The Yellow Dress

It’s what pillarbox is to red. This canary equivalent has forever been my stand-alone characteristic colour; bold, bright and brilliant. It grabbed my attention instantly, falling graciously at the empire line occupying a spot-lit prime position between two equally summery numbers in the upmarket high street shop window. But all fade in comparison to the Midas brilliance emitted by this number. An absolutely deserving central hogger. Think mid-spring tulips, glorious summer sun, or the aptly-named attention-seeking’fly-yellow’ Lamborghini. Or just a plain ripe banana. Either way, not many could or would dare attempt to manoeuvre this hue. But through all my travelling, i seem to have acquired a delightful side-effect in my warm golden-bronzed skin tone. So, wearing it well isn’t a concern. Nor is suiting my personality, which friends will agree is outrageous and wild enough to carry every colour of the rainbow and mad enough to have them on altogether.

But I’d never have guessed a dress, which i since even considered returning for being too boring, could evoke such drama. On it’s first proper outing it already has a tale of it’s own, as imaginative as it’s hue, to tell.

The moment I enter Heathrow, something feels surreal. It’s extra-ordinary this time. People walk past in slow-motion, seemingly gliding by beaming over, gaze fixated, neck rotating unnaturally round 180 to watch me pass. Is my dress tucked into my knickers again? Have I exaggerated my eyes to the point of drag-queen again, as on my birthday night out? Have I made a fatal fashion faux-pas in clashing handbag and heels? Having checked all of the above, I decide it’s their problem, not mine and refuse to allow paranoia to seep into my cranium. More often than not, it does and I spend most of the day feeling awkward and highlighted, until someone takes the time to compliment something that has caught their eye. At that point, too late in the day, the hours of self-conscious nerves ease off. This time, I’m en-route to the Seychelles so I’ve every reason to look summery, I re-assure myself. I’ve even checked the weather forecast there to ensure I’m not heading into a monsoon in my sprightliest.

A lady rushes over in the airport hall. Out-of-breath, she proceeds, ‘I just wanted to tell you…’
‘Oh, here we go’ I anticipate her negatively complimenting some aspect of my dress sense or colour-coding. Don’t you hate that? When people feel the urge to compliment with criticism. A lovely remark with an undertone of resentment, a kind word with a large dose of sarcasm.
‘I just wanted to tell you that you look beautiful in your yellow dress. ‘ And she isn’t being sarcastic! Result! What a warm start to the journey. But it doesn’t stop there. In fact it hasn’t stopped. Waiting to check-in, the female Qatar airways staff scramble over each other to shower me (well, my dress) with compliments. Slightly embarrassed, I thank them and proceed to the counter. The check-in assistant diligently re-iterates her colleagues’ sentiments, before plunging into pure delirium, ”you look like a movie star.’ At that point, i can no longer smile gracefully with a polite ‘thank you’ instead blurting out an overly-flattered over-excitable and nervous giggle, verbally vomiting up the words, ‘do you think? I wish!’ Classy act, Anisha, classy!

Swiftly turning away, I throw myself into security at departures, where I’m ushered immediately through to the empty VIP lane, fast-tracking the journey significantly. But he hasn’t even seen or known that I’m flying business. The subconscious effects of the dress live on.
Following an easy security transition, I walk into duty free to purchase some last-minute beauty essentials. A male assistant literally runs over to help. Realising he couldn’t guide me with my specific mascara brand, he instead flashes a devilishly handsome smile and tells me i look great, proceeded (ruined) by a wink. I wonder, at that point, if this is candid camera and I’m being stitched up. Has someone paid all these people to be so complimentary, just to laugh at the lengths my ego will allow me to believe it’s a normal day soaking up the incredulous? The sales assistant for Chanel hurries over and proceeds to tell me she spotted me from afar and loved the colour of my dress on me. Now I’m convinced it’s a wind-up and coolly brush her off with an aloof ‘cheers,’ as if this just happens to me all the time.

From there, I walk into the Qatar lounge at Heathrow. Here, the dress refuses to take a back seat, rather making it’s cameo celebrity appearance. The results? 5 different staff members compliment the dress at staggered moments. Now I’m beginning to realise that this may not be fake or role-play. They each seem so genuine and earnest, instinct strongly tells me they’re for real. And it truly touches my heart.

It’s not every moment that we receive compliments. And more often than not, people refrain because jealousy, spite or embarrassment prevents them. So how truly special that all these random people bypass such barriers and feel open enough to give a stranger such beautiful compliments. Despite being a Feminist, nothing makes a girl’s day like a sprinkling of heartfelt and true lovely remarks! And, Never Ever under-estimate the powers of a simple dress! No matter how current, trendy or fashionable, no matter how little flesh is revealed, nothing hits the mark like a faithful timeless classic cut, shaped to accentuate your figure, with enough detail to match your personality and Always a shade to perfectly compliment your skin tone. They tell me it’s just like finding the right eye-shadow, an experience i’m yet to encounter! A surreal day, a remarkable yellow dress!

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