High-Fashion Telepaths

September 24, 2015:

Emma and Betsy go shopping at an exclusive high-fashion boutique. The NYC GDP goes up several points.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Though Betsy's far from a stranger to shopping even in high-end stores, going on an Amex-fueled spree with Emma Frost is an experience unto itself. Sak's was usually last on Betsy's list for shopping, more for reasons of self-control than anything else. Emma had insisted on going there almost straightaway.

Surprise had turned to shock as Betsy had been swept along in Emma's wake as the Frost Queen strode into Sak's; and not via the front door, but by way of a private entrance on a side street Betsy didn't even know existed. They'd been escorted upstairs by a squad of sweeping and smiling staffers and ensconced in a private fitting room larger than Betsy's midtown apartment before the high-roller style shopping had begun.

"Hmm." Betsy stands in front of a three-panel mirror on a small dais, tilting her head this way and that as she twists and turns in place, looking at the drape of a dress wrapped around her athletic frame. Closer to amethyst than aubergine, the purple is furthur away from the dark hue of her hair, but close enough to play it off well, and simple but well-fitted panels fit the dress closely to her body and leave it draping asymmetrically from the hips down, with thin and carefully embroidered straps clinging to her shoulders. "It's a bit too pink for my hair, isn't it?" she asks Emma absently, twirling once and watching the skirt flare dramatically.


Of course, thus far everything Emma has tried on has been various shades of /white/, so most would never think to ask her opinion of colors. But the White Queen turns her head from consideration of a tablet being held by one of those staffers - replete with images of various pieces they are trying to interest the high-roller in trying and purchasing - and looks over to watch Betsy's flaring twirl.

"Mmm." Emma offers consideringly. "I would say it looks quite fetching, and a good bit outside your usual palette, Elizabeth. But if you are not comfortable with that choice, I'm sure another option can be made available promptly." With Betsy's skin tone, the pink actually looks amazing, and doesn't cause her to wash out or redden too much, either.

"Henri, dear. Could you change the light settings to evening, please? It may help Elizabeth with her considerations." Emma offers, and another of the staffers, near a particular spot on the wall, taps a few controls, the lighting in the room dimming slightly and changing hue as everything adjusts to an evening palette.


"Mhm." Betsy's default response comes almost without her thinking about it, and then she blinks rapidly when she percieves the room's colors changing. As it darkens from mid-day clarity to a softer tone, her eyes go back to her reflection and both of her eyebrows tic up in surprise. As Emma suggested so correctly, the dress takes on a new vibrance in the deepening lights. The close cut of the dress creates curve-flattering shadows that promote her femininity, rather than blatantly emphasizing it.

"I say, that's brilliant," Betsy murmurs, twirling once more, the twisting motion making lines of definition rise in her calves. "I'll have to wear this out some evening. It's decent enough as a day dress, but it's smashing for a night out."


"Naturally." Emma opines, smiling at the pleasure she can see and perceive in her friend's self-regard. "Every piece has its proper setting for best advantage. One of the elements I most appreciate here is the care that has been taken to help vary perception to those different settings." That and the helpful fawning of attention from the staff. It can be so nice knowing that others' mercenary desires will compel them to fill the slightest whim without question. It makes things so much easier.

"I suppose we'll need to arrange just such an outing, and soon. A proper showcase." Emma offers with a rather bright energy about her. She does love her shopping, and takes it quite seriously. Black credit cards without visible logos whimper at the thought.


Betsy nods emphatically at the suggestion. "Yes, indeed. With all the madness going about lately, I think we could stand a group evening out. It's been ages since I went to a club." She exhales a bit, looking at the mirror, and then moves to a partition that provides a suggestion at privacy and starts shrugging out of the dress, one of the attendants helping her manage the zipper.

"At the risk of upsetting your monochromatic sensibilities, have you considered that blue ensemble?" Betsy inquires, looking at Emma then nodding at the tastefully arranged display full of outfits. "It'd go quite nicely with your eyes," she adds diffidently, before gesturing at the rack full of her suggestions. "I'll take the red slacks and the grey top, and bring me the gold sash," she tells the helper, piling the dress around her ankles and stepping out of it carefully.


