Catwalk report: Edith Sitwell X Stevie Smith

They walked out like good children at a party.
Elegantly sculpted statues, in buttercup-coloured
togas, flaxen and sincere in their isolation.

A song for rhythm, then the models flowed cool
and fluent as a river. Cropped navy trousers,
delicate trills of pearls at the hem. Dew on grass.

Elegance. Pavement-grey dresses with stiff
lacy trims, perfect and hard as a grievance
in the mind of a lonely, sensitive poet.

Short, clotted-cream shifts fresh and loose
as cloud. The haunted magic of posy-
and goblin-print swing dresses. No faltering.

Aurora-green, coral, olive, gold, white!
The girls danced the catwalk sharp and fantastic,
like exquisite creatures with bee stings.

To end, strangeness beyond criticism. Expressions
painted savagely, the mythological fire of passion-
smudged eyes reminded me of Gaultier if Gaultier

had declared a war on weakness. It was a victory.
Not only of inspiration, or technique. This
was the genius of rain on a marvellous glasshouse.
The hot pink tweed cut my heart with a knife.

Last updated March 08, 2023