To a world of evolutionary fashion, I held my hands open
With a sighting and time compass.
Closing one’s eyes, speak’st I of chronicles
Which took one into a world from the past.
Inside a canvas of Nattier, danced I with La Camargo
Being led by Marie-Madeleine Guimard.
Wearing our romantic tutus, for an ethereal genius
Of ballet fanning with a group of playing cards
Zephyrs formed phalanges twisting and twirling,
Before doing the arabesque penchée in the Archduchess’s yard.
Before Marie Antoinette, beneath the fluffy cumuli with her ‘robe a la polonaise’
As an enchantress,
Into an atmosphere of haute couture in Versailles’ royal glamour,
Hoopskirts and whalebone corsets,
Heights of fantasy in a setting of aristocracy doing a battement développé
As in a painting from Degas.
Thrusting Rosa Canina and Rosa Synstylae around
While wearing an empire silhouette as a Neo-classic actress,
Alluring Mr. and Mrs. William Hallett along with Madame de Pompadour
Robed in her embroidered gown.
Changing one’s pace into the Belle Époque in Paris
Greeting ladies with elaborate parasols curtseying down;
Sweet Stradivarius sounds came in a scene of enlightenment and Romanticism,
Dripped with lace to polished prettiness.
Pirouetting before the harem girls draped in flowing pantaloons
And turbans with vivid colours in the shadowy mist.
Spinning with the compass with my oculi closed,
In Japan we appear before powder-faced geishas in exotic kimono.
And so I meet the men dressed in Hakamas,
Getas and textured fabrics holding datejimes standing in a row.
Holding Aubrieta deltoidea intimately with Jeanne Paquin in Buenos Aires, Madrid and London
Admiring the fashions of pastel and tailored day dresses,
Inhaling the air with shimmers of light and fun;
Of great significance, we met Jacques Doucet,
In a galaxy of frills and lace ruffles- the colour of faded flowers.
Sipping cups of ‘Thés des Poètes Solitaires’ from Mariage Frères,
While discussing fashion philosophy with the ancient master of fashion design.
Speaking words so kind, in the sublime glamour of the night with intentions so benign,
Under the moonshine, the compass pointed to Venice to the couture house of Mariano Fortuny
And swinging one’s arms so passionately, spiraling in a tea gown pleated exquisitely.
Hammering one’s fists to classical repertoire from a group of Russians playing Tchaikovsky,
Staring at the aqueous reflections of the Venetian lagoon,
In the garment that Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo wore
Gown of finest silk- the Elements of Mexican cochineal, indigo from the Far East and Breton straw.
A cheerful dance of Charleston and Shimmy
Meeting the Golden age of fashion in the 1920’s,
Situated in a party of dresses with long trains to above the knee pinafores as hibiscus keys.
What zing in the compass wheeling uncontrollably and vibrancy in our adventurous personalities.
Feather boas, embroidery, cloche hats, flapper styles and showy accessories.
Inside a room with a Steinway piano playing itself,
There stood Gabrielle Bonheur adorned in dozens of Akoya pearls.
Delighted at her expensive simplicity, I listened to her fashion philosophy and vogue metaphysics-
Consciousness in the decade, smiling at the little black dress, bob hairstyles, jersey knit as one twirls.
Saying hello to Jean Patou with style of originality,
Mixture of luxury and practicality.
Taking the position of ‘attitude en pointe’,
Like Dudinskaya to his menswear in an increasing mood of informality.
Short suit jackets, knickers, tuxedos, heels and swaying into the 1930’s with ease,
Picking the Kalmia latifolia in a garden of Ericaceae, I whirled in a lobster dress from Elsa Schiaparelli.
Posed I as an antique statue,
Inspiring a timeless and beautiful evening gown outstretching one’s arms with glee.
O Madeleine Vionnet, how the ladies loved her as they bobbed to the Queen of the bias cut
And walking with a strut,
Her garments came to life as the chiffon, silk, and Moroccan crepe mingled,
Creating an astonishingly poised and titillating effect, presenting a flowing and elegant line as one tingled.
