Solo Suits you, Sir.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Suits you, Sir.

Postby Amelia on March 21st, 2016, 2:22 pm

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57th Spring, 516AV

Though she would never publicly admit it, Amelia liked working late. There was something about being left alone, with only the silk and cotton as company, that truly made her feel inspired. There were no gossipy conversations to distract her (though it really was integral that she knew exactly what her co-worker’s cousin’s ex-husband has been up to, the dirty dog), and nobody enquiring how her designs were coming along (they were always coming along just fine, thanks very much).

But most of all, Amelia could wander around and absorb inspiration from the silent cloths. They were pieces of artwork in themselves, these luxurious swathes of fabric that hung limply from the walls or were rolled up in their cocoons of softness. There was a part of Amelia that was envious of the men and women who created the material, people like Drusilla the terrifying Symenestra -- who was not terrifying in the slightest. Amelia had considered learning the art of weaving many times, but there was something about the monotony of cross thread over thread that she knew would drive her insane. No, leave her with the finished product and she would turn it into a glorious dress or blouse.

She was currently in the process of doing just that, designing a dress for a little girl who’s fifth birthday it was in three days. The child’s parents wanted a custom made outfit for their daughter, whose measurements Amelia had taken the day before. Beyond informing her that little Annabelle liked the colour pink, butterflies and bows, Amelia had been left to design the garment herself.

So far inspiration had not struck, but as she wandered through the store brushing past silk and chiffon, Amelia could feel ideas beginning to blossom in the back of her mind. Annabelle was a slight little girl, with a narrow yet tall build. Her height could easily carry a bigger, more voluminous skirt than a shorter child could, so Amelia began to toy with the idea of using netting as an underlayer to give the dress a really puffed out, almost tutu-like appearance.

And butterflies! Butterflies had to be incorporated somehow, but the question was how much? In Amelia’s opinion there was two choices: to keep it simple, with one or perhaps two butterflies, or to go all out and make the dress appear as if it’s made by butterflies. The latter choice would be more outstanding, but definitely more work as well. Was Amelia the type to shy away from such a challenge?

Gods, no!

She hurried down to the other side of the store, where the lace was kept. If she used a soft, baby pink lace for the top of the dress – which would be simple, sleeveless and with a high neckline – then it would be easy to incorporate dozens, hundreds of butterflies into the design. Then the skirt would have an under layer of chiffon, or silk – something soft – with a top layer of the pink netting. She would add a few butterflies to the skirt, too, growing in number as the skirt met the top of the dress, at which point the dress would appear to be made wholly of butterflies.

With her design in her mind, Amelia began to sketch out ideas for the dress, starting with the the high-necked top that also featured a simple square design. For a tick she toyed with the idea of adding sleeves, lightly sketching initially a pair of capped sleeved followed by longer, mid-length ones. But eventually she scrapped this in favour of simplicity. The dress itself would hopefully look astounding enough to not need to the extra material.

Breathless with excitement, she glanced up from her parchment. Had that been the door opening?

Inspiration for dress :
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Amelia
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Suits you, Sir.

Postby Amelia on May 29th, 2016, 4:12 pm

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The man that stood in the doorway of the Silk Palace was the personification of un-threatening, what with his slim frame and crisp-looking shirt. But nevertheless, Amelia’s heart leapt to her throat and she tightened her grip around her sewing needle – her weapon of choice. She had not expected a paying customer to enter the store so late at night. ”We’re closed.” She said huffily, nodding to the door, which was decorated externally with a sign that repeated this exact sentiment. “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to come back in the morning.”

The pasty-skinned male slid his flatcap off his head and gave a bizarre little nod. “Yes, yes, I know.” He said, his words lilted with an accent that Amelia did not recognise. “You are—Amelia, yes? Amelia Trisswell?”

That he knew her name did nothing to quell Amelia’s anxiety. She rose slowly from her seat, taking a step backwards until her behind was pressed against the table on which she had previously been working. A frown twitched her eyebrows together and, like a knight raising his great sword, Amelia pointed the needle towards her attacker. ”Who are you? How did you know I was here?”

It took him some time to realise Amelia’s fear for what it was. Even then, the stranger reacted poorly and rushed towards the young woman, his face creased with regret and humiliation, all too keen to set himself straight. “Oh, I’m sorry! I should explain myself. It’s so late, of course you should be wary of someone coming into your store, even in a place like Lhavit.”

A place like Lhavit. So he wasn’t local, then.

”What do you want?” Now he was closer, Amelia could see the greyness to his complexion, his hallowed out cheeks. He looked meek and pathetic, but even so she was not about to drop her guard. Or her needle. Not yet.

“My name is Benedict. Ben, for short.” He flashed her a gruesome smile that was all yellow and crooked teeth. When she winced at the sight of his ugly mouth, Benedict snapped his lips shut in sad humiliation. “I arrived to Lhavit only two days ago, but I have heard that you are a fine dressmaker. A… A fashioniesta, they called you?”

