In a bold move, The Fashion Horn stages a coming-of-age party for her thirty-two year old leg at a cousin’s wedding. Havoc ensues.
It was the limb that launched a thousand memes. Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Academy Awards wearing a show-stopping Atelier Versace gown, flaunting one of her greatest assets, her right leg. Now, for a woman who normally eschews any leg-baring activity, having the pins of an long-term unemployed *Chinese gymnast, (i.e. harking back to muscles that once existed on what now resembles little more than a pair of stumps) I decided that a cousin’s wedding was the perfect opportunity to stage a ‘coming-out’ party for my humble left leg. The right leg would remain hidden and unshaven, swathed beneath layers of fabric, a clandestine cover-up, covertly bearing the tell-tale signs of neglect and long-term relationship syndrome.
To draw comparison, my right leg, obscured from public scrutiny resembled one of the subject’s in Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #276. A shining beacon of sex appeal, my left leg resembled the iconic appendages of Helmut Newton’s Two Pairs of Legs in Black Stockings, Paris, 1979. Diametrically opposed yet inextricably bound these columns of support would each get their Lebensraum (as coined by Time Magazine’s Man of the Year, 1938, Adolf Hitler). But last week, it was the left leg’s time in the sun.
Although my leg may have been more toward the middle-aged variety, this wedding outfit would represent its first ever public outing and presentation to society. I took some notes from Emily Post’s Etiquette guide of 1922, chapter XVIII. The Débutante is Ms. Post’s guide to how a young girl is presented to society and she presents the following options for a coming-out party.
1. A ball where the débutante ‘receives’ the guests who are announced as they approach. Topics of conversation may include ‘gaiety of the season’ or ‘the lack of balls,’ or anything that shows polite interest in the young girl’s first glimpse of society.
2. Afternoon tea with dancing.
3. A small dance, which presents the débutante to the younger set and a few of her mother’s intimate friends.
4. A small tea without music.
It was very clear what I had to do. I would linger next to the bride, legs akimbo, as the ceremony took place and ensure that the proper topics of conversation were adhered to during the reception. I would enlist the help of the one whose name I dare not speak (Steven Paul Richardson) to announce my leg to all the wedding guests. The left leg would remain taut yet receptive, in anticipation of compliments, the right leg latent with unfulfilled possibility beneath my Altuzarra for Target dress. My piliferous compatriot would introduce the acquaintance with something like; ‘you remember Ms. Smith’s leg, don’t you?’ and guide the conversation from there.
Queues were formed. Memes were created. Tweets were crafted. Mouths gaped and tongues wagged. Old men fell to their knees as their beating hearts were stopped by the sheer tenacity of this unadultered pose, or possibly from the amount of saturated fats that were consumed. Throngs of undesirables muttered phrases of obscenity I dare not repeat. Those of the most commendable upbringing, forgoing the commonest of civilities grappled and groped to get a glimpse of the leg, knocking over children and adults to be the first to gain its affection. Uncouth youths and gum-chewing brutes clambered over each other to witness its magnificence. Until a customary period of sitting took place and the hirsute stubbled left leg was spotted and the illusion was broken.
*Disclaimer: The Chinese are a ‘great bunch of lads.’
Lipstick: Kate Moss Lasting Finish in 107, Rimmel.
Truth factor: 33%.