-Capital Crocus, The Well-Dressed Woman, one hour and twenty-two minutes later-
After drinking coffee with Mr. and Mrs. Wellington Diana had been taken to a dress shop in the upscale part of Capital Crocus by Mrs. Wellington in order to get a dress that was suitable for the birthday ball. The two women walked into a small dress shop with a wooden counter in the back, an open doorway on the back left wall that led to dressing rooms, a few glass display cases containing dresses, and wall-to-wall wood paneling that was even more elaborate than that in the Wellington home. As the pair walked towards the back counter an older woman walked out of the back to greet them.
"Hello ladies. I am Penelope Graham, the owner of this shop. What brings you to The Well-Dressed Woman?
" An older woman wearing an old-fashioned blue dress with corset and hoop skirt greeted them. Diana looked at her and noticed that her hair was a mix of black and gray and went down just past her ears. She also wore brown-rimmed glasses.
"I'm looking for a dress for Miss Winchester here. She's going with my son Edward to a ball being hosted by Mr. Winthrop and I need a dress that's suitable for the occasion.
" Mrs. Wellington told Penelope. The other woman gave a slight smile.
"A ball being hosted by Mr. Winthrop, you say? If I may ask, what is the occasion for this ball?
" Penelope asked.
"His oldest daughter Cassandra's having a birthday party. It's one that requires guests to be dressed up, but it's not exactly a formal ball. I'm a bit confused by how that works, but it's Miss Winthrop's party, not mine.
" Mrs. Wellington answered. The other woman kept smiling as she looked at Diana as if appraising her.
"And you say that this young woman will accompany your Edward to the ball?
" Came the question. Mrs. Wellington nodded.
"Yes, Miss Winchester will accompany him. My husband hired her to go with him to the ball to try and show him that not all young women are bad. Poor Edward's had poor luck with young women and he's almost too scared to try again... the last one was the most awful of them all, but we won't discuss that here.
" Mrs. Wellington informed the other woman. Diana knew exactly who had traumatized the hapless Edward, but she was sworn to not mention the other person's name. Instead Diana kept quiet and let Mrs. Wellington do the talking.
"Since you said that the ball is not a formal one, I think I have just the dress for Miss Winchester. Please stay here and I will get it for you to try on.
" Penelope requested.
"We'll wait right here for you, Mrs. Graham. There's no need for you to be in any hurry.
" Mrs. Wellington assured her. The blue-clad woman walked towards the back of the shop while Diana and her client waited in the center of the shop. Diana walked over towards one of the glass display cases and looked at the dresses within. They looked to be hand-made instead of mass-produced in a factory and they looked to be made in an older style, though not quite as old as the style Mrs. Graham was wearing.
Diana continued to browse at the dresses and noticed the price tags were all in the tens of thousands of Jewels. While she had the budget for it, she had never needed a dress until now. Diana did not travel in high society circles... she tended to keep to herself and interact with a few regular clients or her longtime friend Aliarey Casady and those occasions did not call for dressing up. She was about to move over to another display case on the right when she heard footsteps and turned to find Mrs. Graham holding a folded black dress in her hands.
"Miss Winchester, I have your dress ready. If you would be so kind as to follow me to the dressing room you may try it on.
" Mrs. Graham bade Diana.
"If it's permissible I'll go with Miss Winchester.
" Mrs. Wellington requested. The owner nodded her consent.
"Very well then. You may go with her.
" Mrs. Graham gave permission for Mrs. Wellington to accompany Diana to the dressing room. The blue-clad woman then led the way into the dressing rooms in the back of the shop.
-Inside the first dressing room, six minutes later-
Diana was now in a small dressing room with wood paneling on the walls and a mirror in a gold frame. She was now wearing the black dress that Mrs. Graham had picked out for her. Diana looked at herself in the mirror and was not sure what to make of the dress.
On one hand it was a modern dress that did not make her look frumpy. it also fit well. On the other hand the dress showed far more skin than she was used to showing, especially when it came to her cleavage. Diana hoped that Mrs. Wellington would not be upset by the way the dressed looked on her.
"Are you dressed now, Miss Winchester? May I come in to see the dress?
" Mrs. Wellington asked through the door.
"Yes, Mrs. Wellington.
" Diana replied. The door opened and in walked the client. Diana was not sure how the older woman would react to the dress she was wearing and watched the latter closely.
- Diana's Dress (Minus M1918 BAR, Sunglasses, and Necklace) :
[Post Word Count: 912]
[Total Word Count: 3,382/11,000]