SIMONE BUTTERFLY FABULOUS FREELANCE FASHION INVESTIGATOR®
It was January and I was number 45 in the line of patrons stretching from the door of the Glut coop to the corner of 38th and Bunker Hill Road. Winter like all seasons has a unique scent that I look forward to every year. Taking a deep breath I was prepared to be transported back to Christmas 1985 in Akron, Ohio. However, instead, of smelling crisp, cold snow, I was transfixed by the arresting scents of vanilla and tuberose. There is only one person I know who wears Delina, a House of Marly perfume bottled in France.
"Yoo Hoo Darling," Simone cooed as she glided up to me.
With an afro and yellow Isabel Marant High top trainers hidden under wide legged sweat pants, Simone was almost taller than me. Today, her post Covid-19 nails were shorter than I remember. But they were still covered in crystals and matched the pink shopping bag she carried bearing the wording, "Kamala AKA M.V.P." in green script.
"Hey Girl!," I said with a smile. "I haven't seen you since March. Where have you been hiding?"
"Not hiding, darling. Just sheltering in place…"
"Are you running out of things to do yet?," I asked.
"Never that. I am busier now than I've ever been."
"Busy doing what?," I asked.
"Maintenance! Since Covid hit, I'm having to re-learn how to keep up appearances one YouTube video at a time."
"That doesn't sound too bad. But, what are you doing for fun?"
"Kabuki! theater!," Simone said.
"Kabuki?," I asked quizzically.
"Yes, doll! Haven't you noticed, that despite Biden's win, we are witnessing a nationwide pantomime? I don’t know who the producer is, but each new Act is more outlandish than the one before. There have been Kraken sightings, two attempted coups, 62 lawsuits, threats and now an insurrection in the Rotunda. Every time I think the curtain is about to fall, the peanut gallery demands an encore performance.
"Agreed!", I said. "The political shenanigans of the past 4 years have been unprecedented."
"January 20th can't come soon enough!," Simone said.
The rain fell erratically throughout the day - alternating between torrents and drizzle. The electric poundings seemed loudest in my bedroom - not just because the house had no attic but because my bedroom had no tv.
I like the sound of rain as I can lose my self in its oscillating rhythms without much effort. Tonight, however, the tap tap tapping did not hypnotize or lull.
The presidential election is a few days away. I am not exactly worried about the outcome. I predict that there will be a regime change either by ballot or some other means.
I am, however, most concerned about how easy it has become for anyone with financial means and a propensity to hack computer code to replace facts with fiction.
When all signs proclaim the splendor of the Emperor's new wardrobe, who dares contradict even as he appears naked and unabashed on national tv?
TRUTH is not relative. FACTS are not partisan.
But any one of us can twist FACTS to formulate a certain TRUTH that can be wielded to an advantage. This type of manipulation is not a new concept.
American leadership has always adjusted facts to formulate a truth to benefit a select few. America has always used propaganda to justify its inhumanity to others.
Yet as history demonstrates, power grabs of this nature often serve as a harbinger of a revolution to come. I recall the decadence of the House of Romanov, dining sumptuously while the populace literally froze to death in the streets.
The House and Senate left for recess after pushing through the Amy Barrett confirmation; but, failing to pass a stimulus plan or strategy to address the Covid-19 crises. This is the type of apathy that heralds a regime change.
The conservatives overplayed their hand. Their greed and disregard for the truth increased their wealth and power while simultaneously helping to build up a new Democratic party. I just hope the fragile anti Trump coalition will last long enough to undo the damage to the justice department, foreign policy, race relations, economy and the environment.
Despite it all, darlings, like you, I have done my absolute utmost to work, supper and @slayAtHome. Thankfully, confinement has its privileges. Thus far, I have organized my work docket and merchandised my closet. I have stocked and re-stocked my bar. I have remembered how to use my stove and I have begun writing (again). My social calendar is likewise on the up-tick. In particular, on Friday last, I joined over 300 other DC fashion compatriots on IG Live for an Indie Fashion Week (IFW) presentation hosted by IFW founder, Harley Morgan showcasing DC models and fashion leads in their home habitats. (Visit @IndieFashionWeek for more.) Now, if I could just stick to a consistent fitness regimen, I might actually emerge from my lair looking and feeling even better than before!
