"Ready. Set. Pose."
That was not the song I expected to hear as I waited for the show to start. I had heard it before, but I couldn't place the name or artist. I sat next to The Madame, my boss, as we waited for the fashion show to start. This one had somehow been announced as a global event. Apparently, the designer thought very highly of themselves and their line.
"What was the theme again?" I was not the Madame's regular assistance. She usually called in sick with a hangover. Eye roll.
"It's called: Banking Institution!" Her boss sounded like an accented cliché fashionista.
'Say what?' There was no way that was a theme. I turned my notebook cover over and wrote the theme down.
"Can't wait to see that..." I was not one for fashion. I was more of a pencil pusher girl. Soon the headlights spun around before centering on the stage.
"Pay attention, girl! Today we will see fashion like no other!"
"Right..." Clearing my throat, I looked at the highlighted figure on stage and started writing.
"Today… We will dive into the world of Banking Fashion!" This man sounded like Madame's brother.
'Just breath, girl. Remember she signs your paycheck.'
With that short introduction, the lights went out, making some people gasp before they flashed back on. This time in the standard array along the catwalk.
And the first model walked down. My brows furrowed, and my eyes grew wide at the… outfit that she was wearing.
"I call this piece [dramatic pause] Loose Change!" The designer's voice echoed from the speakers.
The piece… was hideous. It was a draping maxi dress in generic wallet down, with this oversized metallic silver zipper running from the chest down to the bottom of the floor. Around the neck, there were these plastic fibers on those coloring-changing lamps we had as kids. On the ends of them was this, which I can assume was a thin foam cover in a fabric with a coin printed on it. Nickels, dines, pennies, quarters, and the occasional dollar coin. It was around the collar and looked like a sad peacock display. But no matter how much I hated it, people were still awed at it.
"2 Units!" Madame yelled to me over the crowd. I didn't want to believe her, but I still wrote it down.
1. Loose Change 2 units.
If this was the opening piece, it could only go downhill from here. The model headed back, and the next one came up. It seemed normal from the angel I was sitting at. That was… until they got to the top of the catwalk and posed.
"This is called [Another pause followed by a deep breath] Credit Card Debt."
The piece was a bright blue pants suit with a blazer. Sounds normal, right? It also had seams that were as close as it could get to the arm and in that extra fabric was foam forming a flat edge. This ran up to the shoulders, and the shoulder pieces went past the model's head in that same flat look. Then there were the pants. It was the same thing. The poor model looked like a walking credit card. When he turned to face our end of the room, I saw a simple print pattern on the outfit. Over the pocket were the chip and a string of zero's in 4 sections.
"This wonderful piece comes in 3 fabulous colors! America Blue! Horse Carriage Red! And Viridian Green!"
"4 blue, 1 red, 6 green!"
2. Credit Card Debit 4 blue, 1 red, 6 green.
Who on earth was going to buy any of these? Was this a joke? Was I not getting it? Or was this what they called Avant-garde?
Here comes the next one.
'This doesn't seem too bad. A white sundress with a simple yellow like and a vertical black line.'
"This is called Late fee!"
The model struck her pose… and I immediately took it all back. The dress looked like a printed statement! On the left side of her body, it read: Current Balance, Min Due, Interest Fee, and Late Fee. The yellow line was a highlighter mark, running over late fee. All in a black line bored.
"Pass… Too simple; my shoppers need pizzazz!"
'I… ya know what? Maybe I should stop questioning things.' My eyes got blurry, and I reached up and rubbed them. My contacts must be getting dry from my wide-eyed stares. The model left, and another followed.
"This one, I am most proud of!" So, this is the most ridiculous one? "I call it! Collections." Please, someone, get me out of here. Let superheroes be real for this moment! The camera flashes went off like crazy. I wanted to look away, but it was like a train wreck. You knew what was coming, but you couldn't look away.
And there it was. A solid black sheath-style dress. With sharp shoulder pads that could poke out an eye if you stood too close. But the biggest thing that stuck out was the giant, jagged, red descending arrow that started at the right shoulder and went towards the left hip. The start of the arrow was standing past the model's head, being held up by more foam. The arrowhead was sticking off their hip, once again with foam filling.
"La gasp!" Oh no, "50 units!" I slowly turned my head and looked up to Madame.
"50? or 15?" There was no way I could have heard her right.
"50! 5! 0!"
. . .
3. Collections 50 units.
Once again, my vision got blurred, and my jaw started to get stiff. I found it hard to open. The designer's voice came on again, but I barely caught what it said.
"My last piece! Deposit Box!"
* tick tick tick *
Hm? Where was that ticking noise coming from? I looked around, and soon a faint song started to play.
My eyes slowly opened, and I glanced around the dark room. I turned my phone over and squinted from the harsh light.
Ah yes. Ticking by TIN. My alarm had gone off. It pressed snooze, and my phone blared again.
"My King Julien!"
Right… I had fallen asleep to All Hail King Julien. Pausing the show, I then sat up and glanced around my room. My face scrunched up, and my mind was still processing last night's dream. Crawling out of bed, I start going through my morning routine. Turn on my computer, brush my hair, use the restroom, etc. Once logged into all my systems, I took my seat at my desk and slipped on my headset.
"I really got to get into a different department or something."
* deep deep *
"Welcome to the bank I work at; my name is Ann. How can I help you today?"