Friday, April 16, 2021

Carnaby St Boutique by Steve Goodlad

 A gaggle of giggling young women enter the boutique and inspect the wares on display. In the dim light, Dave makes out their pixie hairstyles, dark eye-liner, blusher and over-glossed lips. The most brazen, to show what she thinks she knows shouts: “Dave, you got the new flares in yet?”

Dave hasn’t a clue who she is or what she’s talking about but leaves the counter to point out the most hideous tangerine loons he can find as a joke and is surprised to hear appreciation and admiration. He leaves them to keep looking and brazen-mouth lays on her back to pull the trousers up under her mini-skirt. They have purple paisley inserts, patch pockets, studs and novelty exterior fly buttons. She is helped to her feet as she’s unable to bend, to admire herself in the full-length mirror giving confidence to the others to search for items in the same vein.

Dave is soon ringing up the till for 3-storey snakeskin platform shoes, a yellow T-shirt with a half-peeled banana batiked on the back; an afghan coat with an embroidered cannabis leaf that smelled of wet dog; a wide-brimmed purple leather hat with a pink flower growing out of the hat-band and pair of dark John Lennon style glasses.

He watches them leave. It is Saturday afternoon and they will want to be seen by the in-crowd at the Chelsea Drugstore. She with the flares trailing a year or two behind, flapping like loose yacht sails in the wind, the afghan wondering why she is given such a wide berth by other shoppers, and one aided to walk as though on stilts until spectacles walks smack into a lamp-post.

“New stock required; I think. If that was fashion” wondered Dave, “They killed it”.

© Steve Goodlad

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