The style in our stars: Supernaturally gorgeous glamours

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Aetherflow – Spring 2019

Gather ‘round weary travellers, warriors from distant realms, or Ascian embodied corpses! Do you have the courage to see what the fates have in store? Are you brave enough to witness the flash of the draw to foresee your future? Will the cards speak of your heroism or will the suits plague your thoughts with worry? Did the fortune teller even remember to shuffle?

As an astrologian main, I’ve always found myself falling in love over and over again with every aspect of the class. As wielders of a celestial tarot, astrologians attempt to predict the future with their draws by empowering their companions with the will of the cards. It is these cards that, today, we place our focus. They may only flash upon the screen for mere seconds at a time, but the artwork and detailing upon the face of each one is so beautiful that it makes a Bob Ross painting look like a second grader’s doodle. That’s no mere happy tree, that’s a serpent wrapped Bole that has saved a tank or two. How many tanks have happy trees saved from death? None.

The glamours you will find within are a pleasant mixture of both literal and conceptual interpretations of the suits within the astrologian’s Deck of Sixty: Bole, Ewer, Spire, Spear, Balance, Arrow, Lady of Crowns, and Lord of Crowns. So now, with the reveal of a card, may fate and fine fashions flash before your eyes.


The Bole

Cast your eyes to the skies, my friends, and see the outline of the first celestial heaven mapped amongst the stars! There you shall find the Bole; the serpent-wrapped World Tree kept by the great Matron and the Keeper. Which reminds me of the whole “Key Master/Gatekeeper” set up from the original Ghostbusters movie, but I’m sure this is a much healthier work relationship. The face of the card itself is one of the most breathtaking of the bunch.

The World Tree is depicted with such wonderful detail- the twin serpents not only wrap around, but in some cases actually become parts of the tree itself. Down in the roots we spy their striped, snake-like tails, while the branches are partially symbolized by their great maws. On top of that, the coloring is just spectacular with the gradient of cool tones amongst the leaves down to the very warm shaded roots. Combined all together, this makes the defensive card a sight to behold.

But how does it translate into a wardrobe when there’s no humanoid object to draw inspiration from? With a lot… a lot of difficulty. Not only are there so few items in the game that dye with a gradient as starkly contrasted as the card itself, but there are even fewer glamour pieces to make you resemble a full on tree! Shy of having my friend put on his all brown glamour with a green afro, I was struggling to find a suitable place to begin. It was then that I shifted my focus from the tree itself to the more subtle details on the card. Call in Samuel L. Jackson, cause we’re about to bring some mother effin’ snakes into this article.

Despite the fact that this group of PvP gear sets is by far my favorite range of looks in the game, I often forget about them and their animal like features. How? I don’t know. The scholar chest piece is one of my favorite dresses to wear to eternal bondings. I use the sleeves on my astrologian constantly, and I’m pretty sure I featured part of the ninja in a recent blog post. But, then again, yours truly uses the flashlight on her phone to look for her phone. Fortunately, I had an “ah-ha!” moment and remembered that the dragoon Snakeliege set existed.

The Snakeliege Scale Mail was perfect for a number of reasons. First, and definitely the most obvious, was that you had an actual snake wrapping around your torso. Second, was the wide scales. Those scales represented that perfect marriage of the serpent and the World Tree becoming one like they do in the illustration. Even though they’re mail, those scales are a great material representation of the tree’s bark. There was one glaring flaw with the piece, however. I’m a gal who likes symmetry and even though I was as pleased as a fat cat bathing in the sun to have the one snake, I desperately wanted the twin as represented in the card. I saw no other option than to have our model’s face become the snake herself! By using the Ghost Barque Mask of Maiming I was not only emulating the face of the second serpent, but the horns along the side of the mask seemed like a great way to conceptualise the snake’s heads fading into the branches of the World Tree.


The Balance

Ah yes, Balance; reveal one of these to your party members and they all start losing their minds like fan-girls for an Aymeric sighting. Back, fiends! This card represents the Heaven of Fire, and boasts the visage of the sun goddess Azeyma: The Warden. Who can resist the allure of this stunning beauty- draped in fiery reds, and purples, and donning a majestic pair of wings to carry her to her divine throne? No one. I bet you even tried and failed. Don’t let it get to you though; just means you’re no better than the rest of us who became enthralled by her.

