2016-09-10 - Fashion Debut

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Title: Fashion Debut

A mysterious designer named Tsuru has invited all the top fashion houses to an invitational show in Shibuya. Two exciting new fashion lines are revealed: Akai Mirai, featuring Nori Ankou, and Aohime, featuring Kozue Kaoru. A sensation begins that may soon sweep the city...


Akane Kaguya, Fuu Hououji, Kozue Kaoru, Lera Camry, Nori Ankou, Setsuna Higashi, Setsuna Meioh, Tsuru.


Shibuya Shopping Ward

OOC - IC Date:

November 19, 2014 - 09/10/2016

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> One Day Live Your Life 

Flashbulbs clatter as a limo glides into place before the carpet, its passage as sleek as an air hockey puck. Stepping from the vehicle onto tall Cuban-heeled boots, a leathery European regards the convention center with a squint. Ponytailed and white-haired, he exudes foreign sophistication almost as thickly as he leaks disdain. With his right hand he accepts his signature Bauanne Baurollo-brand sunglasses, with his left he straightens his Bauanne Baurollo-brand tie. Everything he's wearing has that name on it. His name.


"Mr. Baurollo? Who do you think AoAka's designer really is?"

"Mr. Baurollo! Mr. Baurollo!" A particularly urgent photog manages to get a microphone in front of the great designer, who stares at it like it was an ice cream cone full of cockroaches. "Mr. Baurollo," she asks, "what made you decide to support the AoAka launch today?"

"Sooport?" Baurollo asks, following the Japanese with some effort. The paparazzi nods eagerly. Unsmiling, Baurollo leans in and speaks into the microphone. "No. Not sooport." His voice is gutteral with some mixture of age, pretense, and dry cigarettes. His unfinished statement hangs in the air. "Destroy."

As a dozen flashes answer his proclamation, Baurollo steps back, lifting an arm to provide an expectant crook of elbow. An assistant quickly fills that gap with a small, luminous white cat, its eerily wide blue eyes unfazed by the shouted questions. Without further acknowledging the crowd, Baurollo continues down the carpet, glancing at the carved exterior of the double doors. This venue used to be a cathedral--knowing Japan, it probably will be a cathedral again tomorrow.

Inside, Baurollo pauses, momentarily at a loss. AoAka is an entirely unknown brand--as far as he can tell, a vanity project for some wealthy heiress. But here inside the venue, he feels as though he's been transported to a top fashion show. Tuxedoed security, well-dressed patrons, and a clean, pulsing soundsystem. Two catwalks protrude from the far wall, currently occupied only by the periodically shifting stage lights. One stage glows blue with them, the other red, with the center mixing to a blurry purple. Baurollo's cat meows conversationally.

"Si, Chopenfield," Baurollo agrees. "Molto volgare."

"Bauanne!" Long-legged and graceful, a blonde woman strides up to greet Baurollo. Her long, fluffy hair is curled gracefully inward to give it even more luxuriant body, her soft features radiant with confidence and grace.


"Ste-lla!" Baurollo cups her shoulders gratefully, exchanging a kiss to each cheek with her. "Mi Aphrodite! You are more beautiful every day."

"A girl has to work to keep up with your genius, after all," Stella replies coquettishly. Stella Amanogawa has a daughter of her own, but she's going to be a girl until the day she dies. "Are you here to see this mysterious new designer's work?"

"I am here to see my own work, on you. Nothing more, mi Aphrodite." Baurollo strokes a gloved hand idly down his cat's back, to no visible reaction from the feline. "I do not have the schadenfreude to enjoy seeing another vain ingenue's dreams burn to ash, but I have the..." Baurollo shakes his hand, knuckles outward, as he seeks the word in Japanese. "Cynicsm, to expect it."

"Ho-oh." Stella is grinning cattishly. "I think you might enjoy it a little, Bauanne. Maybe I should put a little extra swing in my hip on the catwalk today." She offers her hand daintily.

Baurollo smiles for the first time today. "Mi Aphrodite," he acknowledges, and kisses the back of her fingers.

The floor is busy. The Sister Schools were given a limited number of tickets to the event for free, which they distributed as they saw fit; Fashion Club members often getting primacy, others either raffled off (Juuban), distributed first-come first-serve (Infinity), or divided between various committees and usually traded for favors (Ohtori). Infinity students are visible here and there, fashion club members ready with pins to assist the lower-ranked models (or serve as models themselves), AV Club members working the lights. There are some seams in the production; this is not yet an established fashion show, after all, whatever its bold pretenses. The quality of press is somewhat lower here as well, and many of the photographers are credulous enough to start snapping pictures of random student attendees if they look fashionable enough. Still, where there's smoke, people tend to assume there is fire. Many of the biggest Tokyo labels have risen to the challenge, and are present in force. The music pumps, the gossip spreads.

But the designer herself is, as yet, nowhere to be seen.

<Pose Tracker> Akane Kaguya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Akane moves inside after being deposited near the door by her chauffeur. She is given a polite hand to help get out of the car but otherwise is left to her own devices. Handing over her ticket she moves into the old cathedral with a quiet and not quite confident demeanor.

She ambles easily in the sleeveless little black dress with it's cut out back. It sports a high-cut neckline moves down to the short skirt that flare out from the natural waist. Despite the flats she is wearing, she still easily towers over most of the women in the crowd. Not even all the men are immune to her greater height.

She has obviously come to the show alone, but a quiet and serene smile stretches her lips. She takes only a few moments to take stock of the venue, trying not to be overwhelmed by all the lights, sounds and people. Whole seconds pass before she is on the move again. She doesn't stop to talk to anyone, and instead offers polite smiles and a paired half bow to the few that she ends up making eye contact with. Quiet, polite... Practically invisible, if she wasn't so statuesque.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

While Fuu Hououji had some interest in attending the fashion show, she spent long enough trying to decide 'is it worth the time and trouble of going' that all the free tickets got snapped up by more ambitious and/or stylish members of the student body. Fortunately, they needed some help with the computers backstage - and since Fuu was dropping by the Computer Club on the day that one of the organizers was trying desperately to get some help, Fuu committed the cardinal blunder of volunteering to help out.

She doesn't QUITE regret doing so, but it's close. If nothing else, it's been an interesting challenge in real-time problem-solving - not so much 'fixing bugs while the program is running' as coming up with workarounds for the bugs that haven't been squashed in time. Plus, she gets to see the video feeds coming through for whatever is being streamed on the Internet. (It's a fashion show, somebody's gotta be streaming it from the production side instead of letting people in the crowd stream what *they* like willy-nilly)

So when Fuu isn't pinning problems down and advising other members of the production team on how to work around them, she's got a fairly good chance to see the show for herself, almost better than if she were in the audience. (Although this means she's also not going to have a chance to risk getting bored by the production ... so it may be better for her personally.)

