Elanthian Vogue: Charlatos 5118
This Month's Edition
Editor: Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l
This bumper edition of Elanthian Vogue not only focuses on the importance of propriety in dress and conduct but, in turn, sees us celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of Elanthian women. When I began editing this month’s publication, I didn’t intend for either of these to be a recurrent theme but recent events and public notices determined the content and shaped the articles within.
The announcement of this year’s Mayoral candidacies in Wehnimer's Landing came hot on the heels of groundbreaking diplomatic events in Solhaven and the unfortunate death of Mayor Nihala Winterberry in Icemule Trace. All saw women taking on significant roles in the civic arena; donning a mantle of responsibility for the pursuit of equality, compassion, and justice for the general populace.
It is my hope that this edition inspires you to be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.
As always, we welcome feedback, suggestions, and articles for future editions.
On the Campaign Trail
Through education, diplomacy, and a new spirit of open inquiry, we may ensure our home's prosperity.
No stranger to the limelight, Lylia Rashere Faendryl is a familiar face in the frontier town of Wehnimer's Landing and known in wider society circles for her consummate wit and charm. She is equally at home in the ballroom as she is administering aid to the disadvantaged or communing with the demonic. Nothing seems to phase this lady, whether its summoning igaesha or negotiating her own release from a hostage situation.
It came as no surprise, therefore, that her name was recently announced as a candidate in the upcoming Mayoral elections. With only two contenders this year, and both being strong, individuated women, voters will certainly have a difficult choice to make. Standing against the steely Leafiara Autumnwind, Lylia has no easy task ahead of her but she is not afraid of a challenge.
Partial to burning the midnight oil, Lylia tends to rise late so I joined her mid-morning over a cup of her favorite spiced tea and spent a few hours learning more about this charismatic lady first hand.
Dressed in a simple, but flattering, cherry satin robe, the stylish candidate casually reveals her family connection to the master blenders of the rather heady infusion and we imbibe several cups before getting down to the more serious business of discussing her campaign strategy. Invigorated by the aroma of cardamom, mixed with clove and a hint of honeyed sweetness, we explore the current political climate and how it has influenced her manifesto, covering such topics as her desire to ensure the town’s prosperity to her personal fascination with the Lorae'tyr valence.
Her decision to stand stems from a desire to bring a new stability and rationality to the often-chaotic corner of the world that is the Landing. Her platform focuses on the premise that the town’s power is necessarily soft or, as she so eloquently puts it, “not pure might, but the subtler coin of attraction and influence.” She is firm in her belief that the next mayor must be masterful at managing this complex currency as well as the silvers that flow through the port.
Relaxed throughout, Lylia carries herself with a natural dignity. One gets the impression that she tends to be guarded in her responses at all times but she allows the conversation to flow with such ease that I am unaware of any reticence to answer my questions.
Fasting is for rituals, not for campaigning.
Despite her ever-present professional facade, her sense of humor frequently shines through. It takes a certain amount of self-confidence to compare yourself to Owly when it comes to discussing the possibility of a dietary regime; like the notorious bird, she is not averse to accepting sweet treats or even glasses of wine when offered.
That same poise is also evident when our conversation turns to fashion and dressing for the debating podium. Her outfit choices may seem like random chance but that is definitely not the case. She confesses to giving considerable thought to the venue when deciding what to wear, ensuring that her garments are appropriate, freshly laundered, and comfortable. She even goes so far as to co-ordinate with the furnishings, choosing amber silk for a hall decked in plum tones or a pale silver-grey to catch the light in a dark chamber.
To some, these concerns over appearance may seem frivolous considerations when pursuing a political career. I would counter that no aspect of the campaign strategy is to be underestimated where Lylia is concerned, especially when she is heard to remark that, “comfort matters as much as style; corsets look elegant, but do not choose one that limits the breath and weakens the voice.” One should never make the mistake of thinking Lylia Rashere Faendryl is a weak woman, neither restricted by her culture or corsetry, or weighed down by the limitations or vulnerabilities of her youth.
Dressed for Diplomacy
What does one wear to a diplomatic function when every aspect of your appearance could be under scrutiny: from the stance and facial expression of an Imperial Knight to the configuration of beads braided into a dwarf’s beard. Could poison be concealed in the ring that the Faendryl Ambassador keeps fiddling with and do the indiscriminate flicks of the Nalfein fans indicate an undercurrent of political intrigue?
Erratic behavior or ad hoc attire have the potential to convey a variety of unintended messages, so it is imperative that one is aware of such idiosyncrasies when entering the diplomatic fray. The subtle shifting or swaying of your position because your new shoes hurt could be perceived as disinterest and that yellow carnation you chose for a whimsical boutonniere … well, let’s just say it’s probably a bad idea.
