Au Ra Bard Fantasia Spotlights Glamour Spotlights

Fantasia Spotlight #5: Female Au Ra (Bard)

I ended up not completely happy with my first attempt at an au ra Fantasia, as capturing something of Alahra’s demeanor is pretty difficult with their existing faces. I decided after that one that I’d experiment with other options when my next shot at an au ra came around, but I really didn’t expect it to happen so quickly! Here we are, though, and I am happy to have gotten another opportunity to perfect Alahra the au ra. I’d been thinking off and on all month about what I might need to change, so when I sat down to work this one out, I was prepared.

Since the “fish fins” face didn’t quite work for Alahra, I decided to play around a bit with the most common one. My original attempt more or less ended up looking too soft (which is regrettable, because I honestly think that face is the best one au ra have access to). I’ve had several people tell me over the years that Alahra can sometimes seem a bit intimidating in her neutral expressions, so I wanted to try to capture some of that this time. I thought going with the swept back horns might open up using glasses again, and the face that accompanies them is naturally a little colder, so it seemed the best option. From there, I adjusted her skin tone as best I could (sadly, I’m struggling to find the best analogue for it, since Raen have an available palette quite different from the one Keepers have).

Once I had all that in place, I decided, more or less on a whim, to play around with a Bard top I’ve attempted to use many times over the years: the Augmented Choral Shirt. There’s a lot I love about Bard’s original AF (and of course, I’ll toss the Augmented Choral Chapeau on just about any glamour where I can vaguely justify it), but the puffy sleeves on the body piece have vexed me for as long as I can remember. Most options for slimming them down are far too heavy to really fit alongside the top, and as a result, I’ve never been able to figure out a glamour for it. But that has now changed!

Glamour Components (Required Level: BRD 60)
Weapon: Raijodo Kai (Gloom Purple)
Head: Orthodox Tricorne of Aiming
Body: Augmented Choral Shirt (Gloom Purple)
Hands: Aoidos’ Shoulder Gloves (Gloom Purple)
Legs: Augmented Choral Tights (Gloom Purple)
Feet: Birdsong Boots

The process for this one ended up being a bit of a journey. As I often do with anything, I started out with the Choral Shirt in Pure White. Because I’ve always liked the way the Tights look in Pure White Dye, too, I decided I’d make those two pieces the main thrust of the glamour. But I quickly ran into problems, which was to be expected. None of the long gloves I could find that worked in Pure White worked with the top. The closest I got were the Augmented Torrent Armguards, which generally fit in with the cloth look but clipped through some elements of the top (and also had some grey-brown accenting that really seemed out of place).

Ultimately, I decided to see what I could do with the purple of the Brand-new Gloves instead, since the Choral Shirt looks great in just about any shade of purple. I thought they were a bit bulky, but they weren’t completely out of place. With the Gloves being purple and black (and the Choral Chapeau being off limits due to my long-standing soft limit of 2 pieces from a single set per glamour), I pulled out an old favorite in the Orthodox Tricorne for a fitting hat. From there, I spent a long time running back and forth between my Glamour Dresser (which I’ve actually started using more actively since writing my recent guide to it) and the Market Board looking for boots.

I wanted something no taller than the knee, since I wanted more of the Coral Tights to be visible than Alahra’s normal thighboots would allow (while also covering the open flare at the ankle, which I’m not fond of), but nothing I had already or could purchase on the Market Board seemed to work. In addition to the limit on boot height, I also needed a pair that were two-toned—either purple and black like the Gloves or two shades of purple like the pants. Nothing really seemed to do the trick, though, and I ended up going with the thigh-high Augmented Torrent Boots instead. It was about that time that the Gloves really started to bug me, though. The longer I wore them, the bulkier they seemed to my eyes, and I had to replace them.

Being still committed to the Orthodox Tricorne opened up the possibility of the Aoidos’ Shoulder Gloves, though, which make having some black a necessity. I’d tried to use them in the past with the Choral Shirt, but previously I had always done so alongside the Choral Chapeau, which meant the black of the left glove had nothing to work alongside. Once I had the different hat, though, they made for a perfect fit. They even have a little bit of red-orange to match the small amount of it on the Shirt, which was a very welcome surprise.

The Aoidos’ Gloves meant the Torrent Boots were totally out of place, though, with their metal and scale being far too heavy a style for a look that was now almost entirely cloth-based. But I had already been through every pair of boots in my collection, and I felt quite stuck. The only thing I hadn’t really done was my usual last resort: browse PvP gear sets. Most of the time, FFXIV‘s PvP gear is far too thematically specific to be useful for general glamour use, so I tend not to think of it unless things get dire. As luck would have it, though, the A Realm Reborn era Birdsong Boots were perfect for my existing color scheme. I chose not to dye them black because they became otherwise too shiny for the rest of the look, and it seemed important to make sure they weren’t a focal point of the overall glamour.

Once I  had the look finalized (and all of the screenshots taken, of course), I swapped back to miqo’te to compare the look between the two races, like I do for each Fantasia. When I did, I discovered something else that’s kept me from being satisfied with the Choral Shirt in the past: it honestly doesn’t look quite right on the real Alahra. I can’t quite put my finger on why, though. Perhaps it’s an issue of torso shape, since au ra females have a more prominent hourglass figure. That said, I’m not entirely opposed to keeping this one for a little while, which is the first time I’ve felt that way about a glamour I put together for another race so far.

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And that does it for this one! I’ve started fiddling around with glamours again in my spare time, so I’m hoping to get back into a more regular posting groove soon! I don’t know that I’ll go back to posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday again, but I’m currently going to shoot for Tuesdays and Thursdays each week!

The vials of Fantasia necessary for this Spotlight were purchased with the support of Fashion Ninjutsu’s Patrons. Your support on Patreon can, among other things (like keeping the site advertisement free), allow for more Fantasia Spotlights, and you’ll be able to vote for the featured race and gender each month!

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