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?


3. Working at Bally's

Eliza worked at Bally’s (Ba-lee’s), a vintage boutique close to her house. It was owned by a sweet Scottish girl called Kathrin May Bally. Eliza loved working in the little shop, especially as they didn’t have to be in until 10:30. (Eliza was usually fashionably late, though.) ‘Kat’ (as she was affectionately known) had two other employees - cheerfully sarcastic Andie, and Scarlett, who was mostly hidden away in the stockroom. When Eliza pushed open the door of the shop, Andie was leaning on the shop counter, looking boredly at his phone. He slowly lifted his head as Eliza rushed in.

“There you are. Bright and early as usual.”

“Sorry, Andie.”

“Kat, Eliza’s in!”

There was a muffled “I know” from somewhere deep in the shops tiny office.

Andie was wearing a grey trilby over his jet black hair, an oversized white T-shirt, and some grey and red checked skinny jeans.

“Nice outfit, Andie.”

“Ta. Now get behind this till, I’ve been working my arse off all morning.”

“No you bloody haven’t! How many customers have we had?”

Andie looked down at his black nails.

“Two. But that’s not the point babe!”

He grabbed Eliza’s waist and steered her over to the counter.


He took her bag off her shoulder and placed it on a shelf.

“Let’s see you...”

He took her umbrella from her hand and propped it up in a corner.

“...Actually doing some work for a change. It’ll make you feel good to graft for your wages.”

Eliza gave him a tight-lipped, slitty-eyed smirk.

As it turned out, the shop didn’t even get busy. They had about three more customers that Eliza served, while Andie sat in a corner, reading Heat magazine. Later on, Scarlett came up from the stock room holding a bundle of clothes and marched over to the front of the shop. She was wearing a red sixties mini-dress, and black heels. Her long braids fell over her shoulders and down the front of her dress, getting tangled up with the rosary beads and delicate gold chains around her neck. She pulled back the coloured lace that separated the room from the shop's display window, revealing two mannequins and random pieces of furniture and accessories. Andie looked up from his magazine and flicked his side fringe out of his eyes.

“Hey Scarlett, you alright?”


She started to strip one of the mannequins, and Kat came out of the office to watch her. She stood with her arms folded, trying to judge the creativity of Scarlett’s work. Scarlett had rearranged the whole window, and was dressing a mannequin in a turquoise and candy-pink striped dress. She briefly turned her head towards her employer.


Kat nodded.

“Aye. Wouldn’t have thought the turquoise and candy-pink would have worked, but there you go! Oh, and move that stool to the other side.”

Scarlett did this.

“And put the stuffed rabbit on it. That’s it. That’s good.”

When Kat was satisfied, she retreated back into the office to finish doing the accounts.

Scarlett replaced the lace curtain that hid the window display and turned to go.

“Scar-face, you couldn’t get me a cuppa, could you?”

Scarlett replied without turning around.

“Sure Eliza, I’ll bring it through.”

Andie put his hands on his hips.

“Oh, thanks a lot! Yeah, don’t ask if Andie wants any tea!”

“Ok, Andie, do you want any tea?”

“Nah, I’m alright, thanks.”

Scarlett groaned.

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