Excerpt from Yorgos Ntovas book, Claire – Erica – Cleo
Read full book at https://homoastralis.org/claire-erica-cleo-en.htm
…“Alright, ladies and gent,” Claire announced. “Our goal today is to find the perfect dresses for this lady’s engagement.”
She touched Erica’s face and blew her a kiss.
“That’s my girl! Where was I? Oh yes. I have arranged three appointments with the most important haute couture fashion houses in Kolonaki at seven, eight and nine o’clock tonight. If it is possible we need to let them know what exactly we are looking for. Not that it’s easy. We are women, after all. Let’s at least take advantage of our spare time and decide the color. Let the bride speak first!”
“I was thinking black at first,” Erica said, “but I’ve changed my mind. I guess I prefer white after all. I haven’t decided if I want a formal gown or a simple dress. I have that extra weight on my waist, too. I’d like your opinion.”
“I have to say,” Kostas stepped in, “that whatever it is, it has to highlight her bust!”
“I agree on that too!” Claire said. “You have a lovely bust, darling and we need to bring it out. I have no objection on white. What do you say, Cleo?”
“I totally agree too with both the color and the bust.”
“What kind of a sexy, wealthy heiress would I be after all?” Erica added, jesting.
“What are you planning to wear, Cleo?”
“Well, if you don’t mind, I’d like to wear something pro-vocative. I don’t know why but I love provoking in similar events. I mean with my outfit, not my behavior and always in a controllable way. I never drink or lose control. If there is a problem with that though, let me know and I will be quite decent.”
“I personally don’t mind at all, Cleo!” Erica smiled at her.
“Neither do I. I won’t be modest either, after all. You are free to wear whatever you like!” Claire added.
“Girls, I will take a stand for all three of you. The more impressive and provocative you look, the better. You know I love it as well. Besides, our engagement will be far from conventional. There is no place for wannabes. If by any chance, some of our guests feel offended, we will show them the door. The show must go on!”
“Well said, Kostas!” all three of them cried out together.
“Thus,” Cleo went on, “I’m thinking of wearing a long, black formal gown which will be transparent in two spots. Totally transparent from the top to the waist, no bra of course. It will be twofold on the waist, thus not so transparent, quite like wearing a mini skirt under the dress. As for its back, I want a long slit up to my butt. Not planning on wearing an underwear, of course!”
“On the prowl!” Erica commented. “Kim Kardashian was wearing something similar, right?”
“Exactly. You remember that, huh?”
“I’m thinking something much better for you,” Claire said. “I know the dress you are referring to but I don’t believe it’s ideal for you. The double transparency feature is usually for those who have beautiful breasts and want to show them but also have some extra weight on their waist as well as not so pretty butts which they want to hide. As for you, darling, why hide anything? You have a fantastic body. What I suggest is a long, completely transparent black dress with a deep slit in the back up to the butt and a tiny black string. No bra, of course. Picture it. It’s perfect! And I know exactly where to find it!”
“You are right, it will be perfect. Much better than the one I was thinking. Thanks a lot, Claire!”
“I think so too but will you dare to wear it? Isn’t it way too provocative?” Erica asked.
“I guess I’ll dare. Do you think they will let me try it on, Claire?”
“Of course they will. All of us can. You are free to try it on and if you aren’t satisfied with what you see, you choose something different. With your body, anything you’ll be wearing will be provocative anyway!”
“Thank you. Ok then, let’s do this.”
“I will like it in any case!” Kostas butted in.
“You shut up!” Claire said and softly slapped him.
“What are you planning to wear, Claire?” Cleo asked her.
“I have something in mind but I’m not going to describe it, I will let you see it first. I wouldn’t call it modest, however.”
I bet it’s going to be red, he mused.
They made it to Syntagma, parked the car near Kolonaki and went to their first appointment.
The three Graces described what they were looking for to the lady in charge and she diplomatically tried to explain that they wouldn’t probably find it here. She showed them a couple of pretty gowns and dresses instead but it proved to be a waste of time. They went to their second appointment. This fashion house was more modern and a tad more eccentric but they still didn’t find what they were looking for. The one in charge half-jokingly implied:
“Ladies, you are way too progressive for us. Do you really believe that there are many women like you who are willing to dress like that?”
