When I met Fiona Cibani, the head designer of Ports 1961, the first thing out of my mouth was “Hi,” the second was “I’m going to get married in that dress.” The dress in question is look 40 from the spring 2011 runway show, a creamy, frothy gown with layers and layers of distressed silk chiffon and crystal detailing, put together to create one heck of a dress. Unfortunately, it seems there’s going to be a waiting list—Fiona promptly told me the woman who had spoken to her before me had said the exact same thing!

Walking into the Ports 1961 event held at Bloomingdales San Francisco, the first thing you were greeted with was The Dress—and it was even better in person. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at it, mouth agape, or how many times I went back to look again. It was love and I needed to tell Fiona this.

It took me one hour, two glasses of champagne and a lot of borderline creepy lurking to gather the courage to go up to Fiona to speak to her. Yet now I don’t know why I had agonized so much—she was a doll!

Travel strongly influences Fiona’s designs—spring was inspired by the desert—and she revealed her future trips are already planned, but top secret. Given it’s Fiona’s first solo collection without her sister Tia, I wondered if she was more nervous about presenting her work. Fiona said while there was more work to be done, luckily it wasn’t any more nerve wracking than a normal collection. She just hoped she translated the design vision well.

Considering I haven’t stopped thinking about The Dress since I saw it, I’m going to say Fiona did an excellent job translating! Oh, and ladies? Hands off, The Dress is mine.

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