2012-03-27: Exemplary


Emma_icon.jpg Shane_icon.jpg

Summary: Shane delivers on Emma's challenge, much to the Headmistress' surprise.

Date: March 27, 2012

Log Title: Exemplary

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Emma Frost's Office

Miss Frost's office is not as white as one would expect, however it does present an overall theme in the room. Using a classic den/office style structure from the building, the hardwood floor has been mostly covered from entry to desk with a white carpet that has been decorative bordered in an ivy-pattern, with the center having a delicately done floral arrangement. Two plush white leather chairs sit slightly staggered and angled facing a white marble topped desk of dark-stained oak, the Xavier Academy logo in front emblazoned in a polished steel. Atop the desk is materials for physical writing as well as a dual-monitor computer system that seems keyboardless, instead having a single mouse-like interface device. To the right are a pair of striated white marble book-cases filled from top to bottom, in the center of the pair a marble fireplace that burns sedately despite the time or season.

The left wall has a series of file cabinets sitting next to another computer desk, this one with a standard keyboard and mouse with the academy logo floating sedately on the screen. Next to those is a table where mail seems to be laid out next to a carafe of what is either coffee or tea, and a small pile of cookies, which seems to vary day by day. Behind the carafe is a small containers for sugar, fresh cream, and honey.

Behind the desk is a bank of windows facing northwards, running practically from wall to wall, bordered on both sides by silver-embroidered sheer silk cloth, so even when drawn you can make out details outside, and so long as day is present, line pours in to give the room a sense of warmth. For the times when more light is required, it comes from the vaulted office ceiling from a tasteful-looking light and fan combination. Just behind the desk and on the right side is a second door with a hand-print scanner.

Four days before the end of the month, and throughout most of March, Shane has been all but gone from view, save for necessary classwork. Security has put her in a different room every evening for the first half of the month, in the Art Room for a week after that, and then almost entirely holed up in her dorm. Thus the fact that she manages at least an attempt to clomp quietly up to Emma's door, a JC Penny's box held tightly under one arm, says that she's very likely to be finished. That, and the fact that the slight young mutant is practically vibrating with nervous tension as she stands there, not knocking, waiting for the door to open.

And as a surprise… it doesn't immediately. Instead about a minute after the girl gets there, the door opens and three people walk out of the office, followed by Bobby Drake, who is dressed in a suit and looking very Jerry McGuire at the moment. As he passes by, he then does the double buddy finger-point, which sends a couple ice cubes into the then air and falling down onto the carpet. After that from inside, there's a slightly annoyed and tired, but otherwise together voice from Emma Frost, "Hello, Shane… please come in." Unlike normal, the desk is piled with actual papers, and she seems to be in the midst of signing several items.

Shane blinks at the appearance of Bobby, raising an eyebrow and sliding to one side as he passes by. "Um… Sup," is all she manages, before creeping into the office, clearing her throat and shoving her free hand in the pocket of a red, sleeveless jacket whose bottom hem comes to rest near her ankles; presumably, self-made. "…Sorry it's so late, but um… the dress you wanted?"

This is a rare sight. Emma looks… surprised. She tilts her head, and then closes her eyes and says, "Yes… yes… forgive me. We've been doing the school's taxes all day today, and most of the rest of it slipped my mind." She actually swipes up her appointment roster, and looks it over, "Come in come in… I can have something sent up from the kitchens if you haven't eaten yet… is that…?" Motioning with one hand towards the box, "Well..?"

Shane bobs her head, slipping into a chair and hunching her shoulders a bit. "…M'fine." Indeed, it looks as if anything she tried to eat wouldn't stay down at all; Instead, she fingers the box, clearing her throat. "…Know y'said y'wanted just white. Couldn't help it. Hadda put a little something else in. Wasn't lookin' right. S'fine if y'hate it… but… said I'd do it." And with fingers bandaged at the first two joints each, she holds out the box, scanning the desk for a safe spot to put it. "…Here."

