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Her name was Belinda and she was a former model from Dublin. A model of some previous renown and esteem, might I add. Every day she would periodically vomit into a bin bag and meticulously charter each and every calorie she would eat. Fainting on average three times a day (sometimes falling asleep on the DART), described as a nascent narcoleptic by her doctor, Roger Anodyne (a man given to misdiagnosis and misjudging innocuous situations) she was currently administering herself with copious doses of barbituates to help herself sleep and anti-psychotics to help herself quell the symphony of vociferous demons who crawled across her skull. The heady world of fashion had dissipated into the laborious world of creation, and she was finding the transition privately terrifying and little more than tedious, although Belinda was very, very gifted.
She had no real friends and most of her former colleagues would greet her with specious smiles, at times even sniggering at her obvious decay, giggling towards the vomit congealed to the buckle of her Prada clutch.
Belinda’s Mother had died in mysterious circumstances at a young age and her father developed alcoholism and mental health issues and subsequently overdosed on morphine and accidentally ate their Cat, Abe, in a moment of sheer pure psychosis. The autopsy discovered Abe alive within Donald, preserved in the sea of cat food that Donald (Belinda’s father) had also began eating in the more pronounced years of his mental deterioration. Abe was Belinda’s only real companion and she modelled her movements and aesthetic on Abe’s lithe and sinuous gait, his glimmering silver fur and his ocean like eyes, a dappled grey, turning blue at his most amorous. Her mimicry of her cat led her to fashion, and she was spotted walking along Dun Laoghaire pier by Nathaniel DuGusset a half Liberian quarter Vietnamese quarter Knighstbridge talent scout and the rest was history – she was the highest grossing runway model by some margin at the turn of the millenium, the “it” girl of Noughties fashion and Abe her cat, appeared in Hollywood in various unsuccessful films.
We meet Belinda in her current incarnation, as an extremely talented and precocious designer having opened a boutique supplemented by her modelling career called “La Chat D’argent”, where she had employed one young male, gay British intern who embroidered and tailored each intricate collection, alongside Belinda, in anticipation for their latest show, the latest season and what have you. Given her years dazzling the catwalks in the diaphanous fabrics of Chanels, Gautiers, McQueens, Diors, Balmains, Guccis and so on her connections were fertile and people in fashion houses began to take note as soon as her eccentric hats, scarves, gowns and dresses began to flood their way onto the catwalks. But we begin at the beginning, as all character driven stories should, and me oh my Belinda was quite the character, yes indeedy!
Due to her proclivity to Dublin, and the dearth of authentic aesthetic vision among its denizens, she was forced to outsource her intern, her one and only, from Central St.Martins, a precocious young artisan who had worked in Paul Smith’s atelier and McQueen’s in Mayfair, touted as having the finest eye for colour, texture and print, by those in the industry. Crippled with a deeply moist and noisy lisp (‘Sequins’ were pronounced “Tsshllequins”) and a deeply toffeeish tone to her voice, Belinda and Alexie’s relationship was somewhat built upon a meeting of creative minds rather than any sort of humane compatibility. They persevered, and as you’ll see – became quite the force.
Sourcing models to walk for her in Dublin’s RDS was an issue, as most of Ireland’s women in Belinda’s eyes looked like sows concealing medieval weaponry, so instead she opted for either South Dublin’s petite elite or the more visually potent offshoots of Polish and Eastern Immigration during the Celtic Tiger. The models adored Belinda and viewed her as a sort of demigoddess of the early 00’s- late 00’s – she being the one Irish model that inspired them to give up their law degrees and toil tirelessly in the fields of fashion!