Emma cannot help but laugh rather amusedly, shaking her head. "I confess, the only 'club' I tend to visit … " Well, she doesn't bother to finish that sentence. Elizabeth knows exactly what Club she's talking about, and why she finds the idea of a 'group outing' to that club a humorous prospect. "But I could make an exception for the right event and the right company." Be still thy heart: Emma Frost offering to be … flexible. Hell may truly have frozen over in depth.

The tall blonde stands, eyeing the blue outfit in question, and then the purple-haired psionic ninja who suggested it. "I had not considered it, admittedly. But, if you truly feel it would be worth the effort, I am willing to give it a chance." Emma walks towards one of the standing folding screens, as attendants appear to help her out of her attire, as others bring said blue ensemble to her. They had better have gotten her measurements right; there are reasons Emma shops at exclusive custom-wear boutiques as much as she does.

Other staff bring Elizabeth the pieces she requested, and offer further suggestions of what they think would be the perfect compliments to those bits and the radiant woman herself.


Betsy slips into the outfit she'd picked out- the red slacks emphasize her long legs, and the blousey grey shirt, tucked in, gives it a somber sort of appeal ruined from professionalism by virtue of being a nearty sheer and faintly reflective material. She wraps the sash around her hips in a manner not dissimilar from her martial attire, then frowns in the mirror and drapes the loose knot over her neck with a frown, making it a kerchief. She dithers, considering, then sits carefully down, knees to the side, and slips her feet into a pair of gold-hued stilettos that nicely complement the kerchief.

She rises and looks in the mirror, then turns when Emma finishes dressing, standing with her hands loosely on her hips to regard the new and color-improved Emma.


Color-'improved' is a matter of debate and discussion. But Emma does emerge shortly, stepping out from behind the screen now attired not in her usual pristine white, but in a pale blue, like a warm spring day's mid-morning sky. The skirtsuit is saved from utter professionalism by the somewhat abbreviated hem of the skirt - not quite 'trashy', but definitely shorter than the norm - and the stiletto-heeled mules in a matching tone. The nehru-style collar of the dress is a curious affectation that makes the whole thing a bit less pedestrian, all made that much more startling while draped on a woman of Emma's height, curves, and usual predilection for white.

"That seems rather … somber. The sash saves it, I think." Emma offers, honestly. Betsy is usually a bit more vibrant in attire, in either style or color, if not both. "Were you in need of an outfit for visiting your lawyer?" she teases, amusedly.


Betsy offers Emma a rare smile, full of approval for her selection. "Quite an avante garde choice. I approve," she compliments the blonde. "You've certainly the legs for days. If being a globe-trotting CEO ever fails you, I can assure you a fine career as a model."

At Emma's statement, she glances at her self in the mirror a bit self-consciously. "Yes, I… well." She exhales at herself and tugs at the sash. "Some days it's a struggle between fashion and practicality. You've no idea how much I wrangled with myself over my old uniform. Leotards are quite striking looking, but they're far from functional." She rolls her eyes minutely at herself, expressively, and tugs the sash once more, experimenting with the length of the knot. "So at best, we compromise by finding something that's fashionable /and/ subtle."


The blonde chuckles with wry amusement. Of course, Betsy is likely well aware that Emma did a little time as a model, before she moved on to become the CEO of Frost International, Inc. "I don't think I'll make that particular change, dear. But thank you kindly for your suggestion."

"Well, I always approve of fashionable, and subtlety is a powerful weapon to have in one's arsenal." Emma offers, strutting over to give Elizabeth another looking-over. "I do approve of the outfit. It's just a departure from what I've come to expect of you." And Emma has always been one to pay attention to what one should expect of others, pouncing on the variances. "I rather appreciated your latest costumery. I hope my own met with your approval. I've not usually been one to get my own fingernails dirtied."


