Elanthian Vogue: Jastatos 5118 EXTRA!

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Editor: The Editorial Team in the absence of Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l

Editor's Thoughts

With so many complex items available to the fashion-conscious these days, the team at Elanthian Vogue thought it would be helpful to publish a series of occasional "extras" where we take an in-depth look at working with key pieces.

A Closer Look At ... Veola

For those who have attended our introductory lectures on Veola's creations at past Fashion Week events, it will come as no surprise to know that we are passionate about her extremely versatile and highly sought-after accessories. There are few clothing and accessory lines that warrant being called after their creator but a "Veola", in our opinion, is pretty much top of the list and a must-have for any fashionista.

Even when purchased off-the-shelf, they are exceptional in their design and can be worn without further enhancement but they are equally deserving of attention when it comes to unlocking their amazing potential.

There are limited opportunities to have a Veola worked on and it requires the skill of a merchant with considerable knowledge of their complexities. Our advice would be to plan and prepare well in advance so as to maximise that opportunity.

There are 3 stages to creating a one-of-kind Veola.

Analyze

Understand the nature of the piece you hope to work on. For ease of recognition - when it comes to a merchant working with them - they come in 3 categories or classifications: hats, barrettes, and headbands. When worn, each of these pieces become a predominant feature in your appearance and work as an integral part of your hairstyle.

Let's start with the first category: these come as hats, caps, tricorns, tricornes, and capotains.

Next, we have the more ornamental category, which come as barrettes, haircombs, fascinators, cockades, ornaments, and ribbons. Rumor has it that hairpins have recently been added to the collection as well.

Finally, there are the decorative headbands, diadems, circlets, tiaras, crowns, garlands and headpieces. We are also led to believe that it will be possible to acquire ferronieres, seer-stones, geldaralads, ferrigems, aemikvais, kharzurkas, trinettes, elothrais, and cauls at this year's Ebon Gate festival too.

All of the items in these categories benefit from the addition of gems or feathers by simply PUSHing them into place. A gentle PULL will remove the adornment quite easily without any damage. Each of the three variations – plain, with a gem, or with a feather – can be altered by a skilled merchant but it is important to remember that a diadem cannot be made into a hat, nor can a ribbon become a ferroniere.

One important thing to also remember is that none of the accessories, or their variations, bear scrutiny so don't trouble yourself with considering how they LOOK on closer inspection.

When discussing the options with a merchant, they are generally referred to as "sides." Most merchants will usually offer to alter just one "side" at a time because it can be very time consuming e.g. they will alter the "plain side" or the "gem side" or the "feather side" only. Remember to stick within the category though: a hat must remain a hat for all 3 "sides" regardless of how many are being altered at the time. Occasionally, if you are very fortunate – as well as polite, patient, and prepared - a merchant will work on all of them at once, so it is always advisable to be ready with all your options just in case.

As if they weren't spectacular enough, it is also possible to change how your Veola creation works with your hair. An off-the-shelf hat, for example, is usually worn at a rakish angle for best effect. Should you be fortunate enough to have been selected for work by a capable merchant, they may be able to adjust the fit so that it can work with up to 3 new hairstyles. Do you fancy wearing all your hair tucked up inside your hat, for example, or left tumbling over shoulders in a carefree way? A quick TURN of the hat or ribbon or tiara in your hands before you don it and you have a new LOOK!

Pause for a moment and think of the permutations and combinations now possible with all of those gems, feathers and hairstyles! Is it any wonder that Veolas are held in such high regard?

Saying that, it is also possible to have additional "flare" unlocked on your Veola creation to suit your mien and even your demeanor. It is worth bearing this in mind when initially selecting a piece from a particular category as it can vary according to type,

Visualize

Now that you have a better understanding of the concept, take some time to visualize exactly how you wish the plain piece to look and then with the addition of gems or feathers. Do you have an overall theme in mind e.g. the night sky? Do you simply love roses and anything pink? Or would you prefer something more modest and practical?

Be as creative as you like with the adornments ... but within reason. Do you really want to wear an enormous bile green velvet hat swarming with bat-winged deathstone vathors? Okay, perhaps you do but our advice would be … less is more.

Also think about how you would like to wear your hair with your Veola; try to imagine how the piece works with a particular hairstyle. Does the haircomb complement your chignon by being affixed to the back or does your fascinator balance your offset braid? Will your unkempt hairstyle show beneath a low-brimmed hat or can that ribbon tame your unruly curls?

There are so many possibilities that it can become a little daunting. The versatility of Veola's millinery and headpieces can be quite overwhelming at first so take your time and don't be afraid to seek help from those around you who appear to be more familiar with her creations. Trust us, the merchant and other customers will appreciate your preparation.

Conceptualize

Document your ideas beforehand and test them out in every combination. Let's take a look at some working examples to give you an idea of the potential – and the pitfalls.

