EV EXTRA! (Charlatos 5121)
Editor: The Editorial Team
Those following the styles seen at court and high society events know that bird-inspired fashion is one of the most cutting edge looks, but knowing how to wear avian couture leaves some bewildered. A recently published discourse on "Owls, Elves and Avian Affinity" gave us an insight into cultural preferences as it relates to the five Elven Houses that may go some way to easing the confusion but there is so much more to this latest trend than basic symbolism.
It is hoped that the garments and accessories featured in this special edition of Elanthian Vogue will also help as the team have gathered some of the most unique ways fashionistas around Elanthia are incorporating bird-inspired designs into their spring and summer wardrobes.
Apotlas, Capes, and Shawls
The apotla or apotl (the male equivalent) is basically a feathered cloak, which is cut to waist-length. It is normally associated with Forest Gnomes who select the color and type of feathers based on which bloodline they belong to. On-trend elves have adopted it recently, however, to reflect the birds commonly connected with their House. Dedicated followers of fashion will be hoping that the trend is still current when Caligos Isle hosts the Ebon Gate Festival again later this year as the establishment known as Imaera's Poem located on the High Plateau sold some beautifully crafted pieces in the past.
Avians are known for their grace due to their ability to fly. Whilst this is impossible for Elanthians on a physical level, couturiers are always looking for design aspects that evoke the freedom of flight. This is reflective in the free-flowing, aerodynamic aesthetic now being emulated by wearers of shawls and capes. These garments can be easily incorporated into any outfit as they are available from both Faeilythe's Fashions in Solhaven and Flashfeet's Fine Fashions in Icemule Trace.
Feather Boas and Collars
Feather boas have fallen in and out of fashion many times and their reputation has suffered somewhat - from being thought of as an elegant accessory to being considered a little racy - but it all really depends on the circumstances under which it is worn. They tend to appear at festivals as game prizes but can add an element of fun to evening attire at cocktail parties and suppers when tastefully used.
A designer by the name of Thaniela recently introduced her creations at a festival on Isle of the Four Winds. Her collections, commonly referred to as Collarly Love, open up opportunities for avian influenced designs in both the gowns and collars or ornaments from which they are draped. Pectorals, torcs, lavalieres can all be designed to accommodate stylistic representations of birds or directly incorporate their feathers. With a little creativity, it is possible to make a dramatic statement using the appropriate fabrics, metals, and organic matter.
Hats, Hairpieces, and Wigs
Elanthian Vogue have featured Veola several times over the years, even to the extent of publishing an EXTRA exclusively dedicated to her headwear back in 5118. From hats and tricorns, cockades and fascinators, to simple barrettes and ornaments, Veola has created versatile masterpieces that can utilise feathers of all sorts.
Many birds around Elanthia discard feathers that can be used in Veola pieces. A visit to the Saewehna Jungle is worth it just for a sight of the macaws, bee-eaters and broadbills but you might be lucky to come across one of their plumes too. A little closer to home, there is a parrot and a toucan that wanders the streets of Mist Harbor, a penguin that frequents the town of Icemule Trace, and, of course, mage avian familiars may also oblige by occasionally dropping a feather.
Another distinguished Elanthian milliner is Ezza who also specialises in hats with interchangeable elements, most notably feathers. It is worth noting that both Veola and Ezza's creations are usually available at festivals so it might be advisable to prepare your own design ideas in case you happen across a skilled merchant able to work with either. In the meantime, you could always visit The Threadbare Admiral in Kraken’s Fall to pick up a plumed black velvet tricorne or persuade Caelyna to open up the backroom of her Boutique in Solhaven for a lace-trimmed silk hat adorned with fan of colorful feathers.
If ostentatious hats aren't to your liking, perhaps something a little more subtle like Tufeeti's Do-Hickeys. Meant to be woven into the hair, her plumes come in a variety of types such as rectrices, filoplumes, remiges, and pennae. Complex weaves can be achieved with these feathers when combined with beads, haircombs and headbands. Prayer-feathers also make lovely hair adornments whilst allowing you to give a nod towards your preferred Patron at the same time.
For those who want to combine fashion with actual live fauna to achieve an instant exotic look, a hairpiece created by the wig maker Gweedetta is an option. The wigs are designed to be "big" so as to be able to house a small animal or bird. Just be prepared for some attention if a vocal avian resident opts to emerge from time to time!
More subtle nods can be given to the trend of avian couture by choosing clothing with suitably themed adornments. An ornately folded silken atiki studded with pure gold crane clasps is available from a cart in Wehnimer’s Landing, for example, or a pair of short sapphire leather gloves emblazoned with argent peacocks can be purchased at Ta'Illistim's Plume and Glove. These small touches go a long way to showing appreciation for the current craze without going overboard.
