“This is going to be fabulous!”
Amelia loved her job as a stylist. Working for a magazine was a great job, but today, she was the stylist for a local fashion show. It was a charity do, but the best promotion Amelia could ever get if she was ever going to start her own business. And that’s what she wanted to do.
The air was buzzing with excitement. All the right people were in the audience.
Amelia had always had an eye for fashion. And, she knew precisely what an outfit needed – a scarf, beads, a hat or a splash of colour. That was why she was the stylist in charge of getting the models onto the runway looking exactly as they should.
One by one her girls hit the lights and did their thing. It was going like clockwork. The usual backstage chaos was humming along surprisingly smoothly. Of course, Amelia’s wardrobe assistant, Jeannie – perky, bubbly, enthusiastic little Jeannie was an absolute gem.
With hair and makeup done, it was, dress on, accessories, shoes and then out they went. The music was throbbing, the lights were flashing, and the dress rack was thinning – only three more to go, and then the finale. The show-stopper and only one model could do it – the fabulously tall Jo.
Putting the finishing touches to the last outfits, Amelia started to relax. She peered through the curtains – yes, it was going well. She was feeling more than chuffed when suddenly, a panic-stricken Jeannie rushed towards her.
“Jo isn’t here.”
“What do you mean, Jo isn’t here?”
“She’s not here yet, I haven’t seen her.”
“Jeannie, why didn’t you tell me? She needs to be here now!” Amelia could feel herself getting hot. She couldn’t afford anything to go wrong. She was depending on this show.
But the seconds were ticking and no Jo. How could Amelia not have noticed she was missing? Because Jeannie was so organised, that’s why, and Amelia depended on her to get the models into their dresses.
“I am so sorry. I was so busy, I didn’t notice.”
None of the other models fitted into the show-stopper.
“Oh God! What am I going to do?”
Be calm! Be calm! Amelia told herself. There has, to be an answer.
“Amelia, you could do it.”
“You’re the same size, and you’re tall enough.”
“Amelia, listen to me – you can do it, you have to do it.”
“But my hair!”
“I’ll fluff it.”
“But makeup? There’s no time.”
“Oh, My God! There’s no time.”
“Quick, here… put it on.”
The dress slid on like magic. A glittering sheath of beauty. Oh, how wonderful it felt!
Jeannie went to work on Amelia’s hair. She ripped out the clip and let Amelia’s blond locks fall loose. Oh, yes, this will be easy. She put a loose comb through it and grabbed the hairspray.
“Bend down, let your hair fall forward,” said Jeannie, already spraying madly.
When Amelia put her head up, she couldn’t believe it. Her hair was fluffed and really, quite spectacular. She rummaged through the lipsticks. Yes, there it was. The bright red. That’s the one.
She looked at herself. Not bad. Not bad at all. Only two minutes to show time. Amelia reached for the shoes. Oh, no, no, no! They didn’t fit. Amelia’s feet were too big.
“Bare feet, that’s what,” declared Jeannie
Looking around wildly, Amelia’s eyes fell on a long sheer scarf. Bright red, just like her lipstick. Yes, the perfect thing to trail along the floor.
“Thank God I painted my toenails this morning!”
Red lips, red scarf, red toenails, fluffed hair – it would have to do.
She grabbed the scarf, fluffed her hair for confidence, looked down at her big feet with the fabulously painted toes and knew she was ready.
The music cued. Amelia straightened her shoulders, lifted her chin, mentally crossed her fingers and out she went.
The finale was a huge success. And ‘darling, wasn’t it just marvellous how the stylist wore the show-stopper’. Amelia’s talent was duly, noted and some even started calling her the ‘Barefoot Fashionista’.
Her business as a personal stylist had begun.
© Inara Hawley 2017
The Writing Exercise for this piece:
Create a two-level problem for your main character