We'll start with something straightforward in the modest and practical line. A tall black wool hat tucked with an ink-stained quill was the "plain side" of an original Veola creation some years ago. The addition of a gem such as a purple amethyst turned its "gem side" into a tall black wool hat with a purple amethyst-studded band and a raven feather turned its "feather side" into a tall black wool hat with a raven feather tucked in its brim. All three standard versions of the hat were best worn at a rakish angle.

Assuming you like the basic design of a black hat but needed something a little more stylish for general use, how about altering it to a black suede hat with a curved brim. That's your "plain side" altered for everyday wear. How might we embellish it a little more without going overboard? Using the same gem and feather as before, the "gem side" of the hat could be become a black suede hat pierced by an amethyst-set dagger and the "feather side" could become a black suede hat tucked with a raven feather quill. We've only changed the original designs slightly but the hat becomes a little more versatile in terms of the quill adornment and more personalised with the gem-set dagger.

How will that new black hat work with your closely cropped, auburn hair? All three designs work well when the hat is worn at a rakish angle but let's see how it appears when worn with additional hairstyles.

You have closely cropped, auburn hair barely visible beneath a black suede hat with a curved brim. Nice!

You have closely cropped, auburn hair coiled beneath a black suede hat pierced by an amethyst-set dagger. Hmm, something's not right there. Closely cropped hair cannot be coaxed into a coiled hairstyle, not matter how hard you tried.

You have closely cropped, auburn hair tucked up beneath a black suede hat tucked with blue-sheened crow feather quill. That's a lot of "tucking."

Back to the drawing board!

Now that you have the basic idea and an awareness of some of the pitfalls, let's take a look at creating something a little more extravagant. You simply must have a new fascinator that goes with your collection of pink gowns and incorporates your passion for roses.

It's usually easier to start with the "plain side" and aim for something that can be worn with most pink gowns. A pink silk chiffon fascinator with rose petal protrusions will do the trick The addition of a pink pearl could turn the "gem side" into a silk chiffon fascinator caught with strands of pink pearls and a pale pink goose feather could turn the "feather side" into a silk chiffon fascinator mingled with a profusion of pale pink goose feathers. Note that we avoided a reference to pink-colored material in the design of the gem and feather "sides" this time, opting instead to pick up the color in the adornments themselves. This allows for more versatility given the vast range of gems and feathers that are available.

An accessory this extravagant simply cries out for fabulous new hairstyles. Veola fascinators (and other variations in the ornamental category) are generally worn with the hair parted to the side and pinned back but there are countless ways to braid, curl or pin up your hair. (OOC note: see the Hair-Braiding Tool for some inspiration). For example, adding the pink silk chiffon fascinator with rose petal protrusions to your waist-length, honey blonde hair could result in something quite stunning.

You have waist-length, honey blonde hair curling around a pink silk chiffon fascinator with rose petal protrusions. Very pretty!

Add in the pink pearl again and you could have waist-length, honey blonde hair curling around a silk chiffon fascinator caught with strands of pink pearls. Even prettier!

Not forgetting that pale pink goose feather and you could have waist-length, honey blonde hair curling around a silk chiffon fascinator mingled with a profusion of pale pink goose feathers. Beautiful!

And that's just one new hairstyle in addition to the standard pinning back; there is scope for two more.

Let's go all out this time and try to design a Veola ferroniere around the theme of the night sky. As before, we'll start with the "plain side" because it gives us a basic design from which to build. A ferroniere is essentially a forehead-centered gem suspended from a chain so it makes it a little trickier to work in gem and feather options but, with a little ingenuity, anything is possible!

Starting with a newly designed fine silver-linked ferroniere of six-rayed stars, we could take this up a notch with the addition of a simple diamond to turn the altered "gem side" into a constellation of diamonds on a silver-linked ferroniere and a long shadowy feather could turn the altered "feather side" into a silver-linked ferroniere haloed by long shadowy feathers.

A standard ferroniere would be worn with your lustrous, raven black hair pulled back, leaving side-swept bangs to brush across your temples. Quite a pretty hairstyle to begin with but it lacks the "wow" factor.

You have lustrous, raven black hair cascading in silken curtain beneath a fine silver-linked ferroniere of six-rayed stars.

You have lustrous, raven black hair caught in a constellation of diamonds on a silver-linked ferroniere to form elaborate twists and curls.

You have lustrous, raven black hair webbed in spidersilk behind a silver-linked ferroniere haloed by long shadowy feathers.

So now that we've completely overwhelmed you with information but hopefully sparked your enthusiasm, all that's left for us to say is, start preparing!

Why not send us a snapshot of you wearing your new creation and we will try to share it in the next edition of Elanthian Vogue.

We also welcome suggestions for future EXTRAS!