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Fashions of Equestria (Chapien, SteelEagle, Davroth. All others - invite only)


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Rarity gave a content sigh as she stared at the beauteous dress lying in front of her. With it's vibrant rose colour, elegant cut and the delicate inlay of glossy pink gemstones, it was nothing short of fabulous! Staring out of it, Rarity was filled with a bright surge of beaming pride. This was going to be the next step for her, she could feel it already! Today was going to be a good day for her. In her mind, there wasn't the sightly chance that something may go awry.

The young, up and coming designer found herself at, Fashions of Equestria, a fashion show currently in Manehattan. She was no stranger to fashion shows; no, she tried her hardest to attend as many as she could. There was no better way to capture the attention of the world of glamour than by showing one's latest masterpiece. This show was a pretty notable one too, a traveling show that hit many cities. Normally Rarity would be opposed to anything that kept her away from the boutique for so long, but she was thinking she'd manage in this case. if not, she could always just pull out. Just staying with the first few shows would be enough to get new faces through Carousel Boutique's doors, she was sure.

She had a lot of confidence. The only thing that concerned her somewhat is that the model she was to be working with evidently was a rather young one. This was not necessarily a bad thing, she supposed, though in some cases the young ones could be more details. She was also apparently going to be working with a photographer and neither they nor the model had shown yet. That was mildly concerning considering the show was to start relatively soon, but Rarity wouldn't worry just yet. No, she remained with optimism in her heart.

Smiling and humming quietly to herself, Rarity adjusted her working glasses and started to once more look over her dress thoroughly. She reckoned she had just enough time to check for the fifty-seventh time that every inch of the gown was perfect down to the smallest of details.

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Manehattan. For the uninitiated, Canterlot was the center of arts in Equestria, but for someone like Photo Finish, Manehattan was where everything big in the world of fashion had its roots. It was just something about the town, how it attracted talent from all around Equestria, coming for the promise of success and fame, and most of them failing, naturally. But those who made it in Manehattan, those had all what was needed to be a star. Be it models, designers, artists, they all wanted a piece of the Big Apple.

The blue mare of fashion tapped her hoof impatiently. She had been waiting for almost 5 minutes and counting, and it already felt like an eternity. Why was he late? He knew exactly who much she hated waiting. [colour=#dda0dd]"Vere are you, Pikture Perfekt?!?"[/colour] She mumbled to herself.

She wasn't even really sure why she had agreed. The designer, one Rarity from Ponyville, had been flown in, by some benefactor, and Photo Finish surely wasn't having any of that. She was some new, hot discovery, and part of what annoyed her about that, of course, was that she wasn't her hot, new discovery. Then again, a renowned fashion magazine like hers couldn't allow for an event like this to be uncovered, and she would cover this event. Oh, would she ever cover it.

It had been kind of a relief to be able to get Picture Perfect to be part of the show. They had known each other since forever, and he was probably the closest Photo Finish had to an actual friend, though she would never think that word. In her mind, he was in the esteemed circle of ponies who's opinion she at least considered before just going with her original idea anyway.

She glanced over to that so called Miss Rarity as she made final adjustments to the garments she had brought for the show. They didn't look bad on their dummies, but a lot came down to the model. Everything had to fit perfectly before you sent it out on stage. Photo Finish had seen the model, and she was doubtful. Then again, amazing success or big bust, both made for good material for her. And really, in this business, there were only those two options.

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Picture Perfect hated being late. This was rather unfortunate, as it seemed that the fates had conspired against him to ensure he would not arrive to the fashion show on time. Picture Perfect had been in Hoofenheim, visiting his family, for the past two weeks, and it was a long train ride from Hoofenheim to Manehatten. He had gotten the earliest possible ticket to Manehatten, and when she had finally arrived at the train station (two minutes early, mind you!) the train was... delayed! Apparently there was something wrong with the steam engine or something or other. He made a mental note to complain to whoever ran this railroad on his disappointment, and had boarded the train nearly two hours after when she was supposed to have left.

The train ride itself was horrible. A foal sitting behind him would not stop kicking his seat, and when the train finally did arrive in Manehatten, it took thirty minutes for her to retrieve all of his equipment and art supplies from the train, and then, the typical Manehatten crowd took literally an hour to navigate. By the time He had arrived to the fashion show, He was already exhausted. He quickly showed her pass to a rather big looking stallion, and was admitted to the back stage area, where his friend Photo Finish and whoever the fashion designer was were presumably waiting.

Quickly regaining his composure, he opened the door, "Here! I am here!" he said, and quickly headed over to Photo Finish's side.

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[colour=#663399]"Yes. I do believe we have achieved perfection!"[/colour] Rarity chimed excitedly as she stepped back. She gave a resounding nod and clapped her hooves to the floor. [colour=#663399]"Why, Rarity, you beautiful, wonderful old filly, I do believe you have truly outdone yourself here!"[/colour] she gleefully declared in conversation with herself, giving another nod.

It did look so very perfect. She was just dying to see it on her young model! It was bound to look just fabulous. Speaking of which, shouldn't the model have arrived by now? Or at least the photographer? They were kind of starting to cut it close and yet no pony had made their presence known to her. Wouldn't that be the worst? This marvelous dress going to waste because of those she was working with not being prepared. She simply wouldn't stand for that.

"Here! I am here!"

A voice called out then, causing Rarity to breathe a sigh of relief. [colour=#663399]"Oh, excellent,"[/colour] she mouthed as she turned around. She was taken aback to see not one pony in the room with her, but two, one trotting in to meet the other.

She was even more shocked to find that she knew one of these two mares, and not in a good way. Her eyes narrowed as she stepped ahead. She was Photo Finish, one of the most insufferable of fashion minded ponies she had had the displeasure of meeting. Rarity could recall with perfect clarity of the indignities she had suffered at this ponies hooves. Her beautiful fashions snubbed like second rate trash, Fluttershy's very world upheaved for months at end, long hours lost writhing and wallowing in the miserable throes of jealousy, despair and uncertainty... and it was all this pony's fault!

[colour=#663399]"So it's you?" [/colour]she started with a huff. [colour=#663399]"To think that after all that happened you're supposed to be my photographer? [/colour]

[colour=#663399]"Just how long have you been just standing there anyway?"[/colour] Rarity added after a pause, her glare falling into an awkward smile.

