Short Fiction // Fashion Frenzy

A piece of moss caught onto her silver dress causing her to stumble and lose her Jimmy Choo stiletto. Kate quickly picked up the runaway shoe and found her seat; dead center in the front row. She sat down on the cold aluminum chair and shuffled her ruffled dress around her legs for a more comfortable position.

She opened up her emerald encrusted clutch and pulled out a pen and her notepad. Staring straight ahead – a stripped-tile runway swept across the old, brick warehouse. Dripping from the ceiling – dark moss coated the perimeter of the rusted beams.

“I’ve been looking forward to this show all year,” exclaimed a fiery red-head, who sat next to Kate. Her short hair was tousled and golden highlights jet out the sides. A charcoaled-color eye shadowed dusted her eyelids and thick liner made her green eyes glow.

“Hi – I’m Kate,” she nervously said, glancing ahead. “This is the first fashion show I’ve covered.”

“You’ll be hooked,” the red-head said as she applied a violet stain to her lips.

Fashion Week in New York City is the Mecca of newly released trends. It is the Oscars of fashion and the award goes to the show that is the most-populated and later praised at cocktail parties and religiously written about in fashion publications. Kate was at the hottest “Oscar-worthy” show.

One-by-one the aluminum chairs were filled with sequined dresses and tailored velvet suits. The guests pressed their crystal glasses to their perfectly contoured lips and sipped Veuve Cliquot champagne; a delicacy Kate never tasted when she lived in Kansas.

In the distance, a woman wearing a headset brushed away the sky-blue silk curtains and ran towards the crowd. Sweat bullets formed around her brow bone. She wiped away the droplets but a horrified expression was plastered on her face.

The anxious woman glanced around the room, covering her eyes from the beaming lights. “You!” She yelled, pointing in Kate’s direction.

Uncomfortably, Kate looked at the red-head and then back at the woman that now had her clipboard in Kate’s face. “Me?” she quietly said.

“Come with me.”

The anxious woman grabbed Kate’s arm and dragged her along the stripe runway. She maneuvered through the silk curtain and suddenly, Kate was standing among makeup artists and hungry-looking models.

A handsome man with slicked hair and stunning blue eyes put his hand on Kate’s shoulder and introduced himself. “I’m Jake. Nice to meet you. I need you to model in my show.”

Kate’s puzzled expression forced him to elaborate.

“One of my girls never showed up. We are down one model and I need you to fill in for her.”

The anxious woman returned. “I’m Jennifer – the director of this show.” She held up a floral-print gown against Kate and nodded.

“Try this on now.”

“Attention. The show will begin in five minutes!” The overhead speakers blasted. Kate could hear cheering behind the curtains.

She grabbed the gown. “Where’s the restroom?”

“You need to change right here, right now,” Jennifer said with a scowl.

As Kate pulled up the gown, a team of makeup artists and hairstylists rushed to her side. Powder and hairspray polluted the air.

Jennifer grabbed Kate’s hands and pulled her to a row of towering women. Their cream skin and similar choppy haircuts made them all look related. Kate stood out with her straight, blonde hair. Anxiety possessed Kate’s body and her bronze face turned as white as the models – “there’s one similarity,” Kate thought.

A pianist began pounding on the keys. Then, an electronic violinist chimed in and began playing an upbeat tune.

“Showtime!” Jennifer shouted.

One by one the models floated through the silk curtains. Kate didn’t know it then, but this was her time to shine.