Part one of my new Denise Fallon story-Criminal Couture
LOCATION: Paris, France
ASSIGNMENT: Uncover shady dealings of well-known couture house and rescue kidnapped models--all before Fashion Week.
ALIAS: Isabella Jasmine Layla Harrington, a rising model from New York City
I had just arrived in Paris aka "The City of Light", "The Fashion Capital of the World", and "the most romantic city in the world". My newest assignment had plenty to do with the fashion industry because Paris Fashion Week was three weeks away. I stepped out of the plane with my luggage in tow. I wore a white button-down blouse, an ultra soft white leather jacket with an asymmetric ruffled front, white pleated leather miniskirt, white fishnet stockings, and a pair of off-white Mason Martin Margiela ruched leather ankle boots. I picked up my rental car, a black 2004 Mercedes SUV, loaded my luggage, and drove over to the Astor Saint Honore hotel. Once I had arrived to my junior suite hotel room, I unpacked my many arsenals.
My iPhone buzzed and I answered it. My boss over at SECTION A headquarters had given me heads up on my assignment.
"Denise, Paris Fashion Week is three weeks away. There have been reports of models being kidnapped and designs being stolen among other things. Find the connection and anything else linking to these crimes. Good luck or as the French would say, Bonne chance." He said.
"I'm on it as always." I said to him before hanging up.
I took a look at my weapons and gadget arsenal packed in my overnight duffel bag. I got a pair of tinted sunglasses that double as a digital camera, a Swiss Army knife with a built-in lock pick kit, diamond cluster pin/voice recorder, mascara flashlight, hair brush club, and hairspray that doubles as an extra hot pepper spray. All this along with an AK-47, a Smith & Wesson, a machine gun, swords and blades. My fashion and beauty arsenals are much different. As always, I have an extensive wardrobe, most of it being designer brands. My silver make-up train case has everything I need to look my fierce: eye make-up in the first section, lip cosmetics in the second section, and everything for my face including make-up brushes on the third section.
As soon as I unpacked, my iPhone rang again. My boss at SECTION A wanted me to meet up this woman who's a modeling agent in Paris. He had set up a meeting with her at the modeling agency on Rue de Alexander Dumas tomorrow morning. After talking with the boss, I got my outfit ready for tomorrow and went to bed. The next morning, I had breakfast, got dressed, and drove over to meet this agent on Rue de Alexander Dumas. I wore a Kova & T black stretch jersey and lace cutout bodysuit, a black Herve Leger high-waisted skirt, a white Donna Karan pleated tulle jacket along with my diamond cluster/voice recorder, and a pair of black Christian Louboutin pumps. Then, this tall, middle-aged, black-haired woman walked up to me and said, "Pardonne moi, mademoiselle. Is your name Isabella?"
"Oui, Je m'apelle Isabella. Isabella Jasmine Layla Harrington." I said to her.
"Isabella, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Claudette de Fontane and I run a modeling agency called Zaftig here in Paris. You're agent told me so much about you over the phone yesterday." She said to me with a kind smile.
Mme de Fontane and I drove over to the Zaftig agency in the city. We arrived at the two-story chateau and Mme de Fontane explained to me about her modeling agency, which represents mostly curvy models.
"The models of our agency range from hourglass to curvaceous to plus size. We're going against the skinny model type most modeling agencies represent." Mme de Fontane explained in her fluent English.
"Isabella, meet my assistant/personal secretary Nicholette Lestate. She introduced to me.
"Very nice to meet you, mademoiselle." I said to her as I shook her hand.
Nicholette was 5'4 with champagne blonde hair, blue eyes, and very voluptuous frame. "If you need anything, just let me know." She said.
"Merci, Nicholette." I said to her as Mme de Fontane and I stepped into her office.
Mme de Fontane had explained to me about her agency and the models she represents as she handed a photo album of her models in various ad campaigns. Her models have modeled in many fashion shows and were featured in catalogues, perfume ads, cosmetics ads, and lingerie ads. Then, I noticed a page where this green-eyed, voluptuous redhead wearing this white lace corset with black jeans in a print ad a for a French plus size boutique.
"She looks stunning. What is her name?" I said to her.
"She's very stunning indeed. Her name is Genevieve St.Gerard. She is one of my most popular yet profitable models. She had looked forward to promoting the new collection and perfume for this well-known couture house, Jouelle Mystique. But I haven't heard from her in the last week or two. I hope she didn't do anything drastic or crazy." Madame de Fontane replied.
"I hope nothing bad has happened to her." I said with concern.
"Likewise. Could you stand for me, s'il vous plait?" Madame de Fontane said.
I stood up from my seat so she could take a look at me. She walked in a circle around me, studying my figure.
"Isabella, for a young woman with a hourglass figure, you look healthy. Curves in the right places." She said.
"Merci, madame. I work hard to be healthy while maintaining my shape. Don't want to be too thin or anything." I replied.
"I admire your honesty, Isabella. Could you wait here? I have to make a call to Pierre and see if we can put together a portfolio for you." Madame de Fontane said.
"Sure madame, I can wait." I replied.
"Magnifique!" Madame de Fontane excitedly exclaimed.
While Madame de Fontane stepped out, I took out my cell phone and called SECTION A headquarters, informing the boss about a missing model.
After talking to the boss i.e. "my agent", Nicholette stepped into the office. "Is there anything I can get for you, mademoiselle Isabella?"
"Oui, L'eau minerale, s'il vous plait." I nicely said to her.
A few minutes later, Madame de Fontane came back into the office and said, "Good news, Isabella. Pierre will do your portfolio. Meet with him tomorrow morning at 8AM. Here's my card if you need me." Madame de Fontane said as she handed me her business card.
I got up, thanked her, shook her hand, and kissed both cheeks of her face as a French custom. I also thanked Nicholette as she handed me my bottle of mineral water. I left the office, got into my car, and informed my boss. After that, I went over to Le Notre Paris Patisser on aveune Victor Hugo for a light lunch. I did some people watching as I ate. After lunch, I went back to the hotel and worked out at the gym. I went to my hotel room after my workout. I looked up information online about the models at the Zaftig agency on their website. I have looked up some of the models on a search and it looks like Genevieve isn't the only Zaftig model gone missing. That night, I went to bed early. I must be camera ready for tomorrow.