GONE GOWN: Skeleton Plot Found Online

Have you ever stumbled upon a thread of messages on a forum or board?  If you’re not directly involved, the experience resembles eavesdropping, even voyeurism. I think of it as found plot, similar to found art, l’objet trouvé. While pursuing an excellent wedding site (theknot is in the name), I discovered these messages (spring 2012) which tell the basic tale of a stolen wedding gown.

Everything flows from true messages with names changed to protect the innocent. You’ll wonder: Was the gown really stolen?  Will she ever find it or get her money back?!

Remember, the women involved are strangers but rise to the occasion with sage advice or practical suggestions. You’ll notice how the bride describes her feelings for the gown. It’s clear that we’re talking about a wedding gown, the most important dress in a woman’s life.

Seven years have passed but identifiers were removed to protect people’s privacy. If anyone is offended, my sincere apologies.

One respondent had cute graphics about how long she’d been married! Those you’ll see below.

What would you have suggested?  I’d have told the bride to keep trying with the maker of the dress (Demetrios) but to sketch the gown and find a seamstress capable of producing something similar. Cost not time is a factor. I stop now to not spoil it.  Read on.  Here is the initial post.


my wedding dress was stolen

I need some help in locating a dress very similar to the one I bought that was just recently stolen. 

I went to a resale shop and just happened to find a gorgeous dress by Demetrios, no style number tag in the dress. The dress was almost a perfect fit, and I glowed. Because the dress was a resale I only paid $150. My finace [SIC] and I don’t have a lot of money and I am frugal by nature so spending a lot of money on a dress to wear for 6 hours doesn’t work for me.  Anyways the owner of the store told me she would send it out to be dry cleaned. Weeks went by and I went into the store to make sure she hadn’t forgotten. When I went in, the dress was still there waiting to be sent out. This was about 2 weeks ago. Yesterday the owner calls and tells me the dress was stolen. It came back from the dry cleaners and she put it in a room that she thought was safe. It disappeared. She told me I can come in and pick out another dress but I honestly don’t want another dress I want that dress. So I am attaching a picture of a dress and I am hoping someone can tell me where I can find this dress to purchase. I have some time yet as we aren’t getting married until October 2013. (sorry for the picture being sideways the app I am using won’t allow me to rotate)

Initial REPLY

Re: my wedding dress was stolen

I am so sorry to hear this.  It is horrible that someone would steal your dress.  I would be so mad!  I hope you are able to find another one.  

Sympathy Only REPLY

I’m no help but sorry about your dress! Good luck finding another one (you have plenty of time, so don’t worry or stress out!)

You don’t know the designer or style number or anything? Can you describe the dress in more detail? (I can’t really see much in the picture because it’s so small, but the more detail you give the more likely it is that someone will be able to identify it).

Also, people ID dresses on the Attire & Accessories board all the time, I would XP this there.

A Take-Action -Now REPLY from Z

I might drive over to the store again and make sure that the dress is not on the property anywhere.  It seems to me she might have decided to sell it to someone else or decided that she did not want to pay the dry cleaning bill.  Also, make sure she gives you your $150 back!

You could go to Demetrios with the picture and see if any of their managers could ID it. But they probably would just want to sell you a new dress, so the Knot boards would be the best route.  You could also try Wedding Bee and some of the other forums. 

Yeah, I agree with Z— that something’s fishy in this water. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry finds out his dry cleaner has been wearing his clothes — even his mother’s fur coat!

Bride-to-Be REPLY

Thank you all for your suggestions and well wishes.

The dress reminds me of fireworks, is the best way to describe the swirls. All the beading is silver. The bottom looks like swirls going up the dress. The top has the same swirls going down. The middle section is left blank to really draw the eye to the right areas.  The back is a zip up, and a very long train with the same beading all along the edge and going up the dress. The straps are thin with beading. The store owner thinks the dress was a sample dress and thats [SIC] why there are no tags to give any more information.

I will be going to the store tomorrow and will be checking. I honestly don’t know if I want to get another dress from the store. I think it is kind of her to offer to give me any dress of my choice she has in stock. But I just don’t know.

Heartfelt REPLY Posted by cj
Screw that. I’d demand my money back. Good luck finding the dress. I agree maybe taking it to Brides by Demetrios would be helpful.

Not Debbie Downer’s Suggestion REPLY

Wait...so she sold you the dress, didn’t get it cleaned for weeks, then conveniently lost the dress? Please tell me you got your money back and aren’t seriously considering buying something else from that store. I’d take my money and take my business elsewhere!

And I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but it is highly unlikely that you will find that dress. I doubt it was STOLEN…odds are, she just resold the dress to someone else. 

Agreeing Helpful Hopeful Replier

OMG, I am SO sorry to hear this. I can’t ID the dress, but here are other options (though you may not get the same dress back)

There is a massive Salvation Army in Utica, on (I think) Van Dyke. There’s another one in Auburn Hills that has high class stuff…………priced a bit more than other communities, but worth looking into.

