Elanthian Vogue/Summer 5122 (Part I)

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: Elanthian Vogue: Summer 5122 (Part I)



Editor: Rohese Bayvel-Timbertree

Editor's Thoughts

Spring through summer is traditionally when the Elanthian "social season" is at its height. It is customary for members of elegant society to attend balls, parties, fundraising events and other prestigious gatherings during this time. Admittedly, there is a second social season that runs through winter but this season's Elanthian Vogue will be focusing on the former as it tends to be wider in scope. As there is so much to cover, we have also decided to do so in three parts over the next six months or so; that way, we can pack more fun stuff in for our readers!

We will endeavour to preview all the top events that form part of what we consider to be "The Season," as well as give you the key dates, latest news, and plenty of fashion and social features. We are excited to include contributions from some of Elanthia's influential fashion and lifestyle icons.

As always, don't forget to send us your comments on any of the articles in this month's publication or suggestions for future editions!


The Season

The summer social season has evolved over the years and, in its current form, tends to be dominated by a wide range of collaborative events run by the Great Houses or Meeting Hall Organizations. It usually starts once the doors close on the Duskruin Arena at the end of Fashanos and continues until they reopen again in Phoenatos.


The first social gathering of the 5122 "season" is scheduled for the 19th day of Charlatos. As its inaugural event, Rolton Race Day will be hosted by The Looking Glass in the Veythorne Manor grounds in Ta'Illistim and will see high-pedigree roltons race for the amusement of society's finest. It is shaping up to be quite the spectacle with notable sponsors lined up for all nine races, prizes to be won, and the chance to place bets! With race goers dressing up in all manner of formal and fashionable attire, it's definitely an event not to be missed. Aside from watching some of the most entertaining racing in Elanthia, the spectacular hats will be worth seeing. Make a note in your calendars, find a hat, perhaps plan a picnic, and celebrate the arrival of spring in style.

Hot on the heels of Rolton Race Day is something for the aesthete. Less exuberant, but equally spectacular, the Grand Art Exhibition will be back in Solhaven for its 18th year. The event is intended to celebrate art and continues to provide a platform for artists across Elanthia to showcase their work, whilst partnering with other organizations to run art-related workshops and lectures alongside. The event also gives art lovers and enthusiasts the chance to browse a curated selection of pieces that featured in past exhibitions all under one roof. With a welcoming ceremony on the 4th day of Ivastaen, the exhibition will be open for public viewing until the 10th.

The Rumor Woods jousting tournament looks set to make a welcome return for its fourth year. Arguably Elanthia's top equestrian event and a welcome addition to "The Season," it takes place on the Cysaelotar glacier, near Lake Sasalis in the DragonSpine Mountains. Opening on the evening of the 10th day of Lumnea, it is scheduled to run through until the 26th.

This increasingly popular event is frequented by many members of elegant society and is not just for equestrian fans, as it features new mount types each year and many people attend just to enjoy the shopping and scenic location.

It is worth noting that the Festival of Lumnea also returns this year too. A biennial event held on the beautiful meadows just outside Ta'Illistim, the summer festival has a long tradition of festive dining, elven artisan shops, and the splendour of The Baerl Mystiaem, a masked costume ball where participants often make games of unmasking one another. Historically, during the Cere oen Deiama (Ceremony of Dawning), the city's scholars formally announced the list of tomes to be added to the Library Aies.

Another of the highlights of the summer season is Revelia Carnivale. As a follow on from Bardfest, it takes place in Wehnimer's Landing and is hailed as an oasis of humour and festivity in the heart of the frontier town to celebrate the performing arts. Usually scheduled around Cholen's Eve, which falls on the 14th day of Koaratos, the Carnivale will open with a parade on the 13th and end with the Topsy Turvy Masque and Fashion Showcase on the 17th.

The Seafarer's Festival is a perfect excuse to venture to Solhaven for the end of the "Season." Hosted by Cairnfang Manor, the festival takes place every year in the Freeport and is a popular social occasion with a party atmosphere and there is even more to look forward to this year as it will include the Vogue Regatta.

It is worth noting that these are just the "big" calendar events. Be on the lookout for announcements of many, many more in the upcoming weeks. We will endeavour to cover as many as we can in the next edition, as well as bring you the latest fashion news and gossip from the Elven and Imperial courts.

Tea with Treeva

"The topic of fashion always piques my interest keenly. With such acclaimed and creative minds partaking, it is truly enjoyable."

