Fashion Week 2019: The War for Chantilly

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Koyliak
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Fashion Week 2019: The War for Chantilly

Post by Koyliak » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:57 am

Seven & Seven Restaurant on Benson Boulevard held an old-world glam appeal that belonged to a time and plane far from RhyDin. Aside from dressing immaculately in their red single-breasted jackets and black neckties, the waitstaff had mastered the art of discretion, making the restaurant an enticing setting for both work and play for New Haven’s elite. Alessandro, one of the longest-serving waiters, distinguished by the double seven-shaped gold lapel pin he wore honoring his years of service, said nothing as he ushered one impeccably dressed guest after another into the restaurant’s hidden depths.

Alessandro had spent enough time over the years watching the shows in Mercer Park to recognize every member of the group gathering in the sleek paneled back room. While he may not have commented out loud, the thought did cross his mind that around the covered tables sat Rhydin’s Fashion mafia.

To the untrained eye, each fashion house represented admired and respected their peers with the cheek kisses in greeting, the friendly compliments and the ease with which they arranged themselves around the room. Only those who kept up with gossip magazines or spent time on Benson Boulevard in New Haven would understand the subtext in what was and wasn’t said, which smiles were sincere and which ones were frozen, and who chose to sit where.

Although designers like Vicki Remmington and Koyliak VanDuran-Simon had spent much of their formative professional years in New Haven as embittered rivals, the last few had brought an uneasy alliance between the two women. As much as they questioned the other’s taste they both agreed on a severe distrust of newcomers like Brix Biloxi and Kryslin Henry.

The seating choices reflected who fell on the side of the classic guard, those who sided with the brash new voices and some who chose neither, finding profit in neutrality.

Willingly ignoring any icy air in the room, Amador Sui took center stage at the podium he had brought in for the purpose of lording over everyone. Amador’s crowning achievement, besides running every fashionista’s bible, RhyDin Wear Daily, was the full head of beautiful dark hair he still sported when so many of his peers had grown bald.

“Welcome, lovelies, welcome! Forgive me for skipping over niceties, but we have much work to attend to and little time to do it. We’ve got a Fashion Week to prepare for and with what happened last year,” he surveyed the room, fully aware of how many suddenly averted making eye contact with him, “the Benson Boulevard Initiative is looking to me to prevent a repeat.”

“What happened last Fashion Week?” might be the question coming to Alessandro’s mind as he quietly saw to refilling drinks. However, every guilty party gathered in the back room (and the number of guilty parties was vast), knew the more accurate question was what didn’t happen last Fashion Week?

It had started with the arrival of a rare shipment of vicuna wool in RhyDin ahead of last year’s planned fashion shows. Insider tips and whispers led to more than one designer first dreaming, then demanding, that the luxe textile feature prominently in each of their shows. What made the fabric valuable was how long it took for the docile animals to grow enough wool to be shorn. It called for years and the hype that built around how many more would pass before another shipment this large and pure appeared brought out even the gentler fashionistas’ claws.

They were all complicit to varying degrees of backstabbing and sabotage in an attempt to outbid everyone and procure the full shipment of wool for their own. They delayed their otherwise disciplined timelines, blinded by their egos to face the logic that seemed obvious to nervous assistants and production workers alike that it would never be possible for more than one or two of the year’s shows to benefit from the wool. Why then continue to jeopardize the rest of the week’s programming and future sales for such a limited gain?

That rationale in hindsight is why so many of the designers in the room now squirmed under the implied message of Amador’s words. They all should have known better. Even if one of them had won out, the amount of haute couture that could be created would have been impressive and brought in some high figures but would never have given any of them long-term success in the mass markets. On the more forgiving end it could have been said that the designers were driven by that passion that deserved admiration even when verging on reckless. The less kind view though would be to blast their pride as downright sinful and worse yet, utterly stupid.
Koyliak "The BobCrusher" VanDuran-Simon
Owner of the Heavenly Boutique
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Koyliak
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 12:14 am
Location: The Heavenly Boutique - Where Dreams Become Realities

Re: Fashion Week 2019: The War for Chantilly

Post by Koyliak » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:08 am

So what didn’t happen last Fashion Week?

Anything memorable on the runway worth noting for the style books, for imprinting on the public’s imagination or for making them open their wallets, that’s what didn’t happen.

In trying to show each other up in a baffling contest for boasting rights as the greatest creative talent in RhyDin last season they had all forgotten one major factor: they were doing business with a merchant who had blown into the city, stopping at the Nexus’ crossroads with no reputation preceding him and no personal stakes in the game. He allowed them to make grandiose displays and accepted the lavish entertainment bestowed upon him, disarming them all with his humility and earnest-sounding desire to sell to the designer who would not only pay him but would delight the people with their creations. “What an honor it will be for me to know my time traveling with the vicuna will bring so much joy in what can be a dark world,” he would tell them at each private meeting.

