The London Diaries: On The Hunt For A Ball Gown

When I awoke on Monday morning, I still couldn’t believe what had happened! Sebastian was actually taking me to Vienna, and not only to Vienna, but to the Opera Ball on our first date! I was so excited!
 And despite the fact that mountains of work were waiting for me, my first thought was: where on earth am I going to find the perfect dress in London?

The whole day, my mind kept straying back to the prospect of seeing Sebastian again. It was only when my editor shot me a very stern look and said “Sophie, I have no idea what got into you, but I’ve never seen you this distracted!” that I pulled myself together and managed to be productive for a few short hours.

What makes a guy tick? This question has obviously been asked many times and I had thought that I had found an answer to most situations. However, this guy really puzzles me… At first, he seemed really into me. Then, he wouldn’t ask me out, not even take my number. And after another conversation he invites me to come to Vienna on our first date?

Monday evening, I started my research. Kate was at home, and since I had not spoken to her over the weekend (her having been visiting her family), we sat down with a glass of red and mulled things over. I was surprised and – I have to confess – upset to find that Kate was not at all pleased for me.
”What on earth is that about again?” she snapped at me.”Wwwhat…!” I stammered, not having anticipated such a harsh reaction. In my blissful bubble of delight I had quite forgotten the number of occasions that Kate had to come to my rescue when I had once again gotten myself into a tight spot with a man. I was painfully reminded of that now.

“Dearest Kate,” I soothed her “Sebastian is a really, really nice guy. And we will be going to the Vienna Opera Ball! Not some dodgy hideaway.” I smiled coaxingly. “Please Kate, you have to be on my side here.” Kate continued frowning at me.

Only when I had told her that we were to meet his parents at the ball, who incidentally were good friends of my parents’ friends, did she relax. “Oh, well, you better have found the perfect dress then!” She had given me her blessing! I smiled, quite relieved – it was never a good feeling if Kate was against something.

Nevertheless, Kate’s warning words stuck in my head. It was odd…

There was something more pressing that I needed to do… Find the perfect dress.

Tuesday, I set out in pursuit of my dream-gown. On Kings Road I checked out Harvest and Muse. One black semi-see-through, sequined tulle dress was on display at Harvest’s. This would certainly be a stunner, but not quite Sophie. And after all, I was meeting his parents! I could hardly go half naked…

Further down Kings Road, Ghost had a couple of nice evening gowns, but nothing grand enough. I was going for the big princess dress right out of a fairy-tale. My next stop was Bluebirds, which is one of my favourite boutiques. Nothing… Oh well, at least I could sit down for a respite and regain my bearings with a coffee and … I was going to take a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam but could just catch myself in time. Obviously, I need to watch out for my figure now…

I walked down the Vale towards Fulham Road as I’d heard of a quite recently opened boutique with amazing Londoner designer dresses. I love Fulham Road as there are so many places that I would wish to spend money at: The Exchange (an amazing place for designer second-hand favourites), the flower stall (just off Old Church Street), Sassi Holford, Amanda Wakeley and The Wedding Shop, Theo Fennel, and Ralph Lauren ending, of course, with my favourite junction in London: where Fulham Road, Sloane Avenue, Pelham Street and Draycott Avenue meet. I am usually distracted from where I am going and drawn into the beautiful displays

As I was walking, my mind kept straying to Sebastian. How would it be like to see him after such a long time? Would it be awkward? And what would he expect of me? Of course, he wanted some arm candy, but for some reason I didn’t think that was all he had in mind (or at least I was hoping it wasn’t…).

None of the shops had MY dress. Exhausted, I fell into Aubaine just around the corner on Brompton Road and indulged myself with a large skinny latte. I would have to find my perfect dress another day.

While I was looking out into the dull grey London winter skies, I began thinking about Sebastian again. He was a really cute guy, why would he take someone, whom he had only met for a few hours, on such a big event? Naturally, there would be many girls queuing up to go with him. I could not quite forget the skinny blonde and the petite pixie head that had been vying for his attention at the snow bar…

Before I could further sink into gloom, I pulled myself mentally together. It didn’t matter why? He had asked me. That was good enough!

Now, a few days on, I still haven’t found the perfect dress and my courage is deteriorating. Every day gone by seems to make the situation more alien, make Sebastian seem more distant. Will I even like him when I see him?

Please, keep your fingers crossed for me,

Xx Sophie



Having skidded headlong into my thirties, completely unprepared for what was expecting me, has probably been the best that has ever happened to me. Dating has never been more intriguing - life has never been more amazing! Laugh and cry with me on my way through the often fantastic and sometimes abysmal London dating scene…


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