The Red Dress

Issue #46

By Vivienne Arkell

There it hung in my closet, sparkling a bit less than I remember. A symbol of hot times, lusty and free.

V-neck front and back, V for Valentine, V for Vivi and voluptuousness – my red dress said it all. With its tiny sequins shimmering over all of my curves, the effect was mesmerizing, eliciting desire and lusty gazes from men and women alike. Stopping in their tracks, pondering why they were so attracted, one could see the men secretly trying to process an approach and take-down of the glamazon in front of them. Of course, they didn’t consider the bodyguard to the left of me. Who would ever think that the older man could actually protect and prohibit Miss V from doing exactly as she pleased? Hmmm.

The truth was, the dress was much steamier than I was back in the 80’s and being barely 22. I had no clue about the extreme power of RED to excite and heat up a room. Among the intellectuals in elegant black, I stood out like a sore thumb. Why was everyone dressed so snoozy at Friday night premiere? Needless to say, I was present, happy, and more exposed than I realized. I would never be able to hide again as I was tagged as the girl in red.

This single piece of clothing gave me confidence way beyond my years. Any time I wore the dress, whether it was a movie opening, my birthday party, or the Christmas holiday, passionate sex with my man Bill followed and I reveled in the ritual. Though I was too young to understand, it did flaunt my sexuality brazenly. But what exactly was in this dress paired with a cute pair of red patent kitten-heel pumps and matching lipstick? I didn’t really think about the implications, let alone connect the dots of history’s love-hate relationship with women in red.

Only after we moved in together a year later, did I begin to understand red and its seductive powers. No longer deemed appropriate for a gal who had settled down, my sequin number was relegated to the closet, only to reappear on Halloween. Luckily, I was allowed to still wear it as a costume, flaunting my supposed sexy alter-ego. Yet outward displays to provoke were off-limits. Possession of this creature in the red dress was now Bill’s. No need to risk any change in ownership. Sad truth was that it wasn’t only the fiery red dress that got put in the closet. Playful passion got stowed away too. Well, except for those hot Halloweens when I was allowed to don my red shininess.

After all, doesn’t everyone know that red fueled escapades are for the youthful and wild? Famous leading ladies, along with the men around them, need to be protected from temptation involving all things red. Am I right? Eve and her classic red apple made for dire consequences. Don’t forget Dorothy’s sparkly red shoes in the land of Oz. Those shoes alone ended up giving her great independence and power. The red patent pumps I wore added extra drama and mischief to my look. Those shoes could bring me anything as long as I clicked them three times and was clear on my wish. That I had tested out on numerous occasions. And even though my dress was more “Some Like It Hot” Marilyn, we can’t forget passionate Scarlett and her swoon producing romances and gowns. Just saying her name, we feel giddy excitement with trouble and havoc afoot.

So did my red dress have any magic left in it? Could I still dazzle a crowd and go home with a red-hot-ready man? Do I dare flaunt my sexuality so brazenly now, in a big city like New York?

Oh the fun of costume and red-hot rituals. Me, my dress and our power to express. Happy V-day ladies. I’ll let you know how it goes! ; )


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