Pursey Galore on the Runway

Pursey Galore spent last weekend with the lovely Pua, from Dino Momma, and she wrote this post about taking the sparkly bag to a pumpkin patch. But I was far more intrigued by the picture of her husband modeling with the purse. And the following possibility came to me…

Offering a meager tip to the cabbie, Pua made her way to the stage door and showed her pass, squeezing in past young men and women eager to see the designer or the models. She dropped her impeccably cut jacket and tacky, sequined zebra striped bag in a cubbie and took her station behind the curtain leading to the runway. Her partner tapped his watch and glared at her from across the gap.  Pua shrugged. She’d gotten there, hadn’t she?

Things moved quickly from there. The music started, the flashbulbs exploded and Pua worked her frantic magic, helping each model change and accessorize in the time it took to draw a breath. One dicey moment came when a shoulder strap refused to stay put, risking an immodest wardrobe malfunction in front of over a hundred photographers and fashion writers. Out of pins on her wrist pad, Pua grabbed her trashy sequined bag and rummaged for spares. Without time to duck back and stash the purse, she slung the strap over her shoulder and carried on.

The designer walked among them, tucking, blousing, pinching and pleating each model before he or she walked through the curtains. The group moved like clockwork, sending each model out exactly on cue. Until…

“No!” He shouted. “Not IT.”

The staff winced. They wouldn’t know IT if they saw it, but he did, and if he said it wasn’t there, then it wasn’t there, and none of them would be able to help. The model, wearing the season’s high end men’s suit in black paired with silver bowling shoes, froze. He knew from experience that he was to do nothing, take not one step, until the designer saw IT.

He strode to the accessories table, flinging scarves, chain link belts, silk handkerchiefs and banded hats to the floor. Pua turned, waiting, holding her breath, and a rainbow scattered across the backstage area from the stage lights bouncing off the countless gaudy sequins on her zebra striped bag.

All eyes turned to her purse.

“Where did you get that?” Demanded the designer.

Pua hesitated, worried that the silly bag that made her laugh was going to offend the designer so badly that she was going to be forcibly evicted from the venue.

“It was a gift,” she said. “From…my mother.”

“I need it.”

“Huh?” She was rendered momentarily dysfluent.

“I need it.” He walked quickly to her. “May I?”

“Umm…sure.” She slipped the purse off her shoulder and dumped the contents out at her feet, knowing that it needed to rest flat against the cut of the suit.

The designer moved quickly, slipping the strap over the model’s head, angling it properly along the lapel.

The loud, outrageous, zebra-striped sparkle was – somehow – the perfect complement to the sleek black jacket and silver shoes.

The designer pulled a lock of the handsome man’s hair down over his forehead, took one more look and shoved the model gently through the gap in the curtain. The gasp from the crowd was audible. The dressing team leaned forward, hoping to hear something over the music.

“Audacious!”

“Delicious!”

“Daring contrast!”

Pua nodded. Well, it was all of those things.

The staff watched the designer, whose ability to read the audience’s reaction to the line was legendary. His face scanned the crowd, moving up and down the audience, assessing posture, the intensity of the jotting of notes or the typing into laptops.

A collective breath was held.

“Yes,” he finally said. “The last piece did it.”

Silent jumping and high-fives were shared. The designer’s face took on a younger appearance as he grinned. Then the music blared again, which was his cue, and he dropped the smile, adopting the bored, disinterest, too-cool-for-my-own-damned-good expression expected in the fashion industry, and slipped out from behind the curtain to  cheers from the crowd.

Her annoyed dressing partner looked at the pile of debris at Pua’s feet. “You want something to put all that in? You’re totally not getting your purse back.”

Pua nodded. “Yeah, I know. It’s okay. It really had too much attitude for me. It belongs on a stage.”

Her partner handed her a handled shopping bag and snorted. “It belongs in a bordello.”

“Yeah, well, sorta the same thing,” she answered while scooping up brushes and lipsticks.

Her partner nodded. “True enough.”


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