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Amongst the controlled chaos of the models' area backstage, Setsuna Meioh prepares, huddled in a tiny island of calm she has carved out for herself. She bends her tall frame down to better see herself in the smudged vanity mirror and applies a second coat of thick purple lipstick with deliberate care. Each of her eyelids is already painted gold, wings of brazen eyeshadow fanning up to the outer edges of her arched brows.

Muffled bass thumps and she taps her foot along to the beat, not even realizing. She's thinking of her tutelage in proper walking, mentally repeating the lessons and movements as if going through the motions. Tsuru had taught her well, and she was a quick learner, but this was still the first time Setsuna would ever walk a catwalk. Eons of practice smoothed her expression, allowing the flutter in her stomach to pass without outward ripples.

Tsuru's beautiful garments deserved her best efforts, and so Setsuna would give them. The dress designated to her hung loosely from shoulders, unzipped, as she applies makeup.

There...! Perfect. Setsuna purses her lips and nods to her somewhat blurred reflection, then looks for another nearby model for Tsuru's line, hopefully one not too busy with her own preparations. "Is anyone available to zip me up?"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Behind the stage door...

Nori Ankou is sitting in her outfit, not quite fastened up, at one of the makeup tables - something with a mirror in front of it, anyway. She has her legs crossed and she is doing her best not to fidget, to be calm and steady, to be a perfect carrier for the clothing that's been arrayed upon her.

She looks at Setsuna Meioh with an attitude of minor awe, which is probably helping her suppress the natural fidgets. When Setsuna speaks up, she straightens and says, "Of course! Here, just turn round -" Her own outfit, blessedly, had no such zips.

"Your eyes look so wonderful," Nori editorializes as she makes with the zipping. She herself has, predictably, gone heavy and dark with the eyeliner, although there has been some feathering along the edges. "-- Do you think-- no; never mind."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna Higashi isn't in the fashion club--she's a little shy for that--but she has a lot of interest in it anyway. She liked it haltingly, without understanding it at first, and then more, as she she got to know one of her best friends, a model. ...But she still didn't admit it.

Now, she hasn't said much about it, but she might as well have with her excitement over winning one of the tickets to the show. She was little shy about calling her friends, not that they wouldn't find out soon enough. But that's all a while back now. Certainly not immediate. They weren't the only ones to get quick calls or messages.

No, right now Setsuna is her, staring at all the photographers while she pauses near the carpet. She leans a little closer to her date a moment. "..." With wide eyes she looks over the set of them before she stands up a little straighter, not wanting to look bad in front of so many people. She dressed well if not formally, casual but very carefully chosen.

Her brighter crimson shirt is the brightest thing on her, with light ruffles down the front and a higher collar, along with a smart jacket in more purple-red against the cold, currently left open. She's also wearing a shorter black skirt, with long red stockings and a another purple-red for her leathery short boots. Her dark purple hair suits how pale she is, pops along with her red eyes, but nothing she's wearing is expensive or designer, just calculated to work for her.

"Let's... Go in."

Is this something Miki has to do...?

Regardless, Setsuna walks right down the carpet with her date, toward the pumping music inside the double doors. Setsuna Higashi wouldn't recognize a church if it hit her in the face, but this cathedral is certainly the home of something wonderful, and her eyes are bright.

She's too short to be a model, she's sure. But she gets a couple of questions that she sort of stares at briefly in passing. Setsuna hurries along faster inside, to the welcome reprieve of...

That's really busy. And she finds herself, once inside, staring at the glamorous outfits on display even from some of the /audience/. ...She might need a little help getting past 'out of the way' and into 'where she's supposed to be.'

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera Camry isn't particularly stylish or ambitious -- at least, not about fashion -- but she had another reason to get in line early and get a ticket. Her girlfriend wanted to go, and it didn't sound like a bad time. A chance to expand her horizons! A chance to see something exciting!

Which is how she ended up here.

She looks sideways at Setsuna, with as much nervousness. By any standards, Lera is underdressed: she has a pair of black slacks on, with matching shoes, and a dark green button-up shirt. She looks a little wide-eyed, and her bracelet hangs from her wrist: green, with a gold gem, and the only ornamentation she has one. Her mouth opens.

She is conscious of the fact people are looking for her. "Y-Yeah," she agrees with Setsuna. "Let's... let's get inside, y'know?"

She walks down the red carpet with her, feeling the music pound under her feet, and hoping the eyes she feels on her aren't as judgemental as they are in her head. She takes Setsuna's arm, then she does her best to keep from staring too much. After they get inside, she looks sideways at Setsuna as they move to their seats.

"They're super fancy," she whispers.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

"Ah, thank you." Setsuna approaches Nori and turns on bare toes, dipping a bit with her knees so the high zipper is within reach. "The gold took a long time to apply, but the effect is worth it, I think." Once zipped she turns again and curtseys in place, gracious. "The eyeliner you've chosen, it highlights your eyes very well. And I cannot wait to see you walk -- I understand you're one of the night's stars. What were you asking?"

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Why was she nervous?

Anyone would think it'd be common sense for a first time model to be anxious before their debut, but that thought seemed like nonsense to Kozue.

She was used to putting on a show for people- or just one person in particular, letting them see what she wanted them to see. But tonight things were- different. It was like going on stage again, but without a true partner, save a silent one. The last time she did this, it didn't exactly go well.

Preparations were done, she'd gotten finished early, tense throughout them. Still. Perhaps it had just been that she was practicing her posture for what was to come but- not precisely. She had to remind herself not to fidget after. The moments of emptiness- stillness, were something she'd always unconsciously respected.

Hands at the small of her back, the weight of the bangles didn't feel strange. She was acutely aware of every eye that fell upon her- maybe she didn't have 'that' on yet, but she was still the focus of some attention. Eyes drawn mostly to the heavy mystique of her blued eyes- to the contours of her features that suddenly look more like her than her when she looked in the mirror this morning. To the shades of her lips, each of them individually. She was wearing her attire chosen for the show certainly- but other eyes were drawn to her eyes first.

In stillness she waited, seemingly unresponsive to any stimulus from the people around her. At least until Nori spoke to Setsuna. That's when her chin turns, falls upon the older girl. Silence for a few more moments, "My. You really flatter her designs well. It's a good thing that we have someone so /experienced/ on our side to set an example for her juniors-"

One would swear there was the lightest smirk, the smallest hint of impertinence in her eyes, playfulness on her words, "-otherwise, how will she-" Her chin tips at Nori, "-ever be ready to lead us into the future?" Her eyes aren't on them much longer, but back in the direction of the stage. It's as if she's saying 'not long now' but not aloud.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Oh -- it was just doubts," Nori says. "I don't think I should entertain them even that much, don't you think?" She smiles up at Setsuna experimentally.

