an empty apartment waiting for a man who wouldn’t call days after he’d promised he would. She was going to beat them at their own game. And so she began a slow but steady climb to the top, keeping the letter-opener close at hand as a reminder of where she’d been and where she was going. The rumors said the letter-opener had been instrumental in more ways than one in her achieving the astonishing success that followed, but nobody was willing to ask too many questions. It wasn’t worth the risk. By then, she was CEO of the company, and her takeover had been vicious and efficient.
Nothing but her demeanor changed, but her will alone was enough to transform the very objects around her. Take the dress she always wore. It was a beautiful dress. No one could have disputed that. The fabric was rich with earthy tones of green and mahogany, and substantial under the fingers without being heavy on the body. But until she stood up and claimed the power she knew she deserved, no one had noticed just how it highlighted her appearance. It zipped up closely to tightly define her waist and give her a strikingly feminine profile – one that she now knew was powerful, because women like her were powerful. It had details, like little metal drops on the collar and a striking exposed zipper that added weight to the power she exuded, speaking of authority and the willingness to take no prisoners. The crossover neckline showed just enough to get the men who worked below her wondering about the hidden things they’d never touch. But above all, the dress was unique. No one had seen anything like it. And no one had seen anything like her, either.
She was a force to be reckoned with and ran through assistants monthly. No one could withstand her cruel treatment. She’d start off by just watching them as they worked, the light gleaming first off the rivets on her collar, then off the letter opener she inevitably had somewhere in reach, hinting at a danger from which there was no way to truly hide.
Her glances would become haughty, then stern, then disdainful as she expressed her utter contempt for the men beneath her. The actual quality of their work seemed to be irrelevant. No one was ever good enough.
If the glances didn’t serve to intimidate thoroughly, the real torment would begin. Her assistants struggled to keep working and stay composed as she toyed with them, running her fingers through their hair idly as though they were her pets…
Or watching over their shoulders a little too closely as they progressed with their work.
Some of the men would take this as a sign of her favor, which led to tragic results if they then allowed themselves to relax their vigilance toward their work even the slightest bit.
Most disappeared shortly after incidents like that. Somehow, though, no one really seemed to want to look into it. And there was always another willing to take his place, willing to prove that he had what it would take to win her over. She relished the challenge.
It was said that if the perfect person came along, her heart would break out of its hardened shell and some vestige of the woman she once was would emerge. Rumor had it that she encouraged this talk, just to keep candidates coming. After all, they did try so very hard to please her, keeping her shoes shined just so…
…and helping her relax after a long day of overseeing their labor. Sometimes in these moments, her mind would wander, and she would seem to feel a pleasure not linked to someone else’s pain. Her fingers would toy softly with the edges of her full, voluminous skirt, which draped about her cozily and enhanced her momentary comfort. You could almost have thought her vulnerable. Almost.
But the moment would pass, and if anything, she’d only be more keen to assert her position. If she really were waiting for that perfect person to break the spell that seemed to have taken hold of her so long ago, she wasn’t letting on. Perhaps someday you’ll hear of a young woman transformed by perfection personified from an evil queen to the sweet young maiden of her youth…
But I wouldn’t count on it.
DD Atelier Amazonia Dress: The Actual Review
I’m not going to lie to you here. I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it on DD Atelier’s website. I had never seen anything like it, and it was wild, and I like things that are different. So unless it fit me horribly, I was pretty much going to love it. Luckily, it fits like a dream in almost every dimension. There is plenty of room in the bust, and the waist is delightfully fitted. The skirt is full and luxurious, and of course the hip space is completely free. I love all the details they thought of, like the metal dots on the collar and the exposed zipper, which bring the dress an edge that I find really appealing. Here’s a close up:
The only thing that is a bit difficult about the zip is that in order to keep the continuity of the exotic collar, the zipper stops just underneath it. That necessitates a bit of planning when putting the dress on, which I’m sure would be nothing to you, but I am a bit of a lummox with such things and had difficulty the first time or two. It’s worth it, though, as the collar is gorgeous and leads to the great crossover-bust neckline, which is one I find infinitely flattering on us well-endowed ladies. I also really enjoy the matching trim on the sleeves. My favorite detail, though is the use of the crossed fabric at the waist to give the illusion of a belt, define the waistline, and break up the pattern (lovely as it is). Absolutely fabulous. I am quite high-waisted, and this dress works extremely well on my figure. I tried another dress from DD Atelier that was also lovely but a bit long-waisted (and looked great on a taller friend of mine), so if you are interested in trying something and are worried about this, contact them and they can advise you on fit in their various styles. As mentioned in the story, the fabric is nice and thick and sturdy. The construction seems very high in quality, and all the seams are finished well. Other than the sleeves being quite tight (and it therefore being difficult to raise one’s arms completely), the dress is really comfortable and feels nice on. The other dress I tried was similarly well-made. I feel very comfortable recommending this dress highly, as well as recommending the company on the whole.
I know a lot of you worry about fit when ordering internationally (as I do), so I will give you what my experience was and encourage you to contact the company directly with any further questions. DD Atelier offers sizing graded by bust, as many of the other European brands I’ve covered do (BiuBiu, Pepperberry, and Urkye). Their bust sizes are by letter (but NOT by cup size!): D, F, and H, and their body sizes by number. They have recently expanded their size range down to 65, which fits a 23-24.5 inch waist and is really great for the many extremely slender ladies out there who find other brands too large even in the smallest sizes. The first time I ordered from DD Atelier (using their size chart, here), I erred on the large side, which was a mistake – I was swimming in the dresses I got. Part of it was that I lost some weight between when I ordered and when the Russian post decided to actually let the dresses out of the country – *heavy sigh* – but even now, their size chart puts me in the 75H range and I am managing quite well with 70F. I do think in the other dress I have a 70H would be better, but either way, I am fitting in the smallest size I would think possible. Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that this is GREAT NEWS. You guys, you guys – there is extra room in the bust here, especially in the Amazonia dress, which, let’s face it, is just completely fabulous. So yes. Good news for The Ladies, ladies.
Company: DD Atelier
Item: Amazonia Dress
Size: 70F. Right now they are sold out of everything but sizes 70-85D, but I think all but the most busty of lasses should be able to size down in the bust on this so it will probably be fine for most people in the D size.
Price: On sale currently(!) for €64.00, which is approximately $83 US right now. Rarely do I say a dress this price is truly worth it. This one is.
Style: Just generally awesome. Rock it wherever you want.
Comfort: 9/10 (Arm tightness is the only point off here.)
My measurements at the time of the photoshoot: 40/27/38
Photography by David Eckert
Hair and Makeup by Elaine Thomas
Fabulous guest appearance by Mark Valentin
Teeeeeeny sidenote: I actually really love the letter opener, and it was very kindly given to me by a lovely person.
Oh, before I forget… I should probably give you a side view of the dress. It just didn’t quite fit anywhere else, but I do quite like the silhouette, so I’ll go ahead and leave you with it here:
Well, gentle readers, that’s it for now.
Do you love the Amazonia dress?
Are you intrigued by DD Atelier? Would you like to see more?
(I’m hoping I can swing a Mimosa Dress somehow – maybe for my birthday? It is so beautiful.)
And how about the new formats? Do you enjoy coming along with my creative meanderings?
Do chime in, please.
As always, thank you for being here.