Monday, September 3, 2012

WINNER: You’re Coming to the Party!

While avoiding getting ready, she read the first ten pages of a Vila-Matas novel hoping to get carried away elsewhere. After slipping off her hands and landing with a thud on the floor, the paperback startled her awake, and the strange notion that she was just having a conversation with the Spanish writer made its way through the sleepy haze. With his subtle accent and in the complicit whispers of two friends gossiping at a wedding, he was trying to convince her that gradually limiting the books he read was a smart move. His life had become cluttered by plot, setting and characterization, and hers would too.


She could now not avoid looking at her shelves without imagining all sorts of things falling out from between the pages of the books she’d read; spiders and a rifle, a gentleman’s reading glasses, knives, a recovering addict’s prison tattoos, a golden retriever, a notebook full of names of French schoolchildren and a host of other fictional bric-a-brac threatened to come alive and flood her tiny city apartment.


This worrying thought would accompany her all the way to the party, where unfortunately, the wealthy and attractive would distract her from her thoughts.


Story by Ivan


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  1. Sublime Mimesis

    September 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The perfect choice, I’d like to

  2. Simbarashe

    September 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I cannot lie – this story blows me away.

  3. Emmalona

    September 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Love the shoes!

  4. Sophie

    September 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    That picture is fabulous!

  5. Francesca

    September 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Great story, Ivan! Love the shot, too : )

  6. Heidi Howard

    September 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    A sincere congrats to Ivan, although his story doesn’t seem particularly connected to this photo.

    • Nini Piccola

      September 5, 2012 at 12:16 am

      That’s exactly why it works! Ivan is not spoon feeding us! Bravo!

    • Sasha

      September 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      I agree – the story is beautiful, but it could fit just about any picture of any woman. It has no particular resonance with this image.

  7. Rebecca

    September 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I must say this is written very well, it’s intelligent, original, and seems to be inspired by Don Quixote, but I read other entries that kind of made my heart tingle just a bit more…Nevertheless, congratulations to the winner! This person is very talented.

  8. Leonor

    September 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    truly amazing story!! Congratulations Ivan:)


  9. gloria leiva

    September 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm


  10. thecircleofit

    September 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    a worthy winner indeed!!! i thought the story had depth and substance and in fact, liked how no mention was made of designers, etc…it made it a little more unpredicatble…

    i do think a photo of Ivan at the party is certainly owed!!! as it could have been ‘one of us’….ha!

  11. Becky R.

    September 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    A great winning short story! Too shy to post my own but yours, Ivan, would have surpassed it too. Congrats!!

  12. CBC

    September 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Ivan……from this photo

  13. Paola

    September 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    How amusing and exciting to have a shelf “throw” things at you! it could get a bit crowded though!

  14. Sevan

    September 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Bravo !

  15. Cassidy Short

    September 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    LOVE this photo, just gorgeous!


  16. enrique vila

    September 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm


  17. Alexandra Zvi

    September 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Please go on….

    No seriously please write on:)

    And Ma’am, the lady with the red souls – turn around I have to see what you are wearing!

  18. James

    September 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    There were many good ones. This was one of the best for sure.

  19. Dottie

    September 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Now, that is a captivating and stylish story !
    Simply fabulous

  20. Linda

    September 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Wonderfully descriptive story – and the photo certainly sent my mind on a voyage – more to the sadness I saw in her posture.

    • AIS

      November 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Perhaps it was because she was shielding herself from the snow and had to hunch over to save her face/makeup/hair from ruin?

  21. Emily Ulrich

    September 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Beautifully written story! I believe a hearty “congratulations” is in order!

  22. Starr

    September 4, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Love this photo! It reminds me of a red-winged blackbird flying through the snow. However, I thought some of the other stories were more moving and better written.

    • BJ

      September 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      I agree with Starr and I love her comment about the red-winged blackbird. I was trying to think what this photo reminded me of when I first saw it and it is exactly what a red-wimged blackbird looks like flying–a flash of red and the coal black feathers. This would have actually been a great idea for a story for the contest.

      • phoebe

        September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        I have to agree of course! I wrote a little blurb about a bird taking human form for this photo right off the top of my head, as it seems to capture a dark bird so completely. But, it is the Sartorialist’s choice, and it’s really all in good fun and not too serious! Congrats to the winner

  23. Tammara Shelley

    September 5, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Thumbs up Ivan! You did a really great job here.

  24. une chatte grise

    September 5, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Congrats, Ivan! Cool concept–and the second paragraph is fantastic.

  25. Stacey Sweeney

    September 5, 2012 at 1:38 am

    This story is quit moving, l could love to read more of this. I love the shoes they matched pretty well with what she was putting on and she was looking fabulous.

  26. Bobbie Hurst

    September 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Nice one. I have to confess you are so creative. @ Ivan.

