Elanthian Vogue: Lumnea 5118
This Month's Edition
Editor: The Editorial Team in the absence of Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
This month we are – dare I say it – reflecting on self-image and the lengths some go to create the “perfect” self or projection of an “alternate” self.
Self-image is essentially how you perceive yourself, which can be very positive, giving you confidence in your thoughts and actions, or negative, making you doubt your capabilities and ideas. Your self-image can be different from how everyone else sees you though. Some believe that it is defined by events that have affected you, whereas others believe that it can help shape those events. There is probably some truth to both points of view but it cannot be denied that if you project a positive self-image, people will be more likely to see you as a positive, capable person.
Outward appearance can have a powerful influence on self-image. Many people feel more confident when they put on a costume, mask or makeup.
Costumes have the ability to create a story and a connection to others. A costume designer hasn’t done their job properly if they have not told a story – at least in part - of an individual character and their relationship with others on the “stage” through their costume. This edition of Elanthian Vogue features an exclusive interview with Lynaera Ariamiel, the talent behind the costumes worn during a recent event to commemorate a milestone in The TownCrier's publishing calendar.
Masquerade balls are a popular pastime for the social elite and provide the perfect opportunity to don a mask or alternate persona for a few hours. This month’s Festival of Lumnea in the shining city of Ta'Illistim saw the Baerl Mystiaem become a showcase of simulacrum with Sharlatta's Frippery offering all manner of ornate finery for the occasion. As Sharlatta herself put it, “For this particular occasion, I have opted to gear the attire towards creatures, exotic and twisted in form, always lurking beyond the reach of the city, that creep and crawl in the dark of our warm summer nights: bronze and platinum, greys, yellows, violets, and rich greens.”
Makeup is no different than clothes and accessories; it's effectively an embellishment for your face and it gives you creative freedom. You can also think of it as having time in front of a mirror to give yourself self-love.
So, we challenge you to take a look in a mirror today and give some thought to what you see and how you think or wish others see you. If you don’t own a mirror yet then read on and, as always, we welcome feedback, suggestions, and articles for future editions.
Behind the Scenes
Lynaera Ariamel, Lady in Waiting to Queen Rhosyn Nalfein, may be in servitor to the throne but she has no allusions of grandeur when it comes to the true worth of titles and honorifics; she knows that esteem and respect for position are earned, not simply conferred. Behind the inscrutable Nalfein façade lies a self-effacing and elegant young elf who comprehends the importance of hard work and dedication. Lynaera – or Lyn as she prefers to be called by her friends - recently had the opportunity to apply her creative talents to a staged event for The TownCrier (for which she is a news correspondent). I was fortunate enough to catch up with her for a brief chat and, like her Publisher, I was impressed by both her professionalism and aptitude.
Miss Lynaera stepped in and did an amazing job at getting every character to match his or her background that Mister Stonmel conceived and wrote. She brought them to life with touches large and small in her costume design. I am so proud to be associated with both of these talented Newsies. ~ Luxelle Machtes Ashrim (Publisher of the TownCrier)
It is a well-known fact that true Nalfein are adept at most things but they excel at dissimulation and Lynaera brought all of her natural skills to bear on bringing Stonmel's characters to life through costume.
In my line of work, one must often change their clothing quickly, either to attract attention or to avoid it. Having a poor choice of dress runs counter to either. So, I've had a little more practice than the common elf with regards to costume design. In many cases, choosing the right gown has been a matter of life or death.
You see Lady in Waiting Lynaera Ariamiel Nalfein the Envoy. She appears to be an Elf. She is average height and has a lithesome, nimble build. She appears to be in the spring of life. She has gold-ringed sapphire blue eyes and rosy skin. She has mid back-length, wavy raven black hair pinned back on one side with a gold-crested sapphire blue iris. She has a well-defined, heart-shaped face and a birthmark in the shape of a heart. Her features bear a soft, gentle appearance. She is in good shape. She is holding a smoky silk vaalin-bladed fan in her right hand and a smoky silk vaalin-bladed fan in her left hand. She is wearing a heart-shaped mermaid's-tear sapphire choker, some onyx hair ornaments wreathed in black frigatebird feathers, a strapless sapphire blue faille gown embroidered with gold roses, a sapphire-set gold ring, a lily-carved ivory and sapphire ring with green jade leaves, a slender vaalin ring inset with a faceted sapphire, a long sapphire blue scarf, and some flat silver-laced sandals.