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The blue mare of fashion gave the white unicorn known as Miss Rarity a doubtful look, cleverly concealed behind her trademark goggles. She seemed familiar, but Photo Finish couldn't quite place her. That probably meant that she wasn't all that important. Her expression didn't really change outwardly, though, as she struck a pose. [colour=#dda0dd]"Yes, I.."[/colour] She began, completely ignoring the mare's tome, raising her muzzle for dramatic effect: [colour=#dda0dd]"... am Photo Finish, editor-in-chief of Couture, and zis is mein associate and assistant, Picture Perfect."[/colour] She pointed to the effeminate looking stallion next to her.[colour=#dda0dd] "Ve are here to cover zis fashion show."[/colour]

She gave the mare a second glance. Yes, something about her definitely seemed familiar. The way she moved and the way she talked... maybe she had been a model? She'd probably remember, right? Recognition was one of her more valuable skills after all. She still couldn't tell. And she felt a headache approaching, so she stopped thinking about it and returned to the matter at hand.

[colour=#dda0dd]"I haf been watching you for a few moments." [/colour]She continued, a little impatiently[colour=#dda0dd] "So! Ven vill ve begin? Iz your model ready yet?"[/colour] She gave the stallion next to her a glance. [colour=#dda0dd]"And vere is mein equipment, PP?"[/colour]

That had bothered her right from the start. She was used to have dozens of cameras and a wide array of lenses at her hooftips when on a photo shoot. Here, though, she'd have to work with minimal staff, because too many ponies would disrupt the show. Not that Photo Finish cared all that much, but the organizers had been very adamant about that point. At least she had Picture Perfect as an assistant. He couldn't quite replace her entourage, but he came close.

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Picture Perfect glanced at Photo Finish and smiled slightly, replying quietly, "Ze equipment is in the suitcase just over there." He gestured behind him, where a somewhat large case sat, large enough to contain a camera, tripod, and a small flash, though not much else. Picture Perfect knew that Photo Finish would be working with very minimal equipment on this little expedition, and he also knew that Photo Finish's complaints were inevitable. No matter. He was very much used to Photo Finish's... behavior... by now, and knew exactly what to expect out of her.

He then turned his attention to the fashion designer, whose designs would be used on the model and would be the true highlight of the show (a fact Photo Finish would probably never admit to). He approached her and offered a hoof. "I am Picture Perfect, und I am Photo Finish's associate, as she said. Und you are...?"

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[colour=#0033cc]"She would be Miss Rarity,"[/colour] came a coltish voice that nearly quaked with excitement, cracking at the edges with barely restrained glee. It was strong yet had a vulnerability about it that came when a pony found himself starstruck and overwhelmed. Luckily, as starstruck as he was, Rarity acted as an anchor for him. His past meetings with her had been fruitful. Indeed, he wouldn't have been here was it not for her generosity.

Valen was a colt of some great means, his family name being worth more alone that many businesses. He didn't shy away from using his wealth to engage in just about any activity that he fancied at the moment and indeed, until very recently, he had been slotted to attend this event. However, a recent airship crash- the only one he had heard of so maybe calling it a 'recent' one instead of the only one- had sidelined him. He had suffered physically but the real damage had been psychological. A fear of heights crept up and took hold of his little coltish mind and oddly enough a fear of the dark, the night, as well. Theater-level seats at a fashion show with no lights around him certainly seemed to fit the bill and so he had cancelled his planned attendance. As much as he loved fashion- and anypony who was anypony who knew Valen Orange knew he had a love of fashion- his little mind was too busy recovering from trauma to deal so directly with fears.

Maybe Rarity had saw this or maybe she had no clue either way. Regardless, an invitation was soon extended to Valen to spend the show in the back, with her and other creative types. Immediately, he accepted and from that day on(and it had only been a day or two) he was as giddy as a schoolfilly. He dressed in his fashion best, the suit that Rarity had made him in Ponyville. It wasn't as comfortable as the dress but he had to obey some social conventions in return for being allowed to attend alone. The dress would have to wait, he figured. Rarity would be here for the night, yes? She would have to see the result of her work when he was prim and proper as opposed to struggling to maintain respectability on a farm.

In his suit inspired by Sapphire Shores(and humming one of her biggest hits), he made his way to the show, flashed his pass at several security officials, and then found himself wandering right into the middle of fashion royalty. Rarity he knew well, and more importantly, knew her fashions. She had a way with clothing was beyond being called truly rare or simply divine; it was ephemeral, almost mystical. Then there was Photo Finish, the first(and if you looked at sheer majestic quality, only) mare of fashion photography and journalism. He had heard that they had hired the best around to make the show appear otherworldly, but it still came as a shock. She had a reputation amongst fashion-conscious readers, undeserved or not, of having some rather extreme methods and for being hard to work with. These rumors would die or thrive after this night. The final one was a pony that Valen could not place out of his knowledge, but it was a quick process to find out his relation. The fact he didn't know who Rarity was almost set Valen off.

[colour=#0033cc]"One of Equestria's best designers, no doubt. You won't find her designs challenged and questioned for quality by the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture, whether they be her haute couture designs that you can find celebrities such as Sapphire Shores wearing on the red carpet, or the prêt-à-porter pieces that the boutiques here in town treasure so," [/colour]Valen suddenly struck a pose, his mane tossed elegantly over his shoulder as he allowed his back hooves to take the weight, posing dashingly with his front hooves to show off the sheer splendor of her design. He had a lot of practice in front of mirrors at home, though it was often in entirely different clothes.[colour=#0033cc] "Her work is impeccable! She even made a suit look smashing!"[/colour]

He let the pose die and followed with a respectful bow to Rarity.

[colour=#0033cc]"Thank you for the offer, Miss Rarity. I was considering not coming due to a recent accident, but I couldn't hold off on the sheer thrill of seeing a fashion show behind the scenes,"[/colour] He then turned to Photo Finish, also bowing as became a youth of his upbringing.

[colour=#0033cc]"An honor to meet you, Madame. Your work on Couture IS the standard in all of fashion,"[/colour] He finished with a smile, extending a hoof out for Picture Perfect.

[colour=#0033cc]"My name is Valen Orange, and it is great to meet you as well, Mister Perfect. How long have you worked with Madame Finish?"[/colour]

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[colour=#DDA0DD]"Yes, I[/colour][colour=#DDA0DD]... am Photo Finish, editor-in-chief of Couture, and zis is mein associate and assistant, Picture Perfect. [/colour][colour=#DDA0DD]Ve are here to cover zis fashion show."[/colour]

Rarity's jaw went slack as she stared at the mare for practically half a minute. She couldn't possibly not remember any of that? Could she possibly be ignorant of the ugly misery she had wrought? Rarity gave a small sigh. Why was she even surprised? A mare as arrogant and obstinate as this one likely didn't recognize anypony or anything that wasn't contained in her woefully small private circle. Rarity needn't get worked up over this pony; she should pity her really. Convincing herself to cool the dramatics was unfortunately a difficult task for one such as Rarity.

