Ask a Fashion Goblin

A gamer… asks:

Dear FG,

My GM seems hands out magic items that simply can’t be used together! Skull wands, then flower motif rings that glow softly… Seriously?? How can I get some simple fashion tips across?

Dear A Gamer…

I understand your vexation.  As the most stylish goblin in my gaming group, I face similar irritations.  The short answer is “Talk to you GM and have realistic expectations”.  (Is that ever NOT the short answer?).

Know your GM and your game.  If you’re playing in any sort of organized play situations (like Pathfinder Society), I’m afraid these tips won’t help you.  You probably won’t be allowed to make any changes, and you’ll have to be content knowing in your fashionable heart-of-hearts that the purple Robe of Arcane Heritage you found is actually a lovely shade of green that flatters your character’s complexion.  If your GM and the rest of the players in your group are very by-the-book, you may have to content yourself with this as well.

arcane1 arcane2 arcane3

(Possible Robes of Arcane Brilliance by Renato Balestra, 2014*; Naeem Khan, Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear; Tadashi Shoji, Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear)

Talk to your GM.  Sadly, not all gamers posses impeccable fashion instincts. Your poor GM may not know any better.  Start small and simple.  Ask what colour an item is.  Ask if it could be periwinkle instead.   Ask her whether the in-game town has a jewel-smith who can recast your ring into something less last-year (without changing the mechanics). You should probably do this away from the gaming table.  You’d be surprised at how many Pathfinder players don’t want to talk about clothes while they’re playing.

GMing is hard work, and takes a lot of time.  Many GMs are looking for ways to share responsibilities.   Your GM is probably excited that you have taken such an interest in the world and your character.  If she’s smart and/or lazy she’ll take advantage of your enthusiasm.  Offer to write descriptions of items you’d like to have, not the mechanics, just the appearance.  Can you draw?  Draw you character (and the other players), to help give everyone a better visual sense of each other.  It’s easier to see that an orange cloak is going to look garish over red armour, than to read it.

Have reasonable expectations.  There will always be occasions where, for whatever reason, the GM will not give you free rein to design the look of your items.  “I’m sorry, cleric of Desna,  I know you were hoping to find a butterfly pendant on these cultists of Zon-Kuthon, but they are really committed to their skull and chain aesthetic.”  Remember, NPCs (even evil cultists) have as much right to match their accessories as PCs do.

deszon1

(What you wanted:  Valentino*; What you got:  Alexander McQueen*, 2011)

Certain items, like rings, are often described in ways that provide hints to their purpose.  A ring of swimming, for example, is described as having fishlike designs.  Organization may have official or unofficial uniforms.  A Red Mantis Assassin, will not be wearing olive green, no matter how much it flatters your complexion.

redmantis

(Not a Red Mantis:  Mugler, Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear)

Embrace the Contrast.  Finally, if you end up with the skull wand and glowing flower ring, never underestimate the visual power of the hard/soft dichotomy.  Yes, it’s overplayed and cliché right now, but done well it can still create a visually stunning aesthetic.

hardsoft

(Prabal Gurung, Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear)

* I couldn’t find an complete reference for these, if any one knows season/year/designer, please let me know, and I’ll make corrections.

Welcome New Readers!

Yesterday was the blog’s second most popular day ever!  Apparently, you’re supposed to do some sort of intro post when that happens.  I read that on the internet, so it must be true.  Here’s goes.

Come in, sit down, have a look around.  I hope you like what you see.  Which is the intersection of Pathfinder’s campaign setting, Golarion, and the beauty and technology of fashion. In the future, you should expect more of what’s already up:  Dressing the Iconics and the Evil Queens of various regions are fun and quick to write.  So are ridiculous, fashion based predictions for upcoming releases.  I also love sinking my teeth into longer pieces that extrapolate fashion from what’s known about Golarion and vice versa.  Drop a note in the comments, if you have a question or there’s a topic you’d like me to cover.

