DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
ABCs of DWP (U to Z) I
Like the White Rabbit from that frenzied story -- she was always late and always in a rush. In a world where everything today should have been done yesterday and now was already too late, even magnificent Jimmy Choo's were not enough to distract someone from that sense of impending doom.
Perhaps it was Emily's latest diet (after her cheese cubes attempt) -- being so busy as to not even have a chance to slow down and breathe, never mind eat. Or was this Miranda's latest test to see how high and far her second assistant would jump to attention.
Even after her abrupt departure from Runway, Andrea Sachs did not slow down; for no sooner had she drawn a breath at the sight of Miranda Priestly leaving Elias-Clark had she lost it (and her heart) in a quirky smile and a wave.
Over the years, the list of things that Miranda Priestly never spoke of grew so long and varied that her publicist had reduced their statements to "not commenting upon any questions of a private nature" in an effort to be efficient.
Even after the gossip mavens sniped and picked at the apparent 'mid-life crisis' in the appearance of a former Runway second assistant seen meeting Miranda Priestly around town, she did not deign to comment on the swirl of gossip and scandal that seemed to have landed on her fashionable doorstep. Instead, the broadsheets began printing seemingly benign photos of the Priestly twins attending various events in the City in the company of Andrea Sachs.
The rule of not poking a sleeping dragon had been broken, and with a vengeance, the specter of the Ice Queen swept through the hallways of these 'publications' armed with enough legal weight to have even the most stalwart of editors cowering, never mind those facing Miranda Priestly on the other side of the table.
It wasn't until sometime after when vibrant peals of laughter rang out through Central Park and an intrepid photographer caught a candid moment with Andy's head thrown back in mirth and the near-invisible twinkle in the Dragon Lady's eyes that the rest of the world caught up with the story being told.
It was the fleeting sensation, barely felt, more imagine'd left the glitz and glamour of the Runway offices. Even months after the fact, it wasn't enough to remove that feeling of Miranda Priestly's critical gaze upon her work even though it would have been the height of hubris to hope that she'd actually read Andy's work.
It might be years before the orbits of Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly will meet again, if ever; even if they never exchange another word since Paris, Andy Sachs will never deny what she's learned under the tutelage of Miranda Priestly, even only if she is the one who knows and remembers.
"There is getting dressed, and then there is dressing." -- Truth and Measure, Part II by Telanu
It wasn't so much that Miranda Priestly could see through the layers of fabric to lace and tulle; more so, she had an exceptional eye for how clothing fit and fell on a body, whether a person was comfortable with their choices, and the silhouette they cut.
It went beyond whether they wore the clothes, or was it the other way around, but the clothes did serve as a reflection of one's self-awareness and confidence.
Miranda saw far too many treat fashion as a label to chase after -- not seeking their own style and comfort; instead, being led by the various taste-makers, sometimes much to their own detriment.
It was watching the transition of Andrea Sachs from the malformed sweaters of dubious origins to an abundance of sleek Chanel (Nigel's influence, of course), to this new style - a combination of off-the-rack and vintage, that Miranda Priestly realized her (former) second assistant had indeed learnt the lesson in style and dressing that she sought to impart through every Runway issue.
The outside world might have whispered (openly) that she was robbing the cradle and searching for lost youth. Yet Miranda Priestly knew otherwise. It wasn't so much that wisdom was wasted upon the young as much as the opportunities passed without much knowledge gleaned.
Each time their eyes met, Miranda realized that what might have been written off as impetuous folly had really been a lesson for herself. A series of self-realizations that had surfaced long after her anger had dimmed.
Just as Andrea had shed her preconceived notions of what fashion represented, she'd also lost the ubiquitous obeisance that so many exhibited in Miranda's presence. Time had replaced it with a determined knowledge that knew that just as Andrea had made the choice to walk away in Paris, it was also her choice to return and meet Miranda again, this time more equal than before.
It wasn't until after "The Book Incident" that things began to change; Andy's mind had taken to capitalizing the combined Book delivery upstairs and the Harry Potter manuscript fiasco into one continued disaster. That brief moment of surprise that she saw in Miranda's eyes let Andy know that this would be one of the small successes that changed Miranda's perception of her.
There were many days to follow where Andy couldn't remember what her own name or age was, but she could pin-point with scary amounts of detail the schedule of Miranda Priestly at the drop of a hat. On random occasions, she'd even manage to anticipate Miranda's unspoken instructions and be able to present a fait d'accompli to Miranda's surprised pleasure.
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