I was sitting there on the Boulevard Montparnasse, notebook in front of me, and I was frustrated. I had been trying for hours to come up with just the right look, the flash of inspiration that would turn into a trend that would justify the pay I earned. But everything was eluding me. Beautiful women strolled by, and I was watching them – it’s always been a weakness of mine. It’s why I went into fashion in the first place – the desire to be surrounded by them. Unlike many of the designers, I didn’t “bat for the other team.” I appreciated the female form – my models were a little curvier than most, less of the stick thin little boy figures.
But still, designing the trend for spring, I was having no luck. I had left New York for Paris, hoping that the inspiration would strike. All the latest trends paraded by me now…thigh high boots (both done well and with the stripper look), peep toe boots, tweed, sweaterdresses. All for Fall. But I was working on spring…and nothing was striking me. Hemlines were high, shorts were ridiculously short, but I could only tweak trends like that. I racked my brains.
And then she walked by.
I don’t know who she was, but it seemed as if she went by in slow motion. This happens to me a lot. I see a woman and the right look for her jumps out at me, and I know – I know – that this will be the look everyone is wanting to wear. She was tall, curvy. Her hair was thick and wavy, her olive skin shining in the wan light of November in Paris. She wore a beige trenchcoat, grey tights, high heeled boots…but that wasn’t what I saw her in. No, in my imagination it was spring, and she was casting off the warmth of winter and embracing the sun, and what would she wear underneath? It would be light, diaphanous, even. Floating around her torso, it would allow her to feel the warm breeze of the Mediterranean places she called home.
I picked up my pencil, opened my Moleskine, and begin to sketch as she disappeared down the Boulevard.