Avian-inspired jewelry is not a new concept, it actually dates back millennia. A particularly interesting piece was on display in the Museum Alerreth until recently that demonstrated how Argent Mirror Lanenreat Illistim took advantage of innovative design and subsequently influenced court style during her reign. Donated by the Chesylrae family, the earbobs in question were made from brightly plumed hummingbird heads.
The macabre nature of that example aside, bird jewelry can incorporate a child-like aesthetic that appeals to both the status obsession of the courtier and the fun-seeking, child-like part of their personality. Merchants and designers capitalize on this combined urge for fun and function by creating eye-catching pieces that satisfy propriety whilst playing to the inner child. Citizens of Ta'Illistim, for example, have access to a pretty sapphire-set faenor peacock pin that has a charming quality: tapping it causes the tail feathers to open and close in a glittering display.
A less gruesome option than actual bird heads or skulls is that commonly known as Crystal holders which enables you to make stylish use of your magically imbedded crystal collection. Gamac's Goods in the Bloodriven Village has been known to sell samples of these such as a veniom thread bird's nest pendant with feathers and a blackened eahnor raven ring with talons. Keep an eye out for similar items as they become available. Bird cages also make perfect pendants, one in particular - a tiny gold cage lariat necklace housing an enamel songbird - has featured in the past and could be replicated using the versatile jewelry crafted by Joola.
For something more interactive and idiosyncratic, why not acquire a warbling bird to sit on your shoulder. These adorable mechanical replicas were last sold two decades ago aboard the Dhu Gillywack but a few become available on the second-hand market from time to time. Serranade’s Songbirds were beautifully crafted from a variety of metals and their complex inner workings enabled them to sing and move in quite an endearing way.
An alternative accessory that overtly imparts an avian quality are wings. Artificial wings are hard to come by but can add a playful note to any costume or masquerade outfit. Wings can also be implied through the use of tattoos, henna or make up. A winged flick of eyeliner, a sweep of shimmering color on the eyelids or cheeks can all enhance a cleverly assembled outfit while the addition of permanent ink or temporary paint to the skin can add an extra dimension.
The artisan skills of Cobbling and Weaving are also great resources for producing bird-inspired items. Beautiful shoes, boots, sandals, and slippers can be created using a vast array of materials from established cobbling suppliers, festival shops, and wagons at special events. In the hands of a master cobbler, avian-patterned fabrics and bird-carved settings or jewel-toned satins with downy linings and feathered fringing can produce a collection of fabulous and fun footwear.
Weaving feathers, ribbons, beads, and flowers together can also result in some cleverly designed accessories, for example, a loosely woven circlet of soft grey penguin feathers or a tightly woven necklace of vibrant hummingbird saewehna beads. Perfect for anyone looking to add unconventional pieces to an every day outfit.
Many of the glamorous outfits exhibited lately are full of inspiration with some unexpected bird motifs. It needn't take much time or effort, however, to introduce avian influences into your summer wardrobe. Quick and easy additions could include a burnished toucan-tooled hip-case from the Mist Harbor Island Boutique or, for lovers of the more unusual, how about a sapphire linen blouse embroidered with tiny canaries from Lucretia's Fashions in Zul Logoth.
If neither of those appeal, why not just buy some simple every day pieces. Moonglae opal feather earrings from Jewels of the Sky in Cysaegir, a pair of jet nightingale earrings or a moonstone bluebird earring from Tmareantha's Jewels, the jewelry shop in Ta'Vaalor, make perfect additions to any jewelry box.
As Seen In ...
One of our writers (and a designer within The Looking Glass Fashion House), Velique, does a wonderful job of matching the colors and styles in the fashion world with those in the animal kingdom. She spots fashions from the many festivals and events held throughout the year and pairs them up with animals - or in this case birds - that are amazingly similar. It takes a special talent and the amazing results prove just how much inspiration designers take from their natural surroundings. Taking our feathered friends as her muse, she has been able to infuse her designs with avian influences.
She has kindly allowed us to present three of them in this special edition, which we hope will amuse and inspire you to do the same.
The Blue and Gold Macaw
Back in 5116, the Argent Mirror invited The Looking Glass to create an outfit for the inaugural Elanthian Fashion Week reception. Velique used the blue and gold macaw as inspiration for this very striking outfit.
You see Argent Mirror Myasara Illistim, her Illumination She is an Elf. She has large, faintly tilted grey eyes and luminous, though pale, skin. She has long, glossy auburn hair bound in a tight chignon at the nape of the neck. The planes of her cheekbones and the tips of her ears are both sharply slanted, giving her an angular quality. Fine gold chains hang from a series of tiny lagoon opal studs in her right ear. She is wearing a coronal of azure-tipped green macaw feathers, a long-lined silk linen gown dip dyed in strong shades of blue and green, a thick aureate thumb signet, and a pair dark azure silk sandals with thin gold ankle chains.