Chin Up Darlings, it gets better,
In an effort to reduce the height of the mail tower that accumulates, as if by magic to the left of my front door, I decided to dedicate Friday between 12 and 2 am to sorting & shredding. Of course it’s still dark - but the illuminated oversized “M” hanging proudly above my bed - helps to lend a bit of party to an otherwise somber pre-dawn chore.
I am wielding an actual gold knife, part of an 8-piece Versace cutlery set gifted by my BFF, Simone Butterfly, Christmas 2015.
The knife, too beautiful for eating carryout makes the perfect gilded letter opener. The first envelope that is slashed bears a return address from Lori. Apparently she will buy Brookland homes for cash. “If had a nickel for every phantom homebuyer, I would not need to refinance,” I say a little too cynically to Paris Hilton Marie who is busy preening in front of the mirrored lingerie cabinet.
After about 20 minutes of ploughing through the pile, I begin to feel exasperated. My breakfast tea was cold and the trademark CLE that I was streaming had ended.
I grabbed the last stack of mail intending to toss it into a box labeled “Someday is not a day of the week;" when to my amazement, the pile leaped out of my hand, scattering just beyond the foot of my bed.
It’s 1 am now and the tea has been replaced with coconut vodka. That is when I saw it- a jubilant photo postcard of a magical stallion draped in daisies who refused to be bridled. I picked up the note and immediately laugh out loud.
Yoo Hoo Darling!
What ever you are doing right now…. S-T-O-P! I am sending you a plane ticket to Napa. Par Quoi? Because I’m celebrating what is left of summer and you need to sleep. Don't worry I won't mail the tickets. We both know that you will never find it in that tower of mail near your front door.
Lloyd must have sensed my mood because when I slid onto the bar stool, he had already prepared my tonic of choice. Today my Hendricks was buoyed by muddled strawberries & mint with an oversized wedge of lime. 15 minutes later and I am still sipping my first Strawberry Smash. It would seem that the Dept of Energy’s updated Omnibus Amendment Act banning plastic straws may effect more than the life of a tortoise. The mandate ma actually help curtail my cocktail consumption. It's hard to gulp down iced gin without a barrier.
Today marked the beginning of the third work week in August. By 6pm, the humidity had surpassed gentrification as the top gripe amongst Black Washingtonians. And even though I was a native, my look had begun to droop soon after I closed the door on the DollHouse around 7:45 am this morning.
I hoisted my electric Betsey Johnson laptop bag onto the stool to my left and pulled out my Henri Bendel stripped compact mirror. Sephora was right about one thing, the HourGlass waterproof primer was the truth. My Pat McGrath Skin Fetish foundation #27 was in place even though my frontal was dipping dangerously to the left.
I unclipped my tan Gucci visor from my tote bag and placed it gingerly on my head. One crises averted; 2 more to go. 😉 💋
By 2pm on Tuesday I was ready to make my escape from the 3rd floor conference room. Legal meetings for 5 hours straight do nothing but sap my creativity and elongate my “to do” list. After dragging on my vintage Garfinkles faux leopard coat, I braced myself for another 30º March afternoon in the District.
Though I hadn’t eaten lunch, I walked right past Osteria Sette and headed towards Secondi. Paying less than retail is a sure way to reclaim my equilibrium. And who knows, maybe the black knit and tulle Valentino cocktail dress was still where I left her, tucked behind the leather trench coat.
Secondi, perched 42 steps above the Starbucks on Conn and R Street, is one of DC’s premier resale boutiques frequented by women who have made peace with dropping $200+ upon crossing the threshold.
Today I was prepared to take advantage of the 15 day grace period offered by my mortgage company. Some lovely [insert bauble, stiletto, apparel] piece would likewise be late to the 4pm meeting.
The fifth contractor agreed with the previous four. It will be damned difficult to install the claw footed high back soaking tub three feet from the canopied bed.
Simone, true to form said little. Instead, she tilted her head, blinked her large bright eyes and met his gaze with a faint smile.
