Have you ever had a moment when: You have a mental image of something you want to describe in your story? The image is there in your head. You can just about touch it. But you decide to try to find a picture of it or something similar to it on the internet. You know, to use as a reference point thing.
That was me a couple days ago. I had a great idea for a wedding dress for one of my characters. It was like a total Warrior Princess Gets Married dress. Silver metal from the throat all the way down to the bustline. Sleeveless, so she can wear her silver gauntlets. And the rest of the dress is soft white wedding dress…stuff.
So, I had that image in my head. I wasn’t fully sure about the shape of the dress. I knew I didn’t want an enormous pouf and I didn’t want it to be a Hey! Look at my fabulous bum! dress. I wanted it to be a dress that would be right for her temperament and personality. (And she is definitely not a pouf dress. Although, I will admit, I was tempted to put her into one, anyway. 😆 )
I decided to look it up to see if I could find an image of it. There are so many crazy wedding dress designers and fashion designers. One of them must have come up with this idea already. Right?
I looked up images of wedding dress on Yahoo. Wedding dresses with metal. Warrior wedding dresses. A-line wedding dresses. Elegant wedding dresses. Beautiful wedding dresses. Annnd, just for the fun of it, chain mail wedding dresses, which were a whole world of nope.
I did so many wedding dress searches I fully expected my e-mail to get bombed with “Getting Married?” spam.
Any time a dress caught my eye, I’d try to visualize it with a metal neck/top and none of them quite worked out. Like the Renaissance-type dress that had long, lovely bell-shaped sleeves. It would have been a shame to chop the sleeves off. So, I decided against that one too.
Half-way through my search, I realized I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted the silver part to actually be. Chains? Chain mail? Silver mesh? Platinum mesh? Some sort of armor like a flat plate? I knew I wanted it to be something beautiful. Something…carved? Etched? Patterned? Something…???
Then, I found the perfect dress. It was a close-fitting top with a full A-line skirt. It wasn’t a pouf and it wasn’t a mermaid. It was the right dress for my character and I totally knew it.
And that’s when I realized what I wanted to do with that silver. Instead of just half a top, it would be the whole top and it would be a silver filigree with white backing. I’m not sure how well that would turn out in real life or if it would even be all that comfortable (I suspect not). It just sounded right and I liked how well it meshed with the mental image I’d started with.
Normally, I would show you the picture that inspired me, but I forgot to save it on my computer and I can’t find it on Yahoo. Not without doing another long, crazy “Are You Getting Married?” search.
So, I’ll leave you with my in-story description:
“Her neck and entire bodice were encased in liquid silver filigree with white silk backing. The full skirt and train were white Spanish lace, silver silk inserts, interspersed with an array of faceted silver beads and small crystals.”
(I kind of decided to go with a whole silver and white color scheme.)