So I think I found it! This might be "the" dress!
I tried it on today at the trunk show and I love it! The sample I tried on was a little beaten up. It had a yellowish tinge (it started out ivory, I'd order it in white), had quite a few pulls (I'll have to be careful with my engagement ring, which gets caught on everything and can do serious damage), and was a size or two too small (so I was busting out of it), but I spent about an hour in it going over options with the lovely lady at the store (Jobyna's Bridal in Glendale of all places) and I love it!
The plan is to order it sleeveless and add flutter sleeves, or remove the sleeves and make sleeves out of the train, which I don't want/ need. I'd only step on it and rip it and that would save on ordering extra fabric as the existing sleeves probably aren't wide enough to do what I want with them. I want to make some adjustments to the piece that runs under the bust line, perhaps adding some subtle sparkle, and also filling in the back just a tad with the chiffon (sans lining). The hem will probably need to be adjusted to be floor length (no shoes for me, flat flip flops at the very most!), but I'm hoping those alterations won't be too expensive (fingers crossed!). It will require me to wear spanx, which I was trying to avoid, but I probably won't need a bra - one less expense/ complication!
It is comfortable and super flattering, and basically (after some simple alterations) exactly what I've been looking for since day one! It's not lace, but I give up on lace, I'm too picky and the good stuff (Oscar de la Renta's choices for example) is just too expensive. Providing I don't have second thoughts over night I'll order it tomorrow!
I'd post other photos but for some reason this dress has been extremely tricky to locate both in person and pictures. It's not even on the designers website! You can't tell from the photo but the material is a soft crinkle chiffon that drapes beautifully, I was originally thinking silk chiffon but this is actually more forgiving and flattering. I did sneak a few photos in the change room since I was solo but I won't post those for a multitude of reasons!