Tough Love for Guild Wars 2 Fashion Finalists
Well, If I wasn't destined to win, it must be because I was destined to be a guest judge!
Overall I was super-impressed with the entries I saw as the contest went on. There were so many creative styles! I found inspiration especially in some of the less-flashy looks that still worked well. My own outfits are usually very bright and I think I will be trying more subdued looks in the future based on some of the things I have seen.
But I was pretty disappointed in the final ten chosen. Not (only) because I wasn't in it - I already suspected that my chances were quite small - but because some of the entries didn't seem particularly inspired compared to many that were not chosen. I understand that with so many entries to choose from it can't have been easy to pick finalists. In some cases it seemed like entries were chosen just for the sake of variety - but then if variety was what they wanted why not include a charr?
The following are my sometimes unkind opinions about the finalists chosen. To the finalists: I hope I won't offend you too much, but if I do, just remember that you won and I didn't. That surely will make you feel better about anything I could say!
As far as the entries go I think that the winner should be The Iron Alchemist. The Iron Alchemist may not have the most flashy outfit of the top ten, but looking good doesn't have to be about showing off your legendary. The armor pieces came from different sets but worked well together, the dye was neither too bold nor too boring, and the locations chosen for the screenshots fit with the theme of the outfit.
I give Guades credit for his choices in mixing armor pieces, although I think better screenshots would have helped the entry a lot. A photo with a higher camera angle would have been nice. Still, the dye job was nicely done and I liked the use of red to liven things up while keeping a traditional look. I would put this entry in second place
After these two entries the field looks grim. I have no suggestion for third place because I think the rest fell short. In no particular order, here are my thoughts on the other entries.
The Dapper Asura looks to me like he just stepped in something awful. I think there's a fine line between looking dignified and looking grumpy and this asura fell on the wrong side of it. There is a huge range of emotion and expression that asura can use! I feel like you totally missed the mark here. Also what is up with that bright orange dye? Just because you've got a Ringmaster's hat doesn't mean you should try to look like you're in a circus!
Fallen Angels tried hard to create a nice look and I think a lot of parts succeeded but I can't get over the use of t3 pants. From the random metal tab under the belly button to the ugly dark line it creates around the waist, I think that is just about the worst piece of armor you could have chosen. On top of that, the choice doesn't even seem very creative - I walk by 5 norns in Gladiators Tops + T3 Leggings a day on the way to the trading post from the bank!
I am guessing that the Norn, being the practical people they are, have all gotten together and agreed to use the armor that requires the least amount of metal. That way they can send resources to the Pact for fighting the Elder Dragons. Leggings choices aside, the dye was great and this was definitely the best use of Radiant Vambraces shown by any finalist.
Inathe's pictures were gorgeous to be sure! But I think it would be a shame if Ianthe won just based on the awesome photoshopping rather than the outfit itself, which, while nice enough, doesn't seem particularly outstanding.
Perhaps kitten konekochan did do a nice job of ...wearing pants and a hood. But the dye fails to impress (and doesn't go with the glow!) and the character is just standing around bored in the screenshots which makes me feel bored to look at them.
I can only assume Yago Medava made it to the top 10 because they wanted to include more male characters as finalists. The armor is boring and not even dyed creatively. I don't know what the judges saw in this entry besides cute screenshot locations. I loved the schoolroom shot but what does that have to do with your armor?
Sabishii Kiba, saying that you're a fashonista doesn't make you one - I think your look is a hot mess. The whispers breastplate and aetherblade leggings seem to be aiming for sexy - but the tops of the aetherblade boots ruin the line of your legs and the clunky gloves distract from your figure.
I think the Braham's armor set would have been a much better choice to get away from plate mail. Gladators accessories could have tied it together.
But let's focus on the look you did pick. It seems like the metal highlights in the Aetherblade pieces forced your hand a bit for the pauldrons to try and pull the look together. It could have been helped by better choices for dye if you hadn't chosen the radiant gauntlets and been stuck with the silver and white. I mean really, you're using silver and gold both to highlight the same outfit? Pick a metal and stick with it.
Finally, the monocle. It doesn't seem to relate to the rest of your outfit at all. I guess that is where the noble aspect of your look is supposed to come from?
If I saw you in this outfit but with different gauntlets and a more focused color scheme (maybe a deep red, rich leather, gold theme?) then I might be impressed by your looks when you stomp me in WvW. But currently I will probably die of laughter. Or because I'm bad at WvW.
I love the gorgeous screenshots taken of Persefone Fleur but that Orrian armor kills any sense of majesty you'd expect in a queen. I love what you're trying to do with the mask and the rapier but I think those giant eyes and bodysuit look to the armor just clash with it! A lot of your screenshots seemed to be from the streets of divinity's reach... and the bodysuit makes me think you are walking those streets for less-than-noble reasons. I definitely give you points for keeping up with the latest trends by using brand-new items though!
So there we have it! The top 10 finalists! Oh, did I forget one? Ah, yes.
Ciaran Paine II's look, while not objectively bad, was almost as boring as the backgrounds used in the pictures. Where's the creativity? If you have a basic look, you could at least make the pictures fun to look at instead.
And that was the full top 10!
In the end, I hope none of you take these comments too seriously - I have a great deal of respect for all the work everybody put into their entries. And the entries that frustrated me the most were ones where I could tell a lot of effort was made but I simply disagreed strongly with certain choices. Obviously my opinion is different than that of those judging though, so I wish you all the best of luck!