Emma picks up two piles of papers and places them on one of the chairs, and then follows with several more until there's enough room for Shane to lay things out properly on the granite desk. Moving off and away, she goes to the door and closes it behind her, the room seeming to take a strangely silent air the moment it happens. Once done, she returns and then looks at the box, one lock of her hair spilling out of the loose bun she's been wearing, somehow still making it all look perfect, "We'll see… after all, you are the designer, and I am loathe to cast it aside simply because it does not fully conform."

With only the tiniest bit of stalling, the lid is taken away, hands reaching in to push the tissue paper aside and lift the dress out by… what would have been its shoulders, had the entire thing not ended halfway up the bustline. White cotton, simple and inexpensive, but as she turns around to hold it up, the reason for the bandages and the apology is made clear; embroidery. *Lots* of embroidery, from the right shoulder and diagonally to the left side of the skirt. The bottom hem, cut at an uneven angle, shorter on the right than the left, with the long sleeves given a similar treatment, cut to the wrist on the bottom side, the knuckles on top. The stitching is mostly white thread, care given to make the mass form a pattern of frost, with the occasional hint of silver here, pale blue there. Thankfully, also, cup support built into the dress' interior; apparently the student decided to leave nothing to chance. Behind the creation, Shane looks positively green as she awaits Emma's critique.

She goes right to the hemlines first, Emma holding up along it to examine those carefully before she moves along towards the bustline and supports. Taking her time, she looks over every line first before going towards the embroidering and the subtle hues that it gives the dress and along the line of the frost-rim. Her fingers trace the lines of it, over some of the silver and the light blue. Then she taps something on the desktop and the lights close to the window dim enough that it can be used as an ersatz mirror. The dress is then held up against her as she walks over and stares into the visage there for a few moment. Then a single word comes, "Exemplary."

"Y'mean it?" Is Shane's immediate reply, a mishmash of relief, doubt, and dim, steadily glowing pride… Amazing, how much emotion can be touched into existence from a simple word. "I mean I made it long, 'cos it's easier t'take in than put on, an' there's always alterations need done so ain't gonna be all the way done 'til tomorrow and I know it's just for the thing but I don't make nothin' just t'wear once and—" Here she pauses, sucking in a deep breath and falling silent. "…You really like it?"

There is a rather impish grin on the woman's face as she nods once as the girl expounds, and is still holding the dress close to her frame before taking it over and laying it gently back down on the desktop, "Shania… this is not just a dress. This is fashion. Where I will be, they will be staring, and they will be wondering who I went to to get this. They will want to know who considered these lines, and the touches of embroidery. This is a dress that has the soul of it's creator in it. Subdued confidence, combined with a starkness that is uniquely you." Her fingers run once more over the embroidery, and then steps back to take off her jacket, and drape it over the back of the chair. Then she starts to undo the UM/leather bustiere and corset worn under it, "That being said… we both know the real moment of truth."

Shane seems stunned into silence by what Emma says, mind racing through the possibilities. People are going to *see* this, *talk* about it, and for some reason, the reality hits her in the gut a good deal harder than it would at a convention. Cosplay, after all, is a sort of armor between her and the world, a jarring sense of weirdness that keeps people from asking questions or getting close. A small part in the back of her mind wonders if this is how Mason felt, the first time he made his way onto the stage at a real concert. Once Emma slips off her jacket, she coughs, turning her back. "…Catches inna back," she says quietly, frowning at the butterflies in her stomach. "Easier t'hide 'n zipper. Bra hooks, like."

"Sensible. So it holds the body contours much better than a zipper wound, because a zipper has no proper give." Then the bustiere comes off… and reveals a white strip of body-hugging, almost painted on cloth for a purely Unstable Molecule undergarment. She then comes over to the younger woman and Emma says, "Well… the first fitting should be done by the designer, and not merely by the one wearing it."

