Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to reveal something incredible.
If you’re one of those people who follows me on Twitter, you’ll have seen a few teases over the last week or so about a collaboration that I’ve got in the works with Pix over at Shoot the Rookie. You should definitely check out her blog, by the way; she, like me, regularly takes part in community events like the Later Levels Question of the Month, shares some genuinely insightful stuff about how we can be better to each other, and comes up with Top 5 lists that are both informative and entertaining.
It was one of those lists that made us realise we really ought to be doing something together, actually. A while back, I wrote what started as a joke post, but quickly became one of my favourite things to write, about the best jackets in gaming, and Pix was inspired to come up with her own gamers’ guide to rockin’ a set of goggles. (I then rolled with it and did a quick PSA-cum-editorial on belts and zips.) So it seemed only right and natural that we should put our heads together for some sort of joint effort. But what could the theme be? We’d done jackets, goggles, belts – and Rob of I Played The Game also delivered a masterpiece dissertation on impractical outfits, so we were finding it hard to come up with our premise. We could do boots, or outlandish weapons, or fancy hats, perhaps. (Perhats. Har-de-har.)
But then we thought: well, this is supposed to be the big one. This is our The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble, I seem to remember, in the UK): we’ve already individually made our Iron Man, our Captain America, our Thor. Time to bring it all together for the team-up blowout to end all fashion blogs. Of all time. Ever.
So… welcome! Welcome to High Score Haute Couture: The Gaming Catwalk 2018!
(The name, by the way, was hard to come up with, and Pix and I have thrown out an absolute ton of bad-pun-hashtags along the way, some of which I’ll try to make use of as we go along.)
The format of this event is like so:
- Pix and I have each selected five gaming characters to walk the runway. There were no particular requirements or style to stick to, other than that we just had to think the character could work the catwalk. (There is one rule, which is that a character can only walk the walk one time. If they can get multiple looks into a single runway, that’s OK, but no going backstage to get changed. This is also known as the ‘you-can’t-have-Lightning-in-every-possible-outfit-from-Lightning-Returns Rule’.)
- Today I’m MC’ing and writing the fashion show put on by Pix’s five characters. She’s done a post – CHECK IT OUT HERE! – for the show put on by my five selections. (You read that right: each of us is writing for the other person’s characters, at least to start with. Just for a twist!) There are polls at the bottom of each of our posts, where you can vote for a winner of each show. You’re voting for one character to win out of the five on each of our shows; it’s not our two shows competing against each other.
- Today is Friday 27th April. One week from today, Friday 4th May, the polls will close and each of us will have a winner. Then a week after that, Friday 11th May, Pix and I will each write one more show, which will be the winning character we selected (so we won’t have written them before, since we’re doing each others’ first shows!) making their final sashay down the runway against the other winner in an epic face-off for the ages. The ‘one-outfit rule’ is no longer in effect here, just for added fabulosity. Let’s hope the winners have a couple of outfits to pull out!
- Some time between now and then, we’ll have picked three (or possibly more, depending on interest!) esteemed judges – so let us know if you’d like to be one! The role of those judges will be to preside over the final runways, then write their own short posts handing down their verdict, declaring which character they feel deserves to win. The deadline for those judgement posts will be dependent on the judges’ availability, but hopefully before the end of May.
- Once all the judges have posted their results, Pix and I will tally up the votes, see who’s won, and do a final wrap-up each.
Now, Pix and I have already hashed out Phase 1 between us (we’ve picked our characters and told each other a bit about them). So today it’s time for Phase 2. And that… is the most epic gaming fashion show ever to happen in any universe of all time ever.
So let’s kick off the show, shall we?
WELCOME TO THE FIRST (POTENTIALLY ANNUAL BUT I AIN’T COMMITTIN’ RIGHT NOW) INAUGURAL GAMING FASHION SHOW!!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Arena of the D-Pad Diva! It’s time to Press A to Sashay, serving up RPG Realness with a hefty dose of Joystick Couture!
My name is Chris and I will be your MC for the evening – so settle in! Ignore the Big Daddy at the door, he’s just here for security, but let’s show some appreciation for all our staff; tonight’s lighting will be run by Captain Toad, up there in the rafters, and the buffet you’ve probably all spotted already is courtesy of the one and only Cooking Mama! A quick word from our sponsor, the Happy Mask Salesman: don’t forget to… be happy and wear masks. Or something.
Now, don’t forget that this is just one of two ultra-snazzy mega fashion shows happening across the land today: here, I’ll be presenting to you five of the modelling greats straight from Pix’s brain, and across the waters and mountains of the Internet she’ll be putting on a just-as-spectacular show with my five champions of fashion.
So who are Pix’s legendary line-up, her visions of vogue?
