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.

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(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.

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(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.

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Kellid fashion in Numeria

The Kellid people of Numeria pose an interesting fashion challenge.  On the one hand, they dress in natural hides and leathers.  On the other, they have a frikken space ship crashed in their back yard.  They’re known to distrust magic, but do they distrust technology as well?

kellidNicholas K (this one is from Fall 2013, Ready to Wear) works as well for the Kellid of Numeria as for the Kellid of Realm of the Mammoth Lords, like Amiri.

Are the Kellid who live close to the Silver Mount influenced by its fashion? As a spaceship, presumably it has clothes inside.  Do the Kellid and/or Technic League raid it for complete clothes, for materials to make clothes from, or let it alone (sartorially speaking)?

 

 

I kind of got attached to the idea of the Kellid gathering bits of detritus from the wreckage and having no use for it as technology, weaving into their clothing as adornment.  (Cliche, but there you have it)

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(Alexander McQueen Spring 2014 Ready to Wear, Lanvin Spring 2011 Ready to Wear, Lanvin Fall 2009 Ready To Wear)

Will There Be Polyester?

June is rapidly approaching and a goblin’s thoughts turn to Numeria.  The campaign setting book comes out next month. So, before I get spoilered, it’s time to start making ridiculous statements about what I expect for the Fashions of Numeria.

The official boards are full of question and speculations about the region.  Mostly about lightsabers. But so far, no one has asked the Most Important Question:  Will there be polyester?  Or its less important (ie: not Fashion related) parent question:  Will there be plastic? Logic would suggest, “yes”, because (here on Earth) it’s hard to imagine building a spaceship without knowing how to process petroleum.  The Shory were able to get cities airborne using magic, but I far as I know, those weren’t space faring.

ubiquitous jumpsuitAccording to all the documentaries I’ve seen (like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Forbidden Planet, and Galaxy Quest) the first thing space faring people need are sleek, polyester jumpsuits. Jumpsuits were “a thing” on the Runways in about 2010 (*shudder*), so there were plenty to choose from.  I looked at about 300 images (who said fashion blogging was easy?) of over 2000 to find the perfect one.  I was honestly, truly trying not to use another McQueen, but this jumpsuit (from his Fall 2004 Ready to Wear collection) is Retro-Futuristic perfection.

 

3dprint

This dress is from Iris van Herpen and has a really great dark futuristic look.  Also.  It’s 3D printed. So that’s awesome.

If polyester jumpsuits don’t convince you, here’s another reason to include  plastic in Golarion. It conjures up some fantastic mental images.  The Sandpoint goblins on Junk Beach… now picture them with making nets out of old six pack rings that washed up on the beach.

First of the Empyreal Lords

I didn’t originally have plans to do Evil Empyreal Lords along with the Evil Queens, but these dresses required it.  These aren’t meant to represent the specific Empyreal Lords, just Earthly reinterpretations of the Gods.

desna shelyn

These are (obviously) for Desna and Shelyn.  Desna’s (on the left), came from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2014 collection. Shelyn’s came from Alexander McQueen’s 2003 Spring collection.

Evil Queen of Varisia

Next up in the Evil Queens of Golarion: Varisia. Specifically, the Varisians, since Varisia is home to many ethnicities.

varisiaI’m less confident in this choice than in the others. This has an actual sihedron right there in front. Well, almost.  The sihedron has seven points and this has eight, but it’s so close. It also has a light, airy, boho feel that seems very Varisian to me, even though I wish it was more colourful.  It doesn’t give me a sense of power, though.  You couldn’t sweep into a room and command attention wearing this.  It’s more of a “chaotic good member of autonomous collective” dress, rather than full out “evil queen” dress.

sihedron

Sihedron Rune, for comparison

The dress is from Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2014 collection. He’s one of my favorite designers, and once said that he wanted people to be afraid of the woman he dresses. So there will be a lot of McQueen in the Evil Queens of Galorion.