He was right in some respects, of course.
After their second fruitless meeting, they were somewhat disappointed and Claire was trying to raise their morale.
“Did you really think you can find such dressy clothes without the tiny bit of effort?”
“I know but we don’t really have much time!” Cleo replied.
“As for you, my dear Cleo, I have worked something out. Follow me.”
They walked through some alleyways and made it to a fashion house, on the second floor of an apartment building.
“It may not impress you but this is where all the singers get their clothes. It’s not a place for good girls like us but what we are looking for isn’t for good girls either,” Claire commented, jesting. “Shall we?”
“We have nothing to lose,” Cleo agreed.
So did Erica. As for Kostas, they didn’t even ask him. They went to the second floor and rang the doorbell. A cheerful lass wearing a super mini skirt opened the door. They told her what they were after.
“We have some,” she replied, “but it seems quite odd. They’ve never asked for similar clothes for an engagement.”
“We are kind of progressive,” Claire replied, smiling.
She turned and looked at Erica.
“Have we met before?” She paused for a while then cried out: “Oh! The sexy, wealthy heiress! May you live happily!”
“Told ya!” Erica smiled on the other two then turned to the lass and thanked her.
“I’ll fetch our catalog first. Check it out and if you see something you like, please let me know.”
She brought the catalog. All of the clothes were mainly for the stage and most of them were low-class. However, Cleo saw the dress she was looking for. She called the lass and showed it to her. She looked at her and hesitated for a while.
“This dress has certain peculiarities, Miss…”
“Thank you. I was saying that this dress is kind of peculiar, unique, we only have one and there is a small story behind it. Do you want to hear it?”
“Sure, why not?”
“This dress was a special order for a very popular singer, a headliner from Cyprus. I’m not supposed to reveal her name.”
They all figured out which one anyway.
“We ordered it from France and it cost us a hell lot of money. It’s the best kind of black silk you can get in the market. Black silk is very rare, you know, real black silk, I mean. The lady insisted. The dress arrived, she tried it out and we discovered something we didn’t know. Black silk becomes completely transparent when exposed to light. And when I say completely transparent, I mean it is as if you are wearing nothing. When the singer found out, she went ballistic. She accused us of all kinds of things and left. We lost her as a customer too. How were we supposed to know, though?” Anyway, we were left with the dress. It’s kind of hard to find a buyer. How’s going to wear that? We all have something to hide, after all.”
Cleo was excited.
“It’s exactly what I was looking for! May I see it?”
“Certainly. We have it in our studio. I’ll go get it right away. However, I have to warn you that it is kind of expensive. Very expensive to be precise.”
“We don’t mind the price,” Claire sharply announced.
“Well, let me tell you how much it costs first,” the lass insisted, having probably experienced a similar conversation.
“We don’t care about the price but do tell us anyway.”
“Well, it costs 12.000 euros…” said the lass hesitantly.
“No problem with that. If we like it, we will take it.”
The lass, clearly delighted, went to the studio to fetch the dress. It was perfect, exactly like the one Claire had de-scribed but way more elegant. The most amazing part was the feeling when you touched it. It was so soft. As for the peculiarity of black silk, it was indeed quite odd. When there was no light, it looked like a normal silk dress, completely non-transparent. With the tiny bit of light though, the dress would disappear. It became so transparent that you could even read a magazine underneath. There was a deep slit in its back just like the one they had imagined. It only needed a small adjustment in the bust and another one in the waist and it would be perfect. The lass informed them that this was not a problem at all and they could prepare it within a day.
“What do you say?” Claire asked Cleo.
“I loved it!” she replied.
“Come on, try it!”
Cleo took the dress and entered the fitting room. She tried it on and came out. She was a goddess. The dress made a great contrast with her blond hair. When she moved closer to the mirror which was illuminated, the revelation had occurred. The dress vanished into thin air. Every detail of her body was clearly visible. Her breasts, her nipples, even the lace of her panties. Kostas was having an erection.
“This was exactly what I was telling you about!” said the lass. “The lady has an amazing body and has absolutely nothing to hide but what about the other women?”