[colour=#663399]"Oh, believe me, I'm more than aware of who you are,"[/colour] she said, not hiding her frown. [colour=#663399]"I doubt it's something I could ever hope to forget," [/colour]she threw her mane back and gave a resounding huff.

[colour=#DDA0DD]"I haf been watching you for a few moments. [/colour][colour=#DDA0DD]So! Ven vill ve begin? Iz your model ready yet?"[/colour]

Photo Finish spoke characteristically quickly, not allotting much time for a response. Before Rarity could give any semblance of response she addressed her assistant, this Picture Perfect. This pony responded in turn and then addressed Rarity, giving an introduction and asking the mare her name. Rarity opened her mouth to finally speak, when suddenly another pony made his presence known.

[colour=#0033CC]"She would be Miss Rarity,"[/colour]

Rarity chuckled. Valen's excitement was endearing. He was exactly what she needed in dealing with this incorrigible mare. Young, bright and a good friend. He had been through a lot with her and she really looked out for the colt. She felt, especially with the confusion he seemed to be going through, he really need the guidance she had to offer.

[colour=#0033CC]"One of Equestria's best designers, no doubt. You won't find her designs challenged and questioned for quality by the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture, whether they be her haute couture designs that you can find celebrities such as Sapphire Shores wearing on the red carpet, or the prêt-à-porter pieces that the boutiques here in town treasure so. [/colour][colour=#0033CC]Her work is impeccable! She even made a suit look smashing!"[/colour]

Rarity giggled demurely as she smiled at the young pony. [colour=#663399]"Why, Valen dear, you do so flatter me. With talk like that I should really consider hiring you on for the Boutique's PR!" [/colour]she exclaimed, with some more laughter.

[colour=#0033CC]"Thank you for the offer, Miss Rarity. I was considering not coming due to a recent accident, but I couldn't hold off on the sheer thrill of seeing a fashion show behind the scenes,"[/colour]

Rarity gave a curious frown at the works. [colour=#663399]"Oh? An accident, dear? I hope it was nothing serious..."[/colour] she started, looking the colt over. He looked healthy and unharmed at least. This cot really did have the worst of luck though. Between the poison joke and raging bear that made a point of targeting him last Winter Wrap Up and the mountain that collapsed in on the two of them, burying them underground, not to mention any number of other little incidents she'd hear about, this unfortunate little colt really did seem to have it rough.

Valen also gave a few words to Photo and her assistant. Rarity just nodded as he did until he started to address Picture Perfect. Mister Perfect, did he say? Rarity shook her head and started to stare a little. The assistant's voice had been hard to read and the look and style of clothing worn suggested female... but now Rarity just wasn't sure. Though maybe Valen, considering his own habits, had a better sense for this sort of thing. She gave an awkward laugh and looked back toward Valen, not sure what to think.

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Photo Finish glanced at Miss Rarity doubtfully. She was visibly... not well. Photo Finish wasn't an expert on that by any stretch of the imagination, but it was something that went beyond the usual pre-show stress. Maybe she was sick? That wouldn't bode to well for the fashion show. You always had to make last minute adjustments, and the blue mare of fashion already predicted a disaster.

Regardless, a story was a story, and this show had the potential to be the one of the bigger ones this season. At least the appearance of Valen Orange seemed to have a positive influence on the young designer mare. And he made a good, first impression on her as well. Aside from his good manners (which fell on deaf ears with Photo Finish, who barely noticed even sincere flattery), he clearly moved with the poise and control of a natural model. Maybe this shooting wasn't going to be that bad after all.

[colour=#dda0dd]"Ah, ve haf been expecting you, Herr Orange. So ve can get started?"[/colour] She asked into the round, then addressed Rarity specifically. [colour=#dda0dd]"Now?"[/colour] She tapped her hoof. She wasn't used to not being in control, but this whole show had been financed by a some very influential ponies, and one of the conditions of having her covering this event was to give the designer complete creative freedom. Yet, curiously enough, she had been specifically asked to be the photographer to cover this event. Just as if there was some previous connection with someone related to the event. Surely it wasn't Valen Orange. She knew for a fact that he hadn't been in the fashion scene for very long. Then again, she didn't really care. What counted were the pictures, and getting a good coverage of this potential bust.

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(( OOC: Sorry for the long delay! ))

Picture Perfect turned to face Valen the moment he had entered. He had honestly not expected a pony to appear, and for a moment he simply stared, a bit dumbfounded, at the newcomer, simply listening to him ramble.

[colour=#0033CC]"My name is Valen Orange, and it is great to meet you as well, Mister Perfect. How long have you worked with Madame Finish?"[/colour]

Picture Perfect blinked and smiled at Valen, shaking his hoof gently. "Oh, I've known Photo Finish since the both of us were still attending the Canterlot Academy of Arts. We've been good... ah, friends, ever since. She's attended a great many of my own art exhibitions and as such, I am more than happy to offer my assistance to her whenever she requires it."

"Besides," she smiled, "Traveling gives me the opportunity to see new places and often inspires me to paint. I'm a painter by trade, you know."

He couldn't help but begin to wonder why Valen Orange was here, and what his role in the entire production would be. Was he simply here as a visitor, or was he going to be playing some key role in the production? Photo Finish and Rarity both seemed happy to see Valen, leaving Picture Perfect a feeling that she was hopelessly out of the loop. Was Valen supposed to be the model? If so, that would be highly irregular - but also extremely interesting and likely fun to work with. Regardless, Picture Perfect had no doubt in his mind that this tour of Equestria would be both productive and entertaining.

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It was nice to see Rarity, and he was happy that she felt the same. Ever since his stint in Ponyville he had felt close to the mare and he was just happy to see that he could bolster her in some way before her big night. It was the least he could do, and thinking about that eased his thought processes as he moved to answer her question.

[colour=#0033cc]"Yes, well, do you remember that airship crash south of Stalliongrad a few weeks ago? I was on it. An awful experience but thank Celestia nopony got hurt...seriously, anyway. Physically, at least,"[/colour] Valen gave a quick, nervous laugh before swiftly moving onto the next chain in the sequence.

Valen was momentarily taken aback by Photo Finish's question. Did she think he was somehow involved in this show? The thought was admittedly somewhat tantalizing, but mostly as a flight of fancy. And beyond that, how could she have been expecting him? He also had to say that her straight to business demeanor was somewhat disarming but he figured that he wasn't going to judge. She was, after all, the first mare of fashion and if getting there had required sacrificing a pleasing attitude, then so be it.

Valen gave a nervous chuckle before dismissing the though politely with a gentle, wafting wave of his hoof.

