The Autumn Well-Tempered Fashion Show

by Pilnius Evelethensis

All over town, from 34th to 42nd, and from 6th to 8th, the Autumn Fashion in the Park Week is foremost in the honking, nasal banter of every garmento in a shiny suit. For example:

Garmento 1: Where’s Murray?

Garmento 2: The Spring line flopped and Irving wasn’t happy about it. He hanged himself with his tie in the bathroom of the Spanish Tavern.

Garmento 1: So he’s going to miss the Fashion in the Park show this year.

The photographers from the glossy magazines might be snapping away in midtown, but far away from the media representatives, the celebrities, the models, the klieg lights panning the sky as if there were an air-raid in progress, another annual fashion show struts its more modest stuff down the catwalk hastily improvised each year in an abandoned bus-seat factory in Bayonne. We’re talking about the Well-Tempered Fashion Show and here are a few of this autumn’s highlights.

A Major: Who could remain insensible to the sunny sparkle and good-hearted generosity of this ensemble? A sun hat and sandals accessorize this tied-at-the waist summer dress of a yellow approaching gold. Whether it’s a day in the olive grove or sipping mineral water on the verandah, dolce farring niente, the A/E open fifth is redolent of sky and soil, and a C# promises another sunny day tomorrow, even more perfect than this one.

b flat minor: It’s hard to say what exactly the designer was up to with the choice of material and design of this suit. The color is somewhat unstable, matte in tone, with a tendency to darken in patches, randomly and distressingly. The wide lapels and spats bespeak the dandy, or the gangster, but, as a whole, we’re left with a friendless dandy who doesn’t go anywhere and an outlaw whose worst offense was missing a monthly meeting of the volunteer fire department.

F Major: Always a favorite with the French horns and the horsey set, this year’s F Major combination of understated jewelry, ermine-trimmed cloak, narwhal tusk buttons on a silk blouse, alpaca slacks, pine-marten jacket, and cap of the sportiest Lincoln green has roused the ire of the editors of the Hunterdon County Democrat. A classic, however, is never out of style, and F Major has little to worry about such criticism from provincial moralists.

c# minor: One big hit for c# minor, and that a number of years ago, has created a reservoir of tolerance for the key which this journalist finds inexplicable. A bit of melancholy, or a lively scherzo with darker undertones has its place, but this, skulking under dimmed lights, this angry pose of indifference, this attention-hungry display of disregard for self-preservation in the form of torn jeans, motorcycle boots, and t-shirt, is simply sociopathic.

D Major: Fashion never stops changing, but nobody has ever told this to D Major. Khakis and an Oxford shirt are the standards for a key which knows where it stands in the circle of fifths, a circle which is not a wheel, and therefore not susceptible to rotation. Changing the circle into a wheel would confuse D Major, and if D Major were to lose its orientation, things would get really messed up, because C is kind of unreliable, fundamentally, and B flat is always flirting with the woodwinds, and who knows what would happen if somebody told A that the fifth above was thinking things over?

g minor: There’s a fat man in a cable-knit turtleneck at every cocktail party, and he never stops talking. Whether the topic is Balkan politics or the dismal standards of contemporary playwrighting, he and his crumb-covered Van Dyck have an opinion on everything. This season’s g minor won’t be faulted for the stains on his ordure-toned sweater and woolen slacks, but his pessimistic pretensions guarantee an empty house after intermission.

E flat Major: Some fresh night air is exactly what’s required after escaping from a tedious conversationalist. E flat Major’s low-cut black velvet dress, offset by a diadem, bring a bit of Diana into anybody’s backyard. Don’t look too closely, or ask any questions, lest the dress prove a knock-off, the jewelry costume, and the horns valved. The play of moonlight on the fountain could quickly turn sinister.

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