I remember the day I went to your office and you offered me an unpaid internship in your department, which I politely refused. You were the sales manager of a French fashion brand whose profile had risen immensely in about two years and you were probably wondering how you could use me. I started working in the showroom a few weeks later.
You only wore black, sometimes white. You body was boyish and because you hated your legs you hid your hips under masculine trousers. You had no breasts, but then again, fashion witches don’t have any. These creatures are sad remnants from the greed decade and still think that being like a man always guarantees success.
You walked around the showroom in Manolo Blahnik sandals and said they fit like slippers. The only smell you could tolerate was one Diptyque candle at a time and you flashed your Hermès watch for your fortieth birthday. Nothing truly original there, but you certainly thought you were the pinnacle of taste.
Fear reigned in your office. People were wondering what mood you’d be in every time you walked past them. I was young and naive then. I talked to you and looked after you, making sure everything was the way you wanted. I even gave you neck massage. It was nice at first, but then you demanded it every morning and it became a bore.
You were like a walking billboard for cynicism. You made fun of the clients who ordered the collection and laughed at the journalists who came in. Sometimes you made me laugh so hard I had to run down to the basement and hide. You had no respect for anyone, including yourself.
You were like the naughty girl who never did her homework. Part of your talent was to surround yourself with people who worked their asses off—for your approval. You really relied on them but you were also a control freak.
We had our honeymoon, and it didn’t last. One thing about cynical people is that they are often smart and witty, but their sinister face eventually creeps up. I remember how you shouted at me one season, because the security guards blocked entry to the show venue and you couldn’t get in. I was just talking about how good a sequined jacket looked on the runway and you completely lost it, insulting me for about ten minutes. I had no idea what was going on, but soon understood you were just a sad bitch.
Power was the only thing that kept you going. It fed you like blood feeds vampires. You smoked like a chimney and I would probably have had cancer if I had worked for you another year. The smell after one day of work was suffocating. You also hardly ate anything, probably because you were so focused on your thighs. I was famous for being the first employee to approach the delicious buffet, which was laid out every morning. People probably made fun of me because I loved the food, and I didn’t give a shit. At least I looked healthy. You put your face on every morning before your first appointment and looked like a monster after three days.
You were terribly insecure. I used to get on very well with an American buyer and when you noticed that we worked hard while having fun, you made sure I never had an appointment with her again. Maybe it was my kindness that beat you. Whatever it was, you were on a mission to frustrate others, since you didn’t think much of yourself. And everyone knew it.
I remember the day you passed out before an important client came in. I had to take over while you looked like death and I honestly thought you were going to have a stroke. I think you were slowly beginning to lose your power. After that appointment the fashion director asked me to come to his office and the conversation started to feel like a job interview. What was going on? Were you completely out of it? And what made this guy think I wanted your job? I guess no one had a clue about what to do precisely, as is often the case in this maddening business.
The glory days didn’t last long. Despite all your lies, persistent scheming and bad faith, the new owners of the brand decided to close the fashion house down. I was no longer working with you when it happened, but I heard that you were calling buyers and crying over the phone, which was quite pathetic. Dignity was never your forte.
That’s the thing about witches. They fool everyone for a while, but one day it’s over. I knew you’d never have a job like that again, and you never did. It was time for me to move on and learn about other things in life.
I’m glad we met.
Silence is loud, now. Pure veritas blew away the essence of our words/moments/thoughts.
It’s the canvas portrait of a ghost. Still speaks softly, sometimes.
The last day we met Paris was cold and grey.
I wore my dress under layers of black wool – under cover charme.
All the mirrors love that dress, it looks like an avant-garde piece, but it’s not. My mother bought it for herself when I was twelve but she couldn’t manage to wear it, as she’s not the kind of woman who can wear it. She’s so sweet.
I waited patiently and then, when I turned seventeen, the time came for me to take it.
Black drapes engrave movements with drama. An early widow.
The last day we met I wore it with no respect.
I wore it with no reason, like a dogma.
Drawing the image you’ll keep of me – a pale figure/ a black dame/ a ink shadow under the grey sky.
The fabric was folded between us in our last embrace.
Now. Mirrors are asking for that dress again. I wear it like a perfume.
Fate will give me precious gifts tonight and I already chose my favourite one.
He feels my presence around him, somewhere. He holds his glass and I can read a subtle smile behind his face.
When he comes to me we both know.
Acting as the black dame, I don’t speak that much.
He says he loves my dress and I look away as he’s staring at my legs. Touching me with white fingers, he follows the paths I’ve been drawing for him.
He could never be more close that this.
I’d love to tell that I miss you. You were a perfume on my thoughts.
But there’s no absence. You’re standing there, somewhere, hating(?) pushing(?) judging(?) loving(?) ignoring(?).
You couldn’t dare to hold me the way you wanted to. And I couldn’t stop telling you about my lovers.
It still takes a while for you to realize that a pure heart belongs to such a bitch.
You blame yourself, as I blamed you.
Under cover, hidden with black layers, truth is finally allowed to change its words.
For beauty’s sake, veritas has always a double face.
Current ready-to-wear collections are primarily aimed at celebrities or fashion insiders. This fashion produced for the catwalk only lives in the magazines, it is totally detached from reality. This ‘unreal’ system is sustained by the fashion and marketing industry. On the other side mass-produced and cheap clothes now determine fashion trends. But is there any passion embedded in this soulless mass production of cheap garments? Promotion and marketing consume most of the money the sales of these clothes generate. Ordinary consumers are attracted to fast fashionchain stores and even form long queues outside them. Money has become the new authority, this is the new trend. Everything has become associated to money. Is this what fashion is ultimately about? What role does fashion or design play in this scenario? The reason why we at UnderCover like to pursue fashion is because we believe that fashion enriches our daily lives. Although our clothes may not be the one, they are still properly designed. We try to embed love and passion into every single item we design and produce. This is our style. It would be great if more consumers would support our philosophy of this. Our aim is to build a community of like minded people who strive with us towards a different reality where the true values of fashion matter again. Last collection’s theme was Less But Better. With our current collection we continue this philosophy whilst at the same time extending it by integrating issues of daily life. We call it UnderCover.