a non-existent land ruled by a deluded writer, Her Royal Highness Justine Brown

Friday, 15 April 2011

Last Seen Wearing: Alice Spotted in London

Our intrepid reporter has favoured us with the style scoop of the season: Alice, lately of Wonderland, has been spotted once more, wandering the labyrinth we call London, hair a-flying and dressed in-- of all things-- black track pants and a honeysuckle-pink-pashmina-topped-off-by-a-shimmery-Indian-silk-scarf. Something enticing has brought our Alice popping up from the London Undergound, where she currently resides somewhere between stations. We are willing to wager that Alice is preparing her look for the Royal Wedding. What else but an occasion of state would bring her out in such an outlandish getup, if not this sort of occasion? Like so many of us, Alice is asking herself what she will be wearing on April 29th. (Photo collage features Diyah Pera and Cathy Mann on camera and costumes respectively)

Having emerged from under the arches of Hildreth Mews, Balham, she promptly disappeared. Upon closer inspection of the place our reporter (court reporter, that is) (ahem)-- all at once discovered a yoga studio (Bikrams?! yes, that notorious hotbox), a fancy Italian hair salon (Milano, featuring Pietro, hairdo-ist supreme), and a rather New Age style beauty establishment. You say you think this was me, you say? Outrageous. Let us move on.

There is no small amount of controversy surrounding the Royal Wedding. As monarch in exile somewhere in a virtual land, we find it easy to understand it easy to comprehend the irritation, for day after day our post remains empty of a certain cream and gold invitation. Bizarre, to say the least. On the 29th, then, the city will be awash with rival kings, queens, knaves and jokers, waves upon waves of them; those of us who choose to acknowledge the day in question will have trouble enough simply deciding what to wear, be it tiara, coronet, CROWN, tophat, those nouvelle riche "fascinators", mask, fearsome anarchist balaclava, or simple showercap. Beyond endless, these possibilities. They range from zero to infinity, and then some.

And since we have had the great good fortune to be going for a boat ride on the Thames (our family celebrates TWO birthdays on That Day), we will need a court reporter of our own just to jot down the list of what we wear. Even Alice will have to decide whether she wants to play cards on our pleasurecraft rather than take her chances at the palace. Who knows what square she might get stuck on...

The paparazzi in waiting Alice fell into the pink slipstream of the velvety rosepetals our prized flower had magicked from her glowing fingertips, scattering and sprinkling them behind her as she made off; the photo-hounds sniffing as she fled. They furiously snapped the girl snapping stems on Nightingale Lane, then spotted scanning the underbrush for keys, vials, pills and potions-- and rabbits-- on Wandsworth Common. Halting the hunt for a moment to focus, the paps looked up to find her (ta-dah!) gone. Vanished. How frustrating!

Still, we all have our hopes. One of the photo-shoppers found a scrap of silk chiffon caught on a bramble-- using this one can build an image of her outfit. Melon is the colour she'll wear (it's so hot this season). Envision Alice in a melon chiffon dress, spinning, whipping, dancing the dust away... forgetting. Finally she reaches the Thames and waits for a boat.

On that day her dreamboat will float up alongside, her dream date at the helm. Unobserved by all save the satellites she'll climb aboard. Too late the thirsting paparazzi arrive, only to stare after the departing ferry. Giving up, they return their attention to the enigma of Kate Middleton's dress; all they know is that it will issue from the McQueen suit of cards.

In any case, we will leave the wearing of white to the future queen (what? No, no, I mean Catherine Middleton). Alice and I will battle it out on a rosy lawn who gets to wear red, and in what shade, with what background. Some will point to the Wars of the Roses, while others will point to us. Alice is just a pawn after all, while Justine is a Queen. And here in the royal realm of Justinetopia, meaning is everything, you know. (sips cup of tea, finger aloft)