Saturday 8 December 2018

Dress Form

By Christopher Bowles

And it’s softer than I thought it would be. 

Softer, yet somehow heavier. 

There’s a weight in the drop of the fabric; a sort of… purpose, in the way the material moved. Each swish of the skirt gave the impression of dignified movement. The poised leg of a prima donna, the tilted wrist of a geisha, the firm salute of the maestro. It was somehow full of movement and music and… emotion, even when it was still.

On the mannequin in the shop window, it looked somehow both innocent and dignified. Childlike and royal. Virginal yet epicene. And that was what drew my eye, I guess. The fact it managed to somehow represent a tightly woven bundle of contradictions, yet never looked… I’m not sure how to describe it really. I’m usually quite eloquent, but when it comes to this dress... somehow words fail me every time.

It was like the tailor had left a blank canvas. A black sheet of material that could be anything, and everything. And every time I saw it from the very first day, a small fire inside me was fed, and fanned, and burned.

I had passed it by a month ago. I was cramping all through my shift, and just wanted to curl up with a trashy bodice-ripper, a hot water bottle and a tub of cookie-dough ice-cream. It had been snowing for the last week, and predictably, the Underground was in complete disarray. I was forced into the streets with a crowd of other commuters, mumbling and grumbling and shouting nonsensically into mobile phones. Those dreaded three words.

Replacement Bus Service.

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