Now Charlotte had a world-class collection of semi-vintage couture, and she knew the details and history of each piece. Many of them were one-offs, worn in runway shows and tailored for her mother. Jackie had been taller and thinner than Charlotte, who had a little more curve to her figure, and many of the pieces simply wouldn't fit. But many did, and she loved pulling something unique from the collection.
Tonight she picked a simple slip dress by Galliano, one of his less flamboyant pieces, and looked at herself critically in the mirror. She knew she was beautiful, and she knew she was attractive to men, but she couldn't help comparing herself with her mother. Or, rather, with the images of her mother, because she'd never really known her mom. The public Jackie had been aloof and elegant, famous for her platinum hair and regal bearing. Charlotte was sexier, warmer. Her hair had honeyed streaks mixed with the pale cream, some of them almost dark. Her mother's hair had been board-straight, but hers was tousled and curled and hard to control.
She was feeling a little nervous, strangely, going out for the first time, and reached for her war paint, leaving her hair loose and wild. Her skin needed no foundation, but she dusted it with shimmery blush to bring out her cheekbones. In Paris, the women had worn minimal eye makeup, and she followed their lead, simply shadowing her lids with a pale aqua that brought out the subtle turquoise in her eyes and finishing with a razor-thin line of liquid eyeliner. Several coats of mascara and matte red lipstick later, she was ready.
Jewelry. She'd nearly forgotten. In the center of her closet was a Chinese chest, priceless in itself, its many lacquered drawers holding a small fortune in jewels and precious metals. Her father loved to buy jewelry and was something of a snob about it. His wife's collection had included dozens of antiques alongside important contemporary pieces. Charlotte opened drawer after drawer, looking for the perfect thing. A single cabochon emerald on a long golden chain hung between her breasts and added green to her eyes. Time for battle.