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Fashion Experts on a Reality TV Show

Started by cthulahoops, November 08, 2005, 08:12:51 PM

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I should be posting about some of the great DitV play I've had recently, but I had this twisted idea instead.

Fashion Experts on a Reality TV Show

A young woman phones your office.  Her best friend hasn't been herself since her boyfriend dumped her.  She's been going to clubs wearing low cut tops that she doesn't have the figure for.  And striped cardigans.   What do you do?

I'm not sure about the full progression but it starts with Disinterest in Image and ends with Loneliness, passing through Fashion Blunders and the like along the way.

Fall out dice are:  Just Talking d4s, New Outfit d6s, New Hair and Make-up d8s and Plastic Surgery d10s.

I'm sorry.


You're scaring me, cthulahoops.

Not as much as I'm scaring me, though. I'm actually thinking about Lifestyle Disaster Creation rules...
Always Plenty of Time!


Oh, man, that one really hurts... I think my sides are going to split...
"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker

Brian Newman

Demonic Influence would be, what, the three-sizes-too-small spandex pants?

The Judgement of Three (Mirrors)


Demonic influence: acne, bad teeth, love handles, warts, lack and/or loss of partners, dating disasters, never getting a promotion... all the usual stuff that has people submitted to What Not To Wear.

I rather like the idea, if it's possible to send the 'Experts on TV' into a group of people, rather than just a single fashion nightmare. What if it's the victim's pestilential mother that's the real problem: should the Experts unexpectedly humiliate the mother on network TV... what if she's a suicide risk? Why did the ex-boyfriend leave? Was the 'victim' abusing him? Do you turn the cameras on his bruises? What if he's really gay, but his family will disown him? Do you film that? If his father's a Westboro-style psychotic? With an axe? And a history of beating his kids?
Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

- Samyutta Nikaya III, 14


You see, with a little imagination, the basic blocks of 'what is this thing worth to you?' - What do you do? in Vincent's infallible words - are transposable to a lot of genres. Only I couldn't have thought of this. I really envy cthulahoops for that.


The Demons Attack:  And then the worst possible thing happens: drawstring pants, leg warmers, and Swatches come back into style at exactly the same time.


Regular accessories are worth d6; particularily large accessories are worth d8 - but when a *fabulous* accessory comes into play, roll two dice instead of one. Crap accessories are always d4, even if they're big.

(Odd first post, but I had to say it. I'll try posting a town, or something else vaguely appropriate, later. :)


Quote from: Neal on November 09, 2005, 05:19:40 PM
The Demons Attack:  And then the worst possible thing happens: drawstring pants, leg warmers, and Swatches come back into style at exactly the same time.

Nononono - his blue-collar mates from the bar turn up and tell him to dress like a man, dammit!
Always Plenty of Time!


Thanks for the kind comments.

I certainly agree that you have to extend beyond one person to get a playable Lifestyle Disaster (I love the term), but I think questions about what do we shoot moves away from the central idea that image is valued above all else.   My thought was that demons are people who live outside mainstream fashion: goths etc, though I guess also people who simply don't care about fashion.  Mainly, because this allows me to transfer false doctrine ("Black looks good with everything.") fairly directly.


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which is


which leads to


What do the Victims want from the Experts?
What do the Freaks want from the Experts?
What would happen if it were not for Reality TV?




You know, this is rather sick, but I found myself thinking about this recently, and it has legs.  They may be clad in stirrup pants, but they're legs, nonetheless.

I think you're right that honest-to-Gucci Lifestyle Disasters should involve groups.  Given that, the set-up maps rather neatly onto DitV.  THAT is perhaps the most frightening aspect of this thread!

Man, I gotta try my hand at a Town Creation for this thing.

Let's see...

The "Barrio Spats" Look

1A. Disinterest -- Young Claudia has begun to let herself go.  She's netted herself a boyfriend, Isidro, and she's finally thinking she may be out of the dating game.  Time to kick back, shuck out of those pumps and low-waisted jeans, and get comfortable.  She packs a few pounds onto her thighs and waist, but she figures it's okay; she has a man now, so she has a right to relax and be herself.

manifests as...

1B. Revulsion -- Isidro thought he was getting a sexy little mama, and now he's looking at a 10 stuffed into a 6, with a butt like two sleepy wombats in a bin bag.  His buddies down at the sports bar are ribbing him.  This is not good.  He confronts her: he wants the slinky, sexy Claudia back.

leads to...

2A. Fashion Blunder -- Claudia is upset with Isidro, but she really likes him, so she visits a friend of hers who's studying cosmetology at the community college.  Her friend, Paulina, never seems to have a problem picking up men.  She suggests perhaps Claudia should try a little meth to drop the weight, and maybe shave her eyebrows off and paint them a bit higher, like the popular girls are doing these days.  Claudia has never really been into the clown-brow look, but she knows Isidro hangs with some of those girls, so...  Ah, why not, right?

manifests as...

2B. Freakish Influence -- Claudia gets popular again with the boys.  Better yet, she's attracted her own little circle of hangers-on.  Some of them can get her meth, and they're always ready with a fashion tip, like when they told her to go heavy on the dark lip liner and then use an undertone for the lips themselves.  It looked at first like she'd just finished off a fudgesicle, but everyone else seems to like it.  They invite her to parties, introduce her to new people, and practically throw the meth at her.  She's back to her old size 6 in no time, and there just seem to be so many more hours in her day.

leads to...

3A. Bad Taste -- Claudia likes this new look of hers, but it's missing something.  By now, she feels comfortable around her friends, and she's popular.  She decides she knows what's really missing from this look: skin, contrast, and retro accessories.

manifests as...