I agree with everyone else………tell her you post on The Knot and other budget friendly internet boards. You will trash the name of her company if you are not given a full refund, maybe deducting the dry cleaning bill (which she has to produce). This is unacceptable.

Good luck dear. Keep us posted.

Dream Donation REPLY

Oh girl it sounds like you got scammed : (  If your dress was actually stolen, it should’t be the only item taken. I would demand to see the police report. Try calling Darlene at Every Girls Dream. I donated a few dresses to her and she has a ton! If you tell her your story i bet she would give you a dress. Good luck!!


Thank you everyone. I went back to the store, did get my money back. I now have a local paper helping and I have also put an ad up on Craigslist to see if I can get any further help from there. As soon as I get a free day I will be heading over to Brides by Demetrios to see if anyone there can help me and give me at least the style number for the dress. 

I know it is a long shot to find this dress or even another one but I have a year to track one down  

Thanks again.

Practical Archivist REPLY

I was trying to find one like yours, but it’s hard to tell from the picture.

Is it like this? http://demetriosbride.com/index.php?page=details&styleID=176

Or this? http://demetriosbride.com/index.php?page=details&styleID=167

So sorry to hear about what happened, I hope you find the dress.I’m glad you got your money back!!  Good luck with your search.

No Happy-Ending Conclusion

As you can see, Dear Reader, the story may or may not have a happy ending, but we feel the passion in these voices. They become inspiring seeds of characters. There’s an emotional up and down story line: Gown gone. Money gone. Store guilty. Replacement suggestions. Now, to find out what happened!


The Power of Characters’ Memories

Recently the ARGO independent bookshop on Ste. Catherine St. in Montreal held a writers’ workshop.  One exercise included drafting a character’s memory. Revelation! It’s rather like an actor’s asking questions to prepare for a role, e.g., what would this  character’s best/worst childhood memory be? 

Think about your own choice!

Here is the result for Inma (Inmaculada), a heroine in ONE DRESS, ONE DAY. Ideally it occurs in the plot very early in the morning after a tiring nighttime bus ride back to Barcelona from an encounter with her ex-lover, Rubio.

“She [Inma] saw a fine bouquet on the doorstep of her apartment. Its cellophane and ribbons shimmered in the dim corridor.  This mysterious extravagant gesture startled her.  Who had left the flowers? Flattered then fearful, she paused remembering the sweet clover, violets and dandelions that she would pick on the way home from school. Her mother always took them with a smile.  Somehow this floral offering felt different. With no note, no fragrance it felt fake, too fancy, not fresh from the field or from the heart.”



Daily Prompt: Awkward

A key character in One Dress, One Day is Uno  Uno, a blindman who sells ONCE  lottery tickets.

“Uno always took out his standard-issue foldable white cane to ensure sympathy from fellow passengers. People were awkward anyway, but he preferred strangers’ hushing small children to loud whispers about him and stupid questions put to him. He stood at the red light, listening for the chirpy birdlike signal to cross. His condition was not dead obvious and had developed in his youth.”

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

Daily Prompt: Thin

A gown is stolen in One Dress, One Day. This is the thief’s description:

Thin with acne-pocked skin, Francisco possessed wit, charm and street smarts. His overly gummy smile somehow endeared him to policemen and older women. They saw something salvageable in him. Perhaps even a hint of honor.”

via Daily Prompt: Thin


via Daily Prompt: Core

In One Dress, One Day, Francisco, the streetsmart thief, lives in Barcelona.

“His universe was the inner core of Barcelona, a labyrinth of old neighborhoods proud of their original parish names and mentalities. He rarely smelt the salt air or gazed out onto the murky sea. Any experience of a beach, like la Barceloneta, was limited and likely illicit.”


The thief, Francisco aka Calif, is ransacking the car parked on Las Ramblas, Barcelona.  He just broke into it and has not yet found the wedding gown at the heart of One Dress, One Day.

“Bruised apples and mushy black plums, duty-free premium whiskey as well as fluorescent green rain ponchos were rapidly rejected. In the glove compartment, a pair of men’s sunglasses brought a grin to his chapped pale lips. The inventory was not great but worth at least half his debt. Unlocked canvas luggage made for easy work. But within three minutes it was clear: no cash, no cameras, no electronics, no jewelry.”

via Daily Prompt: Rapid


Inma’s key moment after stripping off the dress,

“Listening to the incessant stream of inane game shows on TV, Inma focused enough to fish out her favorite leggings plus her most feminine flowery camisoles in case she stayed the night. She folded, rolled and placed on top the pale pink pashmina that her Romeo had given her in the beginning of their relationship.  It was a piece of chic, an omen, the sign of a new life, or so she once had believed. She zipped up her carry-on, zapped a few channels and paused at a doe-eyed brunette with braids wearing a beige polyester maid’s uniform.  Yet another predictable South American telenovela: luscious palm trees, pastel villas and turquoise swimming pools.  Inma turned the set off abruptly.”

via Daily Prompt: Abrupt