by Evelyn Adams
The tall, slender figure paused before the bay windows of the exclusive dress shoppe.
A neat window sign, in the shape of a patent leather boot bore the inscription, Madame Nanette — Figure Trainer. “This must be the right place,” said Marie, the silhouette brunette as her velvet gloved fingers secured the knob of the door.
Fortunately, there were no other customers present in this very exclusive salon. Marie had always felt that acquiring a wardrobe was such a personal thing. From the rear a tall, statuesque blonde came toward Marie.
“Good morning,” her voice was sultry, with just the proper amount of barb to tell the customers that she was in authority and that her decisions were not to be contested. “I’m Madame Nanette. Have you come here to obtain advice about a proper gown? Perhaps some hosiery? I have some of the latest designs, just in from Paris.” She brought forth a pair of silky soft hosiery, tinged the color of bright sunset, with tiny little riding crops embroidered in petite diamond arrangement just at the ankles. The double hem contained four equal sets of built-in rubber garter snaps, to be hooked onto a garter belt. Madame Nanette explained, “You see, these stockings are most unusual…they are actually too small for a girl which is to her advantage. Do you wonder why? Because I detest wrinkled silk and when she is squeezed into these stockings, her legs will become like twin columns of pure ivory.”
Marie found herself fascinated with such an ingenious pair of hosiery. She found herself liking this blonde wardrobe mistress -such an Amazonian type she was, and yet, so feminine. Even her heady perfume was most stimulating to the nostrils. “Madame Nanette, my friends tell me that I don’t know how to dress. I thought you could select appropriate items for me and I’ll be glad to follow your advice.”
Madame Nanette’s eyes opened wide with glee. “You’ll find that I’m an excellent teacher. Would you like to discard your present clothing in the dressing room, my dear ? I’ll then be able to make an exact fitting.”
“No…no,” Marie said hastily, ever fearful of such an embarrassing state of being.
“Just take my measurements now and I’ll try the clothing on at home, if you don’t mind.”
Madame Nanette smiled indulgently; at the same time, she clasped her hands together. Her fingers were unbelievably strong, more like talons of a magnificent she-eagle, glittering with huge rings. One ring on her right forefinger was a most unusual bit of jewelry. It consisted of one huge gleaming tiger’s eye, glittering as though from a hidden bush, waiting to spring upon its victim, overpowering its prey. Marie found herself hypnotized by this glittering eye which seemed to probe through her very being, stripping away all that she held personal.
“First, my dear,” Madame Nanette broke into her thoughts, “we shall find a good pair of shoes.” She rummaged among shelves, closets, beneath counters, and finally came forth with a pair of exquisite ankle length boots. “Now, these may look rather strong, as all boots are… but note the delicate craftsmanship.” The boots were made of pure dyed black lizard skin, soft to behold but powerful when opposed. The leather Softly wrapped around the ankle, snugly, imprisoning the twin peaks of the bones. A milk white (rather, it was flesh-white) pair of leather thongs, in stark contrast to the ebony of the leather, bound fast the foot so that there was absolutely no chance for escape such as when walking on a busy street corner. Such things can be a nuisance!
And then the heel. Ah, it was amazing how pencil-thin the heel was, with the very tip covered with just tl~e tiniest scrap of rubber. Embroidered down the inside of this pencil-thin stabbing heel (which measured a perfect 6-3/8 inches) were down-pointed Arabian sabers… and even these beautiful teeny sabers had embroidered upon them even smaller little glittering rhinestones. The vamp held an even greater surprise…a velvet scimitar, entrusted with tiny rubies resembling blood. It was very realistic, reminiscent of the days when Persians ruled their captives. The twin pair of ankle-length boots glistened with a perfect polish, so dazzling to the eyes that even Marie had to blink and stand in reverent awe before such delicately created footwear.
‘ ‘You see,” explained Madame Nanette, “these shoes have a personality all their own. It is said that they contain some ‘magical’ power which endows the wearer with supreme power and exaltation over all. As you know, the Arabians can weave many magic tales.”
Marie agreed. “But they fascinate me. I’II take them.”
“Good,” beamed the other woman. “Now just look at this figure trainer.” She held up what, at first appeared to be a solid sheet of pure sea green silk. But upon closer inspection it appeared to be a very thick, rubberized figure trainer, designed to nip in the floppy folds of flesh just above the hip bone and beneath the breast bone. “These laces,” pointed Nanette, “are made of imported rubber. See how polished and smooth they are. Well, these laces measure 15 inches in length and fasten around to the small of the back. Here, they are secured into special little copper-rivetted hooks and once in place, cannot be easily removed. You’ll need someone to help you into this garment. Perhaps you’d like instruction, right now !”
