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Dramatis Personae

Alice, Desi, Marinov


"You're cool, right?"


<NYC> Clothescycle - Garment District

Selling clothing both new and used -- but mostly used -- this store often has something for those fashion-conscious but on a budget. There is a distinct alternative bent to many of the clothes (and many of the dyed-haired, pierced clientele that often show up) but for those willing to take the time to look through their racks and racks of clothing, there are gems to be found both in their newer and vintage sections. In their basement, for the adventurous, their dollar-a-pound section offers just what the name suggests: they sell clothing for a dollar per pound. The pickings are often unusual, to be sure, but for those handy with needle and thread, sometimes the heaps of fabric can be turned to creative use.

It's later in the evening at Clothescycle and the crowds have been mostly dying down. There are only a few stragglers who are shopping at present which makes it a perfect time for the somewhat self-conscious Marinov to give it a visit. The teen is perhaps a bit overdressed, sporting a pretty hipstery sort of look today, with a pair of very tight pants, though with a sweater wrapped around their waist. This is clearly just an accessory, because Marinov is also wearing a vest over a horizontally striped long-sleeved shirt, and a scarf is wrapped around their neck and covering most of their face. Gloves, a beanie and lenseless glasses complete the look and, more importantly, cover up almost all of the teen's body. After a sniff of the air and a bit of hissing through their teeth, the youth complains to one of the staff members, "I think some of your clothes are mildewy. I sort of caught some sort of stale smell..." The staff member looks at Marinov for a moment, doesn't answer and then wanders off to another section.

Alice has been half-buried in a rack of vintage jeans for a while, carefully picking through it without much apparent success. She's dressed in a daisy yellow camisole and low-slung denim capris that leave a rather large swatch of her muscular midriff bare, and strappy black sandals. Her long, voluminous hair is done up in twists and tied in a high, thick pony tail, and she wears a smooth black stone on a cord threaded through the apparently natural hole at its center. Finally emerging with a pair of mom jeans in hand, she makes a quarter turn on her heel, looking for her companion. "Hey Des, I think these would look pretty sweet on you." She catches the exchange between Marinov and the employee, and offers a sort of helpless shrug to the youth. "Yeah, sometimes there's a funk in the bargain bins, but if you steer clear of the basement it's mostly aright."

Desi emerges from the rear of the store, wearing a magenta bell-sleeve blouse, a calf-length black tiered skirt, and 14-eyed black boots. She's carrying a bottle-green hip-length coat over one arm and a spill of shimmery purple-green duachrome fabric in the other hand. She holds up the latter in both hands to display it to better effect as she approaches Alice. It is a shoulderless three-quarter-sleeve cropped top. "And I was just thinking this would look pretty sweet on /you./ If it's stretchy enough to accomodate your assets." She holds out a hand for the jeans her roommate has found, exchanging it for the shiny top. "I have my reservations, but I'll try them on. Why are we steering clear of the basement, now?" She glances at Marinov, eyes lingering only momentarily on the very thoroughly clothed teen.

While their tensed shoulders and balled fists suggest they are annoyed with being ignored by the staff member, Marinov blinks a couple of times slowly and turns towards Alice. They adjust their fake glasses a bit for no reason, speaking through the cloth of the scarf, "Oh, yeah. I like the basement for fabric sometimes. I guess I'm just not a big fan of stale smells. I'm sure it's really not a big deal or anything, I just won't check it out today." They peer beyond Alice when Desi emerges, "Oh. Uh. Hi Desi. That's a cool look. I was just... well, there was a smell, but you know how I can be?" The last statement is a bit unsure, since they aren't really sure what Desi might know about them.

Alice emits a quiet squee, taking the crop top Desi found. "Nice!" She tugs on it experimentally. "Yeah this is stretchy enough, but I should probably try it on anyway." Then, with a shrug, "Don't need to avoid the basement, but it does smell a little dank sometimes. It's not always so bad, but it's been humid a lot, you know?" She glances between the scarf-swathed young person and Desi. "So you make clothes? I can't sew to save my life, kinda spoiled because my sister does."