  27. Ty Walter

    September 5, 2012 at 1:56 am

    What an amazing story! I love it. The picture is really beautiful with those snow form which gives it more attraction. Congratulation for the work well-done!

  28. Martine

    September 5, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Lovely picture. The story is good. I would have kept on reading, so it must have been good. I am glad I am not the one to chose.

  29. Maria

    September 5, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Congratulations to the winners! It must had been quite a task to read all the entries. What a great little story!

  30. Colsie Conradie

    September 5, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Awesome Ivan! Wish we could read more!

  31. Gary

    September 5, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Congrats Ivan for your beautiful text ! Just one thing : you repeat twice the word “thought(s)” in the last sentence. I would change one of the two if I were you. But the story is a petty nice evocation.

    • Iván

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      You’re totally right Gary. Believe me, that redundancy bothers me as well. I actually posted the story in a hurry so I barely proofread it once. I won’t bother you wonderful people with my final version but that sentence ended up as such:
      “This worry would accompany her all the way to the party, where unfortunately, the wealthy and attractive would distract her from her thoughts.”
      I would enjoy re-writing the story forever and ever and still find things to change. Hope you think that’s a small improvement.

  32. vito

    September 5, 2012 at 9:23 am


  33. Steffi

    September 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

    amazing photo and stunning details! the contrast of coat and snow, the red shoes… perfect!

  34. anonymous

    September 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I loved the story too. Congrats.

  35. j'ecris

    September 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I think Ivan’s story stands out–especially in its use of whimsical and unexpected imagery. But with 400+ entries to select from–many of them well done–I wondered what made it the final choice. If you’re curious, you might want to read Garance Dore’s post titled “12 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SARTORIALIST,” paying special attention to No. 5.

  36. Nadia Cohen

    September 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Look how the Louboutins stand out in the snow.

  37. Rachelle

    September 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Great Story and this picture is truly amazing.

  38. Catherine

    September 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I loved both this story and Susana’s from the photo of the elderly gentleman. Both built something at once magical and real, whole people from a fleeting camera shot. Susana’s has the feel of a tender memoir and Ivan seems to be channeling Italo Calvino. Bravo to both.

  39. KGH

    September 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Great job, Ivan! You are talented. I’m so happy that you made this a story and not a prose by picking apart her outfit. Hope Scott post more by you.

  40. Vladimir

    September 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Read the comments … none touched … this picture is just a very nice piece of art.

  41. Anne

    September 6, 2012 at 12:06 am

    From one writer to another, well done. Enjoy the party!
    Don’t think about what you wear too much… :)

  42. Maria

    September 6, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I’ve just read that “…the distinctive red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are entitled to trademark protection.” That’s a good thing to do.

  43. Kristin

    September 6, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Wow. The picture just floored me. But then the prose knocked me off my feet. 3 small paragraphs and I know where this woman’s mind was at. Now, I just want to read more!!!!!!

    Bravo Ivan, my hats off to you.

  44. María

    September 6, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Ivan, me encanta… Y posiblemente a Enrique también (que no se si es quien ya te ha escrito…). Disfruta de la fiesta, te lo mereces!!

    • Iván

      September 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

      ¿Te refieres a Vila-Matas? ¿Ese Enrique? Por qué si me entero de que leyó mi cuento, me da un infarto.

  45. Jokey

    September 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Увлекательная история…

  46. JoJo

    September 8, 2012 at 5:28 am

    The shoes tell their own story… love them

  47. Jhncllr

    September 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    A perfect choice and cool idea in general.
    Who knew a Comments column could be such a positive forum…?

  48. Sarah

    September 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    The Emperor’s New Clothes…

  49. Jacqueline

    September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Beautiful! More please.

  50. Monet

    September 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Wow what a wonderfully vivid story. A picture can tell a million stories and this story is great. Definitely deserved to win.

  51. Ana

    September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    It’s so beautiful -the photo, the story and both together- it honestly made me cry a bit

  52. lovisa

    September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I have to say the story change my perspective, when i first saw the picture i thought she ran, or hurried. But, now i am truly certain she walks slowly, with her mind lost in thoughts. magnificent!

  53. Grainne

    November 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Really great story, Ivan. Do you have any more stories? The image is amazing and perfect for the narrative.

  54. Mehr

    July 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Ladylike and sexy together. Great look and warm too!

  55. John

    December 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Great snow… Great coat… Great shoes… Great legs… Great moment…

  56. Anah Grace Childe

    September 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    like, like, like, uber-like

  57. WeddingRetouching

    February 7, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Wonderful stylish shoes!
    This photo was taken in a snowy Moscow?

  58. Photo retouching service

    July 12, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Awesome Photograph, Looking so nice.

  59. Product photo editor

    March 6, 2018 at 5:33 am

    This is a great example of photography. Thanks for sharing!

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