Fortunately for most of the humanoid cards within the Deck of Sixty, their wardrobe consists of outfits vaguely modeled off of items we actually have in game. The trick is finding the items that dye most appropriately.

Just off of the design and shape of Balance’s dress, a very logical choice would be either the Star Velvet Himation of Casting or the Himation of Healing. Both have the heavy draping on one side of the piece with the bralette showing on the alternate side. However, for this look it is important we attempt to get that same, stunning ombre effect that she has on the card. If you dye the Himation of Healing red, most of the dress stays the original color with the one drape dyeing red. Do the same with the Himation of Casting and the entire piece changes to varying shades of the color you selected- clearly making it the better option for this look.

The headpiece is the major challenge here- and I’m going to go ahead and beg Yoshi P. to implement that massive flowery, bow and gold filled monstrosity into the game. I will glamour into it and NEVER TAKE IT OFF for a week. And for those that know me, a week is a century long in the life span of my glamours. Nothing in game currently will be a perfect match to this hair pin, but you do have options depending on what you want to focus on. I liked the subtle pink flowers so the chest piece stayed the primary focus. For those of you who want to focus on the horns in the background for a more ominous look, I highly suggest the Republican Signifier’s Horns.

The rest of this look is incredibly simple, as the primary focus is supposed to be on her actual dress. However, “simple” by no means implies that you should slap Emperor’s New pieces on the rest of the slots. You just need to look at the finer details of the illustrations to see if there’s anything you can do to highlight them. Her legs, for example, down by her ankles you see intricate, gold lines threading up her calves. The Thavnairian Tights would be a great piece to utilize to represent that, and to give a little more visual interest to the look. Same with her feet. Since you cannot have bare feet in this game without the use of a mod, I chose to dye the Gaganaskin Sandals of Casting a color that most closely matched her skin tone in order to make it look like she was simply wearing an ornate anklet. It’s the little details, my friends, the little details.


The Spire

It is said in the third heaven that a great spire constructed by Byregot rises into eternity and is riddled by constant levinstrikes from Rhalgr trying to bring it down out of jealousy. Because, even as a deity, you still have that annoying little brother constantly trying to knock down your impressive Lego tower.

I surprisingly had an easier time with this look than I did Bole. How? I’m not sure, because there are precisely zero items that make you look like a building. A tin can as a low level tank, yes; but a skyscraper? No. But we treat this the same way we should be treating any cosplay or other inspired glamour. What shapes are highly represented here? What colors do I need to pull into the look? What’s happening here in the background that we can pull into the outfit?

Structure is by far the most important aspect of recreating this glamour. The look will need symmetry, need to be clean and crisp, and we need to kill it with metallic details. If you glance at the Spire card, you will notice that the building almost has an Ishgardian style to its form, which makes sense since this job was introduced in the Heavensward expansion. Long, spiked towers and majestic archways throughout- we needed a strong chest piece that could mimic aspects of this design. My first go to was the Replica High Allagan Coat of Casting. This jacket was highly structured with its sharp lines and did have pale, gold accents that we needed. But to me it felt very flat and one noted. It didn’t feel majestic enough. The majesty I needed was in the Gordian Gown of Casting. Here was a piece that had not only the color range I strived for, but had those same sharp lines as well as curved pieces along the hem to mimic those archways! And if that wasn’t enough- those dagger like protrusions of the shoulder were utterly perfect representations of those slender towers!

But just as every Christmas Tree needs a starry topper, our Spire needed its golden peak. We needed something just as sharp and lean to pierce through the heavens to make this look worthy of Rhalgr’s envy. What better piece for the job than the intricate Rakshasa Kanmuri of Casting? This helm looks like it was completely inspired by the Spire’s pinnacle itself!

Want extra bonus points to take this look completely over the top? Equip yourself with one of Ramuh’s levin infused weapons and take command over the bolts that were intended to strike you down.