Desi does a double take when Marinov speaks her name. Her green eyes focus intently on the younger teen, and then widen ever so slightly. "Oh! Taylor! My apologies, I didn't recognize you right off. This is my roommate, Alice." She blushes faintly, toying with the jeans in her hands. "You've got a heightened sensitivity to scents, right?"

"Yeah, I guess I didn't expect immediate recognition in these clothes, but I guess that's what I'm going for. I can really pop in a crowd," says Marinov, a bit flatly. "But yea, sensitivity to smells is right, I just thought they'd want to know." Their eyes turn towards Alice at the introduction, and the teen offers a gloved wave, "I'm Marinov. Taylor Marinov. Yeah, I actually make most of my clothes... though not all. Sometimes designers come out with some pretty cool shit that I need to save up for. But often I need to make alterations, so I don't often bother, or just do the copycat thing." They laugh awkwardly to themselves.

"Man, you can copy new designs without a pattern? You got some skills there, Marinov. Do you prefer Marinov? I'm Alice." Alice smiles brightly. "Uh, which, she just said. Oops." She's plucking at the coat hanging over Desi's arm, checking it out. "So do you do any costuming, or do you mostly make clothes for your normal everyday wearing purposes?"

"It is effective," Desi agrees, nodding at Marinov's outfit. "I suppose it is more comfortable for you to go out this way now, with the summer finally on the way out?" She plucks at her own long, drapey sleeves with a half-smile. "I, for one, am excited for fall. It's just so much easier to dress to both my aesthetic pleasure /and/ comfort when it isn't blazing hot or freezing cold out."

"I don't have a preference for what I'm called. Marinov or Taylor or Tay, I'll respond to any of it. And... well, I can /try/ to copy new designs," says Marinov, shifting their weight from one foot to the other in a fidgety fashion, "I don't make a perfect reproduction or anything, but I can make stuff that looks like... you know, similar enough for my purposes. And yeah, I have done costumes, but not really anymore, 'cause... I dunno, I sort of grew out of looking like a lot of cosplay characters? But I still make costumes for my dolls and dioramas and shit like that." They pull at their vest a moment and say, "Yeah, I know what you mean. I used to be way more about the summer, but when a fur coat is required wearing-" They cut themselves off and then say to Alice, "You're cool, right?" To Desi, they repeat more quietly, an edge of paranoia in their voice, despite it being a bit late to ask, "Cool, right?"

Alice nods. "Hey, that's still mad impressive in my book. I can't even sew a straight hem." Though she looks at Marinov a bit more closely. "I mean personally I think people can cosplay all kinds of characters they don't look like -- gender or body type or whatever. Buuuut I also get that people can be brutal about policing who they think should be in what costumes. /Man/ the kinds of shit me and my sister got when we went to DragonCon as Link and Zelda." She bounces up onto her toes. "You make dolls, too! Multi-talented crafting." At the question she subsides a little. "I'm human, but I like to count myself an ally, you know?"

"If it fits you and you like it, then you've succeeded." Desi nods, finally relenting and letting Alice examine the coat she's been carrying around. "Costuming culture has a lot of problems, yes. Unfortunately, skill and passion and an awareness of privilege are only going to get you so far." Then, more quietly. "Especially if most people are inclined to think poorly of you from the moment they lay eyes on you." She glances at Alice, then back at Marinov, and nods. "She's cool. Really, she is." She fidgets with the jeans a bit more. "Oh! I meant to go try these on, right. Excuse me, then--it's nice seeing you, Marinov!" Despite her sudden veering away, her smile seems genuine enough as she heads for the dressing rooms.

"An ally? Cool... yeah, that's cool," says Marinov, relaxing a little bit, "I agree that people should be able to cosplay whatever, and I mean... I always did whatever I wanted, you know? But now I barely look human so it's sort of. Eh. I can imagine that people would be pretty brutal with thinking poorly, like you say Desi. And there's just, well, nothing that I can really do about that." They start fingering through some of the clothes on a nearby rack distractedly, pausing just to look at some of the pieces for a few moments. They nod to Desi, "Yeah, it was nice to see you too, Desi! Cool running into you."