Doesn't Mommy Look Pretty?

Doesn't Mommy Look Pretty?

As I gaze deep into my couture week crystal ball at the Viktor & Rolf show, mists unfurl upon themselves, the corners of my vision darken, and my soul slowly lifts up from my body. I’m receiving a fashion vision.

An otherworldly specter greets me. She’s a Viktor & Rolf couture customer. I’ve come here, to this astral plane, so I can understand her intentions as a purchaser of couture, and perhaps her identity, and maybe even Viktor & Rolf’s inspiration for this latest collection. Who knows with things like this. I’m just a fashion clairvoyant, come seeking answers.

Her soul glows, and I am transported to—

—SOMEWHERE IN THE HAMPTONS, 2021: Your Moschino books clack on cold Belgian black marble, imported via private jet from godknowswhere. A fleet of interior decorators had waved some swatches in front of you and, exasperated by the sheer amount of labor required of getting a manicure and picking flooring for the third master bedroom, you’d waved in an anonymous direction, and let them fight about it amongst themselves.

A child’s cry pierces the mausoleum-like stillness that marble creates. Clack. Clack. You find your way to a button and press it. Hopefully, that summons a nanny—whichever one is left after the rest of those ungrateful leeches staged a mutiny right before Christmas. Bitch, you think. I paid them too much anyway.

Your psychiatrist that morning had described your disposition as “tempestuous,” and asked if there was a refill you needed. Tempestuous! He’d sat there, and sneered through the plexiglass wall that separated them. You couldn’t see that he was sneering, obviously. His mask obscured that. But you know men. He sneered.

Clack. Clack. Clack. Clack.

The French doors swing open with violent force, hinges spurred along by the grease your husband used to lather them with. Their squeaking was a nuisance on his teleconference calls. Sea air whips the chiffon into your face and you grin. A wandering gardener sees you on the balcony and flees.

Your husband. He was still in Hong Kong, somewhere, “stranded” as he told you, the one time he’d called since March 2020. A year had passed, stretched into a limp oblivion, while you had waited for him to sign the papers. He probably wants your house, and your Belgian marble, and your squeaking French doors, and the crying children.

He couldn’t have them.

The first of several therapists you’d screened had recommended yoga. “To relax,” they cooed. The next had suggested surfing, while the Hamptons weather wasn’t too gusty. The one you’d settled on had handed you a book on fashion. “You’re creative. Do something with it!”

The Dolce & Gabbana gown went first. You felt powerful, and tried to rip it, but settled for scissors. Next went the Fendi spandex, and the Armani Prive gloves. Louis Vuitton and Van Cleef & Arpels brooches were dumped next to Boucheron diamonds. The boarding school had sent your son home with a glue gun. Or he’d stolen it, so you stole it back.

Clack. The French doors close. Clack. Your hands rest on cool, wrought-iron bannisters, heavily bejeweled fingers sending warm resonant tones throughout the foyer. Still grinning, you clap your hands a few times. The nanny emerges, with your daughter. “Yes, Mrs. Murdoch?”

Clack. Clack. Clack.

You rush down the spiraling staircase, back to Earth, and sweep your daughter up into your arms. “Bordeaux, my love. I made this myself.” She’s crying again.

“Doesn’t mommy look pretty?”


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