These are just a few of the possible fashion and etiquette pitfalls on the diplomatic circuit where every garment and gesture can invite polite conversation or cause offence. Recent events in Solhaven provided the casual observer with the perfect opportunity to study such nuances in dress and conduct.
One might have noticed, for example, that the High Priestess of Vaalor, Esana Ilynov, discreetly displayed a Vaalor-crested eahnor signet ring beneath the bell sleeves of her strapless raspberry silk gown at Lormesta’s Court Session with Baron Dunrith Malwind. Not only did she give us an understated nod towards to her own noble connections but she also gave us a hint at the current elven court trend towards minimalism and bold color choices.
In contrast, the Lady Kasendra Chandrennin opted for a more modest look at a later engagement. Taking tea last month with the Order of the Azure Sun and elven delegation, she chose to wear an elegant ensemble of ivory and blue with touches of gold. There was no hint of political affiliation in her attire where one might have expected to see her wearing the brocade cloth for which her Duchy is well known. Instead, she dressed casually and put everyone at ease by sitting and conversing informally with those present.
When it comes to actions or mannerisms though, what one doesn’t do is equally as important as what one is witnessed doing. It was interesting to note that neither the Lady Kasendra or the Baron’s son and Knights in attendance actually drank any tea - despite holding cups throughout. One wonders what conclusions were drawn from this by everyone else invited?
An insight into mourning garb by Vincien Chase
“You’d be late to your own funeral!” On hearing this remark, I was equally amused by the retort given: “Probably because I’d be waiting for my widow to get dressed.” What followed was an interesting discussion about what to wear when in a state of mourning. I should add the caveat that this is merely an observation of common practices shared by those present at the time and should not be considered an edict for protocol.
It was agreed that the passing of a friend or loved one beyond the Gate tends to be marked by solemnity. The customs observed are often determined by the deceased’s allegiance to a particular Arkati or, at the very least, sympathy towards a Pantheon and the manner of passing. The matter of dress code for a memorial service, for example, is usually prescribed in this way. It is customary to wear black or grey to someone aligned with the Pantheon of Liabo or Neutrality. Conversely, green is the preferred option for Pantheon of Lornon devotees.
The only exception to this is the passing of an Erithian where the Dai are known to encourage the wearing of white to evoke memories of happier times. The faces or hands of close family members are often painted with colorful images of birds, fish or flowers as a mark of respect for the deceased and their Dai.
Cross-racially, flowers play a significant role in the representation of mourning. Years of enslavement have ensured that aelotoians pay little heed to the passing of another and they usually mark the occasion with minimal fuss and ceremony. Little is expected of those attending a memorial other than to wear a few stems of butterflyweed. Similarly, sylvankind will bedeck themselves – and often their homes – in mournblooms. The recent memorial for Icemule’s former Mayor, the halfling Nihala Winterberry, saw mourners wearing and carrying winter roses.
Mourning customs for human or elven dignitaries tend to be more formal. Rarely will a service be held until a set time of lying in state has elapsed. In fact, some Illistimi are still grieving for Linsandrych Illistim and have vowed to do so until such time as her body can be found and laid in state for the obligatory period. Devotees are easily identified by the wearing of an albino peacock feather or similar token. A Vaalorian, on the other hand, will wear a fresh amaranth blossom tucked in their lapel or behind their ear as a mark of respect. While the humble lily is the flower most commonly associated with human memorial services as they symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed.
Often those in mourning for a loved one will also cover their head and face for a length of time to convey that they are not fully ready to socialize; some have even been known to swaddle their eyes. In recent years though, traditions such as these have given way to less strict practices and what one opts to wear during a period of mourning is a matter of personal preference. Whilst it is no longer obligatory for us to dress in sympathy, it is beholden upon us all to recognise and respect the mourner’s choice.
Tools of the Trade
Making its debut at Bloodriven Village recently was the popular Shimmer Trinket. With the current fashion trend being towards minimalism, this could be the answer to all your fashion woes. Simply put, the trinket creates the illusion of whatever outfit you choose, concealing all other items you may wish to wear beneath.
The trinkets were sold with three charges, a charge being depleted when the trinket is set to an appearance and every 30 days thereafter. The trinket can however be recharged through the casting of the Monk’s Shroud of Deception spell.
Don’t worry if you missed the chance to pick one up as they are likely to make a reappearance at the next opening of the Village in Lumnea.
Spring Scrapbooking Offer
Looking for a new hobby? Join The Looking Glass for a relaxing hour of fashion scrapbooking at the second annual Spring Rises in the East festival in Ta'Vaalor during the first weekend of Olaesta. Take the opportunity to get a head start by using the coupon in this edition to receive a free scrapbooking set. Contact our editor before the end of the month and simply mention the voucher code: SPRING