"I um… huh. ….Sure okay." Turning back, she plucks the dress out of Emma's grasp, undoing the five hooks in the back — three for the upper back, one for the waist, and one for the tailbone, where the bulk of the embroidery recedes — and spreading the panels out. "Here… Jus' step in, oughta be fine. Took me a couple days t'work that out." Studiously, she keeps her eyes glued to the floor, for several reasons… but mostly because habit breeds reflex, and eye contact has never been the student's stock in trade.

Arching one cultured brow, Emma takes up the dress and begins to slide it up her still-clad legs as noted by the girl. Once she has it secured with the hook around the waist, she then begins reaching down to pull up first one side, and then the other, keeping her back to Shane, before asking, "Am I fitting this correct? I'd rather not stretch a line when I do not have to." Attempting to force the line of the eyes back up so that the affect could be more easily seen by it's creator.

Shane wanders around behind the Headmistress, frowning in concentration. One shoulder is given a tug, then the other, and back again… and finally, the hooks are secured up the back, if a touch tentatively; a mannequin, after all, is one thing. The back side is given another cursory tug, then the student moves around to the front. "…Um. Get y'self settled, take a couple breaths? Stitches held, so oughta be fine."

Her hands run down the front of the dress, feeling out the lines as well as the touches of the embroidery, and then Emma nods once as she takes a couple steps away from Shane so she can watch directly as the woman takes a couple slow breaths. Each time, she inhales, the dress moves with her and settles once more. Turning then to face the young woman, she then takes another breath to allow Shane to watch the same, "How is the line holding?" And she turns slowly so that every angle can be seen.

Shane peers closely as Emma turns, judging the angle of the embroidery at first, but soon her attention turns to the side seams, chewing on her lower lip as she spots the slightest jog here, an uneven angle there… no such thing as good enough for student work for her, apparently. "…Ain't allaway straight in a couple places, but stiches're holdin'. Dunno what I c'n do 'bout the seams though… end up where they s'posed t'be, but, kinda weave a little onna way. Sleeves okay? Ain't too loose?"

Both arms go out, and Emma rolls them back and forth, and then brings both up over her head, and gives a slight face as she brings then back down, "It moves well except for all the way up. There is a pinch in the lower back. Nothing completely uncomfortable, however two smaller hooks above and below might alleviate some of it? Merely a suggestion. My own view of the craft is from the outside." But then she walks gracefully from one end of the office to the other so that the most important aspect of the dress can be seen. How it all properly moves.

Shane nods once, absently. "Could do that. Twenty minutes 'n heavy thread," she mutters to herself… but as Emma makes the walk back from the wall, the look on Shane's face speaks volumes; for a girl who has probably only ever seen a fashion show with a jaundiced eye and a mouthful of scathing comments, a concept has bloomed in the back of her mind. She could really maybe do that, someday. And without even thinking about it, her shoulders relax, back straightening, and real pride kindles in her sullen eyes. "…Looks good," she says, quietly.

"I concur. Wholeheartedly." Emma replies as he she moves to one side of the desk and begins to very slowly unfold the dress around herself, "The sleeves catch a little coming on and going off… however that is the nature of the beast. Nothing to be done." Once she has herself unadorned, she stoops quickly to take the dress up before it wrinkles, and lays it flat on the desk, "To be clear… if you had brought me one of those Japanese monstrosities I've seen on the covers of video games I would have worn it proudly, if not with perhaps a touch of humor… but this? This dress…" And for that moment she literally has no words, just caressing another the embroidering once more, "I would be honored to wear this for you. But… what name shall I give them when I am asked who designed it?"

Emma then adds with a soft grin, "And before you take offense to that… I know from personal knowledge that Japanese fashion is much more pageant than practicality. They make our own markets look simply plain in comparison."