In no particular order, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you… THE PIX POSSE, THE FABULOUS FIVE, YOUR BESPOKEBORNE STYLISTS OF THE FIRST SIN, IT’S TONIGHT’S MODELS!
Brighid‘s a fiery one, and I mean that literally! This woman boasts some serious strength, backed up by fierce loyalty and confidence; she’s a Fire Blade who’ll stop at nothing to serve her ‘drive’, Morag – who I don’t see in the audience tonight, folks, but considering she’s a special inquisitor, maybe that’s for the best! Not that there’s anything dodgy going on here. Definitely not employing Baby Mario to raise the curtain, in clear contravention of child labour laws. Nope.
*SCREAMING FROM FEMALE SECTIONS OF AUDIENCE, AND ALSO MALE SECTIONS, LET’S BE REAL HERE* Oh, yes, this boy’s guaranteed to be a real crowd-pleaser! Straight from his sold-out Tokyo Mirage Sessions tour, Yashiro the Fashionable (Yashionable? Fashiro? WHO KNOWS) is here tonight in the very same get-up he wore for the music video to his signature track, ‘Black Rain’. He’s forbidden from singing it to get extra points, but I bet he’ll be busting out some moves on his way down the catwalk!
This coutured canine is one of the most intelligent, sophisticated dogs you’re ever likely to come across. Friendly to his friends and not-so-friendly to people he doesn’t trust, Repede is one loyal son of a bitch (technically factually accurate, to boot) and will always protect his master Yuri. And I think Yuri’s in the audience tonight, folks, how about that?!
It’s Ashe, everyone! This princess of Dalmasca’s had a tough time of things: kingdom ravaged, father and brand-new husband (or maybe fiancé, who can remember? Sorry, Ashe!) murdered to death, capital city of Rabanastre pretty much blown to bits, and now she’s a rebel just for kicks hanging out in sewers and trying to overthrow an evil empire and whatnot. She’s serious. She’s determined. Her stats are… meh. But she’ll be darned if she’s not getting back what’s hers!
Don’t get on this cyborg’s sharp side, he’ll slice you to ribbons before you can say ‘Metal Gear Style’! Our deadly friend Raiden has asked me to skip the details of his backstory, but suffice to say some stuff happened and now he’s part robot. He’s fallen on some hard times, ladies and gents, can I get an ‘awwwwww’ – but now he’s in the fashion industry, and I think we can all agree it’s where he belongs! Applaud, viewers, applaud!
With that, it’s time to start our show for this evening, and the first one down tonight’s runway is none other than Dalmascan royalty turned rebel warrior, Ashe!
Each of our models tonight has picked their own theme tune to strut their stuff, and Ashe, perhaps fittingly, is coming out to the low-key tones of Lorde and her song ‘Royals‘. The lighting’s starting out subdued, soft, and Ashe is emerging onto the catwalk with the kind of slow balance that you’ve got to be royalty to pull off. When we first met this punchy princess, she was in a beautiful wedding gown, but tonight she’s ditched the formal wear for this outfit, the pinnacle of mix-and-match fashion! Wrists, elbows and thighs are sensibly covered with intricate armour plating, and then we’ve got a bit of the ol’ red-white-and-blue in Ashe’s fabric colour choice: matching red socks and miniskirt, blue denim collar and half-waistcoat, and then pure white in that snazzy halter-top-cum-jacket, plus some detachable sleeves, a nice big belt and flared hems over her ankles.
She’s striking some poses on the way down, doing some work with imaginary guns, bows, and spears. Let’s not forget that in her first appearance, she could be equipped with any weapon she liked, and do some royally nasty damage with it!
As the song builds up, Ashe gives us a bit of a twirl, showing off the grace and poise befitting a princess of her standing, and strides to the back with those metal heels click-clackin’ to the rhythm all the way down. They’re functional, but oh so fabulous.
Next up: man’s best friend, surely the world’s most dapper dog, Repede! He’s walking the runway tonight to the banging beat of ‘Who Let The Dogs Out‘, and the answer to that question after tonight is surely EVERYONE IN THIS AUDIENCE, AS THE CROWD GOES CRAZY FOR REPEEEEEEEDE!
By the way, here’s an adorable picture of him as a puppy. I couldn’t help it!
Now, let’s talk animal fashion here: Repede is rocking the belt-and-dagger combo, a true God of War-drobe – and look, the keen edge of the dagger even matches the sharpness of both his teeth and his wits! He’s got a casual yet rhythmic gait as he strides down the catwalk, despite the thick chain he’s donned as an accessory – perhaps a post-modern statement about fashion being freedom from shackles? or perhaps just an ironic comment on the old gangsta chain look – and that pipe, that pipe!, it’s just so darned sophisticated. Repede doesn’t actually smoke himself, folks, it’s a memento of his former master, but don’t we all love a backstory?