[colour=#0033cc]"Oh no, Madame Finish. I am not a model. Simply someone eager to see such excellent fashion in the fabric, as it were. Miss Rarity is a fabulpus designer and your credentials are such that there isn't going to be a show of this quality in Manehattan for some time,"[/colour] Valen, ever the polite colt, nonetheless allowed himself to have a gentle gait as he moved away from her. It wasn't that he was angry or offended, just more along the lines of being a little creeped out that he believed she would prefer robots over ponies.

This allowed him to take in Picture Perfect's words. Valen was aware of Rarity well enough to have registered her confusion; she probably though Picture Perfect was female. It was perhaps Valen's only advantage that he could make out the small differences that no amount of proper attire, experience, or makeup could cover. It was harder to look for such faults on Valen only because as a little colt he was distinguished from a filly in a laughably small number of ways. A stallion didn't have such luck. It was good to hear that he had passions beyond fashion, an unsuitably unusual scenario amongst the fashion inclined.

[colour=#0033cc]"Oh, you paint? That's great. I love art. How often do you have a chance?"[/colour]

As Valen spoke, an attendant rushed in, his eyes moving from pony to pony to pony as he came to a stuttering stop in front of Rarity and Photo Finish. In his mouth was a note and a picture, which he placed on the table.

[colour=#660000]"A disaster! Disaster!"[/colour] He wailed dramatically, eyes closed shut and hooves flailing in the air.

[colour=#660000]"Gilded Lilly is sick and will not be making the show. What can we do without the model!?"[/colour] He continued, flailing about some more and knocking over the note and picture. In the picture was a gorgeous filly with a somewhat pronounced snout made up in the most stunning spring dress, her orange coat shining and teal mane done expertly as the dimples on her face drove dozens of colts daily to break down in fits of adorable-induced hysteria.

Valen heard this and turned around, face sagging.

[colour=#0033cc]"No model? No show?"[/colour] His face dropped some more. Even this was a disaster! Better to have remained home and save himself the soul crushing sadness.

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[colour=#0033CC]"Yes, well, do you remember that airship crash south of Stalliongrad a few weeks ago? I was on it. An awful experience but thank Celestia nopony got hurt...seriously, anyway. Physically, at least."[/colour]

Rarity's eyes widened. She had indeed heard of this terrible incident, but she had had no idea that Valen had been involved. What a terrible thing to have to go through. Honestly, with Valen it was one horrid misfortune after the next. She really felt sorry for the colt. Such a darling colt as he didn't deserve to go through such things.

She gave a sigh and shook her head. [colour=#663399]"Poor thing..."[/colour] she said as she smiled at him. [colour=#663399]"Life is never allowed to be easy for you, is it?" [/colour]she added quietly, looking downward.

Valen went on to exchange words with Photo Finish and Picture Perfect. She continued to appreciate how Valen praised her, hopefully cutting into the cold air between herself and the incorrigible photographer. If she was going to work with such an exceedingly difficult mare, she wanted at least some semblance of respect after all, otherwise this was going to be nothing but the worst of headaches.

Rarity listened as the colt turned to the assistant. Evidently, this really was a stallion, for he did not correct the colt. He was apparently an artist who had gotten wrapped tightly into the self-absorbed photographer's little entourage. She wasn't sure what to make of him, really, but for now she supposed it didn't matter. Things were looking like they were to go well.

[colour=#660000]"A disaster! Disaster! [/colour][colour=#660000]Gilded Lilly is sick and will not be making the show. What can we do without the model!?"[/colour]

Or, apparently not. Rarity stopped dead in her tracks a moment, frozen. No model? But how was that possible? They needed a model. If they didn't have a model, who was going to model what needed to be modeled. Rarity's face went aghast with fright and desperation.

[colour=#663399]"This is... This just cannot be, this is..."[/colour] Rarity started shakily, her anxiety evident as she moved back and forth again. [colour=#663399]"The WORST. POSSIBLE. THING,"[/colour] she punctuated with dramatics, hanging her head in worry.

[colour=#663399]"Whatever are we going to do without a model?" [/colour]she started, as she looked at the dress and then back at the others. [colour=#663399]"I mean, I can't very well fit in this dress and I don't think any of you c--"[/colour]

Rarity stopped herself mid sentence as her eyes found Valen, then darted back toward the photo of the model and then over toward Picture Perfect. Gears slowly started to turn in her head. It made sense. The colors were similar; he could pull it off. Valen was most comfortable dressing as a filly anyway. She smiled a devious smile and stepped toward her young friend.

[colour=#663399]"Valen, dear... I was wondering if you might consider doing for me a certain small favour..."[/colour] Rarity said, a certain shakiness underlining her sweet voice as she stared intently at the young colt.

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The blue mare of fashion sighed quietly. She wasn't much of a talker, and this already took far too long for her taste. But she knew that there was no point in trying to break this off now. She'd just have to wait. To her surprise, the young colt Valen Orange denied being the model. She remained doubtful, though. The colour of his coat seemed to fit with the dresses, he had the physique and the right posture to pull it off. Maybe it was a little unusual for a colt to wear clothes obviously designed for females, but Photo Finish wasn't one to judge a pony because of something like that (or even care to begin with). He too looked a little distressed now. She chalked it up to his little accident, or at least she hoped that was the case. With Miss Rarity acting so weird, and Valen, too, the last of thing this show needed was an epidemic. She had seen it before, with so many ponies working together in enclosed spaces. She's make sure to disinfect her hooves later.

The chit chat continued, and of course, her most trusted associate since college couldn't help but put her on the spot. Friends. It was one of those words being thrown around a lot, even if it wasn't really part of Photo Finish's vocabulary, mostly because it would ring entirely hollow if she used it, but she didn't fault him for using it for convenience's sake. She didn't really like it, though. She threw him a disapproving look, which would be kind of hard to even pick up on, since it basically only manifested as a slight movement around her muzzle, since most on her eye region was covered by her trademark goggles.

[colour=#dda0dd]"Ja."[/colour] Photo Finish proclaimed, when her associate talked about his life's work. [colour=#dda0dd]"I haf had several articles about his works of art in Couture. He made a name in certain, exclusive parts of ze art world already."[/colour]

[colour=#dda0dd]'...und only zere.'[/colour] She added in her mind. As much as she believed in his potential, he was still waiting for his big break. She lacked understanding for the abstract art he specialized in. And she had leaned out of the window far by giving him more exposure through the hoofful of specials she had written for Couture, which had certainly worked. In due time, he would make it, she was sure.