Silence, for awhile, and finally Shane merely shakes her head. "…Maybe I woulda. 'F I thought you'd'a liked that stuff. Wouldn't make nothin', people didn't wanna wear. 'S stupid. 'Sides. Woulda made *me* look bad, stuffin' ya in somethin' crazy. You wanted t'show off what onea y'kids could do. Be an asshole move t'make you pay f'that, y'know?" Subsiding, she chews on her lower lip again, eyes moving over the lines of the dress. "…Tell'm onea y'students did it. 'F they really want one… Prolly they'd let y'know."

A look is shot from the woman as Shane mentions the last part, though she's smiling the entire time. Emma nods once, and then plays with a few things silently on her lips. After that, she nods once, "A Shania Em original. It has a certain roll off the lips. A little country, but a little exotic. And the M… well… just a touch of mystery to it. There's power in a name, especially one you can sell right." Moving off towards her private chambers, Emma disappears for a long moment and reappears with a boutique box, complete with some terry-cloth wrap padding, "Here… something more appropriate for your work. I have several if you need… and should I be giving people the ability to ask you for more work… you will need them, I guarantee."

Shane picks the dress up carefully, folding it over her arm as she would any of her own dresses, with care and respect. Placing it in the box, she takes a deep breath. "…Thanks," she says, after a moment's careful thought. "…First time I made anything f'r anyone else. …Didn't think it'd be… so… y'know…" Trailing off helplessly, she lifts a shoulder, run dry of any decent words to describe what the project was like for her, finally managing a weak "…fun."

Emma takes up her work attire and begins to dress once more, inclining her head slightly as a few more locks of hair fall across her eyes again, "Please ensure I get a picture of the dress to take to my hair stylist… I want to ensure that I am properly prepared to match." Once the jacket is sitting over her shoulders in that way she seems to make effortless, she approaches, and puts hands on both of the girl's shoulders, gloves touching the clothes, "I am happy for you. Everything I've seen before told me that you were more than up to this task. But I am more than pleased to know you enjoyed it."

Shane drops her eyes, cheeks flushing crimson… a true blush, one that might stop past her neck, but simple embarrassed pride. The praise, finally accepted for its simple truth, drunk up like rain falling on a desert. "….Yeah," she all but whispers, clearing her throat to extract a sudden, suspicious lump. "…Have it back, 'n picture, after class t'morrow. Figure I can get most of it done b'fore bed. … Mind givin' me a picture, 'fore y'go out? ….Kinda… y'know… wanna show my folks."

The peal of laughter is one of a merry Summer Queen, and not the Queen of Frost as the woman is so apt to present herself as, and Emma replies, "Of course, of course… we can even set the Danger room to properly present it. After all… what's being in charge of such advanced technology if you cannot occasionally use it for your own ends, mmmm?" Moving back over to the piles of paper, she begins re-piling everything back into place, and in perfect order, "As I said before… The dress is only worn by me, but it belongs to you… I will present myself however you like to best present your work to any who wish to see it before it is in a magazine." She pauses, and then adds, "If this does bear fruit, and you receive orders… I will cover your material costs, and assist you in pricing for your new clients. It is the least I could do in return for such a wonderful gift."

"I… crap, thanks," Shane mumbles, gathering up the box into her arms and holding it close to her chest. "…Wouldn't know what'n'ell t'tell em, prolly end up getting fleeced 'f I tried that." The student pauses, finally meeting Emma's eyes for the first time during the interview. "…Seriously, though. Thanks. I mean it… Helped me keep my mind offa lotta stuff, doin' this."

Instead of saying anything, Emma simply walks with Shane, escorting her instead of walking her to the door, and then opens it for the younger woman for when she chooses to depart, "You are most welcome, Shane. Now… you have classes in the morning, and I still have more paperwork than I like." Her eyes flick back towards the piles, and she gives a resigned sigh, "And to think… I gave up a life of terror upon the masses for… W2s." There's a shake of her head as she then looks back and meets the girl's eyes once more, "Have a good evening, Shane."

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