Arguably one of the most nuanced, and criminally discounted, female protagonists of the Final Fantasy series, Ashe lays claim as one of my personal favourite FF characters. Ashelia B’Nargin Dalmasca, a princess of a conquered nation, has motives that live within the grayscale of the plain-sightedness of good and evil within most games in the franchise. Alleyway Jack explores this concept best – Ashe as a foil to her antagonist Vayne Solidor, an imperial micromanager for venomous gods, who is also equipped with his own dark, political agendas. All fantasy state of affairs aside, Ashe’s character designs are a tasteful mix of needless dishabille and blacksmithery, and somehow so in vogue.
Reflections of John Galliano’s irreverent couture collection for Christian Dior in 2006 are woven together through bronze-plated threads, battle greaves and pauldrons, adorned in delicate fleur-de-lis patterns. There’s even some Thierry Mugler Fall 1995, with armour bodices, and some Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2021, and its heavy greaves. Akihiko Yoshida, also responsible for designs in Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, breathes such specific life to his work, leaning more towards a medieval fantasy aesthetic. It’s a contrast to the cyberpunk anime of Tetsuya Nomura, or the storybook joy of Akira Toriyama. The fashion is so deftly reimagined, its travelled through before and after its 2006 release.
I am both a Final Fantasy veteran fan and a couture enthusiast – a luxurious makeover for Ashe’s character design, one befitting a crowned queen, would be a moment.
“Christian Dior Fall 2006 Couture” by Sarah Mowers, for Vogue.com
“An Atypical Princess: Ashelia B’Nargin Dalmasca” by Melissa Velte, for Fantasy Magazine
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