A messenger arrived, bearing distressing news. Apparently the model wouldn't come. Gilded Lilly. She remembered her. She was good, and elevated most shows she modeled in. It was kind of a big blow to loose her for this one. But instantly, the blue mare of fashion saw opportunity! Miss Rarity seemed very unhappy about the news, too. But she quickly turned her attention to Valen, and for the first time today, they both seemed to be on the same page.

[colour=#dda0dd]"Herr Orange!"[/colour] She exclaimed, pointing to the young colt.[colour=#dda0dd] "Ve need a replacement for Gilded Lilly. You vill model for zis show."[/colour]

She struck a dramatic pose. [colour=#dda0dd]"You haf ze right posture and you are similar enaf to be a good Ersatz. Let'z not waste any more time. Ze show is going to start soon, ve need to hurry."[/colour] She was secretly excited about this turn of events. In her mind, everything was already set. Even though an experienced model was an asset for a fashion show, it was far more interesting for her when a complete newcomer was involved. Maybe she could even scout Valen for future model work. All of the sudden, this show had become a lot more interesting.

[colour=#dda0dd]"Now!"[/colour]

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Picture Perfect couldn't help but smile at Valen. His sense of fashion was uncanny and extremely enthusiastic, particularly for a colt. "Fashion ist not my speciality. Photo simply drags me along on her many..." he stiffled a brief chuckle, before continuing, "...exploits in fashion. Mein primary passion is to paint, and since Photo Finish only needs some help - after all, she ist the best photographer in all Equestria - I am mostly free to paint on our travels."

Just then, as Picture Perfect finished explaining his rather interesting relationship with Photo Finish, an attendant burst in with an excessive amount of theatrics and drama, stating with much fear that the model (a filly evidently named Gilded Lily or something like that) would not be able to attend the fashion show. Picture Perfect was filled with a feeling of dread, his emotions masked by his glasses in a way similar to Photo Finish, though his emotions were a bit more obvious as he nervously chewed his lip, not saying anything.

As he listened to Miss Rarity and Photo Finish's suggestions though and their seeming lack of anxiety, he began to slowly smile. Perhaps Valen could be a model - it would be highly irregular of course, but it could prove to be a very interesting experience! He simply nodded his consent quietly (not that anyone would notice or care).

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It took Valen a few seconds to realize what Rarity's pleading eyes yet somewhat hungry smile asked, the favour implied being so obtuse that for a full second Valen gave a laugh. Then that second passed and her mischiovous intent was clear.

[colour=#0033cc]"You're, uhh- you're not joking!" [/colour]He pulled back in alarm right before Photo Finish blasted him on the right side like a bullhorn. She could make ythe proudest stallion whimper like a terrified schoolfilly through no act other than mere insistence.

He jumped up like a frightened cat, front right hoof pulling in daintily out of habit.

[colour=#0033cc]"M-Miss Rarity, I'm not even a model!"[/colour] Valen pleaded, a little terrified though truth be told there was a nervous excitement cutting through.

[colour=#6633cc]"Nonsense, dear! It's easy; anypony can do it! Why even the most timid pony I know once captivated countless many out on the runway! You haven't a thing to worry about,"[/colour] Rarity replied, sharp and direct, punctuating her words with a stomp of her hoof.

Valen considered what Rarity had said, biting his lip. He had an idea of what she spoke about. A model called Fluttershy had shone briefly, brightly, amongst the glittering pantheon of fashion's greatest. She had been dainty, terrified, and rumors circled of her shyness being almost perverse in its extremity. He had met Fluttershy during Winter Wrap-Up and found that the rumors were true. It was true that the assembled talent had once made her a star and if they could work magic on her, then they could on anypony. Even Valen. Yet the apprehension was high. This was beyond unusual. Beyond scary. Their competence wasn't in doubt, just his own ability, his own fear.

[colour=#0033cc]"But all those people. It's scary!" [/colour]He offered up as another excuse, the image of hundreds of people mocking him playing sourly in his head.

The mare shook her head and gave a sigh.[colour=#6633cc] "Come now, dear! Truly there's nothing for you to worry about here. You' do great, trust me!"[/colour]

Valen nodded, looking over the fine dress. It was absurdly beautiful and under normal circumstances he would have kicked this Gilded Lilly across the face to get into it. yet to model it in front of all these people, in front of the assembled media- this was his secret. What in Celestia's name would happen if crtain people found out? His life in the Academy would be ruined! He'd be the laughingstock of Manehattan, he was sure of it.

[colour=#0033cc]"B-but what if everypony finds out I- that I do this sort of stuff?"[/colour]

[colour=#6633cc]"Oh, but Valen, darling, nopony will be the wiser,"[/colour] Rarity said with a gentle smile. She then gave a nod, and for extra encouragement added, [colour=#6633cc]"Besides, you'll look just fabulous up there in my dress! I just know you will!"[/colour]

He gave the dress a once over, twice over, thrice over with a near-professional glean. It was stunning, as befit Rarity's work and Valen could hardly contain his impish desire to put it on. Gilded Lilly must have looked almost exactly like him, as from its form to its styling he knew that he could wear it and wear it with aplomb. He sighed and trotted into the dressing room.

The attendant had been silent this whole time, recovering gamely from the shock of events. It wasn't everyday that you experienced such crushing lows and dizzying heights!

[colour=#800000]"Oh Celestia, that was almost a disaster! If we hadn't a model, then we would have had to put her in the clothes and she isn't fit for show!" [/colour]he motioned to another attendant with braces and glasses off to the side, who gave him a swift kick in the haunches as she dropped a folder off at his feet.

[colour=#800000]"Owww!...I probably deserved that,"[/colour] He said as he brought the documents out to inspect them. A minute later, Valen came out hesitantly, eyes scorching a hole in the ground.

The attendant nearly growled.

[colour=#800000]"Eyes up! Spine straight! Flank up!"[/colour] The attendant moved Valen in accordance with his desire before laying out a two-page document littered with information about Gilded Lilly.

[colour=#800000]"You are replacing Gilded Lilly, a Prench model who moved to Manehattan a few years ago. I've worked a few shows with her. She's talented, confident, and truth be told, sort of a diva. If you're interviewed after the show, you'll need to keep up appearances," [/colour]He slammed poor Valen with all of this information as two makeup artists went to town on him. So dizzied was he by the stream of worrying information that he couldn't register what he looked like as the music started.

[colour=#800000]"One minute!"[/colour] the attendant yelled.

[colour=#0033cc]"Mon doux, Celestia!"[/colour] Valen's breath had a horrified tinge to it, though his classical training in the fine Prench language would finally have use.

[colour=#800000]"Are you ready?"[/colour]

A moment of silence as Valen took a deep, pregnant breathe.