“Oh, no,” backed away Marie, still rather frightened at such a firm figure trainer. I’ll do it at home.” She examined the pure spongy rubber which looked innocent but she knew that when the rubber figure trainer would enclasp her waist, it would be like the enormous hands of a Persian Gent, squeezing and molding her tender flesh until she could scarcely breathe. But when it was done, her waist would be so nipped in that it would be a perfect hour-glass figure, of the type which gave fame to the Gibson Girl.
When Marie said she’d accept it, she then added, “I’d like to see something in the way of gloves.”
Madame Nanette brought forth a pair of elbow length pure leather gloves! They were baby blue, so delicate that they fooled Marie into thinking they were so innocent. But yet, the fingers felt rather heavy. As Marie slid her hand into the glove, she felt the chain mesh which was secretly woven into the leather lining.
And the tips of the fingers had tiny – – very tiny — little metal tips, just covering the fingertip but very powerful when properly used. To add to the delightful pleasure, there was a secret contraption in each of the thumbs of this baby blue leather pair of gloves. When Marie would slowly stretch out her gloved fingers, from the bottom of each thumb would spring out a tiny little cat’s clawl It was so realistic that it was sure to cause much favorable comment whenever displayed. Such a delicately created pair of gloves was instantly purchased by Marie…money was no object when it came to fashions with a practical point of view.
“During colder weather,” declared Nanette, “you may be in need of a head glove. Yes, it’s surprising to first hear of it, but the most fashionable women today like to wear these gloves. Here’s my favorite…and I think you’d love it!”
It was a charming, flesh-colored leather head glove. Made of very fine, skin-tight kid leather, the glove fit smoothly over the skull, with a demanding tightness because wrinkles were strictly taboo! There were two tiny slits which permitted just the barest glimmer of vision and just one tiny little puncture — just one which allowed some air within the confinements of this skin-tight head glove.
Madame Nanette explained, “Because it gets cold sometimes, with blustery winds, there’s really no need to keep your lips and mouth uncovered; you can get chapped lips that way. Therefore, this unique head glove does not contain a bothersome sllt for a mouth.” She then pointed to the exquisite throat scarf. It resembled soft silk, on the surface, but it, too, was a flesh colored leather covering. It contained buckles which fastened the scarve right in the hollow of the throat. “Note these built-in steel throat trainers,” she pointed to slender bulges which ran in a vertical direction – – three in the front and three in the back. These actually help you to keep your head up, giving you a professional model’s appearance when you walk. If there’s anything I detest,” she hissed, “it’s a slumped head. Well, this set of throat trainers will do wonders for that condition.”
“Do you have a suggestion for a gown, Madame Nanette?”
“Indeed I do. You certainly are quite the clothes horse, my dear. Well, to suit your fancy…and satisfy your wild imagination, here’s an import, direct from London — the home of the finest in leather.”
When Marie beheld the amazing gown, she had to gasp in profound admiration. With tender devotion, she stroked the billowing peasant skirt with almost flexible built-in steel stays running from the waist down to the knee cap — the gown was made of ruby red silk, an embroidered sash around the middle sported a seashore motif with fish hooks and bobbing corks, with fishermen’s nets and even an image of a lovely mermaid being trapped within its confines, along with the other helpless creatures of the deep — the razor sharp tips of the fish hooks cruelly threatening to tear at her satiny soft pink flesh.
The blouse, on the other hand, was black velvet, in stark contrast to the silken red of the skirt. Now, the blouse had an excruciatingly tight bodice, the bosom containing a stitched-in brassiere, made of very pure rubber. When worn, it enveloped a woman’s bosom with a warm and possessive grasp. The rubber bra was soft and yielding, almost like a bosom, but it was hollow and greedily enclasped the proffered bosom of its wearer and creating a stunning buxom effect. It was rumored that some of Hollywood’s most famed bathing beauties would wear such a brassiere which was like a second skin.
Other delightful creations of this blouse included its set of buckles, pure leather with a gleaming silver buckle and notch — there was one buckle on each shoulder, like an epaulet, except that they fastened securely around each armpit. This helped to fluff the short, upper elbow-length sleeves, billowing them out in pure peasant style.
The back of the blouse contained red slashes of soft velvet. Which each movement of the shoulders, the red gaping slashes would part to reveal a tiny set of little polka dots within the slashes. Truly, this was a gown that was created by a master craftsman of the arts.
“There you have it,” Madame Nanet~e wrapped everything in a neat bundle and handed it 1o Marie who eagerly paid for i1. “You know, I always maintain that women just don’t know how to dress. It takes a male designer to be a true fashion expert. However, I design many of my own clothes and some of the gowns in my shoppe. Not bad for a mere female, eh?”
“You’ve done quite well, Madame Nanette” Marie thanked her again and hurried home, eager to try out this new wardrobe.
Shortly afterward, Madame Nanette retired to the rest room in the rear of her shoppe. She locked the door of the room. Then she gazed at herself in the mirror. She smiled, reached up and removed her billowing blonde wig and stared at herself…rather, himself!