"Emimently practical, and it wouldn't leave Versace's ghost wanting for anything for appeal," Betsy assures Emma, hips shifting to put her weight over her left foot. "You might, however, consider investing in some body armor," she suggests with polite diffidence. "When I first joined the X-men, I realized that, lacking anything like Logan's durability, a stray bullet or piece of shrapnel would be an ignominous way to die. I might have something still in storage that would be an adequate fit," she suggests with a thoughtful frown, eyeing Emma. "I can see if Jean can remember where she stored it for me." With a straight face, she takes her sash off her collar and casts it over Emma's head, letting it drape around her neck and with a small, quirking suggestion of a smile, gives the trailing end a playful tug. "There. A bit of accoutrement."


Emma smirks at the asian Brit and peels the gold sash off from around her neck, tossing it back at the other woman. "No, thank you. Gold, love, is most definitely not my color. As for body armor, I am quite capable of paying for top of the line body armor. I've just never needed it, before. I am careful. I don't get myself recklessly into situations where I would lack for sufficient warning to shift, as needed." And one has to admit, body armor is good, but diamond body is better. Much better. "The challenge is body armor that is still fashionable. Perhaps I should contact Ms. van Dyne. I've heard she is very talented at such things."


"As you wish," Betsy responds politely, flickering another ghost of a smile at Emma and catching the swirling piece of cloth out of the air without taking her eyes off of Emma. "I think that would be a prudent course of action. Janet's quite a legend in our circles, and with good cause. Needless to say, her regular clothing lines are also exquisite. Still- you don't see combat gear at Bergdorff's, unless they, too, have a backdoor of which I am unaware," she quips with a proper British deadpan expression.


The Bostonian blonde chuckles and shakes her head. "Bergdorff's? No. None other than the loading dock. But there are a few special boutiques that could cater to the taste." And of course, Emma knows about each and every one of them. "But if I'm to actually wear such a thing into real conflict, I won't do so in anything less than the best. So, I will contact Ms. van Dyne, and see that she can fit me into her busy schedule. Something in white, naturally." Because the White Queen has a signature to uphold. "Should I wear one of those garish masks, as well, do you think?" Yes, Emma is worried about mussing her hair. Go figure.


Betsy spreads her fingers in a polite shrug, one shoulder rolling up and down. "I wear one," she tells Emma. "And I take great pains not to be observed or remembered. However, one errant camera, one Facebook post… it would not take a great deal for me to be compromised, and I do have something of a more public profile than many of my peers- present company excepted, of course," Betsy tells Emma urbanely. "It seems a modest bit of insurance against exposure. Our outfits might be a bit more … garish than some might prefer," she says wryly, "but there's no reason to put our faces on display. We aren't posing on comic book covers, after all."


"With some ridiculous negative-image cut-out costume spilling our unmentionables into public view." Emma quips sharply, at the idea of posing on comic book covers; it would seem even Emma has a bit of issue with some of the comic art she has seen. "I suppose I will see what Ms. van Dyne can suggest on that front, as well. I loathe getting my hair mussed. But one must do what one must do. Powerful as we are, there is little we can do to technological recordings, beyond inducing those who make them to erase them." And they can't always get everyone. Elizabeth is right about that. "Perhaps we should fly to Paris and meet her there? Assuming you are free this weekend?"


Betsy makes a sound somewhere between a laugh and a titter. "A terrible idea. I've seen some of the 'official depictions' of us in the flesh, so to speak. My old leotard was quite minimalist, I suppose, but I've been depicted as being wearing something more appropriate for eveningwear than practical use. Can you imagine? Going to a battle in lingerie." She pffts. "Unthinkable. However," she says, flicking amethyst eyes back to Emma. "If you're looking for complaint from me about a spur-of-the-moment trip to sunny Paris with good company, you'll find none here. I've been dying to see Janet for a while now- this seems as good an excuse as any."