[colour=#0033cc]"Oui."[/colour]

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  • 2 weeks later...
Rarity waited in anticipation as Valen took her dress and, a resigned look on his face, trudged toward the dressing room. She gave a weak smile. She was glad that he was wiling to go through with this for her. A strong showing in a show like this could mean big things for her, and so very much of it did depend on the model. She had poured her heart into the dress, making it perfect, but it was out of her hooves now. She felt bad that it needed to be forced on him, but was so grateful that Valen was willing to take on that burden for her. She just hoped he could actually pull it all off and work past his noticeable anxieties.

Valen emerged, but was soon surrounded by a number of attendants before Rarity could get a good look at him. The attendants did their jobs well, doing his makeup, fixing his posture and telling him how to carry himself. With a Fancy word of confirmation, the attendants swarming the colt backed off, allowing Rarity to finally see their work. She gave a small gasp, stunned by the beautiful filly in front of her. Valen looked even better than she might have imagined.If she hadn't known better, she wouldn't have even assumed this was the same pony. She wasn't seeing Valen Orange, she was seeing Gilded Lily.

[colour=#663399]"Oh, Valen! You look so glamorous!" [/colour]Rarity half squealed as she cantered toward him, all smiled. She had every urge to hug him tightly, but her wish to neither ruffle his dress or smear the perfectly applied makeup allowed her the resolve to resist. [colour=#663399]"Come, you simply must take a look!"[/colour] she added as she grabbed the colt by the hoof and took him over to a large upright mirror so as he could gaze at the beautiful filly reflected in it.

[colour=#663399]"I was correct! I doubt there is a better model I could have had to wear this dress of mine!"[/colour] she chimed proudly, smiling at the foal. It was like he was meant to be a filly... though, come to think of it, a prior conversation with the colt had lead to similar conclusions by the mare. Maybe...


[colour=#ffa500]"The show will be starting shortly! All models and photographers please get in your places now!"[/colour] an officiator with the show then announced so that all could hear.

[colour=#663399]"Now Valen, don't you worry. You'll do just lovely out there,"[/colour] she said in a kind voice, smiling and nodding. She pointed toward where some other models were gathered around some show staffers. [colour=#663399]"Listen closely and do as they say. Don't let the crowd get to you!"[/colour]

[colour=#663399]"Now, as for me... I need to find a good place to watch from,"[/colour] she started, excited but understandably nervous.

Rarity gave another nod as her and Valen went their separate ways. She found a place off to the side backstage where she could safely watch the show as it happened alongside some of the other featured models. A few anxious moments passed for the fashionista, watching the sizable crowd gather and find their seats in the audience. It was a rather good showing; Rarity hoped it wouldn't produce stage fright in her young, inexperienced model. Soon, the crowd was al seated and the lights had been dimmed. The DJ for the show started his music, setting the mood for the show.


Just minutes later, the voice of the show's announcer filled the hall, immediately hushing the crowd, [colour=#ffa500]"Good evening, fillies and gentlecolts of Manehattan and welcome to Fashions of Equestria, the most exciting, trend-setting traveling fashion show in all of Equestria! We pride ourself on showcasing only the very best talent--the most accomplished designers, the most captivating of modes--and presenting for you only the best styles now hitting the fashion scene all over Equestria!"[/colour]

The announcer paused a moment before continuing, her voice excited but kept at a manageable level, [colour=#ffa500]"Now, kicking things off, we have two dresses from Trottingham's Dapper Raiment: a truly elegant gown worn by the stunning Miss August Grace and a lovely and chic summery piece being sported here by the equally lovely young Miss Serene Star!"[/colour]

The DJ increased his music's volume as a quite tall earth pony mare with a rather serious expression, dressed in a purple gown sauntered past Rarity and out onto the runway. As she was reaching the end, a pegasus filly with a more gentle expression emerged to follow, showcasing a relatively short green dress. Rarity nodded at the display. Her rivals in the fashion world were as good as to be expected. No one would be making any mistakes here. She truly hoped that Valen would be able to pull through this for her and shine just as brightly as the models currently making the walk were.


(ooc: everyone is completely free and encouraged to move the fashion show along as much as they want)
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  • 2 weeks later...

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Now that everything was prepared, Photo Finish nodded to Picture Perfect, then made her way to the main room. He should know what she wanted. Now that the models were finally ready, she could do her job, and cover the event properly. She had a VIP seat, naturally, and had insisted on having one for her assistant right next to her.

The announcer had already started, and that brand of music that was so popular these days was playing. In a passing glance, the blue mare of fashion had to acknowledge that it was a very well put together show so far, but all this meant nothing. It all hinged on the performance of the models, and the quality of the dresses. That was all that counted.

Paying little mind to the other guests, Photo Finish made her way to her seat, similar to a shark among a school of fish. She sat down, waiting for Picture Perfect to catch up to her. There wasn't much time. The show was already starting, and she hadn't even set up her tripod!

[colour=#dda0dd]"PP?" [/colour]She exclaimed, looking around the crowds of ponies in the darkened room.[colour=#dda0dd] "Vere are you? Ve don't haf much time!"[/colour] She said to herself.

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Picture Perfect, quite unlike Photo Finish, was often slow and deliberate in his movements, and today was by no means an exception. He made his way over to the seat next to Photo Finish about a minute or two later and sat down, a calm and relaxed smile on his face, knowing that, despite Photo Finish's erratic and often stressful demeanor, that everything was going to be absolutely and perfectly fine. Everything had been accounted for, everything had been planned, and everything would proceed smoothly and calmly. He had made sure of that.

Meanwhile, in the audience...

A young pegasus stood in the crowd, watching the show with a very passive, almost bored, expression. Unlike the many other ponies the crowd, this particular pony hadn't especially wanted to attend this show. he had no interest in fashion, and very little interest in meeting other ponies and above all in socializing with them. But his mother had insisted he go, claiming it would be a could experience for him. It was typical of his parents, really, to force him into situations and locations that they thought would benefit him when really, they would just succeed in boring him to tears.

Dressed in a suit and a round pair of glasses, Constant Shift, the "son" of the renowned scientist Perpetual Motion was, indeed, bored, though not quite to tears (only subjects such as philosophy could do that to him). There were about a million more productive things he could be doing right now - working on his mathematics homework came to mind, for one.

To say Constant Shift was a foal out of the ordinary would be a severe understatement. Constant was more interested in mathematics and science and experimentation than the usual foal things of playing and talking and meeting new ponies and just about anything. The usual activities that ponies engaged in rarely interested Constant, and it required a very special pony indeed to interest the brilliant and busy mind behind the foal. Constant was even different in how he dressed and portrayed himself on the exterior - which had been precisely why his mother had insisted he come to this silly, silly fashion show.

