Ghosts of Christmas - Kenya Wright


It’s Beginning to Look A lot like Christmas

I didn’t spend much time in church, but when I did, it was to hold a fashion show. Places of worship served as the perfect fit for my creative narrative. Clothing was part of our identity as human beings. So was religion. To merge the two made me feel complete.

And there could be no better place than St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan—right on Broadway. The chapel boasted a Georgian Classic-Revival style—brownstone quoins and boxy proportions. It boasted an elegant hall in pale colors, flat ceiling, and glass chandeliers.

The place cost a pretty penny to rent out. It was a 235-year-old building and the oldest surviving church in Manhattan. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington worshiped there. Unfortunately, I bet slaves stacked each brownstone and formed the wooden frames.

Slaves’ sweat, pain, and blood solidified this structure. Due to that, nothing could destroy the chapel. It survived the Great New York City Fire during the American Revolution. Many years later, 9/11 happened and the World Trade Centers collapsed, triggering destruction all over Manhattan. St. Paul’s Chapel remained standing without broken glass or dent. People called it, “The Little Chapel That Stood.”

And here I was, the first black designer to use it. That gave me an unspeakable amount of pride.

I wasn’t a big believer in God, but I knew a great spiritual presence resided here. And I needed all of that power tonight.

God or whoever is up there, please make sure this event is a success.

I peeked out from the curtain.

Elegant people crowded the old church—supermodels, designers, celebrities, and fashion editors.

Awesome turnout.

The stage glowed white. Fluttering sparks of light continuously rained to create an illusion of snow. The song’s bass boomed through the church, thickening the air with an exciting energy.

Soon, chic models would stroll up and down the runway, wearing my fashions. I specialized in haute couture clothing. Couture was French for dressmaking. Haute meant high. To qualify as an official Haute Couture house, my staff and I were required to design made-to-order clothes for private clients—wealthy ones. That took time, but I managed to network with new actresses and politicians looking to add flair to their public presence. Finally, Haute Couture houses had to present a collection of no less than 50 original designs—both day and evening—to the public every season.

I produced my first collection at twenty-three. Now in my fifth year, I’d risen to stardom.

It’s going to be awesome, Ivy.

Tonight’s collection had nothing to do with my fashion career. It was my third annual Winter Charity Gala. All proceeds would be given to low-income single mothers in need. When I first started this event, the money only went to single mothers in New York. This year, I hoped to raise enough money to help single mothers throughout America.

I crossed my shaking fingers.

They’re going to love the designs, buy it for their stores, and I’ll make my goal for this event.

I moved the curtain, shutting myself away from the glamourous view of the front row. My nervousness continued to spike.

All I could do was take slow breaths as I turned around, taking in the war and chaos thundering behind the curtains.

Here we go.

There were thirty models in the show. Currently, at least ten were ambling about. I shook my head. Some were half-clothed. Others boasted my evening gowns and held up their phones as they chatted live on their social media. The rest were lost and being herded around by my three assistant designers.

“Phones off. Come on. Get it together, ladies,” I barked at them. “And get in place. That’s why we practiced nonstop to avoid this.”

Several of the models hurried off.

The show director scurried in the other direction with his clipboard, checking off the things on his list. I hurried farther back to check on my four stylists and ten makeup artists. Their tables looked like they’d had a makeup fight. Colorful powders and brushes scattered all over the place.

I checked the right. Some of my hairdressers still fluffed and teased the models’ hair.

A few publicists attempted to get my attention.

I waved them away. “After the show, guys.”

One groaned. Two photographers snapped dozens of shots. I rushed by them to get a handle on this organized madness. I’d spent too much money and too many months planning and preparing the Charity Gala.

Still, last minute emergencies appeared. I had to hem three skirts as they stood in line to go outside. One model showed up late and covered in red and green glitter. Apparently, she Copyright 2016 - 2024