I was fortunate to meet with Treeva Ancalime Illistim again recently and took the opportunity to ask for her thoughts on the upcoming "Season" and fashion in general.

Flashing me a confident grin, Treeva waves a subtle wrist flourish with both hands, palms curving open. Two petite cobalt blue teacups appear in her expectant hands, perched daintily on polished porcelain saucers. Wisps of steam emanate from the teacups, alongside the faint aroma of jasmine and she graciously offers me one.

"As we look towards spring and its bountiful offerings of new life and warmer weather, this seems the ideal time to contemplate and design our wardrobes for the upcoming seasonal festivities. I am very enthused for our first, hopefully annually beginning this year, Rolton Racing event within the City-States. There are sure to be aspiring contestants and charismatic socialites hailing from cities afar, dressed to impress and showcase their mettle, perhaps some hopefuls come to fatten their pocketbooks with lucky wagers. Rolton Racing will boast an appealing facet for all personalities, and I quite look forward to the variety of sensational hats!"
"Yes, that's right, hats are sure to be a central flair accessory, or even the outright highlight of outfits for Rolton Racing week! Ponder the notion of strolling about the lush green lawns of the Shining City for hours each day while the sun climbs in steady ascent. A hat provides the highly practical element of shielding our fair skin, and once we have arrived at this conclusion, well, sprucing it up seems the natural progression. Illistim elves tend towards pragmatism and scholarly views, but we also prize efficiency. Making beautiful headwear that serves multiple purposes for sunlight socials checks off all the satisfying boxes."
"Wide, slanted hats draped in sheer fabrics like chiffon, tulle or voile can assist in creating that iconic desired look while maintaining escape from the prolonged direct sunlight. For the hat base construction, this year I would suggest silk organza for accentuating stiffness or batiste, for that faint luxurious shine. Avoid pleating attempts with these gauzy fabrics, as readers will find a frustrating end result. Do consider small ornamental bauble highlights for your fashion statement hat, or even some ostentatious and exotic feather arrangements. Remember your hat could be a conversation piece or tell a visual story, all while retaining high sensible value."
"An elf could assert that a parasol would perform similarly, and indeed I have seen some dazzling creations over the centuries. If you find that a hat crumples your desired hairstyle and you are not skilled in the magical arts, consider a custom designed parasol. At the expense of full hand mobility, parasols can be twirled wistfully to create picturesque memories, and can even be shared in a pinch. I would place these lower in fashion rankings, simply due to not being quite as practical nor versatile."

Another quick twirl of Treeva's wrist sends her multitude of silver bangles to chime pleasantly and from thin air once more, chocolate nibs coated in a spicy looking red powder appear, lined precisely around her saucer. Right before she pops one of the tantalizing treats into her mouth, Treeva idly muses.

"Oh, and don't forget to bring a patterned cloth or handkerchief as a favor, a token to gift if someone catches your eye. Especially if they bring you jewelry and perfumes ahead of time, as a well-prepared suitor would. Surely you have expert knowledge on this, with your handsome and well-mannered spouse."
"My thoughts next drift towards the anticipated regattas later this spring, and the evening luxury cruises extra daylight hours shall afford. I hope it brings early opportunities for sundresses, which I would most easily envision in flyrsilk for the nacreous tinge reminiscent of pearls. For your male readers, boating excursion socials are a fabulous time to show off those new vests or waistcoats, for which I suggest tone-on-tone bourde as a most fitting ensemble piece. PeakyWear has been quite sought after for good reason. Ladies may wish to combine long, lacy gloves and experiment with local flora as a (naturally fragrant) hair adornment to add a casual elegant aura. Veola’s creations cater to either gender and vary astonishingly in design, don't forsake this option if you are feeling inspired and brazen. A personal favourite of mine would include kraken themes, offering deserved recognition to Kraken's Fall. Particularly, I'd advise folding fans or stockings would host a rather perfect splay of tentacles. Any suggestiveness is purely coincidental, I assure."

Yukito's Thoughts

Yukito tucks his hair behind one delicately pointed ear and waves cheerfully to me from the back of Aunt Marnie's Solace where we agreed to meet. As I approach, he lightly presses his fists together with his thumbs up, and twists his hands, pointing at me with a grin. I understand this to mean, "How are you?"

It's always a pleasure to see this young man and he politely offers me a seat as I respond in kind and return the inquiry.