Of course, all of his previous feelings of boredom evaporated rather quickly within moments. After a few of the rather boring fashion models did their lap down the runway, a very special pony emerged. She was wearing the most beautiful dress Constant had seen the entire night (or had ever seen), her posture was perfect, and just about everything about her was simply divine. The announcer loudly announced her name as she emerged: Gilded Lily.

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Valen had trotted rather robotically up to the end of the backstage area, the music crashing about him in all of it's thunder and light. He couldn't even hear the normally reassuring clap of his designer shoes, drowned out by the music and even more so by the hammer falls that passed as his heart beats. Was this really happening? It couldn't be. This mixture of nightmare and dream only happened in the most comically timed of stories. He felt sublime. The makeup was expertly applied and that soft wetness that sunk into your coat after a new pattern was tossed on was oddly soothing, like a mask. The dress was otherworldly, the fabric to die for and the rose colour stunning without being overwhelming. It took talent to make the inlay of glossy pink gemstones seem something other than extravagant yet as Valen felt them bounce softly against his flank, he could scarcely imagine the dress without them. He looked great. He felt even better.

Under normal circumstances, had Valen seen a filly dressed like this, his little heart would have given in and he would ordered at least one of the dresses. It would have arrived and then Valen would have spent the rest of the day swooning over his own visage in the mirror, perfecting the look and stride over a day. His friends would come over and remark how beautiful he was and his parents would stand apart, worried and concerned yet supporting that which made him happy. Just as they supported his desires by allowing him to attend this show in the first place. The show that had in a few blinks of an eye went from a leisure pursuit to a job that placed his heart in his throat. Under normal circumstances, Valen would have been ordering the dress. Now, being the one wearing the dress, Valen wished nopony had the same pursuits as he.

So much was riding on what amounted to a lie of terrible power. Rarity, one of the kindest mares he had ever met, was placing her reputation on the line. Their friendship was on the line, at least in Valen's mind: She had went to some length to be kind to him and if he couldn't return the favour then she would have no justifiable reason to do so again. Photo Finish's reputation was also in the air; if he failed and his secret discovered, they would question why she didn't know. And what about poor Gilded Lilly? If they discovered she sent a colt to do her dirty work, then her career would end faster than he could remove his shoes. None of this would even account for the embarrassment he would feel. No, he had to succeed.

"Gilded Lilly!"

He smiled as a reaction when the lights hit him and he took small, calculated steps out. All the eyes, all the eyes were on him! The music seemed to place his head in a vice.

[colour=#0033cc]"Oh Celestia, m'aident,"[/colour] he muttered under his breath, keeping on that faux confident smile as he trotted out to be eaten up by the masses. His jackhammer heart had the sound of explosions about it and with great rapidity seemed to drown any and all real response to his surroundings. He had a small, clipped walk that aided him in two ways: It ensured that the somewhat short dress didn't slip and end the charade quickly, and it was different enough from the long and elegant canters of his fellow models to make him stand out. He struck some poses, sticking them with the experience of an older model only because he was pantomiming those he had seen in show. He looked robotic, felt robotic, but his eyes had been taken over by that manic desire to not be caught and shone bright and vivid as he kept on sticking his poses with authority. If only he could breath, his vision getting fuzzy as he kept on forgetting to breathe, breathe, breathe, his heart pounding and pounding growing louder and louder. He was terrified, the shaking that controlled his stomach hidden by his poses and the stiff fear that took his back and made it rigid. Even the adoring eyes of a certain colt in the crowd didn't put him at ease, tell him he was doing at least something right. Mentally in a robotic fashion Valen continued doing the best possible job a colt in his position could.

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[colour=#ffa500]"And now an exquisite piece courtesy of Miss Rarity of Ponyville, worn here by the lovely young Gilded Lily!" [/colour]

Rarity's heart skipped from anticipation as the announcer finally said these words. She had seen most of the other models make their walks now, and the majority had just looked lovely. They had such poise and just felt so alive out there. The fact that the other designers had all produced such exquisite work only helped to highlight how exceptional each of the models. Rarity was worried. Could Valen do this? He looked great. Her dress looked perfect on him. Modeling was more than just that though. This was too much! She was expecting too much of him.

Rarity began to pace behind stage a little. Could this inexperienced cold, no doubt frightened out of his mind, take hold of that stage and capture that audience as all the professional elite models who had come before him had? The more she questioned it, the more it seemed impossible. Rarity suddenly regretted asking him to even try. They were doomed! This was going to be the worst... She swallowed her breath hard and stamped her feet then moved back to take a look. No. She couldn't give up on him yet! She had to at least watch and see. As Valen emerged to make his walk, she watched and waited with baited breath.

What she saw was... well, not so bad. It was stiff, and the nerves were there on display and the poses were recycled rather flagrantly from the last few models who had made the walk. However, he didn't trip, he didn't rush himself, he didn't do anything foolish, and he showed off her dress wonderfully. It would be hard for Rarity to say he was the best in the show (even if her dress alone did place him pretty close to it), but he made it work, and the audience reaction seemed positive. It was nothing spectacular, but for a frightened colt suddenly asked to play the part of a female model in a professional fashion show, it was about as good a performance as could realistically be hoped for.

[colour=#ffa500]"Next up we have, with a most attractive piece designed by Las Pegasus' Miss Razzle Dazzle and, modeled for you all by the alluring Miss Passion Flower!"[/colour]

As the announcer made the call for the next model to make her walk and a striking unicorn mare emerged in a showy but not overdone dress, Rarity let out a deep sigh of a relief. Finally she could breathe again. It was done now. They had made a decent showing. Valen would be able to be proud of himself, her own reputation would be in tact, and moreover this would never have to happen again. Now, Rarity did have mind to watch the rest of the show and see what the full of her competition had to offer, but she made the quick assessment that joining Valen was more important at the moment. Regardless of how it had went, he would be feeling drained from this.

Wandering backstage, she sought him out quickly and approached. [colour=#663399]"Val-Gilded Lily, dear!"[/colour] she called out, correcting a near slip quickly. [colour=#663399]"How are you feeling?"[/colour] she added with a smile, concerned for the colt.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Setting up her camera was a matter of seconds, but it did involve bumping into some of the other ponies in VIP lounge, followed by some grumbling on their part, which was something that Photo Finish, true to form, completely ignored. Those things didn't concern the blue Mare of Fashion. Indeed, once they noticed who bumped into them, the other ponies in the VIP lounge diverted their attention back to the catwalk. Nopony ever got an apology out of Photo Finish.

