“It will have to do…though green is the one colour above all others that you should never wear, my Katherine. But you’re going to wear a red, pin-tucked chiffon collar I’ve made for you. Yes, you are. You ought to have a red dress, Katherine.”
“I’ve always hated red. When I went to live with Uncle Henry, Aunt Gertrude always made me wear aprons of bright Turkey-red. The other children in school used to call out ‘Fire,’ when I came in with one of those aprons on. Anyway, I can’t be bothered with clothes.”
“Heaven grant me patience! Clothes are very important,” said Anne severely, as she braided and coiled. Then she looked at her work and saw that it was good. She put her arm about Katherine’s shoulders and turned her to the mirror.
“Don’t you truly think we are a pair of quite good-looking girls?” she laughed. “And isn’t it really nice to think people will find some pleasure in looking at us? There are so many homely people who would actually look quite attractive if they took a little pains with themselves. Three Sundays ago in church….you remember the day poor old Mr. Milvain preached and had such a terrible cold in his head that nobody could make out what he was saying?…well, I passed the time making the people around me beautiful. I gave Mrs. Brent a new nose, I waved Mary Addison’s hair, and gave Jane Marden’s a lemon rinse…I dressed emma Dill in blue instead of brown…I dressed Charlotte Blair in stripes instead of checks…I removed several moles…and I shaved off Thomas Anderson’s long, sandy Piccadilly weepers. You couldn’t have known them when I got through with them. And, except perhaps for Mrs. Brent’s nose, they could have done everything themselves. Why, Katherine, your eyes are just the colour of tea…amber tea. Now, live up to your name this evening…a brook should be sparkling…limpid…merry.”
- from Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
Above: Canadian writer Mavis Gallant
The official report knows only this: “M Monnerot’s sister’s apartment is occupied by Mlle Brigitte Vanderplank, who is a French citizen. Mlle Vanderplank works for a wholesale dress firm as a hostess and model when coats and dresses are shown to buyers in Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland and Switzerland. She is twenty-four, and speaks French, Flemish, and several German dialects […] Mlle Vanderplank wears an apple-green suit and white shoes. She carries a white purse with a gold chain. She has been described variously as ‘exquisite,’ ‘undernourished,’ ‘common,’ ‘distinguished,’ but all are agreed that she has blond hair.
– from “A Report” in collection In Transit by Mavis Gallant