TYPING: Heidi Klum says, “In fashion, one day you are in, the next you’re are out.” And on campus, everyone is looking to be in on something…
I halted the moment I got to the door of the garage. I was curious. Really? Was this where Celeste had dubbed ‘what could be the hottest spot on campus this minute?’. I was no lifestyle guru compared to Personal Stylist Celeste, that’s for sure. But I certainly knew a derelict garage over at school maintenance wasn’t exactly what any lifestyle guru (in their right minds, of course) would call hottest. The sun was boring a hole into my scalp, yes. But this place couldn’t be hot in that metaphorical hippy sense.
Then suddenly, as I stood there contemplating if I was being played a fool on, the garage door began lifting with momentum. I stepped back as a trio of laughing girls wheeled a rack out. And I stood. Stunned.
This Was. Definitely. The Hottest. Spot. On. Campus.
TYPING: … and suddenly I was in on the best kept secret.
I was in awe at my surroundings. Two floors bearing windows wide enough to illuminate the magnificence of the place, topped with a rickety roof that allowed streaks of sunlight through its tiny cracks. Chic clothes on hangers occupied every inch of the spacious ground floor, people run about being busy organizing different sets staged over bright background wallpapers, lights were being positioned, cameras were being placed. The place was a hubbub of style and chaos, and Celeste, the Queen of it all, was in the centre of it all.
“Hey, you.” I listened as she verbally assaulted a bald model who’d been passing by to get onto a set. “You are just an extra, if you haven’t noticed already.” She gestured towards her bare head. “Go tell the wardrobe girl, I want you in a white swimsuit.”
“I liked her in the gold swim wear.” I said tentatively, approaching as the model walked away.
Celeste’s icy gaze disappeared upon recognizing my familiar features. “Oh, Kobby, really.” She feigned exhaustion in the most melodramatic way though you could certainly pack overnight in the bags under her eyes. “Me. Just me. Director of three shoots going into the university’s fashion week look-book! All happening simultaneously!”
We stepped back from the grey carpet which marked the set a photographer was testing his equipment. His model in a three-piece gold swimsuit already leaping into the air.
“Hey, snap those heels and your neck goes with them.” Celeste warned gravely, before ushering me and herself onto another set. “So what do you think?” She asked. We watched a model in a flow-y costume with a dreamy look, caused by the artificially-empowered ventilation which made her heavily made-up eyes gain a teary sheen.
“I am thinking why exactly you needed me here?” I answered straight-to-the-point-ly. I wanted to know where I fitted in in all this mess.
“Oh, right,” she smacked herself on the head for forgetting, and launched into a monologue about how she’d put me on the list of writers to critic the show (“I’m not a fashion critic.” I’d answered). It turned out last year, critics hadn’t taken it easy on the brand and lashed out on the show so much you couldn’t be seen anywhere wearing the tee to show you were associated with the event. Hopefully this year, they’d be more careful. Define ‘more careful’: putting up critics to provide glowing reviews. Out of breath, she sighed and fixed me a harsh glare, “Notepad and pen, Kobs. Fashion stories do not write themselves.”
I quickly whipped out the notepad and pen from the bag I‘d strung across my torso and followed on her heels. It was the first paying gig I‘d had in decades, and I had no intention of messing it up.
“Brandon,” Celeste called to the cameraman as she approached. “Facing any problems with the propeller there?”
Brandon, bald, broad-chested in a v-necked tee stopped shooting at once. “I like the whole watery-eye effect there.” He explained to Celeste. “It makes everything appear dramatic.” He extended his digital camera for Celeste to take a peek at the first photos.
“Lovely.” She handed the camera back and turned to me. “Do you find this all lovely?” She swept an arm around the floor with pride.
“This particularly.” I answered pointing at Flow-y Costume model. “I think she’s amazing.”
“Mandy.” Celeste mentioned her name with a content sigh. “All the designers want her to open their shows. Pretty girl features. Not towing the perception of what African models are to be: bald, black and high-cheekbones. Ugh.” I listened to her as I watched Mandy in awe receiving constant accolades from the photographer. “You’d really love her if you get to speak to her, very charming personality.”
“Wait, a sec,” my attention was drawn to another set. “Is that Maya?” I was stunned because I hadn’t known my roommate’s booty-call girl on speed dial was drawn to the ‘superficial’——(not that I clung to that school of thought too) world of fashion.
“She’s also a natural, don’t you think?” Celeste came closer to me. I really didn’t think Maya was a natural because I’d noticed, on closer inspection, she wasn’t too comfortable in the heavy costume she was donning which could only be described as African couture with a jute fan strapped to an overly complicated hair-do she was sporting. “The glass-cutting cheekbones, the scrawny figure, the harsh eyes…”
“Fuck. This sucks!” Maya cussed from her set at the photographer who was urging her to be lively. “And do not fucking tell me to ‘relax, calm down’!”
