'A Comprehensive Guide to Witch's Historical Fashion' was no ordinary book launch. The author, Kitty Northcott, was the most recognized name in magical fashion. At only 35 years of age she was a renowned fashion historian and designer. Her career had started immediately after graduating from Hogwarts when she was accepted into a research program at the Magical Fine Arts Academy of Paris. She spent a decade researching and writing about historical magical fashion for books and magazines. Then in 1964 Kitty launched her first Haute Couture collection and became an overnight obsession around the world. Each contemporary piece was heavily influenced by historical magical clothing and constructed by hand in her Paris loft. Each collection consisted of only 15 pieces and sold for thousands of galleons. Fashonista witches from New York to Hong Kong clamored for her work.
Farren had met Kitty at a society party in London in 1963. She'd even been gifted a few pieces in advance of her first collection launch as the girls had become quick friends. In 1965 it was Kitty who had designed her wedding gowns. So when Kitty sat down to write the book on historical witch's fashion in only made sense that it would roll off the Abercrombie presses. The foreword had even been penned by Farren.
The launch of the book had been treated with the same level of fanfare one of her fashion parades would. Instead of crowding people into Flourish and Blott's they'd taken the spacious, elegant atrium like lobby of Abercrombie Publishing's head quarters in Diagon Alley and converted it into an event space. There was a small stage, a counter to purchase the book, a long table of craft cocktails, a trendy band in the corner, and elegant twinkling lights like tiny stars suspended over head in the airy multistory atrium. Tickets had been advertised in London, Paris, and Milan and getting ahold of one had become quite a feat since space was capped at 200.
For the evening Kitty had designed she and Farren complimentary looks. Her muse had been the jewels the Abercrombie family loaned her from their collection for the launch. Farren's dress featured
a fitted black bodice influenced by the shape of half stays of the early 1800s and a fuller, extended tea-length blue brocade skirt. The bodice complimented her enviable figure and the hand made skirt was a masterclass in brocade production. It had been inspired by the antique diamond and aquamarine necklace resting
between her clavicles. As was typical she looked stunning in her bespoke gown and family jewels.
Her contribution to the event was simple, she was Kitty's friend, the granddaughter of her publisher, and the Culture Editor of The Daily Prophet. It was no shock that the book had been favorably reviewed already by The Prophet. Nor would anyone be surprised that tomorrow her culture reporter was running a piece on the event with a strong lens on the fashion's of the evening. From the small stage in the front of the atrium she'd spoken to the assembled crowd about the importance of fashion in magical culture. How their shared magical history united their society, how preserving that history was imperative to continuing to distinguish their unique culture. Farren rarely published articles or spoke publicly. She did most of her talking by driving what made it to press on her page of The Prophet. Her life was captured in gossip papers and she occasionally took interviews with decent enough journalists for fashion magazines. So for someone who had never paid attention to her actual voice and focused only on the headlines the message she delivered might have been surprising. But if anyone were to look at the things she allowed to go to print and stacked them up against what little she had said publicly the message was clear. Magical culture be it fashion, music, art, or design unified all magical people against the creeping foreignness of muggle culture that was increasingly disposable, cheap, and generic.
Of course her speech was not the highlight of the event, though her dress may have been. After her introduction Kitty had taken to the stage to deliver a lecture on the five most important garments in magical history. A collection of historical gowns appeared along the far wall, encased in invisible protection shields, each appearing as Kitty highlighted it's significance to magcial fashion history. After the lecture guests were invited to rise from their seats to get a drink, get a book, look at the gowns on display, and meet the author.
After making all the necessary greetings of the most important people in attendance Farren returned to her friend's side on the stage. A table had been set up so that Kitty could sit at it and sign books for guests. Though she was sure most of the ladies in attendance didn't care nearly as much to meet her as they did Kitty it had been requested by Kitty's agent and editor. "Thank you all for coming," she said to the women at the table waiting for Kitty. She smiled graciously, her every mannerism and expression well practiced after being out in society for nearly a decade.
"Doesn't Mrs. Abercrombie-Rosier look stunning tonight?" Kitty asked the two women whose books she was signing. Farren smiled with faux humility as she had been taught. "All thanks to Kitty's magic," she said sweetly as she situated herself at the far end of the table. A nameless assistant produced both a glass of water and champagne for her and handed her an elegant black quill.
A pair of girls were heading from Kitty to her down the table. One appeared to be a teenager, the other was older but not by much. Resisting the urge to sigh she instead plastered her famous mega-watt smile on her pretty face. "Hello, I'm Farren Abercrombie-Rosier. Thank you for coming tonight, we're honored to have your support of Kitty's book," she offered politely as she extended her hand to the younger of the two girls.