Dressed in one of her own creations, she explains how she usually draws inspiration for her outfits and costumes from the styles of the Elven Nations' varying cultures but prefers to keep it simple.
I consider the theme to be more important than any particular era of history or culture, as they can often be limiting. Starting with a simple theme allows for more improvement, while starting with too complex a design is inherently restrictive and can limit one's ability to express themselves.
The slightest flick of the fans in each hand reveals more about this young lady than the carefully worded answers to my questions but I could not help but notice her amusement at my nod of approval when she adds that she personally prefers the styles favored by those in Ta'Illistim.
As her high station in life suggests, Lynaera enjoys a challenge and she certainly rose to the occasion for this fun event. Stonmel's flair as a dramatist, with well-defined characters and plot, was enhanced by her attention to detail; she knew exactly the right nuance to add to each costume, whether it was through the use of bright colors or a subtle touch of extravagance. Modestly dismissing any notions of innate talent and claiming it was all instinctual or spur of the moment, she expresses a desire for another chance at testing her theatrical prowess again soon.
I'm sure we will be hearing more about this up-and-coming young talent at dances, parties and other social events in the future.
- Editor's Note: For those interested in learning more about the use of fans by the Nalfein, I suggest reading An Introduction to Nalfein Fans, Fan-Dancing and Fanspeak written by Althiza Amalathia Illistim.
Tools of the Trade
How often do you find yourself taking a LOOK at people around you? Do you sometimes wonder what they see when they LOOK at you? If, like me, you’re a compulsive onlooker then I can assume you also carry a mirror with you at all times.
Mirrors, or looking glasses, come in many shapes and forms; from the full-length versions available in the town’s feature pavilion, to the readily available pocket-sized versions or those conveniently fixed into some of the more high-end vanity cases. A loving GAZE or a discreet PEER can be very telling, especially if the creator was the celebrated Lady Yvexia of Speil Manor (originally located in the long-lost phantom village of Velathae). Her polite and erudite magical mirrors could boost the confidence of even the most insecure individual.
Vanity aside, mirrors also have other uses. Some can function as a scrying device in the hands of those with clairvoyant powers, others have been known to have Chronomage capabilities. Some even have the ability to magically memorise your reflection and restore your coiffure in an instant; perfect for those bad hair days!
In short, mirrors are an indispensable tool; they help us in our daily mundane lives, though we often fail to appreciate their usefulness.
From time-to-time, Elanthian Vogue focuses on a particular boutique or workshop to promote its exceptional merchandise or services. This month we would like to draw your attention to Shear Delight, the renovated beauty salon on Mist Harbor. I can only assume the salon gets its name from the delightful staff it employs.
No matter the time of day, Millie, the red-haired receptionist, can always be prevailed upon to get you an appointment, despite the salon supposedly being booked up months in advance. All you need to do is ask and she’ll let you in – just don’t mention her husband! For a standard price of 10,000 silvers, the talented staff within can perform miracles with your appearance: from a basic hairstyle change to more complicated adjustments to your distinguishing features.
If you're not inclined to undergo a makeover, you can visit the Beautician Carlibelle in the Sand Room who will gladly show you her beauty product list. If make up isn’t to your taste, then the Stylist Alexi can be found in the Ocean Room. She is always keen to let you browse her hair care items, including a lovely range of small mirrors.
Mark those calendars! FashionCon 5118, a 2-day conference to celebrate fashion, comes to Ta'Illistim next month! Expect a weekend filled with lectures, workshops and discussion groups, as well as the opportunity to socialise with fellow delegates at parties and other fun events.
Organisations who are interested in participating and hosting events during the weekend are encouraged to complete a REGISTRATION FORM as soon as possible.
And if the prospect of mingling with fashionably like-minded people isn’t enough, there is the added incentive of a mirror in every delegate pack!