“We don’t care about the others,” Claire interrupted her. “We will take it!” She turned to Cleo, hugged her, kissed her on the mouth and said: “Congratulations, babe, it looks great on you!”
Cleo thanked her then hugged and kissed her too. Kostas asked her not to take it off just yet because he wanted to take a few pictures. The lass was watching the whole scene trying to figure out what was going on. She agreed that Cleo shouldn’t take off the dress yet so the seamstress could measure her and adjust it accordingly. Claire had another idea.
“Babe, would you like something similar?” she asked Erica.
“Not really,” she replied. “I like the idea of silk but I prefer white, tight in the chest and not too long, just up to the knee. And not transparent, of course!” she added.
The lass who was watching them carefully, stepped in.
“I think I’ve worked something out. Give me a moment.”
She came back with two more cheerful lasses. They both introduced themselves as designers.
One of the lasses showed them a figure with exactly the kind of dress Erica had described. The other one was holding a sample of expensive Chinese silk. Erica was excited.
“This is what I want!”
“I have designed that,” one of the lasses said. “I can adjust it just like you want it. It will be my honor if you wear it at your engagement.”
“Which will receive a lot of publicity!” Claire pointed out.
“We will measure the lady, clear up the details and you can take it on Friday afternoon. If you find any flaws, we can fix it on the spot.”
It was settled. The designers measured Erica and Cleo.
“I’m so happy you found the perfect dresses, girls!” Claire cried out, touched.
“What about you, Mrs.?” the lass addressed Claire. “What are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for a bright red one, with a revealing bust, short but very elegant and not something usual. I’m looking for something special!”
I knew she wanted red, Kostas exulted.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any red dresses. Red is a very exceptional and difficult color, you see.”
“I’m aware of that and this is why I want it!”
“However, I could introduce you to a very good friend of mine who is a designer and came back from Milan a while ago. He is known for his odd combinations and is involved with peculiar dresses. Shall I call him?”
“Why not? We have nothing to lose.”
She called her friend and spoke in excitement about her new customers.
“He had just left his studio but I’ve asked him to come back. He will be here in about ten minutes. He is a very creative person, you know. Come, let me show you some of the work he presented for a fashion house when he was still in Milan.”
She opened her computer and showed them some dresses on a website. Claire looked quite impressed, pointing some out.
The designer arrived a few minutes later. He was tall, had long hair and looked snob and distant. Typical fashion professional who had ridden the high horse.
He, the lass and Claire had discussed for a while.
Claire didn’t seem pleased. She was looking askance at him.
Out of curiosity, he approached to listen to their conversation without intending to participate. He heard him saying:
“Dr. Anagnostou, what you are asking for is quite exceptional and the time limit is minimal.”
He realized Claire had introduced herself as Dr. Anagnostou. He knew by experience that she was introducing herself as Dr. Anagnostou to the people she wanted to keep at a distance.
“I’m aware of that!” Claire exclaimed. “My question is if there is something you can do about it.”
“I might!” he replied. “How much can you offer?”
“I don’t have a certain limit.”
“Oh, come on now. Everyone has a limit.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“Just give me an approximate amount,” the guy insisted.
She is going to bedazzle him, he mused. He knew exactly how Claire reacted to similar situations.
Claire turned to Erica and beckoned her over. She cheer-fully approached Claire. The guy hadn’t noticed her yet.
“Do you recognize the lady?” she asked him.
The lass tried to say something to save the day but Claire did not let her.
“Yes, I do,” he said. “I do read magazines too, you know.”
“Mrs. Renieri is getting engaged this Saturday and she will be wearing a 400.000 euros worth diamond ring. I’m her maid of honor, I want to wear an original and unique dress and you are asking me if there is a limit on the amount I’m planning to spend. Well, I don’t. However, if you insist and you really need a limit, I would say 200.000 euros. Does this cover you?”
She had kicked his ass, of course.
The guy immediately lost his high horse, gulped and hesitantly muttered:
“I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you. My sincerest apologies.”
“Good!” Claire cried out, satisfied. “Since we are reaching an agreement, do you have any suggestions or not?”
“Give me a second to make a phone call.”
