An Event To Remember

The long black limousine slowed its run up to the curb, coasting quietly the last meters to a perfect stop beside the beginning of the red carpet.  An arm appeared on the other side of the window to open the limo’s door; and a roar of sound crashed into the previously silent vehicle.  A tannoy squealed slightly, then boomed out, “Ladies and gentlemen, our next celebrity guest is the author of the world-bestselling thriller on which tonight’s première film is based.  From Saint Petersburg, Russia, please welcome Ms. E. P. Darchiev!!  Along with Elisaveta is the co-author of the screenplay, Gregory Boldini!”

“Bozhe moi!” the woman who was the momentary center of attention muttered under her breath in her native Russian, and crossed herself for good measure.

“Ah, relax there, ducks,” her escort said, fixing a smile on his face as he slid over to the door and prepared to hop out.  “If you’re nervous, just remember that everyone out there will forget you almost the moment Nicole and Brad show up.  There’s only three times you want them to really remember you:  when they hire you, when they write you the check, and when they announce your name at the Oscars.”  He winked at her as he crawled out of the car, and then he was holding out his hand to her to assist her.

Lisavet Darchiev fixed her own smile to her face, composed of one part excitement, one part pure terror, and the last part a bit of actual amusement at the craziness happening beyond the door of the limo.  She thought as she slid across the leather seat and accepted Gregory’s hand, One must wonder if maybe they’re howling for me to be thrown to the lions, it’s so like the Romans at the Colosseum.  Still, it had been a hell of a ride to this point, starting when she had written her first Cold War-based mystery and got it published in Moscow in 2010.  Two more books with the same Leningrad police-commissioner character had come so far; even more success when the English translations had taken off as fast as the Russian originals; and now here she was at the Hollywood première of the first book’s movie.  True, it didn’t star Daniel Radcliffe, as she’d hoped it would, but it was still a triumph light-years removed from her days as a diplomatic admin in London.  Lisavet still remembered fondly the cruise aboard the S. S. Galaxy to promote the English version of her second book.  And, as long as she could come up with good plots, the future looked very bright indeed.

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The fans began applauding as Lisavet emerged from the limo, as they would any celebrity tonight.  Then the noise level faded perceptibly as everyone focused on her.  Just as Lisavet started to worry, though, it seemed to redouble, along with whistles, shouts of approval, and the flashes of cameras near and far.  And Lisavet realized that, remember her or not, everyone there definitely approved of what she wore….

She had the financial wherewithal now to afford nice evening dresses, of course, but nothing incredibly splashy; and she owned almost no jewelry that went with such a gown.  But, a week before première night, she had gotten a call from someone connected with Chop Zuey, the jewelry designer, asking if Belle Roussel herself could come over to her hotel to meet her.  Knowing how the system worked, where clothes and jewels were loaned to celebrities walking the red carpet to show off and be talked up, Lisavet agreed immediately, figuring that the designer was going to offer her a few pieces to wear for display.  Then Belle arrived, and brought with her six guards, and three helpers that carried large garment bags.  While Lisavet stared pop-eyed at this small procession, Belle had opened the bags one by one — and the stare of surprise changed to one of sheer delight.  Belle was starting to branch out into clothing as well as jewelry, and she was offering Lisavet the chance to be her model at a big event.

Her choice wasn’t difficult at all.  The book on which this movie was based had featured a theft of an emerald collection worth thousands of rubles from the Hermitage as well as a murder, and so she gravitated straight to the emerald-green gown as completely appropriate.  She could only see the skirt, but got the idea from the designer’s drawing that Belle showed her as well.  The silk and satin were luscious in feel, and shimmered under the lights of the room with an iridescent texture. Wearing this dress, Lisavet thought, she might just outshine the movie’s stars!

But then Belle nodded and opened up a case that one of the guards was carrying, and pulled out the dress’s top, as well as some of the trinkets that she was better known for, and Lisavet’s jaw dropped wide open….

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The bodice of the gown was encrusted with emeralds and peridots; as Lisavet at last tried the dress on, with the help of a few pins in back to hold it up, she felt like the Tsarina of Russia out of long-ago fairy tales.  Then Belle produced a pair of belts that helped hold the heavy top on her — more green stones, as well as a healthy dose of diamonds all around.  And evening gloves — Lisavet had always loved opera gloves — with gem-studded cuffs, and an additional pair of bracelets and earrings as well.  Eyeing all this askance, even though she loved it and the generosity of the loan’s offer, Lisavet asked, “If I wear this, gospozha, will I need to walk in surrounded by guards?  I’d be wearing millions here!”

Belle smiled and replied, “Perhaps one, discreetly in the background.  He’ll be good, though.”

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Belle allowed her to choose one more piece of jewelry as a grace note of her own, and so Lisavet picked a massive ring of white and yellow gold, shaped like the head of a tiger, frosted over with diamonds, onyxes and emerald eyes.  Again, the emeralds made the decision for her.  The three women carrying the garment bags for Belle were seamstresses, and they worked quickly to fit and tack up the dress to Lisavet’s measurements there in the hotel room.  Lisavet then pulled on the shoes she had bought just a few days ago, gold leather pump sandals from N-core, which worked well with all that shimmering green satin, and received a thumbs-up.

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And finally, that morning, a hairdresser from Truth Hawks had come and worked over her hair, dying her summer-red locks to a gleaming highlighted black and styling them into a choppy bob.  A session with the makeup artist just an hour before the limo arrived, and she was set.


And now here she was, nervousness vanished on the wind, grinning as she wondered how much they were cheering for her and how much for the dress. She raised a gloved hand and waved to the crowd, pointing with a laugh at someone who shouted “Break a leg!” to her in Russian, and began the walk up the red carpet on Gregory’s arm, the guard sent to protect the jewels (and her, hopefully!) a discreet distance behind, as promised.

Gregory turned and grinned to her as they approached the “official” posing station with its logo-covered backdrop. “See, luv, what’d I tell you? Piece of cake.”

Lisavet laughed back. “No, tovarisch; more like ‘smooth as satin,’ I think.”


The details:

  • Skin: Nuuna’s Skins Skittles (Med Bare)
  • Eyes: Sterling Artistry Jeweled Eyes (tourmaline)
  • Hair: Truth Hair Skyla (Night)
  • Gown, gloves and most jewelry: Chop Zuey The Emerald Gown (mesh, with a large selection of add-ons, including a hat and veil which I did not use here)
  • Shoes: N-core Delicious (Gold)
  • Other jewelry: Chop Zuey Shere Khan Bengal Tiger Ring
  • Makeup (eye makeup in approx. layer order): Glamorize Dirty Babe Lips (Criminally Crimson); Baiastice Glitter Night eyeshadow (gold); Nuuna’s GlamMetal eyeshadow (green); *BOOM* Liquid Glaze (lashed black); Nuuna’s Eyebrows 9; Curves Mystique Prim Eyelashes

Photographed at The Event: Hollywood. Dress, jewelry and shoes purchased at stores on site.


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