And then looks at Kozue. Nori smiles back. She doesn't quite have a smirk in her. Her cheeks color slightly as she takes in a deep breath, aiming to still herself.

With that Nori looks back to the mirror, and reaches down to pick up the beret and set it properly on her head.

<Pose Tracker> Akane Kaguya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Miss Kaguya slips past a few people so that she can find a nice area where she can get a decent view of the stage. Thankfully on her travels she discovers the snack table. Dutifully she beelines her way towards the catering table.

While tall enough to be a model, her own dress did not stand out enough for it to cause her problems. She snacks away, letting her gaze wander from person to person, dress to dress with no small amount of interest. So many beautiful and important people all gathered in one place, schmoozing up a storm with varying amounts of charisma.

And then, there was her. She stole another cracker with a small slice of cheese resting atop it's crunchy throne before moving to the seating.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I understand that Aohime is up first," a gothic lolita-attired designer tells Baurollo.

"Not a chance," he shakes his head. He's still wearing his sunglasses, despite the dim light. "It is like a casino, yes? The house tilts the board. This Tsuru... she will go last, try to make us all her, what do you say, opening numbers." He sniffs neutrally. "It is fair. We will be leaving her with the bill. This is how it works."

Soundtrack Change - https://soundcloud.com/himmeltengoku/remix-accompaniment-verfc-aquatrax-4ever

The music is fading even as he speaks, and a new song rises, delicate, with a traditional rhythm rendered in modern tones. All eyes turn to the stage, which begins to dim. The stadium-style screen embedded atop the ceiling-length curtains begins to glow white, and a pale blue logo fades into view.



The gothic lolita doesn't dare look at Baurollo. He thumbs his cat's ear as the word BOLD fades subliminally into the screen with a ripple. "You are, aren't you?" he muses.

The lights swivel towards the left stage, illuminating it with a smokey pale blue. A short-haired girl strides out, dressed in a white tank-style top with a twisting green spiral wrapping around and around her torso, licking up to the single thick strap over her left shoulder. She wears a loose, sleeveless hooded grey jacket over it, her slim legs bare between the cutoff jean shorts beneath and the crumpled army-green leg-warmers below. The material on these latter is unusual; it looks like something torn off of an old Japanese tapestry. Though she walks like she's done this many times before, some nervousness is evident on her face; this is a volunteer from Infinity's fashion club. The main event is still to come.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"They really are," Setsuna whispers back.

As it comes time for the show to start, Setsuna remembers herself, and brings Lera alone to where they're supposed to be. It doesn't occur to her that they're judging Lera, of course. Quite the opposite; she likes her outfit.

But the song picks up, and Setsuna's eyes are part of the many that look to the stage. She looks to the logo...

"Oh, look!" Setsuna whispers and tugs on Lera's hand. Setsuna watches this new model raptly, except when she glances to the crowd to make sure whether there's something she should be doing right then.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As the first model returns back along the catwalk, the second stage begins to glow with a warm, velvety red, like the inside of an old limousine. The screen shifts too, darkening from white to black, a red grid of Japanese characters burning into view.

Akai Mirai


The second model is a shorter girl, French-braided, her lashes made up to extravagant length. She wears a white-bodiced black dress, form-fitting and sleeveless, with a golden chrysanthemum patterned on the breast. On those bare shoulders, she wears a long sharp red cape like a wing, fastened with rich brass clasps and sweeping mostly over one arm. She, too, attends Infinity, and some of the more seasoned designers and models in the crowd smirk a little at her inexpert gait, though to less-trained eyes she appears confident and graceful.

<Pose Tracker> Akane Kaguya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Akane quickly downs her cheesy cracker as she settles into a seat while the lights turn down. She sits quietly, hands folded in her lap properly. That gentle smile never leaves her lips as the first of the models makes her way down the runway. She goes through the motions. Nodding her head at the outfit, offering polite applause, and blending into the crowd. The second model receives similar treatment, but something about this second girl has Akane's smile slip into something a little more genuine. She liked the cape, it seems.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Mm-hm," Lera says, with a smile. She looks at the two models -- Aohime and the Akai Mirai -- and smiles, before she looks at Setsuna, and nods her head quickly at her. "Those are really something! The dresses are so... so fancy," she says. "And--and that little cape on her!"

She points at Akai's.

Then, she looks back at Setsuna. "I-I dunno if I could pull those off, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Height means model, right? A few enterprising photogs notice Akane keeping to herself and start surreptitiously snapping shots, trying to identify what brand she might be here representing.

Baurollo steps into place next to Akane. The cameras stop flashing; outside the venue is fair game, but in here they're on thin ice, and they know better than to mess with an experienced designer mid-show. It's hard to tell if he's looking at the stage or Akane, with those sunglasses, but the cat is looking at the tall girl.

"Would you wear that?" he asks curtly. "Any of that."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna keeps watching, her gaze firmly affixed to the model after a brief look behind, as the screen shifts and another girl starts the walk out. She'd loved the first, and anything in red is sure to catch her attention easily. She loved the style on the first one, but the fabric and that red on the second...!

She leans to Lera quietly, "I really like the first one. But the second is really..." A little beat, "Well you don't wear the same styles they do. Clothes aren't just something that's the same for everyone. I--"

She quiets as Baurollo steps out and talks to the tall girl, surprised. <Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The shift in the music prompts Fuu to perk up, looking away from the event livestream and focus on the 'stage manager' windows, her hands dancing over the keyboard and trackpad. This was one of the bugs she spotted and tried to fix ... time to see if it worked properly.

The word BOLD is allowed to linger on the projection screen for a decent handful of seconds, before another ripple effect passes across it and CHIC takes its place - almost subtly enough that you'd miss it, unless you were watching the screen at the moment of transition.

Which is totally not the point - all eyes should be on the models. That's why the ripple animation is so low-key; it's a less jarring transition than if it simply blinked from one word to the next.

And speaking of the next, BRAVE is the next word up while Aohime's first model is on the way back to the stage.

Fuu glances at one of the camera feeds, nodding as she sees the second model on her way out - and they're showing Akai Mirai's work alternating with Aohime's; of course, that *was* the plan.

Akai Mirai's logo transitions to the word Classy - with a ripple that has slightly more of a hint of a flame's wavering in the transition, as opposed to the watery ripples during Aohime's first model's walk. A handful of seconds pass, and the word Glamorous replaces it; shortly thereafter, Glamorous becomes Elegant.

