Our Fall Colours

“…God, it’s a hellhole in here, Sven from Vogue almost has his camera down Vanessa’s cleavage …”

“… such a crush, what’s Mario done, sold his soul? Last year was all D-list celebs and promo people, this year there’s a real buzz…”

“… heard it’s something special, he’s doing things with colour that aren’t  technically possible – it’s not shot silk, those scarves change colour even when they’re not moving…”

“…did you see her walking? She’s chalk-white and has lost about twenty pounds. I bet it’s heroin…”

“…who’s smoking in here, anyway? Bloody ash everywhere…”

“…no, it’s not blue, not quite. Never seen anything like it. That ballgown’s fierce, the colour’s otherworldly and the drape’s frankly impossible…”

“…apparently she never goes anywhere without wearing something in the new fabric, quite an obsession…”

“…God, darling, have a canape, you look like you’re about to pass out…”

“…no idea of the technology, he’s keeping it very quiet, says his science team is a bit out of the box and doesn’t want publicity…”

“… bold new experiments with texture and hue, these fabrics defy categorisation – hell, Paul, get the camera on me, for fuck’s sake…”

“…like an epidemic, models dropping like flies, even more than usual.  That new fabric isn’t healthy…”

“… saw her after the show, nearly collapsing, ash everywhere – when did she start chain-smoking? That weird almost-blue shade makes her look dead, frankly…”

“… Mario, darling, huge triumph, really edgy clothes…”

“… no, I tell you, it’s aliens! Lovecraft was right! Aliens are infiltrating our fashion! That fabric’s alive! You laugh now …”

“… God, did you hear? Annabel’s dead…”

5 thoughts on “Our Fall Colours”

  1. I’m loving that you are playing with dialogue so much, and telling stories in such interesting ways. I loved the atmosphere of this – perfect fashion show (this is a fashion larp! with aliens! of course!) atmosphere, disgusting, fake, larger than life egos, it rings really true.

    I loved “get the camera on me, ffs”, “God Darling, have a canape”, “Mario, darling” all perfectly in character.

    I would cut more out to make the dialogue less expositionary (I say this often, so I might just be hypersensitive):

    “he’s doing things with colour that aren’t technically possible” – “he’s doing impossible things with colour, out of this world” – the “technically” did not ring right in character.

    “…apparently she never goes anywhere without wearing something in the new fabric, quite an obsession…” – too heavy hinting for me, I’d prefer “That’s all she wears nowadays” or something more gossipy (less hinty)

    The reference to the science team struck me as weird – do all fashion designers have science teams? There is nothing else to make me think this is futuristic, so the phrase confused me. I would have preferred “I hear he has a team of scientists working for him, can you believe it?” or something in this vein.

    I like the sinister development of the plot through hints and oblique references, and would like to challenge you to make it more oblique still!

    One more note: I wasn’t sure if this developed over the course of one evening or multiple time slots. I thought the references to aliens and “she wears this all the time” and someone dying may suggest that time had passed since the initial reveal, but the form suggests one single evening?

    I really enjoyed this, thank you!

    1. Your points are well taken, madam :>. I tend to write a first version which I’m terrified is too opaque, and then go back and fill out the hints so they’re not too cryptic. Clearly I underestimate my audience and overdo it. Your punchier edits on some of the dialogue are very nice, I’m doing that kick-self “should have thought of that” thing. I’m not sure why “science team” is an issue, it wasn’t meant to be futuristic, but to suggest that there’s new technology in the new fabric – would “development team” make more sense?

      My personal sense was that this was a sort of culminatory show after several in the season, so some of the comments are about tonight, others are about earlier – I’ll go back and tweak to make that clearer.

      Thank you, though, very useful commentary, will definitely re-write this one.

  2. This made me chuckle.

    I agree with Parfles about the science team. I think design team would have worked better – more vague, more open to things not said.

    I thought the dialogue worked really well. Conversation snippets as you drift through the after parties.

  3. Development team would be better, definitely. Any mention of “science” gives me V flashbacks (completely appropriate here, actually.)

    I meant to say one more thing – when playing with dialogue snippets, consider using fragments rather than full sentences – it’s not how people write, but it’s often how they talk. E.g. “She’s chalk-white and has lost about twenty pounds” vs “Chalk-white and lost about twenty pounds.” iyswim. :)

  4. This is a piece around fashion, where a fashion designer, Mario, has been involved with the development of a new blue fabric — only wearing this fabric might be possibly addictive (“never goes anywhere without wearing something in the new fabric”) and ultimately fatal. The fabric, however, has already been widely sold before the truth about it is discovered.

    I very much enjoyed this, with its slow building of this story through the different voices. I like the feeling of everyone being caught up in their own little worlds: the story is what we see between their self-obsessed viewpoints.

    I do have a personal nitpic with the idea of a “science team”, especially one that doesn’t want publicity. It rang somewhat untrue to me. Personally, I would have called them a “research group” or maybe something more specific (chemists? chemical engineers? — but I’m not sure what is appropriate). Not wanting publicity implies that they have all the funding that they want (which is unlikely), and, to a degree, it implies that they’re not publishing anything. Not publishing implies that they’ve removed themselves from the scientific community and are somewhat lacking as scientists. I am very possibly overreacting 😛 Unless you want engineers instead of scientists 😛

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