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VIKTORIA XI: THE RED SKIRT

     When a woman goes out into the world, how does she dress? And why?
      "An artist", Viktoria told me, "is always an artist. You dont suddenly become an insurance salesman or a car mechanic when you are out on the street."  
     You could call her a performance artist, she said. Her canvas was--everywhere she went. The world was a stage, Shakespeare said, and of course that was true. Everything she did was a kind of performance, but it was always a felt performance. She did not pretend to be an erotic and beautiful woman: she was an erotic and beautiful woman. Of course she cultivated this. She learned and experimented just as an artist learns and experiments with colors and brushes and a poet plays with stanzas and rhymes. The Acadamy in Shanghei taught her a great deal also. That had been her elementary school, her high school, and her college. But her post graduate work was in the great cities of Europe. Her schooling never ended.
     Viktoria was wearing a red pencil skirt, extending past her knees. It was not, she noted, the length that young girls liked today. But the length gave her enormous control. Sitting and standing were actions which she could use to entice--showing off a bit of stocking, drawing eyes to her legs in their sleek hosiery. Hide and reveal, she said. That was the dynamic of seduction.
     She demonstrated. I used my camera.