All words, thinks Fuu, which describe the effect of that first dress quite aptly. Maybe she should look into supporting Akai Mirai herself ... ?

Then it's time for the next model to walk out - one of Aohime's again - and Fuu makes sure the words are animating properly with the correct timing. The screen shifts smoothly back to blue on white, with the word COOL ripple-fading in to accompany the model's entry. About halfway (or maybe closer to two-thirds) through her walk, SASSY gently ripples into its place.

And Fuu nods to herself, her attention balancing between the technical aspects and the fashion show itself. She may have her own early preference, but seeing the models showing off the different outfits is more interesting than she'd expected it might be.

<Pose Tracker> Akane Kaguya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Akane takes her gaze away from the second model to rest her eyes on the man and his cat. She gives him a brief once over before giving that polite smile and turning back to the show.

"I would, I think. The dress shows off the body form nicely and the cape adds a sense of power while breaking up the symmetry in a bold and interesting fashion. It's..." She actually has to pause to find the word. "Noble and brave without being overtly audacious. Like a hero. Yes, that's it... It looks heroic. I like it."

"The first model was wearing something very forwards, but also down to earth. It is something eye catching and new, but still something you could imagine seeing in a public venue without being strange. It is something I think I would be comfortable in." She certainly had the legs to pull off those shorts.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kozue's smirk becomes a smile as she turns back to Nori- her hands push off the wall, showing off the fingerless gloves upon them.

She wants to say 'Good luck Nori-chan. I'm glad you're here with me.' but that softness does not serve her. A sharp tongued- "Don't mess this up." - replaces it instead to her fellow model.

Off she walks, perhaps unconsciously practicing the drill again in how she walks - back to another part of the backstage area, back to where all of her careful prep had been performed. She picks something up, feels it between her fingertips, luxuriates in the density- and weightlessness- she casts it over her shoulders, adjusts it subtly in the way it falls, highlights, wraps around her.

Now she was truly ready.

All she needed to be told was-

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Models are already going out, and even so, the designer herself has been absent from the dressing room for some time. She applied makeup for those who didn't insist on their own, she checked the outfits one last time, then vanished. One of the fashion club assistants has been playing stage manager in her stead, and presently has her head leaned out the door, constantly keeping track of comings and goings. "Kaoru-san," she says. "You're up."

Someone didn't get the memo.

Aohime feat. KOZUE

The screen shows no sign of Kozue's family name. The pamphlets, the press release, the photographs... all just labelled KOZUE. It's an affectation so common among Japanese celebrities that it raises no eyebrows, but it's a unique omission; the other models have their last names listed where appropriate.

The passage is clear when the assisant pulls her head out of it, stepping back into the room. It's clear when Kozue glances out, too. But when she actually steps into it, there is a slim white figure, at the end of the hall, just before the curtain. A misty blue light leaks from the stage across her shoulder and down the front of her kimono. She waits for Kozue to get to her, and regards her with eyes that are little more than wet shiny stones in the dark.

"You know you are perfect," she says. She reaches and pulls at the edge of her scarf. After a moment's thought, she strums Kozue's bangs with her fingers, once, lightly. It knocks a lock errant.

"Show them," she urges. Softly.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera quiets, too. She winces when she sees the man talk to the girl -- and then she looks sideways at Setsuna. She nods, once. "Yeah," she says. "I'd probably... er... wear some blue jeans!"

She grins sheepishly -- and maybe a little self-consciously.

"The red's nice," she adds, softly. Then, she looks up, and waits for the girl to come out. Her head tilts to the side, as she sees the blue light shoot across the strange. "I wonder who this is...?"

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> She - Coloris

And there it was. She doesn't even look at the stage assistant. It was the same as being told she was going on concert again. Her feelings about that swirl about but- something about the wrap was a calming presence in how it stilled those waters.

Out into the hall she walks, she might have walked right out onto the walk- if not for the slim white figure in the hall. She doesn't look at her until she closes in, then only her eyes shift. She feels the fingers at the edge of the scarf adjusting it. She dips her chin in acknowledgement, but it doesn't raise right away. "It's time for everyone else to know that too."

Her chin was dipped for a moment longer as she hears the musical cues. She takes a final breath, feeling the hot air across her lips. Her lashes flicker open. Yes, it certainly was time. Past Tsuru she goes, the perception of closeness remained there from her silent partner.

The lights assault her eyes, blinding. The shapes of the crowd grey at first over the bright light, but fast becoming more distinct. But even if she couldn't see them well- they could certainly see her. the first thing anyone sees is her eyes. Blued and shadowed, her eyelids carry a heavy mystique. Her lashes are impertinent, her eyebrows a challenge. Her cheeks, her temples, her chin- her features have been evoked in a way which every contour invites a glance as inescapable as it is unbearable.

Her skin has been made sacral by the lightest dust of foundation, by the contrast of her lashes and the ghost of a cobalt blush. Glossy blue edges line her mouth descending into an abyssal near black near her lips. The gradient is seamless, four shades, a canvas for a true artist.

The hollow at the base of her neck is covered by the luxurious silk of the wrap which seems carelessly, almost impetuously put over her like it's windblown. It ripples like oil in water under the stage lights, a prismatic watercolor of light. It is an intoxicant to the senses- so lovely to look at- how must it feel to touch to the touch?

The wrap hides the top of the straps of a close fitting black tank top, protruding from the wide cut of a looser, creamy light blue top. Black and white kimono-cloth panels running down the sides of her ribcage in a tight yet long V shape. These panels are stitched with black thread which girds their presence subtly. They are shaped such that the otherwise formless drape above is well fitting and comfortable- but flattering most of all. Her navel is left bare, the hem of the drape cuts across diagonally, sweeping to the side sharply. The Aohime logo rests is emblazoned on the lower right of her top.

Her jeans are similarly paneled on the sides, the kimono cloth flexible, a close fit. The garment has a carefree appearance, each panel a different shape, the mark of a different masterpiece of the same artist who shaded her lips, as if they were their paint splattered pants. There's triangle panels near each of the ankles, to let the hem fall around her shoes properly. Despite being jeans, from the way fit upon her thighs, to the way they fall upon her calves, the designer had given them the same amount of attention that they might have to Touga Kiryuu's formalwear. There's a belt at the waist, white with silver fittings, and a pair of fingerless white gloves on her hands.

Her sneakers aren't originals, a fairly standard sporty look, white with black trim, sealed shut by metal fasteners. Despite that, as she passed by- there would be the glimpse of hallmakers of great luxury.

