Dead Authors at Fashion Week: Part 3


Arts & Culture

Virginia Woolf attends the Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013 show.

I dread not the PR girls at the door this morning at Burberry Prorsum, though the invitation I possess is not mine. Sneaking in? Dressed as a fashion dude? I hardly consider dressing as a man to gain entry immoral; unlike me, half the so-and-sos present don’t even know what Prorsum means; O! Prorsum; Opossum. Those people invited who are supposedly “forward” thinking; people who discuss fashion though they’ve never worn Burberry; never felt the blue-black silk lining of a trench-coat sleeve; the plunge of putting on a sturdy work of satin and cotton sateen. I wanted to come in holding something. Flowers? Yes, flowers, since I do not trust my taste in Filson bags.

I take my seat and then, parading in from backstage quite composedly, the models are copper-rose clones; carrying swollen candy satchels; attractive and shiny hosts in a grand entryway; it is all perfectly correct. Some designers are to be seen as poets. Christopher Bailey; coming and going with a pin in hand; a pin and a vision; no country but England could have produced him. Happiness is this, I think. The lights come on and the end suddenly comes in a rush; the luster has gone out of it; no showgoer looks photoworthy like before; glimpsing the future, that hot pants are still in for spring, ruins everything. We rise instantly.

Then: “Virginia! Your menswear look is Uh-mazing! Your oxfords are so cute!”

Somehow I am recognized, in people’s eyes, in the swing and shuffle as we depart, it’s become known who I am. “Comme des Garcons,” I hear a lady with silver hair ornaments say, and now I confess a bit of shock overtakes me. Suddenly everywhere in the crowd I see women in blazers and fine gray-white trousers; ladies wearing collared shirts like spruce old men. Is that a tie? Awesome prorsum.