Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cinderelly! Cinderelly!

Through a little persuasion and a LOT of luck, my gracious Country Director decided to let me come back to the USA for one short week in order to attend my brother’s wedding! The news came a mere 3 weeks before the big plane trip; much planning was to follow. Leave forms were filled out and signed, plane ticket was booked, but WHAT you may ask was Cinderella to wear to the ball?

Thanks to my wonderful Albanian colleagues at the Berat Municipality, I was pointed in the direction of a rrobaqepsi or tailor by request. The first consultation with my tailor was rough: she refused all pictures I liked of potential dresses and decided to come up with a dress of her own. Unfortunately, her idea for the dress was extremely low cut, extremely short, and complete with millions of laces and bows- think along the lines of a “street worker getup” if you will. After much debate she finally agreed on one of my pictures and instructed me on how much fabric was needed. Then she finally asked, “What color will this be?” to which I replied “Brown.” Her response back was “më mire rozë” or “better if pink.” Luckily, the client is responsible for buying the fabric, so I bought brown and was self-assured that I would not be surprised by a pink dress come pick up time.

After returning with the fabric she took my measurements and opened her client book- here is my favorite part of it all. I found out that almost ALL of her current projects/orders were the same exact dress she drew for me to begin with… the street worker style. Looks like some girls are about to show up to prom in the same dress… disaster waiting to happen. I only lost one small battle to her in the end, she insisted on making STRAPS for the dress to cover my bra, since strapless does not exist in this country. After all was said and done, she made me a beautiful dress in time for the wedding and even admitted to liking the color brown for a dress. She even told me that I was inspiring to her and hoped I would come visit her with photos when I got back (though she might be upset that I did NOT wear the straps).

The suggested dress- HOT, yes?

The final dress- sans straps.


  1. the dress turned out completely gorgeous and i still think this is my favorite albanian story to tell. at least it has a good ending to it and what a beautiful dress!