Her body is as tall- taller than she would normally look, back straight, a line with her neck, her clothes fitted so well that this posture seems natural. Her feet move one in front of the other, perfectly straight in this line. There's no need to force or exaggerate the sashay of her hips, that happens naturally from the way she walks in rhythm with the pumping bass of the music. Her arms only move subtly, no exaggeration. A stillness in contrast to the rest of her, but even the simple inertia forward causes the bangles on a single wrist to shift, to draw attention.

With every step down the walk, the end of the wrap behind her floats like smoke, rippling, hanging in the air for far longer than it ought to. The movement seems hazy, dreamlike, with every ripple, seeming to draw people more and more to her.

The walk feels like eternity, not a space of time that can be counted in seconds, not to just herself, but to the audience but that feel is a heady one that stirs something deep within her. It's an experience that makes the Blue Princess herself wish that it would never end. Her lips become an impetuous smirk somewhere down the way. A challenge to those below to just try to reach these heights that she's reached. At the end of the walk at the end, she shifts her weight to the side, allowing her hips to jut out. It accentuates every detail of Tsuru's masterful design, every color, every thread- every detail on her face, for that too seems part of it.

Her eyes catch people in the crowd that she knows- they're looking at her, every eye is upon her after all. Her chin lifts just slightly higher, and then she turns, her head purposefully, slower than the rest of her.

Even as she starts to walk back, she winks playfully, before her head returns to form that perfect line again. The challenge that had been in her lips becomes an invitation to every designer, to every member of the audience in a single gesture, to be a part of what she was, to define themselves by - their love or hatred of her. And thus to become part of the story that was- KOZUE.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The visual and audio effects are good enough that Setsuna doesn't even think about them much--they show off the models to her, though she's a little confused about /why/ there are words on the screen while the models go. It seems like it would just be distracting.

"Not always," Setsuna replies, still quietly, to Lera, without looking her way. "You didn't tonight. I like it." Her fingers squeeze Lera's.

But the name comes out, and Setsuna blinks at it. "It..." No. It can't be the same girl, she's not a model. All the same, she only dimly answers the question. "I'm not..."

She sees eyes, first. Dimly the possibility of being wrong in her assumption registers, at least dimly at first. It dawns slowly, as she looks to each part of the outfit, that beautiful silk, the panels of exquisite thread, a barel navel. The patterns on the jeans. Setsuna is one of those caught up in that moment, that long, stretched experience.

"She's beautiful," Setsuna breathes, and can't take her eyes off of her. It's not until that little look at her that she /knows/ it. She knows who this girl is.

She's suddenly aware of how intensely red her cheeks are.

Setsuna realizes that she quit breathing only as she stammers out, "T-that's... That's /her/! I didn't--"

The little wink only confirms it. A girl from another world stares at KOZUE the whole way back, and if she'd forgotten their acquaintance, it would all be coming back at once.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera's never met Kozue Kaoru before -- at least, not in a way that she particularly recalls, beyond the occasional brush at social events for the Sister Schools. It hasn't been the sort of meeting that stuck out in her mind, and stayed with her memory. Her eyes light up a little, at the hesitation in Setsuna's answer, and she glances to the side.

"Uh?" she asks. "Oh--hey, here she goes."

She looks back at the stage, and watches the girl all in blue walk out. Her amber eyes widen; she feels, at the moment, /completely/ under dressed. Her green shirt and slacks simply don't compare. She squirms, a little, and she shakes her head once.

It's not every day that she sees a presentation like that. It leaves her staring, slack-jawed, as she walks away, and then she looks back to the girl at her side slowly.

She agrees with Setsuna's assessment, suffice-to-say. "...Yeah. That outfit's something, y'know?" she says. "It's really well-designed. You, uh..."

She glances sideways at the girl next to her. "You know her? Er--outside of, uh, model-y stuff?"

<Pose Tracker> Akane Kaguya [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Was Akane going to say something further to the strange foreigner and his cute little dog? Any words to be spoken were stillborn as Akane stared at Kozue. The grace, the poise, the oozing confidence had her entranced.

She was utterly silent during the entire walk down the runway, eyes eyes glued to the older girl. Kozue had won the challenge to the audience by default. When one stands on a high enough pedestal, those below may never be able to reach so high. For all the awe, the beauty, confidence, and magnificent attire, Akane is back to wearing the same light polite smile she wore upon her initial entrance.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Baurollo calmly wiggles a fingertip beneath his cat's ear. It begins to purr, without changing that eerie wide-eyed expression.

"A hero. Is that what young people want to see these days? I suppose irony is like anything else; it only runs so long until its legs go to nubs." He shakes his head. "But you can make a hero out of anything."

Kozue's entrance is unlike any of those previous. There is something about her, something about her clothing, that seems to be on another level, as if the volunteers were mostly there to frame her. It's strange; there's something about her clothing that seems to draw the imagination inward towards it; like it glows on some level the human eye cannot perceive.

As Kozue exits the stage, the lights shift to the other catwalk again. Her presence has changed the mood of the crowd immensely; they are rapt, now, many leaning forward slightly as the music shifts, as the mood of the song and lights darkens and smoothes, the energy shifting to sophistication.

Tsuru's sleeve glows crimson, backlit by the reflected stagelights. Her hair looks slick with red, just a small crescent of her face visible. She faces Nori as she prepares for her grand debut. She lifts a hand, her sleeve falling down from her slim wrist, and with the tip of her pinky, she carefully shifts a lock of hair. Where with Kozue she had added chaos, here she removes it.

"You admire Kozue, do you not?" It has the sound of a distant, distracted thought. Like a hairdresser making small talk while she works blades around your earlobe. "You wish you were more like her..." She smooths the shoulder of Nori's vest with the side of her finger. Stepping back, she seems to leave that thought unfinished. Only when Nori takes her first step, only when it's too late to reply, does her voice return, drifting sidelong into her ear like a falling feather rocks itself to ground.

"Though she is not so pretty as you."

Akai Mirai feat. Nori Ankou

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> One Night in Tokyo

Nori answers Kozue with a small nod and no smile. It is not a hostile retraction, but a thoughtful withdrawal of herself, as she gathers her strength.

Tsuru comes to visit her in this moment, as Nori listens to the music. Tsuru's hand comes up and moves a strand of black hair from the left to the right.

"Yes," she says, quietly, almost inaudible over the music. She holds still as Tsuru makes everything line up and sit just-so. Then it's time for her to go as the music comes up, and Nori's eyes widen as she hears those last words, but it's too late, now everyone can see what she's wearing--

She has no sleeves. An armless black blouse with a slim red tie has been buttoned up, each button black with an eye-grabbing white X. The tie is perfectly neat but slightly asymmetrical. It goes with the vest she has on over it: lightweight, dark red, with a leather panel on the left side reading AKAMIRA in katakana. The vest's cut suggests the front of a kimono, and the tie accents the line further.

