Eliza - A Fashion Design Story

Eliza want to be a fashion designer more than anything, but she's struggling to reach her goal. She practically lives by herself, as her mum works away from home a lot, so she spends most nights alone, sewing and sketching and wishing. Her friends from the boutique where she works can see her potential, but will she ever act on it and follow her dreams?

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2. Mum is Back

The next morning when she awoke, Eliza was surprised to hear clattering coming from the kitchen. She rolled over and adjusted the position of her head so that her sleepy eyes could see the door. The handle rattled and her mum floated into the room in a cloud of perfume, carefully carrying a tray with a glass of orange juice on it.

“Morning Ellie!”

“Mum. You’re back.”

Eliza slowly sat up. Her mum had been away in Paris for the last two days, leaving her to look after herself.

“Yeah, thank god.”

“How was your trip?”

“Not great. Miranda was in a right state, the catwalk show’s in six weeks and she can’t find the right fabric for some skirt...she was in a mood the whole time, ordering me about, shouting at me...”

She put the tray on Eliza’s bedside table.

“Here’s a tip, Liz- don’t be a designer’s personal assistant!”

She laughed, shook her head, and took a furtive sip of Eliza’s juice.

“Mum!”

“Don’t mum me, it’s only a sip!”

Eliza sighed and grabbed the glass off the tray, firmly gripping it in both hands.

“So what’s the collection like this season?”

“Oh, you’re not really interested, are you? I’ve had it up to here with fashion things!”

Eliza looked unimpressed.

“Mum, your job is fashion.”

“Oh, I know love. Well, I don’t quite know my way around it, but there’s a lot of... a lot of grey, a lot of floor length things, a lot of florals...”

Eliza took a thoughtful sip from her glass and nodded.

“Yeah, there would be.”

Her mum smiled.

“I don’t know. It all looks nice, anyway. How’ve you coped while I’ve been gone? Everything alright?”

“Yeah, yeah, fine like always.”

“Good. Glad to hear it.”

She gave Eliza a brief one-armed hug.

“Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do for Miranda, so I’ll be in the shed if you need me.”

She turned and left the room, gently closing the door behind her.

Eliza’s mum did most of her work in the little shed at the bottom of the garden-in summer, anyway. She could clack away on her keyboard and make important calls without being disturbed down there. There was nothing she hated more than small talk with her daughter when she could be getting on with some work for Miranda. Eliza glanced bitterly at the door that her mum had just exited through, and gulped down the rest of her lukewarm juice. She reached over, opened the drawer in her bedside table and pulled out the sketchbook that she kept in there. Then, she leaned over the other side of her bed and switched on the fairy lights that she had taped up above her head, at the wall. She pulled her pencil out of the spiral-binding of the book, and started to sketch. This was what she did every morning. Just sat and sketched, for hours and hours. She let the pencil trail over the pages, creating the lines and shapes of beautiful things. Eventually, when she had exhausted all her reserves of imagination, she got herself up and sauntered over to her wardrobe. She flung open the doors, perused the contents with one finger on her chin, and then selected a lilac cotton dress with a peplum. She quickly brushed out her hair, applied a layer of plum lipstick, and grabbed her brown snakeskin long-handled purse from a hook on the back of the door. On her way out of the house, she slipped on some pretty white kitten-heeled shoes and glanced at her watch. 12:00. She was late, but Kat wouldn’t mind.

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