He played to their worst qualities and navigated their jealousies of each other to keep them from consolidating information in any meaningful way. Had they done as much they would have quickly seen he was feeding them all the same impossible promise.

Instead, they continued to delay and recraft their shows to allow for the arrival of the wool. Several of the houses were led to believe they had finally secured the fabric for themselves. They overpaid on a deposit asked of them for the amount of wool promised, holding back a less conservative amount than they would have agreed to for any other similarly large sale. They didn’t want to insult the shepherd who had explained to them over their multiple lovely meals together about his homeland where honor was held above all else.

How humiliated they all were when they received their shipments, which included some of the pure wool they had seen on their visits to the shepherd’s tent grounds mixed with common sheep’s wool. By the time the ruse had been discovered the shepherd was long gone with their money. Rumors speculated a man had been seen hurrying out of Stars End with a small crew, no shepherd at all but captain of a band of space pirates. Some houses with steeper pockets and deeper thirsts for justice were still believed to have investigators searching the stars to recoup their losses.

Then again, the swirl produced by the city’s rumor-mill is what had compounded the desire for the vicuna wool in the first place, escalating it beyond rational thought, so maybe they would all do better to write off the theft for what it was: an easy swindle.

All they could do last year was slap together rushed shows with revamped plans and little time for proper execution. Sales suffered across the board and there was a considerable drop in charitable fundraising opportunities for the Benson Boulevard Initiative which relied heavily on Fashion Week as an opportunity to highlight their philanthropic causes.

And that is why the fashion houses were still having their failures shoved in their faces again today. Amador ran a hand through his luscious locks and gestured to the thin bound and printed booklets being passed out as they finished eating lunch.

“With that in mind then, I thought we might try something new this year. Something more unifying.”

“Something prescriptive is what I’m hearing,” Cassie Kando grumbled.

“We’re going to play a game this year for Fashion Week,” Amador continued on, ignoring any comments from the room he looked down upon. “As some of you know, I’ve been writing fiction outside of my day job and have been told I have a knack for it.” He flashed a slick smile around at them again.

“You wrote about us. What imagination did that take?” Walter Rusk wasn’t the only one who remembered Sin Haven, the sensationalized novel Amador published about RhyDin’s fashion scene. The novel hinted at steamy love affairs like the one many knew to have happened between the previously married Walter and Lush’s fashion columnist, Stone Feldman. What parts Amador had fabricated for the sake of story still capitalized on the belief that he must be in the know because of his position at RhyDin Wear Daily.

Brix Biloxi picked up his booklet and waved it glibly in Amador’s direction. “You can’t expect us to delight in being used for your half-baked fantasies around being an author of great works of fiction, Dory dear. There’s a reason you haven’t quit your day job yet.” There was some laughter and a banging on the tabletops in agreement.

Amador again refrained from feeding into the way they goaded him. “Well then finally, you’re already starting to find common ground with each other, just wonderful. Now, as I was saying, this year I’ve come up with a game for us all to play, to put some joy in our work.” It was a tongue-in-cheek reminder of what the swindling shepherd turned space pirate had fed them all as his reason for taking so long to decide who to sell his precious cargo to.

“If you’ll please open your booklets you’ll see I’ve created some backstory and guidelines for all of you to incorporate into your collections. All of the events this year will tie back into this tale. You’ll see descriptions for one of four clans you can join and create characters for yourselves. This will be particularly important at the charity kickoff event starting the entire week but that’s all I’ll say about that.”

“You all pride yourselves on your creative skills. This is your chance to elevate your designs to make something grand, weaving a story together with as many different threads as you can think of. We’ll invite anyone coming to our shows and events around Mercer Park to do the same if they’d like to join. Surely, the metaphor here isn’t lost on you.”

“So iffn we jest read wha ye’ve got here we can get on our way and ye’ll stop actin’ like ye’re some lofty professor then, bub?” Koy smirked, deciding to overlook the fact that Amador’s plan could already be considered successful in that it had her agreeing with Brix.

“That does sum it up, yes.”

“All right then. Let’s get ta it. Wha are we callin’ this caper?” Koy picked up her copy. The intricate lace pattern woven in with the title did make for an appealing design. She only hoped the pages following would allow them all to come out of this Fashion Week with their dignity intact.

Nicole Neese piped up with a dramatic and breathy rendering of the name on the cover in response. “The War for Chantilly.”


((Fashion Week is coming back! Stay tuned to this space for more details. Tentative date for the live event is 3/10. Please PM here or on Discord if you're interested in having your character participate in the live runway show. I will shortly be posting here more details on the different clans and their characteristics if your character would find that fun. There will be an option IC for not dressing up or doing anything out of the ordinary as well.))
Koyliak "The BobCrusher" VanDuran-Simon
Owner of the Heavenly Boutique
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