Repede hits the end of the runway and shows us a couple of tricks: rolling over, standing on two feet, slashing at an imaginary foe as he spins to show off that sheath (and of course the pipe waggles in his mouth, ever-present!) – he even gives us a cheeky wag of the tail as he makes his way back behind the curtain, a total deadpan look on his face the entire time! That is one sassy dog, let me tell you that right now.
Our next participant in the Catwalk de los Juegos is due to make an entrance, and the lights fan down to the sound of a gentle synthesised arpeggio. A shadowy figure stands in the darkness, then in a flash of white light his metallic form is revealed in all its glory to the rousing sound of Styx’s ‘Mr Roboto‘! Now that’s an entrance.
Raiden’s putting one metal-clawed foot lithely in front of the other, and if I had to sum up his style here, folks, this really is just cyborg du jour; we’re talking pretty much a full-on metal man who somehow still has perfectly bouncy hair! That red eye offsets the blackness of the rest of his outfit – or is it his body? Who knows! Either way, Raiden’s flexing for us and good Lord, that is a sinewy man. Halfway down the stage, he even spots a female member of the audience eyeing up his plate metal codpiece and gives her a bit of a hip wiggle for good measure. Half-robot he may be, but let me tell you, this vision of vogue is all man!
Oh, and he also has a giant sword. In rehearsals he was doing pelvic thrusts with it, but we’ve de-Kojima’d him just a little for your entertainment tonight, faithful audience! That doesn’t stop him showing some impressive feats of speed and agility as he goes cartwheeling and sliding across the catwalk, the lights reflecting in beautiful patterns off his shining armour, and I think he may well be breaking some rules here by moving so quickly that he’s got time to go up and down the stage five or six times, but I’m not going to argue with him!
We may have stopped him short of simply coming out and re-enacting the entire video, but Yashiro could only pick one song for his entrance theme, really, couldn’t he? The stirring sounds of his own ‘Black Rain‘ start to pump and build as the lights flash in shades of blue and purple, and Yashiro makes his Video Game Vogue Glam Runway Extravaganza debut by marching out in almost butt-high boots and a long cloak, which quickly gets pulled free and thrown into the crowd to reveal the long white gloves, Jackson-esque shoulder pads and the epitome of smart-casual, a beautiful pink cravat-scarf thing to tie it all together.
Yashiro’s busting out his best moves as he goes gliding down the catwalk, and I’m seeing a few swoons from the audience! No backing dancers permitted today, but he’s certainly a strong enough solo act: hair with flair, eyes on the prize, he’s From Tokyo With Glove!
As he hits the peak of his walk, Yashiro whips out a microphone stand from somewhere and dances with it, miming along to his song. He spins on his heel and saunters back, that ringmaster-style coat swaying crisply around him, and blows us one last kiss before disappearing.
Last but not least, our final character of couture for the evening: Brighid, the Jewel of Mor’Ardain, graces us with her presence. Now, this is one glamorous, high-class lady, so it’s only right that as she slowly reveals herself from behind the curtain, it’s a truly majestic theme that plays: ‘Jupiter‘, from Holst’s Planets Suite! Subtitled ‘The Bringer of Jollity’, this piece could not be more Brighid: elegant, stately, powerful, yet just a little bit playful. And deadly!
There’s barely any artificial light on the stage at all as Brighid goes striding down the runway, her legs in those pale blue boot-stocking thingies crossing over each other as she walks, arms in matching long gloves held out gracefully – she’s almost providing her own lighting with a blueish ember glow. She’s a blue lady indeed, from her blue-fire hair to the deep navy, almost purple, of her dress, and you’ll see as she turns and catches the light that it’s held together intricately by what I can only assume is an extremely expensive bit of jewellery just under her throat there. It’s almost like she’s made of fire and jewels; I’ve got a whole team of Squirtle firefighters ready to douse the curtains in case she literally sets our whole arena ablaze!
Our fiery Blade stops at the end of the runway and raises her arms with great poise, making elegant gestures along the length of her gloves as if to say ‘look, look how fabulous I am!’ She gives half a curtsy to the crowd, then whips herself around so you can almost see trails of flame streaking from her hair and clothes, and with that she strolls backstage.
And that’s your runways, folks!
With one final curtain call and a bow from all five of our elegant ensemble, the show draws to a close.
Well, Pix and I hope you enjoyed the show! Now go check out the event she’s put on over at her own blog, Shoot the Rookie, to see who my five fashionable character choices were. Then don’t forget to vote for the winner of each show in the polls at the bottom of our posts – and if you’d like to be a judge for the grand finale, in which the two winners face off, let us know!
We’ll see you for the epic final runway on Friday 11th May!
Now vote for a winner!