You can also find me on Facebook and tumblr.

seoniplatt

Since I can’t have 2 posts in a row without pictures, he’s one of Seoni and a platypus.  Just because.   This picture always makes me smile, but I don’t know how I’d work it into a regular post.

 

Shameless Plug!

Go get Wayfinder 12,  I have a piece in it!

You should be reading Wayfinder, anyway.  It’s Free!  No excuse not to!

You should be submitting too!  No excuse not to!  I’m serious.  I wouldn’t have thought that my style of “World Building” (let’s call it that), would be something they’d be interested in, but they took it. The last call for submissions just ended, but there’ll be another soon.

Hell’s Rebels — My Version

At Gencon, Hell’s Rebels was announced as the late year 2015 adventure path.  The Unofficial Rampant Speculation thread is over here. Blah blah blah, Cheliax rebellion, blah blah blah, Kintargo blah blah blah, Masked Ball. *gasp*  Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the the extra-special-bonus-material in issue 100 will be masked ball paper dolls. Something about Aroden instead.  Whatever.

Since my Iron Gods plot prediction of “The Blonde who Fell to Earth” was so spot on,* I’m going to try again.  Here is my Hell’s Rebels Plot Prediction:

The heroic adventuring party has been hired by some-nameless-NPC, to rescue Fashion Designer to the Stars,** Gareth Pugh from the clutches of House Thrune.  Judging from his 2015 Spring/Summer collection, he has been working with them to produce a line of stylish, yet comfortable Chelaxian garb.

This collection has something for everyone in Cheliax, whether you’re a Hellknight on your day off, a court jester, a cultist, an imprisoned heretic, a noble’s herald, or a guest at the masked ball.

Gareth_Pugh_018_1366Gareth_Pugh_034_1366Gareth_Pugh_019_1366 Gareth_Pugh_025_1366Gareth_Pugh_033_1366Gareth_Pugh_021_1366

(Gareth Pugh Spring/Summer 2015)

* It was not.  Not even a little bit.

** By ‘Stars’ I of course mean, Seltyiel.

Capes of the Gods

The three dominant Gods in Ustalav are PharasmaUrgathoa, and Desna.  Among their symbols are spirals, skulls, and butterflies, respectively.

What’s the most important factor is choosing your deity?  The kind of cape you get to wear, obviously.  Here are some choices for discerning worshipers of the three gods.

cape_3 cape_2 cape_1

 

(Valentino Spring 2013 Couture; Manon Kündig, Antwerp Fashion Department Show, 2011; Valentino Fall 2014, Ready-to-Wear.)

The Manon Kündig piece inflates to actually be skull shaped, there’s an inflated pic in the show’s gallery.

My latest Useless Factoid

My latest fashion discovery:  Dracula’s cape was originally added for the early stage production, to hide the actor as he “disappeared” on stage via trap door. I always assumed it was just to look like a bat.  The tuxedo was just to look classy.

So, should you find yourself in fictional vampire-infested version of Transylvania (or, you know, Ustalav) and thinking about how to fake turning into a bat, here are some suggestions:

usta_cape_1 usta_cape_2 usta_cape_3

(Gucci, Fall 2012 Ready to Wear; Haider Ackermann, Fall 2010 Ready to Wear; Elie Saab, Fall 2014 Ready to Wear)

Also, if you’re into hypothetical-situation-fashion (and who isn’t?) you should be reading What to Wear When.  They are a style blog that puts together looks for important, yet often overlooked, situations. They provided not one, but two looks for Evil Queens, one for lizard people about to take over the world, and many others.

Dress The Iconics — Damiel

damielKeeping himself free from unwanted contamination is of utmost importance to Damiel, the iconic alchemist.  This Louis Vuitton (Spring 2015 Ready to Wear) patent leather/pleather dress provides all the all the protection — at least down to the knees — that any alchemist could want.  This is especially important for Damiel, when he uses himself as a test subject.

More shiny protective smocks for Damiel on Pinterest.