I have always thought that portrait artists, right through the early twentieth century, made it a kind of game, almost a resume item, when they painted a client: the sitter's laces, velvets, satins, pearls, rubies, the clothing and upholstery created more interest than the face. Think of Ingres' "Portrait of Madame Moitessier," or the portrait of a young Queen Victoria by Sophie Lienard... we linger on the embroidery.
So I invented a painter who is working on a portrait, the Queen sitting before him, and he really doesn't care about the Queen's face. It is the details of her skirt that he tries to get right. The Queen herself does not know any of this, of course. But, in my fantasy, the skirt knows, and puffs itself up. Until, that is, a young model, a street urchin, wanders in a bit early for her sitting. She is the painter's true interest. Her face glows and he wants to finish up this damned commission so he can get to the painting he really wants to work on. And so, the Queen's skirt sees this and explodes.