Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gisele and the water dress


Art is ephemeral.

Or it can be, anyway.

A while back, a friend and I were talking about the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Such spectacles are always weird affairs it seems, as if the planning sessions involve Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali taking massive doses of hallucinogens and then seeing who could be more avant garde. The opening in Rio featured the Brazilian native and former supermodel-turned-NFL-wife Gisele Bundchen making her final catwalk.

"It looked like she was just stomping around," my friend said and then proceeded to give a seated demonstration.

I laughed but half-heartedly attempted to defend her.

"At least she gave us the water dress," I said.

He didn't remember. I reminded him that about ten years ago, Gisele appeared in ad for her line of eco-friendly sandals. She was also wearing what looked like a splash of water rendered into a dress. I've always remembered the image, even though it is likely the result of a good deal of Photoshopping. The flow of the water tapered towards the knees and then spread out into droplets, just as you might imagine with the fringe of dress. There was an intentionally prurient aspect to this of course. There is the illusion that Gisele's hot body is covered only by a surface both as translucent and as flimsy as water.

I thought of it as an opportunity to fiction writing. Imagine a setting such as a space station where a hot female character slides up next to the protagonist in a bar or other such cliche setting. This woman is wearing a dress with all the appearance and properties of water.

"Since when do you care so much about fashion?" my friend asked.
"I don't," I reply. "I care about art. Though not many others do it seems. They've forgotten the water dress."
"I thought art was eternal?"
"I subscribe to philosophical relativism."

And so it went.

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