The December twilight romanced the dinner with my companion and I,
Authorizing fresh winter winds.
Our necks covered with handmade printed silk square scarves from Hermès,
While holding a ‘Kelly bag’.
We walked with held hands in this faraway land;
Our ears tightly devoted to clarinets and C melody saxophone pins.
Clutching his body, we did a jitterbug after a few Hemingway Daiquirís when so suddenly,
I pirouetted leaving my love behind,
Into the arms of Christian Dior I fell in early 1953 in a different society
Being introduced to the sheer sophistication of style and feminine elegance of his dresses in a fabric sea.
Whirling with the compass into a time capsule to another fashion house
Of the frugal prince of luxury.
What evidence was greater than his apparent individuality and inventiveness
To the legendary Cristobal Balenciaga Esagri.
High waisted and chemise dresses underlining his mastery of fashion design-
Celebrated as one of the few couturiers in fashion history at the height of his artistry.
I smiled when I saw Audrey Hepburn tasting Oolong tea,
Gracefully with Jacqueline Kennedy, wearing alabaster Betinna blouses from the house of Givency.
It’s a wonderful thing to smile in style and as I confess, going through a different door of time-
Wandering in a setting with Hollywood designers passing by,
In the 1950’s creating fashion allurement for Grace Kelly while savoring Sicilian wine.
I shall fast forward as I sigh, having acknowledged the fashion of the 1960’s, 1970’s and the 1980’s.
O birth of mini-skirts dared the legs of women meet from Mary Quant,
And revolutionary yet exquisite tuxedo suits for ethnic models from Yves Saint Laurent.
Three o’clock on a March afternoon, twisting my torso I met Dame Margot Fonteyn,
As we performed fouettés en tournant before a group of bell-bottomed hippies sitting at a wall fountain.
The air smelt like deep pink Magnolia blossoms and Classic white gardenia crown jewels on a full moon.
And at midnight, she partnered with Rudolf Nureyev,
As they did in the Kingdom of shades to the Danse de cygnes tune.
Gripping my time compass, in this lunar state I had already said hello to movements of Glam rock,
Broad shouldered designs, Pop-Art inspired jackets in the futuristic universe of Christian Lacroix,
In the world of haute couture. Human Papilionidae draped in the clinging style of Donna Karan
And the simple sophistication of Ralph Lauren in the future.
If one were to say, after the dancing and sipping teacups of lovely tea through ages of space,
From the days of short skirts made of sweat shirting, leotards, headbands, and leg warmers from Norma Kamali.
Phenomenal stilettos strutting the streets and over the knee boots from Manolo Blahnik,
Along with impeccable wild animal print attire,
Signature patchworks and flowery superfluities from Just Cavalli.
Time transcended into the shower-dress being worn by the best, car dresses from Karl Lagerfeld
In the fashion fest.
Speeding in a SSC Ultimate Aero, a fashionista followed the fashion in Gucci with “Jackie O” as her side kick.
Shall I express the latest quest of flamboyant extravagance in Milan and luxurious fabrics from Prada,
While holding a Japanese sandalwood fan being entertained by women in a large display of Buchaechum.
Standing at a busy street in the midsummer night stood La Camargo,
Wearing a dazzling red DVF wrap dress, flirting with a gentleman suited in Armani Collezioni from Chicago,
His mystery was in his grin as his slow breaths caressed the air, clutching her body beneath the nebulae.
Staring into the spinning time compass, we disappeared through another door inhaling winter whiffs on a frigid day.
Converses with a crowd of denizens attired in black sheered mink furs from the house of Posen,
Being taken to an ice château by a pack of snow wolves from Alaska that had been chosen.
Tenebrous morning brought shouts from strangers in the distance warmly dressed in LV leopard fur threads,
I suppose their fuzzy heads were ready to sleep in permafrost igloo beds.
And in my bungalow I lay with my time compass in my hands after visiting various lands
To seize every memory, holding them dear to my heart whilst having accepted that we had to part.
© 2010 Krystal Volney