We all love to put on a show for ourselves in the mirror but wouldn’t it be nice to have a real audience for a change? Well this idea got my imagination going and, as usual, out came the pen…
How could I be so so careless? I have been so caught up in my own little world, posing away in lingerie, to the imagined whoops and cheers of the world’s fashion press that I have completely forgotten to draw the bedroom curtains! I spin round to march back down the catwalk and see my neighbour Mrs Goodwin watching from the window opposite! Oh My God! I duck down below the window, heart beating madly. Did she see me? What on Earth have I done? I crawl to the side of the window and stand up slowly to peak through the gap at the side of the curtains. She is still there. She is looking straight into my bedroom window. With rising panic I think what to do. I will have to burn my entire collection. Move house. Change my name.
What did she see? I look back at my wardrobe. I have left a little pink dress hanging on the door in plain sight. I can’t get to it without stepping into full view. I take another peak and thankfully Mrs Goodwin has moved away from the window and has disappeared from sight. The coast is clear. But, oh no! With a surge of horror I realise that I can still see her face in her dressing table mirror. She has retreated into a corner of the room so she can watch unseen! I panic but just then she reappears, takes a pink dress from her own wardrobe, hangs it on the door and disappears into her corner again! What is going on? I can just see her face. She is watching intently. I reach for my dressing gown and slip it on. Feeling covered up now, I walk calmly over to the wardrobe and take the pink dress down.
Then a thought occurs to me and my heart quickens. I take another, slinky green dress from the wardrobe and hang it next to the little pink one. I stand in front of my mirror in which I can just see Mrs Goodwin covertly watching me. She walks across to her own wardrobe pulls out a green dress too! She holds up each dress in turn, as if deciding which one to wear. Her movements seem exaggerated, like mime. She returns to the pink dress and nods to herself, and then goes back to her hiding place. I take the hint. I take down the little pink dress and take it out of sight onto the landing to struggle into it. My heart is racing excitedly but pretending a calm confidence I walk back into the room and stand to admire myself in the mirror. I can still see Mrs Goodwin’s face in her mirror and she is smiling. She comes back into view and sits down at her dressing table. She brushes her hair for a minute and then applies some lipstick – all the while I can see she is watching me in her mirror as I stand in front of my wardrobe, watching her reflection over my shoulder. She goes back to her secret vantage point.
I am getting into the spirit of things now. I rummage in my bag for my wig and a lipstick and do the same. I look much more in the part now and my confidence increases. I look at Mrs Goodwin’s reflection and I see her give a little clap. She reappears, goes over to her wardrobe, takes down the pink dress and leaves the green dress hanging by itself. Feeling bolder now, I slip my pink dress off where I am standing and let it fall to the floor. I wriggle into the green dress and give a little spin in front of the mirror. Mrs Goodwin is beaming. She rummages about in her dressing table draw for a minute. She finds what she’s looking for and holds up a blue bra just like mine. She nods, smiles and gives me a thumbs up to say she approves of my choice. I slip out of my green dress again so she can see my bra and give her a twirl again. I get another thumbs up. I am liking this! It is like being on the catwalk with a private audience of one. Mrs Goodwin is now pointing downwards towards the floor, head over to one side in a questioning way. I don’t know what she means. She goes over to her dressing table again and holds up a pair of panties, hunching her shoulders in a questioning way. Of course! She can only see me above the waist. She shrugs her question again. She really seems to want to know. So I check I am properly tucked in and I get up onto my bed. I really am on a catwalk now, albeit a very small one, and I walk up and down to show Mrs Goodwin my lacy blue knickers, gingerly at first on the bouncy matress but then swinging my hips and turning with a twist. I put my hands on my hips and put one foot across the other as I walk just like they do at London Fashion Week. I strike a pose at the end of the bed, and look back at Mrs Goodwin over my shoulder, pouting. The pillows go flying in my excitement. The duvet gets tangled in my feet and I kick it off. This is not quite Milan but I’m loving every minute. I squat down legs apart like a sensuous cat, one leg stretched out to the side but I realise I have dropped out of sight and the effect is lost on my audience. I spring back into view and do another walk. Mrs Goodwin is clapping along in time.
Time for a wardrobe change. I hold up a finger to say just a minute and hop off the bed. This is great. Mrs Goodwin has got to see my little lacy white dress. I breathlessly tip everything out of my bin liner onto the floor. Where is everything? This is exactly what it must feel like doing a quick change behind the scenes at the Paris show. I have to change undies – the blue would show through – and I pull on a pair of lacy white tangas and white satin hold-ups with lovely lace tops. I put on a lacy white padded bra but, struggling with the clip I lose my balance and stumble briefly back on stage. Mrs Goodwin laughs. The dress is very short and doesn’t leave anything to the imagination but Mrs Goodwin and I are seasoned fashionistas and we see art and culture where others might see tartiness and trash. I smoothe the dress down, adjust the hem so I’m showing just enough thigh above the stocking tops, and up I jump onto the bed again. I really strut my stuff. I can see the flashes of the paparazzi’s cameras, hear the beat of the music and the shouts of admiration from the crowd. My dress is riding up so Mrs Goodwin must be able to see my panties but I am oblivious, in the moment, dazzled by the spotlights. One more lap and I’ll change again. I wonder if Mrs Goodwin would like to see my black evening dress, or my other, blonde shoulder-length wig. I turn to see what she is doing. She is standing full in the window now but… Oh my god! it’s not her! It’s Mr Goodwin!. You have never seen me move so quickly! I drop flat on the bed like an acrobat and slide onto the floor! I am dead! I sneak to my gap at the side of the curtains and there is Mr Goodwin with Mrs Goodwin behind him shaking her head at me vigorously. Mr Goodwin is staring intensely… at his fence!
Thank goodness! Mrs Goodwin and I have both had a narrow escape. Perhaps things went a bit too far. But now I have had a taste for life as a fashion model and I realise I have missed my calling. I would love to do it again sometime and when I am alone in the house I still watch to see if there is a pink dress and a green dress hanging on Mrs Goodwin’s wardrobe door, and a face in her mirror waiting expectantly for the show to start.