The Arrow

I always loved how the arrow card was described on Gamer Escape as being meant to deliver clarity to those plagued by indecision, overcontemplation, and confusion. Well load me up with those arrows, hunny, because those are probably the 3 most used words to describe me. Hi, I’m Ved- I’m indecisive, I over-contemplate, and am perpetually confused.

Arrow was a tricky look to emulate since the gear portrayed doesn’t have an exact match within the game’s wardrobe. Much to my chagrin, there are few male tops that are particularly “chesty” that could also be dyed. I tried the Coliseum Galerus and some summer seasonal tops to no avail. But, instead of raising the flag of defeat, I refocused on items that may have coverage but perhaps have additional accessories that would help provide a more asymmetric look.

Enter the Republican Sagittarius’s Chiton. Not only did this garment provide extra armour upon the left shoulder, but it also boasted the loincloth along the waistline – which ultimately would give us a little more freedom with pant choices! Did we lose the hunky look of a bare chest? Sure. But we gained so much more in return. And I’m all about the return on investment when it comes to clothes.

Asymmetry is a big part of this look, obviously, to the point I’m not even sure why I made the point to reiterate that to you besides the fact that I’m now on my fourth cup of coffee and the jitters are starting to kick in.

Can’t be helped; it’s far too early for wine, so we just have to make do. But, as I was saying; asymmetry. Both the top and bottom portions of this outfit really herald that concept. In order to bring that same look down to the pants, I found that the Summer Evening Trunks worked great. Not only were they one sided, but they still looked very rugged and earthy–very fitting for our wandering hunter.


The Ewer

Ewer; represented in a similar fashion to the visage of Aquarius, the water bearer. Here the card’s visage pours aether from his vessel, releasing the endless stream of magicks unto the world of Eorzea. His image is very clean and immensely simple which was a much welcomed change after trying to sort through the endless trials of looks for Bole and Arrow.

When it comes to looks as elegant, yet basic as these, it really opens up the chances for characters of all jobs and levels to recreate. We now, fortunately, have a plethora of longer skirts to choose from that are not gender locked, and a vast range of level one items that can be used by any class. One such item was the Wild Rose Bandana. It’s an ornately patterned headpiece that does a lovely job of pattern mixing, which is something we don’t see too very often within this game. Another such item is the Thavnairian Turban. Both of these items were perfectly suitable for a representation of the Ewer card since both have some pretty nice perks. The bandana, though undyeable, has a very eye-catching combination of contrasting colors that’d work great for this look, whereas the turban has ornate features such as the gold clip and the feather, but fell a little flat when dyed. Honestly, you couldn’t go wrong with either piece, but I went with the bandana simply because the color contrast really caught my eye- which is sometimes difficult to do when the glamour is very minimalistic.

I know I’ve said this in basically every article I’ve written in my entire history of glamour writing, but I cannot stress enough that small details matter. Case in point: depending on the skirt you chose for your interpretation of this look, you may not be able to always visualize the shoes. Does that give you clearance to wear the Dream Boots underneath your flowy garb? No, it does not.

Why? Because there’s people like me that are so glamour obsessed that watch your character as it runs to see how well the shoes go with the look. I can’t help it; I’ve tried. If I’m going to admire your look, I’m going to inspect you and admire the entire damn thing. Right down to the nitty gritty.So next time you don’t bother glamming those hideous pants because you’re wearing a dress, know that I see it and am slightly judging you.

Anyways: shoes. Whether you can see them or not, I tried finding a functional shoe that has nice coverage by the ankle and top of the foot while still feeling like it belonged with the look we were creating. For me, the True Griffin Caligae of Striking pairs really nicely here. There was a deconstructed look to the item that made it feel very organic to the entire outfit.


The Spear

Halone’s sheer might, beauty, and grace adornes the face of this stunning card in all her glory. It was by far one of the easiest looks to recreate for this piece! Unlike the Arrow, the garments illustrated on the Spear are actually an almost perfect replica of the PvP Halone’s Mail set in game.

