"A Form of Escapism"
[Friday, September 18, 2015]
Fortressa and the Pit Group
sprawled around the living room,
using their laptop computers, or in
Toggle Key's case, the video wall.
Penny's two cats had draped
themselves over the back of
the couch like tiny cougars.
Patchwork was playing
with Penny's braid.
Appliqué curled around
the back of Joint's neck,
purring loud enough to hear
from clear across the room.
"Fucking dick," Penny muttered.
Everyone looked up. "Who?"
the Pit Group chorused.
"Abhi Berrycloth," said Penny.
"He's this big-name designer
of really spectacular fashions.
He makes clothes for women,
but he doesn't respect us much."
"And we're pissed with him
because ...?" Socket said.
"He's making fun of everyone
who does the one-month challenge,"
Penny said, rolling her eyes. "He says
fashion should be a form of escapism
and not a form of imprisonment."
"Do you want me to put on
my battlesuit and loom over him?"
Fortressa asked Penny.
"Nah," Penny said. "It's
too much fun watching him
Joint threw back her head
and howled with laughter.
"Penny's right, though,"
said Toggle Key. "Judging
from the website traffic alone,
fashion designers who take
the one-month challenge are
stealing a lot of market share
from the ones who refuse."
"See?" Penny said. "Most folks
want clothes that fit, not just
ones that look good as long
as you don't move too much."
"If you think fashion is bad, you
should see battlesuits," Socket said.
"Aren't those, like, armor or something?"
Penny said. "What's the connection?"
"A battlesuit is articulated technology,"
Fortressa said. "You can design it to do
damn near anything, but it has to fit
the user as precisely as possible."
"So like motorcycle leathers, with
the crash inserts?" Penny said.
"Hyperlight suits evolved with that
as one inspiration," Fortressa said.
"But I build heavyweight suits, and
they're like a tank you can wear."
"That sounds like a challenge,"
Penny said, tilting her head.
"It's a challenge to keep the gear
running," Socket said. "Every fight
does damage, and it needs a lot of
maintenance even when it's not broken."
"That's for a good battlesuit, though,"
Fortressa said. "Wait until you see
the one-size-almost-fits-all battlesuits
from some gimcrack back-street hack-shop
that I wind up fighting half the time I go out."
"Yeah, some of those are deeply pathetic,"
Socket said. "This one time, a guy
punched Fortressa and actually
broke his own mechahand."
"Wow," Penny said. "That is bad."
"You have to think about the point
of the battlesuit, too," said Actuator.
"Some of them are meant to look
intimidating, like tanks. Others are
meant to look elegant or unassuming."
"Yeah," said Joint. "You don't want
a search-and-rescue suit to scare
the victims you're trying to rescue."
Penny giggled. "Oh ... god ...
and now I have a mental image
of a high-end style fashion show,
for Battlesuits ... you know, sort
of Milan Fashion Week meets
Paris Arms & Armour Expo."
"That could work," Fortressa said.
"I mean, why wouldn't it? So far,
the vast majority of battlesuits are
custom-made. The only exceptions are
smallish runs of much less impressive gear
for the police, military, firefighters, and such.
That's often retro-engineered tech rather
than real gizmology or super-gizmology."
"Hmm ..." Penny said thoughtfully,
doodling on her tablet computer.
Then Patchwork slid off the couch
to Fortressa's lap and began kneading.
"Ow!" Fortressa yelped. "Let go, cat!
I'm not wearing my armor right now."
Penny just laughed and came
over to rescue Fortressa from
the tiny particolor panther.
* * *
Patchwork -- She is a shorthaired calico with golden eyes, about six months old. Lively and playful, she gets into a lot of trouble, but Penny loves her anyway.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cat, Good (+2) Curiosity, Good (+2) Energetic
Poor (-2) Mischievous
Appliqué -- She is a brown-and-white tabby with green eyes, about four years old. She is calm and quiet most of the time, although as a lap cat she has an excellent purr. She's lazy, though, and sometimes plants herself where she's not wanted and then won't budge.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cat, Good (+2) Purr, Good (+2) Quiet
Poor (-2) Lazy
Abhi Berrycloth -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and dark wavy hair going gray. He wears a mustache and beard, of which his beard is mostly gray already. He needs glasses. His heritage is British and East Indian. He speaks English, French, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish. Abhi is a famous fashion designer who produces eye-catching works, but they're not very practical -- and he resents anyone pushing him to change that. Even though he makes clothes for women, he doesn't respect them very much.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Fashion Designer, Expert (+4) Visual-Spatial Intelligence, Good (+2) Trendsetter
Poor (-2) Disrespectful of Women
* * *
"Fashion should be a form of escapism and not a form of imprisonment."
-- Alexander McQueen
Escapism and practicality are two opposed aspects of fashion, with escapism far more popular and practicality generally scorned. This is a problem when many shoppers wish to buy clothes they can actually live in. It doesn't help that most clothes for women are designed by men who don't want to make clothes for typical women. As a result, many garments are unwearable or at least awkward. Learn how to design clothes.
Motorcycle suits may be made of leather, which conveys some protection; or body armor, which protects a lot better. In Terramagne, hyperlight battlesuits draw some of their inspiration from motorcycle armor.
Fit is the most important feature of clothing, but the dismal statistics reveal the difficulty of finding clothes that fit. In body armor, fit is essential to good protection. Know how to buy or make clothes that fit well.