Not that was the way to gain Amelia’s trust! She lowered her needle a fraction, allowed herself to consider that perhaps this man was telling the truth. There was no denying, at least in her mind, that Amelia Trisswell was certainly one of the more fashion-forward women of Lhavit. ”I see…”

“And, well, you see, I came with no very little clothing.” Benedict’s hands fussed with his hat, pulling and twisting it in a fretful manner. “So I heard that you might be the woman to seek out for a new wardrobe, but I—I have to make it clear what precisely I want.”

So he wanted a new outfit, then. Amelia felt a mixture of relief and further confusion. She could only presume that the men who visited clothes stores this late at night were the types who truly cared for their appearance. But Benedict – with his sallow skin and shabby clothes – did not seem to be that sort. ”If you want me to assist you in finding a new wardrobe, please come sometime tomorrow.” The disappointment hit Benedict’s face before Amelia had even finished her sentence, but she seamstress held firm and continued, ”I will be more than happy to see you tomorrow morning, first thing. I was just about to close up, anyway.” A lie, but she she was beginning to grow irritated with Benedict and his sorrowful face.

“Oh. Oh, I see. Okay.”

It was obvious that Benedict wanted to say more, and after a tick of waiting for him, Amelia sighed heavily and began to pack away her things. She listened carefully for the sound of his footsteps whispering off towards the door, but when Amelia glanced up from her desk, Benedict was paying close attention to a maroon red ball gown.

“Such exquisite design,” he mumbled softly, more to himself than to Amelia who was now watching him through suspicious eyes. “Silk, underlain with taffeta for coverage and volume.”
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Suits you, Sir.

Postby Amelia on May 29th, 2016, 4:47 pm

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Unable to stop herself, Amelia simply stared at this strange man who had interrupted her peaceful night. Whilst he looked drab and utterly out of touch with style, what he had just said in his quiet murmurings had been spot on in regards to the mind set of the designer of the dress he was currently inspecting. Amelia knew this because she had designed and made that dress. ”Yes, you are correct.” She said slowly, cautiously, as if Benedict might be trying to lay down some fashion-centred trap for her to tumble into. ”I made that dress for a woman whose daughter was getting married. But the wedding never happened.” Even now, two seasons after the event – or lack thereof – the seamstress still felt sad for her hand-stitched gown; it would never be used for the purpose it had been created. ”We’ve pulled it out of storage in hopes someone will buy it. But it was custom made for a specific body type, so it’s… unlikely.”

She now stood beside Benedict, also admiring the dress. A man who knew material as good as he could not be a threat, she had finally decided. A delicate hand rose up to meet the full skirt of the dress, and Amelia found herself fondly recalling how she had stitched the parts together, how she had discussed in great detail the style that the mother-of-the-bride-to-be desired, and how delighted the woman in question had been when the gown was revealed to her. ”It’s always sad when a custom-made piece isn’t worn. And it’s so difficult to change anything about it, as well.”

Benedict remained silent, his face full of forlorn that mirrored Amelia’s own regret. Fashion was never a thing to waste, in her eyes. But the woman who the dress had been made for was a fuller-figured lady, with broad shoulders and a thick waist. Few other women shared her figure – and how many of those few women would have an event worthy of such a dress? ”It’ll probably be used for scrap material, eventually.”

“No!”

The passion with which he spoke seemed to surprise both Amelia and Benedict himself. The seamstress looked aghast and bemused, as did the visitor until he slid a hand over his blushing face. “I’m sorry. I’m terribly sorry, Amelia. It just… I can see the effort that you put into this dress. It doesn’t deserve to be used for scrap.” He spat out that final word with disgust. “It’s just too beautiful.”

”That’s very kind of you to say, but—”

“I know.” He said suddenly, turning to Amelia with bright, hopeful if not nervous, eyes. “How about—What if I—” His little tongue darted out, licked his lips nervously, and the Benedict broke into a spatter of nervous laughter. “What if I bought the dress? Wouldn’t that be just hilarious?”

More high-pitched laughter that made Amelia wince. Benedict mistook her grimace, though, and his laughter died away as suddenly as it had erupted out of him. “Yes, yes. You’re right. It’s stupid, wrong. Sinful. I’m sorry, I—” He turned away from her, made to walk out of the door but instead clattered into a row of shirts. “Oh!” He huffed, blustering and blundering right and left until eventually he barged past Amelia, who stood silent and dumbfounded.

Were those tears in his eyes?

“Benedict, wait!” She called out, just as the door bell tinkled gleefully at his attempted exit. He froze, turned his head halfway back to Amelia. ”I mean, if you did want to buy the dress… You could do. I could give you a good price.”

“You would?” He sniffed, and Amelia found herself smiling at the heady relief that fringed his words. “I mean, if it means that the dress won’t go to waste…”

There and then, Amelia decided that she would go along with his story. Whatever the reason that unlined Benedict’s desire to purchase the dress, she would ignore it. He seemed a fragile man, one who clearly lived his life half-terrified by the world around him, or perhaps by the people who occupied it. There had been a boy in Amelia’s school named Eric, who used to wear his sisters’ dresses at any given opportunity; fancy-dress parties or as a so-called ‘dare’, that in truth nobody had bothered to give him. Nobody particularly understood why he enjoyed it so much, and indeed some of the meaner children had teased him, but Amelia had always appreciated the effort that Eric went to in order to coordinate his dresses and accessories.

