♫adele | skyfall
tales of the jazz age; adrienne harper
~Tuesday, October 2;
The great fashion designer Coco Chanel is hosting a sure-to-be fabulous fashion show in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton and has invited you--YES you! Wear your most beautiful outfit and come rub elbows with Chicago's finest fashionistas.
surrounded by the magic atmosphere of the ritz i walked into the giant ballroom, tighening the grip on my clutch and glaring around myself for some known faces but nothing, it was just me and the blond man next to me. 'so what now?' francis asked passing a hand through his hair, i ignored his annoyed tone and glanced swiftly at the squiling crowd (of women, mostly) drinking and chatting cheerfully before the beginning of the show.
'you won't ruin my day, fran. i'm here to see coco, i won't be bothered by your bad mood' i stated, with a tight smile, smoothing lightly the thin fabric of the dress i had just finish to make this morning. i knew he didn't want to come with me, /it's not mainly to attend fashion shows, adie' he had stated but i didn't have to insist much: here he was, being my chaperon. 'don't stress. you look good' he turned to look at me and with his eyes scanning my body for all its lenght i couldn't stop myself from blushing. i shrugged, 'thank you but i'm so scared...... it's been already a year since i was in paris working for her. she might as well have forgotten about me' i placed a long wisps of my untamable hair behind my ear. 'i doubt that' he muttered under his breath, with that deep voice that made my skin to come out in goosebumps, and my cheeks were again on fire for that tiny comment.
'shall we seat?' francis offered me his arm, driving me to a little sofa just near the catwalk platform, slipping through a group of ladies. i sighed deeply and i found myself anxious, i rubbed my sweaty hands against the thick fabric covering our seats. 'calm down, babe' he whispered in my ear, when the lights went down. he took my hand in his and i felt a bit relieved for that contact; he hadn't touched me since that embarassing moment before the lunch at my dad's house, at least not as he used to when we were nothing but good friends. he had been completely normal but at the same moment distant and oddly cold but now he was here, his hot hand holding mine and warming up my heart. 'i'm so glad you are here' i breathed in his ear before a bunch of skinny models started to walk slowly up and down the runaway.
francis gave me a last thoughtful glance before turning to look at the show. i intently glared at the fabrics and at the simple designs so 'chanel'. everybody was holding his breath, it was just like magic: intense and dreamy. everything was mostly black and white and i knew well how much coco liked simple lines and being minimalist. only one of the last piece left me completely speechless: it was made of black organza with a waterfall of folds and precious embroidery. it wasn't something coco would wear but at the same time it was just something only /her/ could make, 'god' i whispered glaring with wide eyes at the pale model swaying lightly her hips, turning on her heels slowly. francis turned to look at me, 'that's a big wow, i suppose' he muttered, still tighening my hand with his. i nodded and i couldn't think of anything sound to say. he grinned while i leaned against his strong body, still staring at the gorgeous gown on the catwalk.
'we should sneak out now if you want to see /her/' francis added pulling me out of the room and through a little corridor 'till a closed door. 'you go, i'll give gammon to you' i turned to sideglance around, 'how do you know she's here?' i asked but i knew he wasn't going to tell me. i reached the door and i stopped taking a big breath before knocking. i waited, 'oui?' a hoarse voice reached me, 'come in' she added, speaking fluently french.
i entered the sunny dressing room, poking my head in and smiling weakly when coco, in bones and flesh, met my eyes. i stood in silence while she raised from the chair to approach me, clinically analizing me, 'adrienne?' she asked, after a few minutes, and in a second i was back in paris, working for her, living my dream life. i nodded, 'oui, it's been a long time' i whispered while she moved closer, taking my hand in hers. she leaned to kiss me on both cheeks, 'a year, if i remember correctly' she said and even though we hadn't seen each other for moths for me she was just the same brilliant, though always unapproachable coco. 'just fine, struggling to find my place in this world.' she glared at me with a smile, 'you'll find it, ma cherie. it's about time but you have to be patient. rome wasn't built in a day' i giggled, 'i've never been patient' she laughed. 'i remember perfectly when you came in my shop in rue de cambon for the first time. i had known you for a minute and you already had asked me for a job'. it was long time ago but i remember it perfectly, 'and i got it' coco tossed her head back and i noticed the thin play of wrinkle around her eyes, 'you did. you deserved it' she stated, passing a hand through her black thick hair.
i suddenly remembered something, 'i forgot to compliment for your gorgeous work. those dresses, oh god- i loved them' i passionately said, smiling widely at her, whose eyes glowed in proud. 'i worked on them for months.' she replied as a matter of fact and i giggled: she was never completely satisfied about her work, perfectionist. 'it was amazing and that last dress......' i stopped because i couldn't truly find the words to describe it, 'it was so not me' she lightened a thin cigarette and blew slowly, 'and still, totally chanel' i contemplated her for a while: her voice, her attitude and her gestures were just as i remember and i felt immediately nostalgic. 'i've missed you' she looked at me with gentle eyes, 'Tu m'as manqué aussi' she replied, inhalating deeply.
'unlikely, i must leave now. i would love to stay but my friend is waiting outside' i said, raising from the chair, 'francis?' she asked in that curious french way of saying 'r's. i nodded but of course she remembered how much i talked about him, while being far away from home. 'can i meet him?' she added and i nodded. we both walked to the door, she opened it to meet francis' smile. he seemed to be confused by coco's presence at the door, he took off his hat, 'madame' he said being the usual gentleman. coco smiled next to him, 'you must be the infamous mr. elliot' francis glared at me, raising his brow in concern, 'your reputation precedes you' she added, cryptically. he grinned, 'should i worry, adie?' he asked me and i felt my legs weakening by his gorgeous smile. /what was wrong with me?/
coco leaned to kiss me again on both cheeks, 'i hope to see you soon, ma ami' she whispered, 'and you better keep him close before somebody else steal him from you' i glared to francis, but he seemed to be lost in his thoughts. i smiled, 'it was a pleasure' i stated before taking few steps away from her. francis waved at coco before taking my hand and driving me back to the ballroom, where everybody was waiting for the designer's arrival, and finally out in the fresh air.
'are you happy?' francis asked and i tighened the grip on his warm hand while we walked in the dark streets to my apartments. i nodded, enthusiastically, but there was no need to explain how i felt to him because he pefectly knew. and that's why i loved him so much, i realized with a smile.