The Met Gala is coming up on Monday, and E!'s own Alicia Quarles will be there, dressed in a gown by renowned designer Zac Posen. Keep reading for Alicia's personal account of her dress fitting with Zac!
People ask me all the time if I'm intimidated when I meet famous people, and I can honestly say I'm not. I can go toe-to-toe with George Clooney, have girl talk with Rihanna and kiss Oprah on the cheek (yes, I did it—check my Instagram) without getting wobbly knees or sweaty palms.
But ask me to try and fit into a designer dress for a big event—that's when the nerves hit. And when that designer is Zac Posen, the cream of the designer crop, I dissolve into a bit of a wreck.
That's how I was feeling the other day when I went to Posen's office for what was a dream moment of my career: getting a personal fitting from the great designer for the most coveted invite of the year, the Met Gala. Even though I've worn his creations before (last year's Gala was one of them), and had the pleasure of getting to know him, I've never done a personal fitting with Zac.
You certainly don't wear sweatpants (which you'll catch me lounging in every weekend) when you go to meet Zac. For my fitting, I had to wear the master himself, so I decided on a skintight green knee-length dress.
Zac greeted me with an embrace, and then let this one loose: "You look like Kermit the Frog's sister." We both burst out into laughter, and the nerves were officially gone.
Even though I'd be at the Met Gala with the likes of Anna Wintour and possible celebs like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lupita Nyong'o, I had Zac Posen on my side: That's like knowing you can call Batman on the batphone when you're in danger.
Zac had dream dresses for me to try on. The difficult part would be deciding which one to wear. Luckily my stylists PJ Pascual and Raia Gomez were there as well, supplying shoes, clutches and more diamonds than I've seen in my life, to create the full look to help me decide.
"I know which one you are going to pick for the gala," Zac said confidently. "Really?," I thought, because I sure didn't. The dresses looked so perfect and tiny (in size) on the rack and I hadn't exactly stuck to that cleanse and two-a-day workout plan to get me down to size.
But Zac told me it's all about embracing my curves, not trying to suck in my tummy. And when I walked out in my first selection, a romantic celadon green skin-tight design, I felt like a goddess from days long past. The dress, with it's elegant draping made me stand taller. Zac showed me how to pose in it (yes—my very on modeling lesson from ZP!!).
PJ accessorized it, but alas, this was not THE dress. All I could think of is how it would be stepped on all night because of the flowing length. Plus, I like tight, but this beautiful silk fabric is not forgiving. I would need body Spanx!
I then went for a corseted, off-white bodice with the slightest detailed embroidery paired with a voluminous floor-length skirt made of the same fabric. As I was dressing, I found a welcome surprise. The "skirt" was actually pants! With pockets! This is the genius of Zac: He always has unexpected details in his work.
He showed me how to "work it" by putting my hands in the pockets and holding the sides of the pants out. I loved this look, but Zac and PJ said it could be a bit marshmallow-esq, and they were right. I mean, the pants were HUGE. On to the next.
You know those dresses that you see and think only a six-foot tall, rail-thin model could wear that? That was my next option. The question in the back of my mind, which of course I ended up blurting right out, "Can I fit this?" Zac zipped the dress up on me like it was nothing. He knew exactly where to pull, turn, and zip up.
As I turned to see myself in the mirror, not going to lie, I could have cried. My make-up artist, Shar Sinclair, put her hand over her mouth and gasped. As I walked out, escorted by PJ, our E! production team, Zac, as well as his team, all cheered. I found my Met dress.
Zac then told me he carried the dress the day before on a tiny plane, through the rain, from Toronto to NY, because it was it was the one for me. Walking out of Zac's studio that day, I felt like a princess—a far cry from the tired figure I felt like when I arrived. That's thanks to my kind friend, his beautiful spirit and talented work, plus the E! News team and "glam squad" who go above and beyond.
I can't wait to wear the entire look at the Met Gala.
Oh, and if I ever have the nerve to complain about anything, you have my permission to slap me.
Follow Alicia Quarles on Twitter and Instagram @aliciaLquarles