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LITERARY STYLE INSPIRATION: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

Oh hail Haute Couture!

hail haute couture St John's cathedralShop the dream

…and we all chanted, “Oh hail haute couture! Oh hail haute couture!”

“Come, come!”

“Madeliene, if you were the one wearing these tight leather pants you would not be so eager to rush!”

“Move it along Eduardo, I don’t want to be late!”

We climbed the wide stairs of the cathedral and, pushing the heavy doors, we stepped inside to find the villagers sitting on wooden chairs in their best ensembles. There was an excited hum in the air. I held Eduardo’s hand and led him to the front, nodding to Baker, Butcher and the woman who hides her smiles with her scarves along the way.

We settled on the second row from the front. I gathered my Elie Saab long sleeved gown around me and took off my slippers so that I could feel the cold coming up from the tombs under my feet.

“Tell me again why we’re here Madeliene.

“Well darling, when haute couture week starts, we all gather here to see the best looks and to decide what we can wear.”

“You do know the Cathedral is meant to be used for prayer right?”

“Please darling, if you want to pray, you go to the Capela dos Ossos to digest the palpable truth of your mortality and insignificance amid those bones. You don’t pray amid silver candelabras and a myriad of chandeliers, with frescoes hanging over your head and gold chalices on the altar.”

“You got me there…”

“Huh! It’s starting!”

Giorgio stood on the podium in his full suit and his full head of hair, shaved from the sides, with his arm tattoos brimming out from under his sleeves. He has always been the one to conduct the haute couture gathering.

“Beautiful ladies, Madeliene Rose, and gentlemen, welcome, to another haute couture gathering. Can I get an Amen?”

“Amen!” we all chanted.

“Let’s begin another haute couture season with the weird and wonderful Jean Paul Gaultier.”

Uuuuu.

Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture 2015Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture 2015Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture 2015

“The sexy, sleek gowns of Zuhair Murad…”

zuhair murad haute couture 2015zuhair murad haute couture 2015

“…and the structured beauty of the Dior dresses. Can I get an Amen?”

“Amen!”

dior haute couture 2015dior haute couture 2015dior haute couture 2015dior haute couture 2015dior haute couture 2015dior haute couture 2015“Amen, damn it, amen! Madeliene this is fun!”

“I know right? But please don’t curse, this is a sacred place Eduardo.”

“Ralph and Russo haute couture dresses which revere the beauty of the woman’s body…”

Ralph and Russo haute couture 2015Ralph and Russo haute couture 2015Ralph and Russo haute couture 2015Ralph and Russo haute couture 2015“…and the awe inspiring grandeur found in the statement pieces of Stéphane Rolland.”

“Amen!”

Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015Stephane Rolland haute couture 2015“I think I’m going to start walking backwards while wearing these gowns Eduardo.”

Love can be mourned with the accessories found in Maison Martin Margiela’s ensembles…”

maison martin margiela haute couture 2015maison martin margiela haute couture 2015“…while the elements in the Armani collection will take you back to the structured pleated sleeves of the Victorian era.”

“Amen!”

armani haute couture 2015armani haute couture 2015armani haute couture 2015armani haute couture 2015“Oh, definitely an Amen on this one for me Eduardo!”

“We have Dickensian chic from Chanel…”

chanel haute couture 2015chanel haute couture 2015chanel haute couture 2015chanel haute couture 2015“I might just go visit Dickens in one of these couture ensembles darling.”

“The timeless, most glamorous, 1950s alluding ensembles of Giambattista Valli…”

giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015oh hail haute couture giambattista valli 2015giambattista valli haute couture 2015“…and finally, the arresting, dreamy and pure glamour of Elie Saab’s dresses!”

“Amen!”

Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015oh hail haute couture Elie Saab 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015Elie Saab haute couture 2015We all stood up at this and clapped, feverish with excitement at the prospects of our future ensembles. Ah, and you should have seen Eduardo! The man can handle a pirate ship but when it comes to couture, ah, he’s a mess!

Story credits: St.John’s Cathedral; Runway images via Vogue.com.

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