“And possesses the trademark foul-mouth of a sailor.” Celeste smiled triumphantly, taking delight in Maya’s distress. “She’s just purr-fect.”
Methinks Celeste was playing mean. After all, Maya was shagging Raymond, my man-ho roommate, and she, Celeste, couldn’t even hook him down for any relationship of any kind.
“Anyway, we can’t be bothered with her.” She waved her hands dismissively and drew me back to Mandy who was the opposite of what Maya represented, reigning in constant praises from Brandon. “So, what are you blogging about next?”
“I’m not sure.” I confided in her. “But I’m thinking I could pull a sex story from a fashion angle.”
“I’m thinking that could be amazing publicity for the university’s fashion week.”
“But how exactly, could I link sex and fashion? Two very dissimilar ideas to put in relation to each other.”
“I beg to differ, my darlings,” She intoned objectively. “There’s nothing as thrilling as dry sex. It’s rather en vogue these days.”
“Dry sex?” My curiosity level had peaked.
“I can’t be bothered with that, Kobby. I have a fashion show to organize and some models to upstage.” She air-kissed me and walked out.
TYPING: Dry sex? In fashion or not?
“Dry sex,” Maya began as she struggled to get out of her outfit with the help of two wardrobe girls. “Also known as dry-humping. Having sex with all——and I mean, all——your clothes on.”
I cocked an eyebrow in intrigue. “You really, do have to elaborate more.” I suggested, gaining her attention as she’d been interested in something taking place over my shoulder.
“Don’t you think I’m trying?” She grunted in annoyance, turning at the wardrobe girls who were still finding it difficult to get her out of the intricate gown. “Wait, here, let me help.” To the dismay of the girls, she ripped the dress longitudinally, and stepped out in her underwear. I looked away quickly. “Oh, c’mon, Kobs. If I’d be dry-humping you, I’d have to put on clothes first.”
She walked to a hanger and slid on a dress despite the protests of the wardrobe girls. “Follow me,” she ordered. Except I had no chance to oblige for I was dragged towards the stairs to the top floor.
“Here.” We halted along a corridor, and stepped back to shield ourselves at the end of a wall.
I realized far ahead of us was Brandon, the photographer, and Bald Gold Swimsuit Girl.
“Oh my….” These words were a whisper as a gasp escaped. “Are they…”
“Shush.” Maya nodded as she shut me down. “They are having dry sex.”
True, to her word, those two had their clothes on. All of it. And they seemed to be enjoying it all.
I would prevent the growth in my jeans. I would look away and, perhaps, only listen for sounds. That’s just the right thing to do. But…
Yeah, right. Like anyone had that kind of willpower.
“The bras, are not your friend,” Maya began taking me through the process as we watched. “They restrict the breasts, you never want to restrict the breasts.” I watched Brandon toss the brassiere from underneath the girl’s top. “The whole point is to keep rubbing underneath the clothing, feel each other’s sensitiveness. Clothes are just metaphorical, you could reach into each other’s soul and…”
“Ohh… ohh… ohhhhhh…”
I had really never seen an orgasm so powerful. If only we’d been in an opera house, I’d have stood and applauded. (“Beautiful, beautiful! You really should sing more!”)
“Don’t be fooled.” Maya drew me away, shattering my thoughts. “I suspect this girl’s a screamer.”
So dry-sex it was for the blog. Now on to personal matters. “Um, this whole Celeste thing——“
“Kobs, really, put away your boner before you speak to me.”
Oh. Um… yeah.
Now on to personal matters…
TYPING: It could be in fashion. It could be cheating nature. The safest contraceptive on the market. But is dry sex really a virgin’s guide to multiple orgasms?
“Kobby, really, do you want me to dry-hump you?” Celeste asked in annoyance as she shuffled clothes on a hanger.
It was the opening day of the university’s fashion week. We were in Celeste’s hostel. And she was selecting an outfit for me in her quest to make me upstage the models also. You should have seen the look she’d given me when I’d said I never dreamt of upstaging any model. Let’s just say, it wasn’t a look too good for my bladder.
“I am too busy for pillow-talk,” she countered, throwing a set of clothes at me. But relented, “During my days of innocence, dry sex wasn’t in. It was good old, taking your clothes off, shagging and hoping you do not get pregnant. Now, for females, yes, you could do the whole dry-sex thing and still pass the penis-vagina-blood thing all men, on this side of the world——I must add, are crazed about on their wedding nights. Now enough! We’re late, put on the clothes and let’s go to the show.”