The Green-Crowned Woodnymph
Our Editor-in-Chief will be proudly exhibiting another of Velique's creations at the upcoming Elanthian Elegance auction. Inspired by the Green-Crowned Woodnymph, the Collarly Love gown and gorget came together beautifully to mimic the hummingbird's emerald green head and violet body and wings.
You see High Lady Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l Illistim. She appears to be an Elf. She is taller than average with a slender willowy form. She appears to be of a tender age. She has silver-lashed misty grey eyes and preternaturally pale skin. She has lustrous, cool silver hair cut obliquely beneath a sharply canted onyx silk hat pinned with a silver-framed violet sapphire brooch. She has slender ears peeking through her hair that taper to fine points. Her composed expression has a sense of scholarly authority despite her youthful, fey-like appearance. She has a subtly tapered line of emerald green ink cutting across her lashes. She is wearing an off-shoulder myrtle brocade jacket cinched by interlocking wings, a scintillating heliotrope silk gown draped from a high-throated faenor scale gorget, and a pair of violet marbled silk slippers set on faceted onyx heels.
The Rose Finch
Velique also offered to demonstrate that it is possible to buy garments directly from establishments across Elanthia. Taking inspiration from the Rose Finch, Velique chose to use the customisation option at Dari's Clothiers in Wehnimer's Landing to make a simple yet versatile blouse and added a touch of similarly colored eyeshadow to complete a very affordable and feminine look.
You see Velique. She appears to be a Dark Elf. She is taller than average. She appears to be very young. She has a shimmer of moonstone grey on her eyelids, almond-shaped grey-green eyes and dusky skin. She has very long, straight platinum hair. She has an angular face and sharply-curved pointed ears. She is wearing a blush-colored silk scarf fading into an ombre of ivory, a grey silk blouse, a muted rose gold chiffon skirt layered with blush silk, and a pair of rose-sheened ivory silk chopines.
If you're interested in recreating this look, the makeup and chopines are available from A Twist of Roses in Ta'Illistim, the skirt is from the Ta'Vaalor Women's Clothier and the scarf is from Flashfeet's Fine Fashions in Icemule Trace.
Velique cannot take the credit for the fabulous outfit recently worn by the newly appointed Lady of the Argent Chamber. Channeling the avian aesthetic beautifully, Amalexia made excellent use of color and texture to emulate the cruel corvid.
You see Illustrious Lady Amalexia Amalathia Illistim the Handmaiden to the Argent Mirror. She appears to be an Elf. She is moderately short and has a nicely proportioned frame. She appears to be young and sprightly. She has subtly slanted, argent-flecked cobalt eyes and smooth alabaster skin. She has thigh length, immaculate pale silver hair wound in an elaborate knot and speared by an iridescent raven feather quill, with several long strands trailing loosely down her back. She has a perfectly symmetrical, delicately featured face and long, shapely ears that sweep back and taper to slender points. She has mirror-finished violet lacquer brushed onto her manicured fingernails. She has a pair of tiny silver loops set along the slender tips of her pointed ears. She is wearing some onyx hair ornaments wreathed in black raven feathers, a black feathered collar necklace clasped with a black opal, a long black leather gown with a collar of raven feathers, and a pair of jet black taffeta pompes inset with pale mistwood.
The Argentate of the Ta'Illistim Keep has seen many a pretty peacock enter through its doors but one in particular comes to mind. A grandiose bustle of the majestic bird’s feathers is a sure showstopper and the Lady Michiko wore it with such grace and elegance.
You see Lady Michiko al'Lunacen. She appears to be a Half-Sylvan. She is short in stature and appears to have come of age. She has long-lashed, expressive twilight blue eyes and smooth, creamy skin. She has long, silky raven black hair that flows smoothly down her back, curling at the tips to brush against her hips. She has a finely contoured symmetrical face, an upturned nose and wide hips. She has petite, upswept ears that taper to delicate points. She has a set of twisted silver hoops in the ridges of both her ears, and some tattooed stylized wings on her back. She is wearing a blue-swirled black velvet choker, a rich cobalt silk gown that fountains from the plunging v-back into a grandiose floor-sweeping bustle of peacock feathers, a lapis inset mistwood ring, and a pair of cobalt blackworked silk slippers.
Time to Fly
Armed with all of this information, you can now prepare for a summer of fashion to ruffle feathers. If you're not embroidering, printing, or appliquéing birds on your garments, you can embellish them with feathers or adorn them avian accoutrements. The Elanthian Vogue team are looking forward to seeing your flamboyant designs at upcoming social events and hopefully floating down the runway at the Revelia Carnivale Fashion Showcase in Koaratos! So let your creativity take flight and flaunt the fashion inspired by our colorful feathered friends.