Looking pleased, Yukito waves his palm in front of his chest, his gaze warm. He then moves one hand toward and away from his mouth, resting it lightly in his opposite palm, before tapping his index fingers together and pointing at me again. He is apparently happy to be meeting with me today. I sip my tea quietly as I allow him to relay his introduction and thoughts to me in his own time.

Yukito plucks a fluffy white quill from behind his ear as he carefully pulls a silk-wrapped notebook from his pocket. Dabbing the nib in a nearby jar of ink, he begins to scrawl in neat and looping script, pausing occasionally for thought.

"My name is Yukito Lennan, and I'm happy to be interviewed today. I reside in Solhaven, and enjoy the quiet life in a little cottage there. Most people would know me as a healer and empath, and I take it as my duty to help see to it that our town remains safe and peaceful. I've taken oaths to that effect as a Hospitaller, an honor bestowed by a previous Provost of our region."

Yukito tilts his head, and then writes a bit more in his notebook.

"I'm one of the many founding members of Cairnfang Manor, and was about when it was first built. We wanted to create something lasting, that could help uplift the people of our town. There had been so much strife back in those times, with battles breaking out at every turn. Our city was even crushed under the weight of a flood. Our founder, Lady Songie, brought us all together under the purpose of standing strong together. Our statement is, "Our minds to unhindered thinking, our hands to the community, and our spirits to greater loyalty.". To that purpose, we remain united and we will keep that flame burning strong against adversity."

At this, Yukito smirks and writes, "Solhaveners are a stubborn bunch." He gives me a quick wink. Looking self-conscious, Yukito fidgets with his quill before shyly writing on the page, looking up through the lenses of his spectacles now and again.

"Currently, I'm the Chancellor of the Manor. Normally, my duties would consist of making certain that our finances and supplies are in order, and generally supporting everyone else. Our Chairwoman Phanna Green is our lodestar, and generally keeps us all on track. Our other officers and members heavily contribute to brainstorming event ideas, involving other people, and making certain that we are on task. Our meetings are full of energy and creativity, and I look forward to each one. I'm a newer officer, so I firmly believe it is the other officers that have worked keep the house going strong; I'd just like to help carry the tradition."

I make a note to approach Phanna at a later date and ask Yukito to tell me more about their upcoming events. Sitting back a moment, he nibbles gently on his bottom lip before bending to write some more on the page.

"Goodness, some of these events have been happening for so long that their origins are a bit hazy for me! I know that our Seafarer's Fest is a celebration of the town itself. We used to hold parades and toss candies and trinkets from floats, go trawling the bars in town, see the sights, and generally have a good time. The "Running of the Lobsters" doesn't happen that often anymore, but we have our lobster races, which are quite hilarious."

He gives me a big grin and makes a claw-like pinching gestures with his free hand, clicking his tongue comically. Calmly, Yukito returns to writing, almost bouncing in his seat with unexpended energy.

"The Art Show is something to look forward to, as well. People submit their pieces to us and we showcase them all in a large exhibition. You can look at each piece up close, and really see the talents of your neighbors on display. Everyone is welcome to submit a piece, and we keep the winners in our gallery so that their work can be enjoyed year after year."
"We also invite other organizations to join us in the celebration. We've had people tour the zoo to draw the animals, folks posing live to be painted, and music, theatre and dance has been emphasized, and even knitting, scrapbooking, or weaving! Other organizations have put their all into making the town shine, and our events are enriched by their participation."

Yukito passes his hand over the words in the notebook and they shimmer beneath his fingertips and vanish, leaving, leaving the page blank. Without missing a beat, he quietly begins to write again, letting the words spill across the page with graceful flourishes.

"I never really thought of it as a season, but that is a good way of looking at it! For me personally, it seems like business as usual, because we are always talking about what goes into what we do, and how we can add to it or improve. I think it is important that we show different sides of ourselves, aside from the difficult work that we tend to throw ourselves into. Folks run around saving the land, and acknowledging that we have other interests brings us closer."
"The opportunity to REST and enjoy the fruits of our labors can be rejuvenating. Often, directly because of our efforts, we can celebrate at home - in our favorite tavern - enjoying the company of the rest of the populace. Slowing down to see and appreciate the fruits of one's labor, and know what you work for is important. That is what we, and organizations like us do - we provide the chance to be in fellowship."

I then asked Yukito to share his thoughts on fashion and how he sees it fitting into the "Season." Yukito looks stumped at this, scrunches his nose and deliberately crosses his eyes for a moment, grinning cheesily.