TYPING: Do men also lose their virginity during dry sex?
Celeste and I stepped onto the backstage of the runway show which could be likened to a warzone. We met Maya at the entrance in a divine short dress. She looked breath-taking with her bare-back to us, wearing on golden earrings as she stood by a mirror smacking her lips together.
You could tell Celeste was fuming. She pulled a wardrobe girl to fire off her orders. The wardrobe girl said the designer had requested she wanted Maya in the dress.
I felt Celeste’s vice-like grip on my arm. I looked ahead to see what had stolen the colour off her face.———
“Was that Celeste with you?”
“I don’t think so.” I was still team Celeste, and wasn’t going to make Raymond know I was still buds with her despite his warnings. But for whatever reason, lately he’d been looking her up, and I didn’t know why. I didn’t want to know why. “I didn’t think a fashion show would be up to your speed.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s crazy. But Maya wanted me on here. So I had to come. Too bad we haven’t had sex today, can you believe? Celeste’s been keeping her on her toes.”
I shrugged. “You guys could always have dry-sex? It’s fashionable these days, isn’t it? Hey, do you think guys could lose their virginity through dry sex?”
He stared at me suspiciously. Apparently, it was hard convincing anyone you weren’t having any dry-sex when you were going about asking related questions fully-clothed. “Kobs, the male virginity’s all in the mind.” He spoke finally. “Whatever sex you have you lose it. But if you are planning on any sex, I’d suggest real sex. Dry sex is just lame.”
“But, it’s in fashion. So what the hell?” Maya came beside Raymond having overheard his opinion. She cast a glance at him seductively. “We could dry-hump. There’s only a few minutes till the show starts.”
“No.” Raymond shook his head disapprovingly. “I can still do so much in few minutes.”
And there they went——the naughty, naughty kids they were——around some hangers throwing off their clothes. I watched shaking my head and spun around to see Celeste behind me. A wicked glint shone in her eyes as she stared at the dress Maya’d been wearing magically landing a few metres away.
Minutes later, we were seated on our positions at the runway.
“The appointment, the shitty clothes, the wanting to upstage all the models, it all seems clear now,” I said to Celeste amidst the chatter of guests excited for the show.
“What?” She asked innocently.
“You appointed Maya as a model just so you could put her in an embarrassing situation. All because of Raymond, isn’t it?”
She smiled sinisterly, and pushed on her dark Nina Ricci sunglasses. “Enjoy the show, Kobs.”
TYPING: In fashion, either you are in or out. In sex, either you keep your clothes on or off…
The music went up. The room became dark. Lights zipped across the runway. The models began strutting. Fashionistas took out their cameras to snap photos of clothes they were nuts for. There was no doubt Mandy looked phenomenal, walked phenomenal and would be described phenomenal in tomorrow’s campus society papers wearing the dress that hadn’t been intended for her. But Maya…
TYPING: …you do still enjoy every bit of it…
Maya walked onto the runway, her dress too complicated for her to handle. The society pages would describe her as ‘a tragic mess’. The dress would be ridiculed as ‘the fallen glory of the designer who had worked on it’. Because really, what would be a more suitable word for a model who fell off the runway, and in her bid to climb back up, sent the plunging cleavage at the back ripping to reveal half her bottom. (Audience: Oooh.)
You should have seen Celeste having a blast, enjoying every moment, snapping away on her camera. Before collapsing on her chair with laughter and sighing in satisfaction afterwards.
TYPING: … And you still orgasm! But you have got to ask yourself if it’s all worth it…
Of course, Celeste was basking in the glory of sheer victory as we got into her convertible. She hit her radio on, and what I presumed was her favourite song flooded the car.
“Oh, hey, there’s Mandy,”
We watched as Mandy passed the car park, waving back at us frenziedly in the short dress. The designer must have gifted her with it as a thank you. It was such a shame Maya hadn’t been the one to be owner of such a sexy, divine thing.
Celeste increased the volume of her radio, and stepped on the gas, woo-hoo-ing into the night…
TYPING: …But then you figure out, either way, it’s in fashion and whatever happens you are definitely in!
I joined Celeste woo-hoo-ing and yee-ha-ing because despite the Maya Debacle, the show had been successful and ‘fashion critic’ was, at the moment, glowing on my resume…
If only I knew our screams were contemporaneous with that of another girl’s wearing a very familiar dress … and being raped.
TYPING: Yet, keep in mind, fashion trends are not followed by all. Some just like being out.
Author’s Note: Catch Sex And The City Campus every Saturday here. Looking out for your comments and feedback to Kobbytettehgyampoh@gmail.com .