He countered by gesturing wildly, shaking his head emphatically and repeating his pronouncement with more ferver.
"There are no water pipes on this side of the room," he sputtered. And, "anyway, why would anyone want a bathtub twenty feet from the loo?"
Obviously, he has never visited the Mansion on Forsyth Park (Savannah) or seen series one episode four of MissPhryne Fisher's detective stories.
Doesn't he know all DOLLIES require an elixir on occassion.
Take away her 20 minute soak and her hearty Cotes du Rhone red and even our sweet little Simone just might meet them where they are....with a sword at the ready instead of a wand!
It was Tuesday last and I was idling at a red light adjacent to CITY CENTER DC (premier shopping destination erected by Hines Development Co.). The sun was beaming and I was day dreaming about the Gucci boutique slated to open this year - when I heard a familiar voice cooing, "Yoo Hoo Darling!™"
I looked to my right and saw a jet black 2015 DODGE CHALLENGER with inky tinted windows stamped with a 007 decal. I blinked my eyes to avoid the glare from the Swarowski encrusted decals along the side panels.
"What the cupcake™?!", I said aloud.
Moments later the driver's side glass slowly slid down revealing 2 large eyes rimmed in COBALT LASH EXTENSIONS.
"Simone!," I gushed. "I haven't seen you since the APRIL taping of INGRID'S WORLD. Where have you been?"
"I've been resorting in West V.A. at the GREENBRIER," said Simone. "Didn't you get my text? THE VULCAN is back in town. So true to form, I took the high road and headed south west!"
"Surely DC is big enough for 2 Supers to co-exist?," I said dryly.
"Not really, Simone retorted. "You forget I'm armed and dangerous these days. Not only am I endowed with super 'get out of Dodge' speed thanks to my 2015 V8 CHALLE' but these BLUEBERRY LASHES are also quite magical."
"What do you mean?," I said.
"I mean, Simone said with a wink. "I can now ferret out the truth even when it's buried alive."
"And that makes you dangerous?," I asked.
"Only to Extra Terrestrials," Simone giggled.
HAVE HEMI WILL TRAVEL....
Sorting It All Out
A Faction (Fashion+Fiction) Episode Featuring Fashion Attorney Mariessa Terrell
In an effort to reduce the height of the mail tower that accumulates, as if by magic to the left of my front door, I decided to dedicate Friday between 12 and 2 am to sorting, shredding and filing. I’m up anyway pacing and strategizing on ways to infuse social justice into fashion law so it seems somehow fitting. Of course it’s still dark - but the lilluminated oversized “M” hanging proudly above my bed - bright, but not too bright, helps to lend a bit of party to an otherwise somber pre-dawn chore.
I’m dangerous, wielding an actual gold knife, part of an 8 piece Versace cutlery set gifted by my BFF, Simone Butterfly, Christmas 2015.
The knife, too beautiful for eating re-heated sides from DC’s finest carryouts makes the perfect gilded letter opener. The first envelope I slash bears a return address from Lori. Apparently she will buy Brookland homes for cash. “If had a nickel for every simulated letter- from a phantom homebuyer, I would not need to refinance,” I say a little too cynically to Paris Hilton Marie who is busy preening in front of the mirrored lingerie cabinet.
After about 20 minutes of ploughing through the pile, I begin to feel exasperated. My English breakfast tea was cold and the CLE that I was streaming on trademark licensing had ended.
I grabbed the last stack of mail intending to toss it into a box labeled “Someday is not a day of the week;" when to my amazement, the pile leaped out of my hand, scattering in a 180 degree radius just beyond the foot of my bed.
It’s 1 am now and the black tea has been replaced with coconut vodka from a black leather flask stashed next to the Armani Prive. That is when I saw it- a jubilant photo postcard of a magical stallion draped in daisies who refused to be bridled. I picked up the note and immediately laugh out loud.
Yoo Hoo Darling!
What ever you are doing right now…. S-T-O-P! I am sending you a plane ticket to Napa. Par Quoi? Because I’m celebrating what is left of summer and you need to sleep. Don't worry I won't mail the tickets. We both know that you will never find them in that mail tower near your front door.