Ladies, gentlemen, dogs, aliens, beings of indeterminate quality, welcome! Welcome to this most epic and most final of epic final runways!
For a recap on the format, as well as how things have gone so far, check out:
Today is the day of reckoning: the last opportunity for the winner of each first-round extravaganza to really show what they’re made of in an ultra-fashionable uber-face-off for the ages!
And on my side, she’s a girl, in case you hadn’t realised: it’s Samus from the Metroid franchise!
Thus far, Repede and Samus have each gone strolling down the runway once, and done so in sufficiently fashionable fashion to be declared the winners of their respective shows over some strong competition. Tonight, they get one more chance to dazzle you all with their sassiness, snazziness and, er, something else beginning with S that means ‘incredibly vogue’ or something. But since this is the final, they won’t just be making one more walk across the stage, oh no. There are three levels tonight, each of which is to be more epic than the last!
There aren’t any rules or restrictions on what those levels have to be, by the way, so Samus in my show and Repede in Pix’s won’t be doing the same stuff. It’s just an excuse for us to get them showing off a bit of variety!
So without further ado… let’s let Samus loose for level one. (And don’t forget to go watch Repede in Pix’s show, too!)
WALK 1. TO THE STIRRING TUNE OF JEFF WAYNE’S ‘EVE OF THE WAR‘
The stage is dark. The audience bristles with anticipation. Nobody can see more than a few feet in front of their face. A tiny green glow, like a candle reflected in murky water, appears and floats side-to-side before them.
Then, as the beat kicks in, the lights go up. Sudden rainbows of reflected light beam around the room, rippling off gleaming golden armour; for a moment, all anyone can see is a pillar of golden light, as if an angel had appeared in their midst. Then their eyes adjust to the brightness, and before them stands what looks like a glorious statue wreathed in gold, with red tinges towards the top and a gentle green shine coming off its face.
It’s magnificent, and the audience look dumbfounded. How is anyone supposed to know how to react to such a thing?
The answer, as it transpires, is whoops and cheers, as Samus steps forwards and makes her first pass down the runway. Things go from sombre magnificence to high-glam fashion in a matter of moments, as the power suit dematerialises to reveal a form-fitting blue suit and a determined female face with green-blue eyes and a blonde ponytail; Samus waltzes along the catwalk on high wedge heels, stopping halfway down to give a quick pirouette, which she dives out of to show off her combat roll.
Rather than roll back onto her feet, she pushes up into a split-legged handstand, lifts one hand off the floor and goes spinning in circles on one hand; the crowd goes wild! Samus may look like a petite young lady, but she’s a super-athlete trained almost since birth and infused with the DNA of her adopted parents, the Chozo. Even without her Power Suit, this action girl is more than capable of running rings around Usain Bolt (not that she knows who he is, I’d expect)!
The pink emblem on the back of her Zero Suit flashes and the Power Suit rematerialises around Samus; she breaks into a run and leaps out over the heads of the crowd, firing a slow-moving missile from her arm cannon as she flies. There’s a stunned silence, save a few people who can’t help a gasp – but then Samus lets rip with electric-blue tendrils of Phazon energy, pulling off the ‘ol Robin Hood and shattering her missile into dust (which goes gently snowing down on the heads of some dismayed audience members).
Samus flies over the crowd, bounces off the wall on the other side of the auditorium and soars back to the runway, where she dispels her helmet just long enough to blow smoke from her sizzling arm cannon, then turns sharply and saunters backstage.
WALK 2. ACCOMPANIED BY JEAN-MICHEL JARRÉ’S ‘OXYGENE (PART IV)‘
There’s a peculiar fan of green lasers spanning from floor to ceiling at the front end of the catwalk; all else is in darkness. Her face and the fibres of her Zero Suit illuminated by the neon glow, Samus strides lithely across the stage, one foot clicking down on the hard floor in front of the other in perfect rhythm with the pulse of the music.
As she reaches the arrangement of laser beams, her skin and hair and eyes all glow with a green that looks peaceful against a relaxed expression, but then she furrows her brow in concentration and the emerald shine highlights shadows in her face that clearly tell anyone watching that this is not a woman to be messed with.
Her blue-gloved fingers flit out into the array of lasers, cupping the light from a single beam at a time in the palm of her hand, as if she’s plucking at some enormous photogenerated harp, each string of which beams off into infinity. Each time she blocks the light as it streams towards the ceiling, a synthesised musical note emanates from somewhere in the room, and it becomes apparent that playing a harp is, in fact, exactly what she’s doing. Not content simply to play with her hands, though, Samus starts cartwheeling her legs through the harp’s strings of light, standing on her hands, kicking out – never missing a note, of course.
Her part played, the intergalactic bounty hunter spins elegantly on her heels, showing off every angle of that second-skin-like Zero Suit as the lights go up again and the fan of harp strings flicker out. She holds some impressively flexible poses and does a few flips to demonstrate the agility she can summon while in the almost weightless bodysuit, then calls her powered armour around herself once more.
Starting in the basic Chozo Armour, Samus spins in leisurely circles, arms outstretched, as pieces of the outfit appear and disappear, cycling through different versions of the many suits she’s worn on her travels.
(The above is a slideshow of a bunch of different suits Samus has had on her adventures, and she’s showing them all off tonight!)
Then, with another string of implausibly floaty frontflips, in full heavy armour this time, Samus makes her fabulously badass way backstage.