Below, skirts. Multiple layers of gauzy lace and bold patterns rustle faintly, held down by pleats and the weight of a brass chain set across the hips. A strip of thigh is exposed between the bottom of the lace and the top of the thigh high black socks, which stay firmly in place and are lush with diamond patterns. The boots are slim and sleek, with small safari pockets.

Back up top: a slumped black beret sits on otherwise undecorated hair, a single black feather dangling at its side.

Nori's heart had been filled with a sort of gelatinous terror that she had been staving off by the mixture of excitement in the air and sheer will that she has had to develop in dozens of grinding quiet dark moments. Now that gelatin - not "chilled" exactly, but under control - has flashed into heat inside of her. It turned into something else. It isn't fear, at least: and that's an improvement.

She steps forwards. The first step isn't quite certain, but the second one is more so, and by the third she has momentum and she keeps pushing ahead. I'm wearing these things, Nori thinks to herself: I've put on a skin that was made, just-so, for me: I have to wear it perfectly, but it's *mine*.

Nori too seems taller now. The boots help, but she has legitimately not held herself well in the past. Now she does. To herself she thinks: I'll be a queen one day. People WILL try to look like me. And so that introspection comes through to her eyes; her lips (dark red) and her eyes (heavily lined) have a thoughtful neutrality to them which shades, oh so slowly, towards the hint of a smile as she crosses that catwalk. There's a sea of faces around her.

She's standing above it. In a sense, walking ON it. She walks with simple certainty, not triumph; is it mastery? Perfect grace? It feels, Nori thinks, like I'm walking on all this bright red light.

Nori doesn't think to look for faces she knows, though there are one or two that are familiar in the periphery of her eyesight. Reaching the end, he turns and looks round, lingering as she was told to. Her hands rest on her hips momentarily, sending shimmers through the lacing of the skirts. She lets herself smile then, only it isn't the smile she's practiced out of habit, but one that comes from somewhere inside. Her upper lip spreads but doesn't turn up; the lower lip parts for a moment. It might be laughter, or it might be a baring of the teeth, but--

Then it's gone and she turns to make her way back towards the dressing room. She will probably flop into a chair afterwards, but for this moment she feels ten feet tall.

Also, her name was written in the exact way she typically writes it, without any hesitation, concealment, or change of lettering. THAT's a contrast, too. But maybe you can only pack so much mystery into any one presentation.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

'Here goes', all right. Setsuna doesn't even look away for the whole time that Kozue is on the stage. When her girlfriend looks at her she's still staring, red eyes wide as she traces every inch of a breathtaking walk. It's...

She doesn't actually notice the first questions, though she feels a little guilty for it just after, as they register in her mind while Kozue is walking back to that hall.

"O-oh, um." Well there's one question. "I, um..." Setsuna stammers out that, too, just loudly enough for Lera to hear. "Do you remember--I--" Her face feels hot as she finally manages to look away, "...She kissed me once."

Her first, in fact. "Back when... Ah! H-here's the next!"

It's with a different air that Setsuna watches Nori, her eyes drawn to the buttons, te red tie, the vest, and so many lacy skirts. The diamonds draw her eyes, too, and the perfect makeup that accents it all. She hasn't forgotten Kozue but Nori is a welcome reprieve, and she dives into watching her on her walk. She watches with a smile, a small smile, even as she feels faint. This girl must be good at this. Such surety...

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The walk back seems shorter than an eternity. Far shorter, like something was making up for the dilation of time with the sudden contraction.

The lights go off, she's left in the shadows just off stage. Instead of continuing to walk, she places a hand against the wall for a while, just breathes. But that rhythm of breathing becomes a light laugh of delight, of release, too soft to be heard off stage through the thumps of the music.

Eventually she turns back around , uses that angle to catch a side glimpse of Nori's own walk, just as it reaches it's climax. Her shaded lips press together- the mystique in her eyes momentarily becomes far less mysterious as she weighs something silently..

While still watching, she adjusts the wrap subtly, then turns and walks around backstage. She wants everyone backstage to see her- just a little differently, than just before she walked onto the catwalk for the first time.

Nori would hear something behind her just as she flops into a chair. She wears a fond looking smile, "Ara Nori-chan. Quite a splash you made out there. I'm impressed-" Kozue leans down, to whisper right next to her ear, something in her smile changes, "-don't let it go to your head, too much. Alright?" A hand falls onto Nori's shoulder, her head lingers there for just a moment, then her hand slides off.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

As Kozue walks the runway with Aohime's motif adorning the screen, the word SPORTY ripples softly into place on the projection, accompanying the woman's appearance as she begins striding along the runway, embodying perfection clad in Aohime's designs.

A handful of seconds pass, and the word on the screen becomes ARTISTIC - which, Fuu thinks backstage, is perhaps the most apt description possible. Really, any fashion designer brings her (or his) art to bear when conceptualizing and creating new clothes, and the best designers are those who make it work without looking like it's "work" at all.

As Kozue reaches the runway's end, CAREFREE ripples gently into place on the screen; halfway back to the stage end, it becomes INSOLENT - which may seem out of place, but ...

Fuu glances at the projection repeater at her workstation, then at a close-up of Kozue's outfit. That combination is pretty disregarding of conventional ensembles, as far as she knows; maybe it fits better than it could have. But then, that's just her personal opinion - and not necessarily a well-informed one, either. The amount Fuu doesn't know about fashion is fairly immense, after all.

And the show continues ...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera feels a little twinge of worry, when Setsuna takes a moment to answer. She looks to the side when she does -- and hears her stammer out her answer. Lera's expression screws up, looking more confused than anything. "/Her/?" she asks. She looks back at the stage -- and stares after where Kozue walks away. She remembers, of course, when she first learned. The jealousy she felt then was intense. It was almost embarrassing -- not the least from Setsuna's friends, back then -- and she frowns.


But things changed a lot, since then. She isn't the same person that she used to be. Nor, for that matter, is Setsuna. A lot happened between them -- and that feeling of jealousy is more like a ghost than something real.

She stays quiet while Nori comes out -- she smiles, not quite catching the meaning of the kimono-like garment. But, she nods to the statement of Setsuna's. "Yeah," she agrees. "She is pretty sure, y'know?" she says. "But... it's impressive. And her outfit was so cool, and that was a pretty awesome smile."

The look might appeal to Lera more than the others. She grins, in a way she hasn't about the others.