He walked away and called a number on his cell. They could hear him communicating in Italian. Kostas, who understood the language quite well, discreetly approached so he could hear him but unfortunately he was talking too fast and couldn’t understand what he was saying. He hung up and immediately returned to her.
“I’ve called a coworker in Italy. He is involved in different projects, one of them being the designing and creation of peculiar dresses. He then sells them as pieces of art in museums or collectors. I could show you some. He told me that he just finished a piece and negotiates with MOCA. You know MOCA, don’t you?”
“Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles,” Claire said.
“Exactly. I asked him to send me a couple of pictures on my phone so you can see if it interests you. If you do, he will immediately put it on his website along with its details and we will communicate with him again.”
At this point, he received an email message with two pictures on his phone. One of the pictures showed the dress from the front and the other one from the back of the dress. He showed them to Claire. She was flabbergasted. Kostas didn’t have a visual contact from the side he stood but he noticed her expression and he was certain it was the first time he saw her so impressed.
“Tell him to put it on his website. I will wait.”
She approached Kostas.
“Honey, you aren’t going to believe what I just saw. Wait a few moments and we will all see it.”
The guy called the Italian again and informed them that the details will be available on his website within ten minutes. He also sent them the webpage’s URL. They all stood in front of the computer waiting to see the dress. A little while later, the web page was ready. The dress and its specifications appeared. It was wonderful, indeed. It contained a revealing bodice of a very special shade of red which was beset with diamonds and rubies of various shades. The gemstones were covering the whole bust both the front and the back. The dress was starting from under the bust and it was made of bridal chiffon silk, taffeta and organza. It looked like a short wedding dress. The dress came with a pair of big, hanging earrings decorated with six large rubies. Everyone was besotted. Cleo and Erica were clapping their hands in joy.
“What do you think?” Claire asked.
“No need to ask. It’s perfect, purely divine,” Cleo said.
“Yes, yes!” Erica agreed.
“Glad we all agree!” Claire smiled. “I have to admit it really surpassed what I had in mind. I was thinking, though. Shouldn’t you be the one wearing it, dear?” she asked Erica.
“No, Claire, this is yours. I will insist on the bridal white. Besides, if I’m to wear all these diamonds and rubies, how am I supposed to show my ring? I prefer a simple and plain dress.”
“She is right!” the young man agreed, “besides, it better fits your personality. It is more prestigious and you can support it much better.”
“Fine, fine! It was just a thought. We have a deal. Call your friend and arrange the details.”
The young man called the Italian again who told him that the dress was ready and he could send it by plane next morning. He would collect it, Claire would try it on and he would carry any further adjustments it may need. The only thing that was pending now was setting a price. Claire made it clear that she also wanted the earrings. The Italian claimed that he would be completely honest with them. MOCA had bought pieces of his work before. They were offering 140.000 euros for this dress but they hadn’t received his approval yet. The approval would require three to four months and the amount disbursement about six months. Thus, he would receive his money in ten months at best and that deal didn’t include the earrings so he’d rather give it to Claire. He suggested a price of 100.000 euros for the dress and another 10.000 for the earrings. He also made clear that the bust was beset with precious gemstones that worth about 40.000 euros and he could prove that with the respective certificates and invoices that come with the dress. Claire made a quick research about the artist’s connection to MOCA and found out he was telling the truth at least about their previous partnership. She agreed without bargaining. As for the arrangement, she suggested to immediately remit the amount of 20.000 euros and send the rest when she would receive the dress from his partner. The Italian agreed. Claire logged on her e-banking and sent him the money. The Italian confirmed it and gave specific instructions to his partner. Kostas who overheard part of their conversation figured out that the young man would also receive a 10% commission.
Thus, everyone was satisfied. The guy agreed with Claire to call her as soon as he would collect the dress, tomorrow afternoon. They arranged an appointment at his studio for the fitting. In the end, they waved them goodbye and headed out.
“That was unexpected!” Claire cried out laughing when they were back on the road.
“You do realize you are about to wear a museum piece?” Cleo asked her.
“Not yet,” she replied. “Imagine that if I hadn’t bought it, people would admire it on a showcase at MOCA, Los Angeles in about a year from now. Besides, I’ll probably put it on a showcase at home after the engagement.
They all laughed…