"Again, a question I hadn't really thought of! I know that there is particular dress required when we go to court. It is a very formal affair there. No weapons bared, your best clothing, and your best manners. The clothing that I see at those times is positively impressive. Generally, the citizens of the town have strong Empirial ties, so we are fond of our Baron and his family - it is an opportunity to turn out in style."
"The Art exhibition is another opportunity to put a well-shoed foot forward, so to speak. When we all gather round to see Best in Show, it is nice to see the artists looking nice. I might personally state that the expectation would be what you'd wear to a day on the town, or for going to market. Something respectable, and meant to leave a good impression, but it needn't be on level with meeting nobility! A stylish shirt and vest, your armor polished and looking spiffy, or a nice kilt. I've seen some darling dresses and skirts that would be suitable for tea, as well."
"The Seafarer's fest is far more casual. Since there is a lot of running about, its best to come ready to get into mischief. I've advised friends not to come in silk, because we're eating greasy fishcakes, nibbling on kabobs, punning, and running from bar to bar. There is also the outside chance of being clouted and marshed, so you'll see me wearing comfortable clothes that I can easily run around in, or that I don't mind getting soaked. Save for the ball at the end, it’s all very casual."
"You mention hats and I can imagine all sorts of hats, coifs, fascinators, and caps. An absolute towering confection of a headpiece seems just the thing for Race Day. I'm excited to have one of my own constructed now. It also gives you something to wave when ships pull in and out of port."

Sitting with Seomanthe

I am conscious that we spoke with Seomanthe Bartley last year about Revelia Carnivale but I couldn't resist the opportunity to catch up with her again to find out more about this year's festivities. The outlandish bardess suggests an early evening tour of the new bar in the town of Wehnimer’s Landing, the Rusty Cutlass, and despite my initial reservations, I was pleasantly surprised.

On the way to the table, Seomanthe raids the Cutlass' bar for some freckled strawberry wine, and is delighted by the platter of fresh tropical fruits available at the table itself. She spends the interview indelicately partaking of everything.

"Oh hells, Rohese, you're asking me to remember a long time ago! Well, I guess for myself anyway, I hail from Bourth, the city of Krestle technically, though I hied out of there quick as I could after I figgered out what was good for me. I found my way to Fasthr's, yanno, and I wot the monks took me in on account they had a poor sense of self preservation, I sure raised hell for awhile, but I like to think my bein' a good hand with a mandolin had em charmed pretty good."

She gives me a wide grin.

"Anyway I grew up and, well, the wind comin from the Sun Throne at the time was pretty foul if you get my meaning, so I figgered on seeing how the rest of the world gets on, and came north. Course I found the wee monastery up here right quick, but they ain't got what you’d call expansive accommodations for itinerant bardesses...so it weren't too long till I found the sibs of Argent Aspis. It were Thia that took a shine to me I reckon, and I was accepted to join their House a short while after."

She looks wistful for a long moment as she's reminded of Thia and all the other sibs who have passed through the gates.

"Been the Argent Scribe longer than I can hope to recall, which really means I get to do a lot of paperwork. I spearhead a lot of the House events an' also help our sibs organize when they got event ideas which I really love doin – teaching folks is surprisingly fun! Plus it's a lot less stressful."

I ask her to tell me more about this year's Carnivale. She claps her hands once and bounces to lean forward in her seat.

"Well I reckon I mentioned it last year when you had the three of us in your wringer, but it were me, Trivia, and Katara that first got the notion of a massive arts festival to take up the spirit of Bardfest. We at Aspis felt after a score and five years, it were time to pass the torch... 'course I couldn't keep my nose out of it even though I promised myself I was gonna retire!"

She shrugs with a slightly wry grin.

"Planning for this year ent got off to a real start yet, though a'course we do have a coupla ideas we're noodling about with - we really did so much planning and preppin' last year that a whole passel of stuff is already ready already, yanno? We'll start with a parade, and the Namin O' the Muses, and of course there's to be a concert and the Topsy Turvy Masque too. I'm hopin' we see even more folks join the fun this year... yanno, praps I will see about sendin' round some notes and askin' what organizers'd like to have set out for em! You got a piece of paper on you? I better write that down!"

While she's scribbling down copious notes, I venture to ask her thoughts on the social season.

"Weeell, if you asked my mam, she'd say the season was just about the most important thing in the world, after maybe breathin! In my youth, I confess I dreaded it, but now I'm an old crone with a husband, it ent so scary anymore. Plus anyhow, since I escaped her clutches, all the parties I go to are the parties I want to go to, or the ones I'm throwin myself."