In fact, if anyone could give Amelia a run for her money in terms of fashion, it was probably Eric.
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Suits you, Sir.

Postby Amelia on May 29th, 2016, 5:57 pm

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Perhaps Benedict was like Eric, a man who simply enjoyed wearing fabulous dresses in the same way that Amelia did. If so, she was certainly the woman to come to. But before she sold this dress to him, Amelia felt the need to clarify that this was indeed the case.

“Would you be purchasing this dress for anyone? A female friend, perhaps?” She asked the question delicately, but nevertheless Benedict’s expression hardened and his eyes widened with nervousness. Changing tac at the last minute, she added quickly, ”Only this dress was made for a rather plump woman. A woman who, say, might have a figure closer to a slim man….”

It took Benedict precisely five ticks to cotton on to what Amelia was saying. And when he did, he beamed delightedly. “Oh. Oh, I see! So kind of you to let me know. Yes, this dress will be for my—my sister. She and I have very similar body shapes, you see.”

Amelia smiled, pleased with herself and this act of kind charity. ”And so it might be pertinent for you to try it on, in your sister’s place? You wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, after all.”

After that, it took very little effort to get Benedict to follow Amelia’s subtle suggestions. In fact, he practically leapt into the gown as soon as she showed him the curtained changing compartment for customers. Once the garment was on, he pushed the curtains aside in a gleeful fashion. “How does it look?”

”Wonderful!” Amelia said, genuinely pleased with how her garment fitted the slim male. She rose to inspect the dress in more detail, tugging at where the sleeveless corset top nipped into Benedict’s skin, and where the waist sagged slightly at his lack of hips. ”Your sister has a similar shape to you, yes? So I presume she has similarly narrowed hips?”

“Oh, yes. Yes, she does.” Though he sounded as nervously embarrassed as before, Benedict’s confidence had completely altered since he donned the gown. He seemed a changed man, full of excitement and playfulness.

”So we could take in the waist, perhaps?” Amelia suggested, pinching the loose material either side of Benedict’s torso. ”it would give you – your sister – a sleeker and more slender form. Very complimentary.”

She watched Benedict carefully examine his reflection in the full-length mirror, pinching and squeezing at his waist with a critical eye. “Yes, though would that cost anything?” His reflection glanced to Amelia sheepishly, “my sister has limited funds.”

”Lucky for you,” Amelia said smoothly, her eyes fixated on the dress so as not to betray her lie, ”the Silk Palace offers free alterations to new customers, for their first purchase only. We can have this changed for you for free, and it’ll be ready in a day’s time.” It was completely untrue, but Amelia could not stomach the idea of turning away her newest and most rewarding of customers at this late stage in his purchase.

It did not seem as though Benedict doubted her tale, and instead the male seemed far too preoccupied twirling in front of the mirror to even listen to her. Amelia simply sat back and observed him, unable to contain her own enthusiasm.

This is what fashion is about, she thought humbly as she watched Benedict. It’s a luxury, yes, and not needed for survival, but it is the difference between misery and happiness. Tonight was one of the few occasions where Amelia was too occupied with another person to worry about her own appearance. Only when she caught her reflection in the mirror did she realise that her hair was unkempt, the kohl that once framed her eyes smudged from an exhausted session of eye-rubbing. In truth, she looked awful.

But it didn’t matter, because Benedict looked great. His eyes barely left his reflection, but when they finally did, there was no hiding the happiness behind them. “Thank you, Amelia. Thank you so much. I love it.”

So the pretences seemed to be finished with, Amelia daren’t say anything too outright in case Benedict retracted back into his shell. ”I’m glad.” But there was something, in the back of her mind, that Amelia wanted to know. Were her suspicions going to be confirmed?

”Benedict, may I ask who it was who suggested you come to see me?”

He looked nervous for a frightful tick, but then, apparently having decided that she was trustworthy, Benedict replied, “a young man called Eric Ward. He said he knew you from school, and he I… We travel in the same circles, so to say.”

And there it was, the connection that Amelia had suspected since she realised Benedict’s true intentions. She gave her customer a gentle smile and an understanding nod. “Yes, I remember Eric. I hope he is well, and please do let him know that I am always here if he ever needed my services.”

Keep your friends close, Amelia thought, but your fashion rivals closer.
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Suits you, Sir.

Postby Izuyanai on August 22nd, 2016, 10:22 am

Grades :
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Grades


Name: Amelia

XP:
Fashion Design +2
Drawing +1
Observation +3
Socialisation +1
Subterfuge +1

Lores:
Fashion Design: Taking Inspiration From Cloths
Benedict: New Customer
Eric: Fashion Rival

Notes: I’d like to see more writing about Eric. He seems like a very interesting character. Let me know if you think I’ve missed something.
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