By Scarlet Moreno
A memory of fifteen-foot masses of sequins, satin, and fur smashed up against one another.
There were two nightgowns in there. Two that I adored. The colors of precious stones. One emerald green, one sapphire blue.
In that treasure trove that was my mother’s walk-in closet, with that yellow-tinted ‘70s wood paneling on its walls.
I pulled down the green emerald from among the twenty-foot masses. So much soft green satin fell at my feet, a sharp wire hanger falling with it. I gleefully pulled on the gorgeous mass of fabric, tying knots in its straps, pulling and twisting to make it fit my eight-year-old frame. I was like Gene Harlow or some other 1940s goddess.
I ran out, with waves of luscious green trailing behind me. I was going to show my mother. My journey was halted however, when I caught a glimpse of myself in her full-length, 25-foot mirror. I stopped. I was glorious. A true piece of treasure. Worth a thousand emeralds. It was like magic. I had put on this nightgown and become a Persian Princess, a Hollywood Star, the most beautiful thing I would ever be.
You are like magic. When we play dress-up, I want you to feel the way I did in that 30-foot mirror when I was eight. Like a Sultan, like James Dean, like Gene Harlow.
To truly live in a goddess’s shoes, you must feel like a goddess. To embody an adulterous lover, you must feel like an adulterous lover. What better way to feel and embrace these colors and passions and needs than to indulge in the fabric and the feathers and the wing-tip shoes that these men and women would don proudly?
I ask that when we play dress-up, you allow yourself to become engulfed by the magic that is the clothing we put on our bodies. Let it take you to a candle-lit parlor in 1935, or to Woodstock in the summer of ’69. Let me help you get there. I will take you with me into my mother’s 40-foot walk-in closet.