3B. Bad Style -- She begins wearing a black-and-red balconet bra under a strategically-torn white tank top.  She adds chalk-striped Zoot trousers with extra-wide suspenders.  A pair of four-inch French pumps decorated with white spats completes her look.

leads to...

4A. Faddish Fashion -- Claudia's new friends are unsure at first, but the look is so intriguing.  It's a perfect blend of Gwen Stefani and Madonna from her "Virgin" phase, with just a touch of Victor/Victoria thrown in for good measure.  It begins to catch on with the girls.

manifests as...

4B. Cliquishness -- The girls start to craft similar looks for their boyfriends.  Paulina starts talking up Claudia's new look with her customers down at the beauty parlor.  One of the boyfriends, Javier, is a DJ on the local club scene, and he begins to popularize the look at some of the raves he works.  The look is spreading like wildfire.

leads to...

5A. New Fashion Trend -- Javier hits at an East L.A. club.  He gets into BAM magazine.  He's interviewed by the flavor-of-the-month VJ on a network all-but-music channel.  People start to blame themselves if they don't own a pair of spats.  Boutiques rush to stock outsized floral suspenders and factory-ripped white tank tops.  This could be the It Look of the last two months of 2005.

6A. The Fashion Victims --
     Claudia feels great.  She's got everything under control.  With a little help from her meth habit, she's down to about a hundred pounds, and she's never been more popular.  She wants the Experts to endorse her look.
     Isidro wants the Experts to help Claudia.  Most important, of course, is to get her off the meth.  But that look has just got to go, too.  He wants his sleek chica back.  He wants that sexy fan of hair like an upturned visor in front of her face, and he wants the tight black low-waisted pants and the lacy cami.  He wants a girl who can make his drinking buddies slobber all over themselves.
     Paulina wants to Experts to recognize Claudia's look as legitimate, and to acknowledge Paulina as the driving force behind the new It Look.  After all, it was Paulina who put Claudia back together in the first place, right?
     Javier wants the Experts to put him on their show and let him do the opening music.  In fact, he wants them to introduce him to some show-biz people.  And he wouldn't mind if they'd start hinting that he and Claudia are, like, together, you know?  I mean, Claudia's looking fiiiiine, yo!

6B. The Freaks --
     They want people to associate this new look with Javier's fresh new sound.  They want people to hear his idiosyncratic yet unoriginal thump-du-jour bumping from the bed of every lowered pickup in town, and instantly to think, "Man, I need to get me some damn spats!"
     They want Paulina to sink into obscurity, and not to hold Claudia back.  Paulina's clown-brow look is sooo three days ago.  Time to move on.
     They want Claudia to stay on the meth.  They want her to get thinner.  They want her to get so thin she dies.  A dead fashion victim means headlines, and it means thousands of kids will shed angsty tears and want to dress (and consume) just like their room-temperature fashion idol.
     They want Isidro to resist the new It Look.  If he joins Claudia again, he might get her off the meth.  If he stays out of this set, though, his failure to save her will reflect poorly on his style of dress.  People will begin to say "Khakis, black suspenders, and a wife-beater?  No way!  That's what Isidro used to wear, that bastard.  He could have saved our poor Claudia!"

6C. What if the Experts Never Got the Call? --
     Of course, left to its own devices, the Trend would have succeeded.  It would have been all over VH1, VH2, and VH3.  It would have been featured on all the hip entertainment and newsertainment and enternewsfomation channels.  And it would have sank beneath the fashion waves within a few months, sucking its followers down with it and making room for bigger, stankier blunders to come.  Fashion IS turnover, baby.


It seems to me it's important to realize that what counts as "good" taste and what counts as "bad" taste is entirely up to the Experts.  It isn't for the GM to judge.  In the above case, if the Experts decide that spats deserve a second chance, then so be it.  It's in their immaculately manicured hands.


Hmm...  So how do the Experts stop the madness?

First, what IS the madness?  It's been described above as something like "lifestyle choices."  That includes music, art, clothing, food, grooming.  It's consumption, is what it is.  The Experts are trying to ensure that the fashion victims consume properly, within certain boundaries, or that their escape from those boundaries is justified in some way.  In what way, though?

Ah, there's a difference between Style and Fashion.  Style is an expression of one's Taste.  Fashion is an expression of a lack of Taste, or some kind of complacency, or a perverse need to belong.  Or maybe Fashion is a good thing, because people need examples.  It's like Doctrine, and like Doctrine, it can be False or it can be Pure.

So folks who color outside the lines, who follow Style instead of True Fashion, can be either inspired or corrupt.  It's up to the Experts to decide.  Taste is the final determiner.  And the Experts' Taste trumps everyone else's.

So how do the Experts fight bad Taste?

I'm thinking their techniques can sometimes take the form of Ritual or Ceremony, a la DitV.  They can Take 'Em Shopping, for example.  They can Suggest a [CD/Menu/Recipe/Designer].  Each different Ritual would have its own fallout, like the Ceremonies of DitV.  I'm guessing Display the Yearbook Photo would be d8s, but then, I always took crap (d4) yearbook photos anyway.  These Rituals would have to be something that could not be ignored by the victim's Taste.

You know, this could be a very darkly funny game.  I'm not kidding.  And I've noticed there are very, very few good comedy RPGs.  Most are designed by people whose sense of humor stopped developing at age twelve: forced jokes, Three-Stooges dramaturgy, predictable set-ups, and puns, puns, puns.  Something like this would be a refreshing change.


Thanks again for taking this thing for too seriously.  :)

The difference between Style and Fashion is exactly what I was thinking.  But it's not about taste as to whether a given doctrine can become fashionable, it's about conformity.  Fashions may come and go, the only important thing is that you don't make a fool of yourself by failing to follow them.

If anyone does decide to try this, please let me know.