However that doesn’t mean we get to just throw on the whole PvP set and call it a day. There’s a reason I said “almost perfect.” Spear’s image features an uncovered face, allowing her hair to flow wildly behind her. Equip the helm in game and you lose that entirely and gain a sweet chin guard instead. Nothing says beautiful like a hunk of metal surrounding your face; may as well give Halone a set of braces too. Goddess of Fury: an awkward freshman with a mouth full of metal and a face full of pimples who’s too cool to ride the bus to school anymore. No; instead I opted for the Republican Eques’s Headgear. We still get that beautiful wingspan along the sides, just with a little less coverage to allow us to appreciate the beauty of Fury.

For this look, the boots posed a slight challenge. In the actual image of the Spear, she has one sandal-clad foot, while the other is completely bare. Unfortunately, there are no shoes in game where one is shown and not the other… despite how interesting and kind of cool that would be. So focusing on the one boot she does have, I was reminded instantly of those caligae sandals all of us wore early on in our leveling processspecifically the Hard Leather Caligae. There was nothing overly amazing about the shoe, but there’s always something to be said about a gladiator sandal, in game and in real life. It’s simple, yet very visually interesting and really added a nice touch to this look.


The Lord of Crowns

The first of two face cards we were introduced to at the start of Stormblood have a slightly different artistic style than the original six. Both the Lord and Lady are portrayed as the dominant figure of the card but are not a full-body image. Thus, we get to take a touch bit more liberty with their looks than we did some of the others.

Lord was quite possibly the quickest of all these glamours to sort through and piece together, with the two most important items being his coat and crown. The design of his crown is very simple and clean- not ornate like the Paragon’s Crown or similar items. The Augmented Gallant’s Coronet worked wonderfully. It was a true crown, but was completely metal in its design and completely absent of any bling. Just because you’re royalty doesn’t mean you can’t also be practical and modest.

Now, his overcoat, on the other hand… that is a touch more gem encrusted. I can appreciate a guy who knows and respects the line of appropriately accessorizing. His crown may have been simple, but his coat is a perfectly balanced combination of fur, puffy sleeves, and jewelry that I’ve only ever seen in one particular piece: The Alpine Coat. That coat is the epitome of everything I’d imagine a noble lord ever wanting to wear. Brocade fabric? Check. Fur? Check. Jewels? Check. Frilly neckline? DOUBLE CHECK! I wanted to keep the rest of his glamour just as simplistic as his crown. Regal, but not so over the top like you would get with an actual king. The Anemos Sarouel is a great pair of pants to utilize for this look as they were more subdued, but still has textures and small details to keep the piece more visually interesting than it would be if you picked a more plain pair of breeches.


The Lady of Crowns

Maybe it was the pastel coloring, or maybe it was the frills on top of frills on top of the fluffy skirts, but the Lady card definitely gave me Marie Antoinette vibes. Loosen up those bustiers, hunny- we’re about to eat cake.

Except don’t loosen that bustier up too much because we’re going to need the Thavnairian Bustier for this look. Now even though the bustier isn’t as voluminous as our beautiful lady’s gown is, the neckline is a pretty spot on representation. The trickier part, however, would be her gloves. For me it was a toss up between the matching Thavnairian Armlets or the astrologian specific Anemos Constellation Armlets. The Constellation Armlets have really neat pleating on one side that is very reminiscent of the card, but that was just the problem: it’s on only one side. The other side of the armlet is very slim and didn’t really have that over the top “cupcake princess” look I wanted to go for. Thus, the Thavnairian Armlets won! They at least brought the volume I so desperately wanted to bring into the look.

I think the aspect of this particular outfit I liked the most was the use of the Wand of Flames. As glamour obsessed as I am, I always forget the existence of wands for white mages. I mean, when was the last time outside of a leveling roulette that you saw a character with a wand? I even think that Yoshi P. forgot about their existence and that’s why there haven’t been any past level fifty. It’s terribly unfortunate because they’re gorgeous. The pink coloring to this particular wand melds the glamour with the background of the card in the most beautiful way. Definitely the cherry on top of an already pretty glamour.

Thus we have reached the end of our reading. Interpret the cards as you will, for your fate and your fashions are both your own to change as you see fit. The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed.

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