And then the show started. It wasn't the most extravagant show Photo Finish had seen in her career, but it was certainly not a bad show. And for what it was worth, the collection on display here was pretty impressive. Of course, she already knew most of the designers, but this Miss Rarity was kind of a riddle to her. She seemed to remember something about her, yet she couldn't recall any specifics. Her design deserved to be called inspired, though, and young Valen Orange did a good job presenting it, all things considered. That is, he did about as good as one could expect from somepony without any prior training. But it would do.

He came and went, and Photo Finish did her job, taking all the pictures she needed to cover an event like this one. It seemed to trivial to her now, but she had a job to do, and she was darn good at it.

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The show gradually drew to a close as more beautiful models passed down the runway and back. The show was over within another hour, though Constant Shift wasn't really paying attention after Gilded Lily had passed. To him, she was clearly the most beautiful filly present - and he simply had to meet her! The moment the show ended, Constant immediately began to head towards the back of the stage. He would get to see the fabulous Gilded Lily - one way or another!

----

Picture Perfect was the last pony to return to the backstage. Photo Finish had immediately grabbed her camera and headed to the back of the stage moments after the show ended and the crowd dispersed, but Picture Perfect was left to clean up the rest of Photo's equipment. He didn't complain; after all, he was used to being her impromptu assistant from time to time. Carrying Photo's equipment, he headed to the stage and opened the backstage door, entering the preparation area they had been in just a few hours ago. Everyone else was already there, Valen included, who was still looking positively fabulous in that dress.

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Valen had to remember to breath. To think. The flashing lights and the cracking music behind him had added to his sense of panic and fear. He was not just a terrified colt, he was a terrified colt who had agreed to his plight. That little factoid had not done much to make his state feel better until after he had sauntered off the stage and backstage. Whatever sour feelings it gave him, the fact that this misadventure had at least a tiny percentage of it under his control was some manner of solace. He wasn't powerless. No, he was just hopeless. That wasn't a great improvement but at least the whole shebang was over and done for and he wouldn't have to put himself through all that stress once more.

Rarity came up to him, correcting the name. He'd be glad when the night was over and the charade dropped, but at least he got a degree of comfort returned when she came up to him. To be lost, confused, and scared was one thing, but having an anchor to cling to like a foal in the stormy sea of illusion and tension was the sort of wish he would have wanted granted. It was but moments later that Picture Perfect and Photo Finish arrived in all of their bluster. Well, they were silent, but he could feel the bluster coming off of them. With the three of them there, even amidst the busy hub as designers and models spoke around them, he felt like he was secure. In a bubble. He could ride out the remainder of the show in safety and Celestia above was he happy about that.

Still, he had to keep up the act for a little while longer. Valen allowed his chest to utterly decompress though, finally breathing as he brought a hoof that smelled like berries up to his face.

[colour=#0033cc]"Oui, Madame Rarity. Ze show went magnifique. Your clothes shall be ze talk of ze town," [/colour]He said in his best Prench, making sure to add in the gentle humming lilt that he had seen the fine Prench actresses use. It should have been somewhat disconcerting that his voice so well adapted to the feminine approach, but he considered that a skill he could put to excellent use. Valen wobbled a tiny bit as he walked back to their preparation area, hooves still trying to find themselves as oxygen came back into his body. They were still surrounded, though, so fashion talk time. Besides, the dress felt like heaven.

[colour=#0033cc]"I love ze dress, quite breezy around ze shoulders yet does not drape at all. Ze fabric, it dances on ze coat so very elegantly, angélique! It stops a bit too short perhaps but nonezeless, I loved ze feel of the fabric as it touched ze base of ze tail. It moves very well, comme vous sont un Pegasus dans le ciel,"[/colour] He finished, finding a nice place to sit. They were not high on the pecking order as the makeup crews werer finishing up a few models and starting to tone down a few others.

[colour=#0033cc]"Only one show, yes?" [/colour]He asked, voice exceedingly hopeful.

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[colour=#0033CC]"Oui, Madame Rarity. Ze show went magnifique. Your clothes shall be ze talk of ze town, [/colour][colour=#0033CC]I love ze dress, quite breezy around ze shoulders yet does not drape at all. Ze fabric, it dances on ze coat so very elegantly, angélique! It stops a bit too short perhaps but nonezeless, I loved ze feel of the fabric as it touched ze base of ze tail. It moves very well, comme vous sont un Pegasus dans le ciel,"[/colour]

Rarity gave an over-excited squeal. Valen truly was adorable like this! He was just perfect at it. She almost wouldnt' have believed it was him if she didn't know better. It was seriously cute. The fact that he was complimenting her dress so much just made it that much more perfect! She wanted to hug him, but fought the urge. Valen Orange was her cute little friend, but Gilded Lily was a respected model she had been assigned who she had only just met. She had to remember that.

[colour=#663399]"Your words are all too kind, darling, but when it comes to dresses, it takes a graceful and beautiful model to find the true potential even of a masterpiece. You wore my dress wonderfully!" [/colour]she said, beaming with pride. [colour=#663399]"it was nothing but a pleasure working with you, Miss Gilded Lily."[/colour]

[colour=#0033CC]"Only one show, yes?"[/colour]

At these words, Rarity saw fit to bend in close and whisper directly into the colt's ear so no one else might hear. [colour=#663399]"Don't worry, Valen. I can't think of any conceivable reason you'd be forced to do this again!"[/colour]
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It was at that moment when Constant burst through the backstage door, panting loudly, his glasses crooked on his face, his fine suit ruffled. Getting into the backstage area was far more difficult and challenging than he had expected. usually, he could get wherever he wanted with his money, but the rather annoying mare who had been standing guard outside didn't seem to accept bribes, even of considerable sums. So, he had to resort to more extreme tactics; throwing a napkin into the mares face and then galloping full speed towards the door, smashing into it and arriving into the backstage area.

He glanced around and saw several ponies. One was the instantly recognizable Photo Finish, another was a pony who dressed startlingly similar to Photo, another less recognizable white unicorn who he felt should be someone he should know, and finally, the reason he had come here, the model Gilded Lily. Taking a quick moment to straighten his glasses and tie, he smiled at the group.

[colour=#ff8c00]"Ah, hello there. My name is Constant Shift and I just wanted to say... the show you put on was simply marvelous. I absolutely loved it. I simply had to come back here to express how amazing I felt the show was - particularly the bit with my personal favorite model, Gilded Lily,[/colour]" he smiled at Gilded Lily, [colour=#ff8c00]"and that I'd like to see more. I understand that this was a one time show but... you see... I'm of a rather wealthy background myself and I think that this show could do far more. I'd be willing to 'convince' my parents to fund this show to become a tour across Equestria, showcasing the designer's wonderful dress - and of course, the wonderful model!"[/colour]

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