Then, she quiets a little more. She glances at Setsuna through her peripheral vision. Her eyes drift to the side, and the grin becomes a smile. Once, she might have panicked; she feels bad for not saying anything in response for so long about Kozue. But, in the end, it's easy.

"So you kissed her, huh?" she says quietly. She leans over, winks, and nudges Setsuna in the ribs. "Not bad!"

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As Nori exits, both sets of lights, red and blue, shift to white and begin to congeal in the center. A great crack in the curtain opens behind the screen, and as the tabi-socked, wooden-sandalled feet of a willowy ghost approach, the screen above abruptly cuts off, a thin closing line at its center horizon fading by the second.

She was supposed to wear something daring, something Euro, or Gaga, or gothic or retro or elegant. Instead, the girl stepping forward wears a plain white yukata, thin, simple. It looks almost like an undergarment, for its lack of ornament, or the kimono one clads a virgin sacrifice in before one feeds her to the Mountain God. Her hair is long, princess-straight, a calligraphic stroke down her back, straight-cropped sidelocks an appropriate frame for a face of such classical, Yamato-style beauty. There is a demure placidity to her thin lips, to herlong lashes, to the dark, colorless depth of her irises. She is all ink and snow, black and white, with only two marks of color. One is the bold, classical vermillion-red lacquered comb fitted to the back of her scalp. The other is a tiny, shocking bead of red on her lower lip--a finger-thick stripe of vivid matte color that glares like an arrow wound.

There is no music this time. Tsuru does not walk like a model; her gait is something else, something subtler. Where a model is confident, Tsuru is simply deliberate. Every step is ritual. There is a balletic weightlessness to her approach. She is not self-conscious when it takes an extra few motions to arrange herself as she comes to a halt; if anything she emphasizes those motions. The straightening of her sleeves. The folding of her hands on her narrow lap, over the murky stone of her engagement ring. Her grace is natural, even animal. Always she moves like this.

Backstage, unnoticed, the small-screen TV monitoring the stage from a camera at the lighting booth fizzes softly, a line of static moving across and down it, unnoticed.

Tsuru lifts her eyes to the audience slowly.

"I do not believe it is the place of a couturier to enlarge her name by her designs, or to sew that name into them, that they may spread her name far and wide. Aohime and Akai Mirai are not my possessions. They are stories, or perhaps roles in a story."

Tsuru's eyes travel the audience once, thoroughly.

"Please accept my thanks, and my great debt, for being a part of that story."

Deeply, humbly, Tsuru bows.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

'Her'. Setsuna doesn't answer right then. She's mostly making an effort not to think about it, and largely failing. She glances to Lera once--and mostly sees her staring back after, sees her frown, before she looks back for Nori.

"You liked that one," Setsuna answers, with a hesitant smile back. She's met Nori, too, but it doesn't feel like the best time to bring it up. She's still pretty embarrassed after realizing she was staring, still trying not to think about it, but acutely aware of a little part she played in /that/ story. She glances back again as Nori is almost back, and sees that smile on Lera's face. She wonders what it's for, and figures it might be for the show. But...

"Y-Yeah. ...She was really nice. I--" 'Not bad!" Setsuna flushes again. "Lera!" The nudge to her ribs only makes it worse. But before Setsuna can actually make her /answer/...

The lights shift and Setsuna glances to the curtain. When she sees the girl in that white yukata step forth, she goes completely silent, and watches. She has little context for the deep tradition of this sort of look, not truly a part of the history of those traditions of the nation or even world in which she resides. But she knows something that demands her silence, and demands her attention. She is quiet through each of those deliberate steps, her eyes on Tsuru through each of those motions. She sees the comb, the simplicity of design of her clothing, that ring on her finger. ...Her eyes, lifted slowly up to them. And her words. Stories...

She's still not so good with stories, but Setsuna Higashi feels for a moment like this unknown girl--this... coturier--is looking right at her.

She is silent at those thanks. She hadn't thought of herself that way... And she isn't sure what she should do, now. Hesitantly, her eyes dart to the rest of the audience.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> One Day Live Your Life (again) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upo4qUQJ56c

The curtains seal away Tsuru, closing behind her receding, reed-like back. Standing alone in the dark for a moment, she carefully sheathes her forearms, each in the opposite sleeve. She intones a soft clearing of her throat.

Outside, the crowd erupts in appreciative applause, and the music joins in, celebrating it. Backstage, a beautiful, violet-haired girl beams up at Stella Amanogawa. This is the famous Momoka Kurumi, charisma model."It's nice that they had such a nice debut, isn't it, senpai?"


Stella grins, a spark in her eye, wrist nestled against one round hip. "It's a great opportunity," she agrees.

"Senpai is a little scary right now," Momoka offers delicately.

Outside, the fashion club members are arranging themselves into two groups. They have autograph boards on offer for those who find themselves starstruck, and as each sets out a velvet (well, faux-velvet) roped barrier, one of the AV crew turns on a light above each, streaking up the wall behind it. One red, one blue.

Kozue, when she arrives, will get about a hundred white cards, each with a diamond-shaped hole punched in the center to match the O in her logo, and of course, with the logo itself. They're made out of a smooth, thick plastic, matte-finished and slightly grainy. Nori's are the same, but black in color, with her red logo and a square hole in the center, like a Chinese-style coin. Both indicate membership in one of the two brands... and only one, as the club members are busy taking down names to assure.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Draped in blue light, she takes her place amongst the fashion club's set up. She's meant to look casual, like she was used to this.

But the swell of pride she feels at seeing so many white cards, punched with diamond holes makes her straighten just fractionally. She's taken care to stay cool, no sweat has caused her makeup to run, no smudge from a touch of her face, she looks just as immaculate as she did on the catwalk.

Signing autograph boards though is a sort of nostalgic experience. In a way that makes her uncertain of how to feel at first- the last time she had done this, she was only about half her size, in more formal dress- signing perhaps only a fourth as many boards that her brother did, which weren't exceptionally many to begin with.

Most of their fans had been adults after all, at an age where they'd turn up their nose at such things. There'd been no lines, just occasional people walking up to them. And yet she still remembers a few little girls who had waited after the concert, shyly asked her on her way out to sign- occasional fanmail from boys who loved how she played.

Yet even the compliments spoken to her or written in fanmail felt backhanded, everything she did associated with her brother. It twisted it upon itself, left only bitterness after that one time...

Things are different now. Noone could associate what happened tonight with 'Kaoru' only 'Kozue' - and that perhaps causes her to take a shine to it. The first few she signs are done slowly, formally, stiff, as if she were paying too much attention to the details of the calligraphy, but then it goes back to a sort of carefree nonchalance in how she signs for her 'fans'.

