The Fashion-sea-sta

I dreamt that I walked into the ocean, and that it dressed me in its image.  Curtains of tremulous waves rose to my neck and I felt the currents measure me like the fingers of many pallid seamstresses.  My inches ebbed and flowed with the moon, so I hoped that the evening would show a crescent one.

Languid on the latitudes, I relaxed on pillows of froth and gossiped with the other ladies waiting for their oceanic designs.  I was shown materials to choose from:  silver scales that melted in the sun and became meek and somber in the shade; swatches of coral, torn from the bed of Neptune; handfuls of sand, each grain a different color, a different world, a different galaxy of molecules; lobsters that would sit at my shoulders like scarlet epaulettes and ribbons of seaweed to wrap around my throat and arms.

Arranged on velvet trays were salmon colored stones; white rocks glittering with quartz; striped and spotted pebbles that made me wonder at my designer's ingenuity.  I picked through milky pearls; blue-eyed scallops that fluttered obligingly onto my hands like submerged sparrows; whelks, snails, cockles, muscles – twisted and painted by the ocean's whimsy.  I paused over a selection of starfish that would glitter from my hair with a drowned elegance.  Sea horses approached, ready to be harnessed to my ears.  

Finally I made my selections.  As I waited for my dress to be constructed, I rested.  And I slept.  Suddenly my gown was ready, a marvelous thing:  ruched with flounders, embellished with coral, hemmed with anchovy tails and fins.  Clams were sewn into the skirt with braided strips of kelp.  It was covered with a rich skin of scales, and I shimmered like a fish as I put it on. 

And then I woke up. 

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8 responses to “The Fashion-sea-sta

  1. I couldn't wait to see the dress after that descriptive buildup. In it she could indeed float like a buoy.

  2. Sea horse earrings would be things of wonder.

  3. WBaby – Dresses! Floating! Buoys! Yes! This dress was created for a Futurist Ball, in 1927. How I wish I could have been there.
    Bobbette – And they would turn and nod as they pleased…the newest in equine-inspired jewelry.

  4. languid on latitudes!!! that is so much fun to say… laaaaanguid on laaaaatitudes.

  5. was the song "Beyond the Sea" written yet? no, but it is now and I hear it when I see her kelp couture.

  6. Yes, she is a bit subdued. (But I didn't want to subdue my description!) She could have added starfish, bits of netting, a cape of tentacles….so many things! This photo was taken in the 1920's – was fashion ever more madcap than it was then?

  7. What beautiful imagery. You're quite a writer!

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