Gown Boutique

The long winter has been a frozen barrens for my eyes, and they are thirsty…thirsty for colour. We’ve existed in shades of grey long enough. I crave banks of sunny daffodils and vibrant red tulips, lawns greening and purple hyacinths…

As my daughter and I trudged along the slushy sidewalks yesterday, I glanced into a boutique window and saw some  beautiful and unique gowns displayed there. She suggested going in, and we did. I admire pretty things, although I have very little fashion sense or knowledge. I knew right away that this was no conventional dress shop. The store was overflowing with lush colours and shimmering fabrics, sequins and swirling ruffles, lace crinolines and sparkling beads. The gowns on the racks were glorious–far beyond the prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses one sees in malls. These were…creations. As I began to explore, it  recalled to my mind the scene in “Cinderella” when her devoted little mouse friends gathered leftover scraps of ribbons and beads and fabrics and designed a beautiful gown for her to wear to the ball, until those miserable step-sisters ripped it right off her shoulders.

Until the moment I stepped into that boutique, I hadn’t realized how desperate my craving for colour was. The dresses were fashioned from every shade of colour imaginable, from deep jewel tones to soft pastels and smoky greys to sensual black. Some gowns had gathered waistlines held in place with a clutch of rhinestones. Others had an intricate array of strap work across the backs. Some were strapless, others backless. One dress had an overlay of translucent pink over a more dense orange that made the most delicious sorbet colour. Another was a swirl of what I can only describe as melted rainbow.  I ran my hands over a long gown that was the happiest shade of yellow imaginable, accented with sunshine rays of sequins. Wearing that dress would have been like  clothing oneself in sunshine.

If I could have shrunk those dresses to a hundred sizes smaller and taken them all home, I would have been content to play with Barbies for the rest of my days.

 A young girl came out of a change room in something exquisitely gorgeous in about a size 2. I was so appreciative of how beautiful she was in the dress that I wasn’t even jealous. I didn’t need to be able to wear the gowns–I only wanted to feast my eyes.

In a quiet corner of the shop, a Persian cat sat observing the comings and goings from his chair. He perched regally on his “throne,” his scrunched up little face quite wise and tolerant. He seemed to me the perfect overseer for this amazing store. I extended my hand and he sniffed it delicately and then bestowed a small kitty kiss on my fingers. If he could have spoken, I know he would have said, “So glad you are enjoying yourself, my dear. Do come again.”

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