WALK 3. RINGING OUT, THE MENACING ‘RIDLEY’S THEME‘ FROM SUPER METROID
Now this is a stirring tune if ever we heard one, and one that’s sure to fire up any fans of Samus’s previous adventures all across the galaxies! On the stage, a huge object sits: some sort of enormous cuboid, like a cabinet, with a glass front exposing the flashing lights and spinning contraptions inside. A golden ball, streaks of light flashing out from inside, rolls rapidly out from behind the curtain and streaks up a ramp into the machine itself; Samus, in Morph Ball form, flies around the inner workings of the cabinet behind the glass, hitting targets and racking up points like nobody’s business.
As the ball goes whizzing around inside the machine, the lights flash faster and faster, beeps sounding in quicker and quicker succession, until it can’t take anymore; and finally, with a phenomenal whoomph accompanied by the failing sounds of the machine’s little speakers, the whole thing explodes. The Morph Ball goes flying out, and as it flies up, Samus extends herself out like an incredibly graceful armadillo unfolding itself from a rolled-up shape into a majestic creature. Bad metaphor, but you get the picture! Samus lands on her feet, clad in her shining armour once more, but she’s not the only thing to emerge from the pinball machine: with an unholy screech, a huge wing explodes out of the rubble, followed by a pterodactyl-like body that hauls itself up until the entire glory of the Space Pirates’ high-ranking dinosaur beast, Ridley, is there on the stage for all to see.
No sweat, though: the Arm Cannon whizzes and whirs and revolves through a myriad of configurations, beams of ice and lightning and fire and Phazon plasma shooting from her arm as Samus leaps around the enormous creature, twirling balletically so as to show off every gleaming inch of her gear. She’s putting on a real show for the crowd, making sure everyone gets a good look at their own faces reflected in the mirror shine of her protective armour while crafting a whooshing, sparkling light show, creating something beautiful from something deadly.
With a harrowing roar-croak, the Ridley-thing dissolves into tiny specks of light that float off like little spores, surrounding Samus in a peaceful glow. She lowers her helmet, showing a determined face with not a hair out of place and not a bead of sweat on her brow, then deactivates each part of the suit moving downwards. It’s no striptease, though, she’s far too badass to be doing this for titillation; her purpose is to give everyone a good look at each functionally fabulous section of her prized Power Suit. She tilts and shimmies her shoulders to show off the powerful, broad plates covering them before they disappear to reveal her athletic build in the Zero Suit underneath; she stretches her arms out so everyone can take in the glamour of her shining golden plating and metal-gloved fingers, then turns off the armour there so that her blue-covered arms are exposed; she lifts her legs in graceful high kicks to show that even the soles of her boots are shining, before the armour vanishes and her legs are clad again in the blue bodysuit and the (just so slightly impractical-looking, but she can move and run and jump and dance in them with no visible effort, like a tiger walking on lilypads) heeled boots of the Zero Suit.
One final twirl to show everyone the pink emblems adorning the suit, which flash in time with the music, and then she leaps high into the air and comes down in perfect superhero-landing-pose, the Power Suit reappearing around her just as she punches the ground with one fist and fireworks go exploding around the arena. The lights go out and the music comes to a climax, leaving just a shining afterimage where Samus stood.
And with that, the show’s over, folks!
Well, there you have it. Samus and I were engaged in some pretty heated discussions backstage during rehearsals; I thought we should get her in some different outfits, or at least make more use of her sex appeal (my argument was that it would have been a fitting callback to her place in gaming tradition, actually, since I would just have put her in some of her ‘secret ending’ outfits. I’m not proud of it), but she decided to show a little more class and variety than that and present not only a fashion montage extraordinaire, but also… well, pretty much perform an electronic concept album. We felt it fit pretty nicely with the aesthetic of the game world she inhabits and the technology that she first appeared in, and show that she’s not only a major badass but also a woman of culture, an athlete, and a performer with a pretty diverse skillset.
Of course, this is also partly because I know much less about fashion than I do about music, and my first show was also structured with each participant walking the runway to a specially-selected track just for them, so I figured I may as well be thematically consistent! (Which apparently means ‘kinda forget to actually do close description of the fashion, and instead just go mad with some performance art or something’. I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR WHO I AM!)
Anyway, that was it – that’s the Gaming Fashion Show 2018! Again, DO NOT FORGET TO GO AND READ PIX’S SHOW because Samus’s fashion blowout is really only half the story.
We still have a result to wait for, of course, so watch this space to find out who comes out on top in the end; who wins will be down to our special guest blog-friend judges.
In no particular order, our esteemed friends are:
- Adventure Rules! He knows fashion like a one-legged duck knows swimming in circles. (Twitter! | Blog! | Creating Pokémon trainers for tabletop RPGs!)
- The Gaming Diaries! More vogue than you can shake a sequin at. (Twitter! | Blog! | Experiences of a female gamer!)
- Upon Completion! Works runways, works the scene, works out who’s the most fashionable, we hope. (Twitter! | Blog! | A gaming alphabet’s F instalment!)
This collection of knowledgeable individuals will each be posting their individual verdicts over the next couple of weeks, hopefully (they’re doing us a favour here, so we’re not holding them to a deadline!), so keep an eye on their blogs and Pix and I will make sure to announce the final result once it’s in!
Pix and I hope you enjoyed the shows, and perhaps we’ll see you again for a bigger, more better-er show some time in the near future…
(One final thing. I’ve used several images of Samus throughout, and most of them came from a quick Google Image search. I’m sure that some of them are the work of fans who deserve credit for their talent and effort, but unfortunately I did not have time to find the source of each image and give them the credit they ought to receive. If any of the images I’ve used belong to you, please let me know and I will give you credit here or remove the image. In the meantime, I hope I’ll be forgiven for using some very awesome images without taking the time to do the proper research that I really ought to have done. To everyone whose work I may have used in this article: I’m sorry and I’m grateful!)