I notice her absently touches her bridal necklace at the reference to Greganth.

"Seems to me folks need a reason to stop an' talk to each other instead of gettin' mixed up in all manner of trouble, and a good event like a ball or an art show's the perfect kinna place to get folks conversation instead of gettin into mischief ... not that folks ent gonna get into mischief no matter where you lure em to, but at least you'll have backup!"

One can't help but notice the delightful songstress' shimmering rainbow pelisse so I couldn't leave without asking her opinion on fashion choices for the upcoming events.

"Fashion! Rohese you asked me this last time too and I daresay I will ever be a disappointment to you. On the subject of hats though, I do have a proper Race Day hat! It's a glorious mauve confection and it even has a bird on it! A real stuffed dove!"

She snickers at my expression.

"I actually had it for ages, I used it one time when I was in disguise as an old biddy...not that Race Day is for old biddies! It's only that's my uh most memorable hat, yanno."

She glances away and back with an apologetic half-smile.

"For Revelia, we pass round a whole bunch of nice little trinkets for folks that go with the colors we picked out for the whole wozzer – that's blue, black, and red. Darlin' little flowers and whatnots – so I s'pose I ought to say if you're preparing for Revelia, you can coordinate now! 'Course you know perty much anything goes with my outfit, so I'm all set!"

What to Wear!

Many events of the "Season" have traditional expectations with regard to fashion - perhaps even a dress code - and newcomers to the social circuit can often feel bewildered about to what to wear. The Elanthian Vogue team aim to demystify some of it by sharing some hints and tips for the fashion-conscious and fashion-confident!

At Rolton Race Day, for example, hats are expected - even encouraged – and the more ostentatious the better! Hats have always been a popular fashion accessory but this event allows you to go all out to impress. The 5122 season is likely to be all about elaborate headwear such as exotic fascinators, high combs with mantillas, or the more graceful lines of a hennin. Wear them with gowns or sharply tailored pants and longcoats, or simply add one to your everyday outfit as a statement piece. The addition of feathers, flowers, lace ruffles or bejeweled pins and brooches takes an ordinary hat to new fashionable heights. The key is to wear them with confidence!

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 gems, feathers and flowers in so many creative ways.

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 fancy 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 but you would still like to do something with your hairstyle, perhaps something a little more subtle with accessories such as scarves, combs, jewels, flowers, or feathers. The possibilities are endless and allow for a lot of creativity when it comes to designs.

Exhibitions, Symposia, and Tourneys call for a little more under-stated elegance. No one wants to be seated or standing behind someone wearing an enormous hat. Our advice is to wear something comfortable and stylish. These types of events are usually a good opportunity to wear your statement pieces; you could literally be a walking work of art. Think abstract patterns, sculptural silhouettes and striking shades. Add sleek heels, motif bags, and eye-catching make up or jewelry for the perfect finishing touch.

Carnivale is all about flamboyant costume with vibrant colour and an excess of...well, everything! Aim to create a dazzling spectacle and enjoy being the center of attention for a while. The Topsy Turvy Masque is also the chance to have fun with fashion; there are no limits when it comes to what to wear or even how you choose to enter the room. Anything goes.

Regattas require more a practical approach. It is customary to wear long hemlines with neat coats and jackets. Gentlemen often add cravats and many choose to wear hats, mainly to keep hairstyles under control. Last summer, we looked at nautical clothing and, other than the increased popularity of Elesine and an amazing new line in Buccaneer clothing, nothing much has really changed in the seafaring fashion stakes.

Whilst practical, warm, and hard-wearing, nautical clothing has an admirable simplicity - not to mention that it's usually produced in those unbeatably versatile shades of navy blue, black, grey, and white. The chosen fabrics are easy to wear, ranging from supple leather, suede, and oilcloth, to lighter materials such as linen and chambray.

Accessorize, but don't go overboard. Choose striped bags with brown leather trim or rope details, gold jewellery with anchors or starfish, but don't pile on too many accessories at once. The key is to highlight one main accessory and then keep any other accessories simple and minimal. Go for a bold statement necklace in gold with blue or white details. Look for a bracelet with a touch of whimsy such as little boat and lobster charms. Or layer on two or three simple gold necklaces for a more subtle look. Why not add a belt to a navy or striped tunic to give your outfit a fun, chic element. Make your everyday outfit nautical with a cotton scarf in navy or in an anchor print. So many options! And the best part...most of these items are available off the shelves in Boutiques around Elanthia.