Questions come. Some get a smile, a smirk. Or her leaning in to whisper, a wink. Everything she does seems to only heighten the image her crowd has of their 'blue princess.'

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Once the applause starts, Setsuna joins in enthusiastically, albeit with a little care for her still-healing wrist injury. Even if not for that experience with one of the models, she had a great time watching the show, loved seeing the clothes and the way they were worn. She thinks about Miki. And she smiles at Lera, despite her earlier confusion.

For the clothes themselves...

Red, of course, is her very favorite color. But she liked the /style/ of the Aohime clothes, even if one outfit in particular made her consider otherwise--Nori's. Both had some other colors she'd wear. And one had the model that made the /biggest/ impression on her...

So soon enough, Setsuna is in Aohime's line. She passed by the autograph boards without really looking at them; she doesn't know what they /are/, and certainly doesn't know what the point of an autograph is. Even if she did, her regard for one of her closest friends means if she's getting any model's autograph, it's Miki's first.

...But she still wants to meet her again, and there she is in line. Despite her desire to meet Kozue again, Setsuna is very patient in line, very observant of the rules. It's instinct; nobody's orderly like a girl from Labyrinth is orderly. But she reaches her chosen model, and there Setsuna stands, purple-haired and dressed all in red with a little black.

"Hello," she greets, and she looks awfully calm for having been so nervous. But she's very different from the last time she and Kozue spoke; much more colorful, with something different in her eyes.

She doesn't wait to keep going. "You were really amazing up there! I didn't even know you were a model." Pause, "I... um." She runs out of what she'd prepared.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera flashed a grin at Setsuna -- but after that, it was a matter of letting her take off, while she looked around.

She had a decision to make, after all. It isn't an easy choice. She stands on the floor, by herself, hands in her pants pockets, fingers wedged in as far as she can. She tilts her head left, then right, between Nori and Kozue. There's a glance in Setsuna's direction. It looks like she has an idea.

But, then she considers which one she would get in line with -- and which fits. She liked Nori's outfit, but it was more about the smile than the clothes. She liked Kozue's clothes, but... it didn't seem like her.

The smile on her face falters.

Nothing in here feels like her, even if it all looked gorgeous. She didn't really put this sort of thought into what she wears -- except when she went climbing or jogging, and that was different. Her eyes glance down at the floor, and she hesitates, shuffling her feet.

She takes one of the Akamira cards, in the end, but it's a little half-hearted.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Nori gives Lera a wide-eyed look accompanied by a small smile, having been seated, of course, and held her court such as it was. She has been less intimate than Kozue, and her expression's changed much less.

(She's imitating someone a little, but who will come up later.)

"You'll look astonishing," she tells Lera. "They'll all burn up with envy."

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kozue finishes off her last signature with a sort of carefree flourish. The starstruck fan bows their head, moves out of the way and 'Hello'. Kozue's eyes draw Setsuna in even now. They're what meets her first. Thus it's unlikely that Setsuna will see her lips until they become a smile- but perhaps possible.

"My. I'm so glad that you made it, Higashi-chan." There's a coolness to her tone at first. The familiarity might make some of the people in the line whisper, look anew at Setsuna. Kozue wouldn't have expected that she'd be here. She always had the impression that Setsuna's family was restrictive and overly protective, given how her cousin had been.

Leaning forward, there's a sort of twinkle in her eyes, a question, genuine interest, "You have been getting out more from the nest, haven't you? Spreading your wings? I do hope I inspired something- special." A beat, her tone shifts into something suggestive, "Maybe we could help with that. You always look good- but branching out never hurts."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna doesn't; she's focused on Kozue's eyes until the moment that changes, and when that changes Kozue is already smiling.

And Setsuna smiles too, hesitantly at first. She misses the coolness of the tone, or rather, doesn't think much of it. She doesn't entirely miss the whispers behind her, but she can't really place any of them or what they're saying, certainly can't see the looks. "Really?" she asks at first, and doesn't quite manage to say more before the question comes.

It's nice, to see that interest in what she's up to. "Um, yes. I really like this sort of thing. One of my best friends now is a model, and--And I moved," she starts, after Kozue is done, and feels herself a little red despite not actually picking up on the suggestive tone. "It was a lot of things. But um." Did she inspire something? Of course she did. But--"You think so?" Setsuna answers instead. "I was thinking about it. I really liked these designs, even if they're not my usual colors..." She starts to trail off, "And you did. At least, you really got me thinking. Not about everything, but about..." This time she actually does trail off.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Ah, miss? Miss?"

One of the fashion club members is giving little apologetic bows to Setsuna. There is a group of new fans behind her waiting--skewing young and female but with considerable diversity. Some of them are giving Setsuna their hairiest eyeball.

The fashion club member grimaces at Setsuna. "If you want, miss, we can take your email, there's going to be a mailing list for Kozue..."

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kozue patiently waits for Setsuna to get out what she wants to get out. "Does that make your friend my- rival?" She teases. Although it's possible that her friend was one of the models helping out.

"Well that's just fine. I certainly don't mind a little competition."

She sees the way Setsuna's face goes red, perhaps exulting in that a little much. But when she stumbles and trails off, she replies smoothly, "I'm glad." On what she inspired. She doesn't press her to reveal more. Just that she has, is enough, "Take it under consideration- I think some of what Tsuru-san has planned will complement you well. It'd be a true delight to see you wearing one of her designs yourself, next time we meet."

But one of the fashion club members is regulating the line, and Kozue certainly doesn't mind that- she doesn't feel annoyed, if anything she buys into it, "Yes- I'm afraid I can't be too selfish with my time Higashi-chan. But it was lovely seeing you again."

And down the line she goes- she gives the next few a little more attention than she would someone she didn't know, just to 'make up for it'.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna wants to answer Kozue's questions in return, but she did take a long time getting her own out. She starts to answer--

But, why is that girl looking that way at her? It confuses her for a moment, but Setsuna has not been on Earth so little a time that she is entirely clueless about the implication that comes next. Her already harried nerves don't quite piece it together as she looks at her. It takes her actually speaking up for it to sink in, but then suddenly--

"Oh! Oh, I'm sorry!" She looks thoroughly embarrassed, red in the face and wide-eyed. She's never actually /done/ something like this before. She turns back to Kozue, "It was nice to see you, too! I'll think about it!"

She steps to the side very quickly, getting out of the way, and the way she jots down her email address mostly out of embarrassment suggests she's a lot more human than she sometimes thinks she is.

...But when she walks back to find Lera again and hide, she does it with a white card in her hand.