The blonde nods sharply. "Good, then. I'll make the arrangements, and we can leave tomorrow." Emma strolls behind the dressing screen, and is soon divested of her dress, changing into her own clothing once again. "Why don't we ring all of this up, please?" she offers to the staff, extending that black featureless card. "Have it all prepped for travel. We'll be taking it with us." Often Emma doesn't bother with that, and has things delivered to her home or office. But with Elizabeth here, she'll take it all with them. "I reserved us a table at Tarazano's for lunch. Is that acceptable?"


"Perfectly so," Betsy assures Emma, eyeing that obsidian-shining piece of plastic. "Though… Emma, dear, I appreciate your largesse, but my burgeousis upbringing requires that I raise at least some small protest if you insist on them bringing back /everything/," she says, eyeing the rather substantial pile of clothing she'd resigned herself to play Rosemary's Babies with to winnow out her budget's allotment. "Unless you're suddenly planning on buying Cosmopolitan magazine and you're picking out something for my fall cover debut," she suggests dryly.


Given that Frost has been known to finance a day's national debt on a shopping spree, this is nothing for her. But she does pause and turn to look to Elizabeth, taking the other woman seriously. She always does seem to do that, where with others she would just blythely steamroll right over them without a glane or a thought. "You want it all, don't you?" she questions, openly. "If I am mistaken, please, correct me. But my impression was that you wanted and liked all of them." And she's a telepath, as they both are. When she says 'impression', she's speaking much more intimately than the staff here could ever fathom.

"I confess, I've no interest whatsoever in anything so pedestrian as Cosmopolitan. Print is dead, and I have no interest in helping them figure out how to monetize their digital assets. But if you need a fall cover debut, I'm sure that can be arranged." Hell, Emma could probably make that happen with just a phone call to a friend from the Hellfire Club. A few whispered words, and whole scales of economy can change.


"My shopping style usually culminates with torturing myself over which outfits I can afford and which ones I'll leave behind, followed by berating myself for going over budget anyway, and then I feel guilty for eating Kurt's homemade brownies as consolation for failing to have restraint." Betsy's lips quirk in a suggestion of a smile. "Usually I'm the one financing things for our friends at the Mansion, unless Warren's feeling particularly generous," she says. "This is a welcome change of routine, though I hope my objection doesn't overshadow my gratitude. Thank you," she tells Emma, flashing another rare but warmly sincere smile. "I am hoping my agent gets off of her literal fanny and starts promoting some of the shoots I did with Pietro's designs. I'd hate for his talents to wallow in obscurity.":


Emma smiles. It's a rare smile, one that isn't a smirk, or a bare ghost that could generously be likened to an almost- or a half-smile. But a real smile, even if it is brief. "Your gratitude is welcomed and accepted, Elizabeth. So long as you appreciate and enjoy the clothing, the price is more than worth it. That I can also save you from a grouchy phone call from your brother regarding your finances warms the cockles of my supposed heart." Yes, Emma can even make jokes at her own expense. "If you want to help get Pietro the press his designs deserve, perhaps you should convince him to design a few things for me. I would be happy to explain to the press about the latest amazing designer I've discovered." And then Betsy could do runway shows for Pietro for the really big money and exposure.


"I'll make the effort," Betsy assures Emma. "Shall we to lunch, then?" she invites the other woman, gesturing to the private exit. "I'll have to show you some of the concept sketches Pietro e-mailed me and you can see if anything strikes you as viable," she says, gathering up her ever-present cell and tucking it into her back pocket. "And you'll excuse me while I order and then eat a half-kilo of steak. I'm famished," she exhales.


Emma cannot help but smirk at that. "You may order whatever you wish, Elizabeth. Your dietary requirements and your pleasure are always your own business." Emma would never eat quite so much, herself. But she would never chastise someone else for doing so. "Please, feel free to forward on the sketches. We can discuss them tomorrow on the plane, at some point." That said, Emma gathers Betsy and they head in the direction of that private entrance, trusting that the staff will manage to get everything paid for, sorted and in order and delivered to the car before the women themselves can do so and order the driver to depart. They're on the clock, and it's a race. Just imagine the tips they get, though.

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