(view spoiler)[here's a link to the outfit for all you visual people (hide spoiler)]This was the start. Nicco liked the idea of new beginnings, of change, of tides turning in her favor. She liked electricity buzzing in the air, under her skin, in the reporters' eyes, as ambition and potential seeped into the air. It was ambition mingled with surprise and awe, and amongst the jaws dropped and the staring eyes was the girl who had handled and labeled and polished gemstones more expensive than a year's wages of most of the girls, eyes filled with not shock but the dreams of a lifetime. Her eyes did not wander, staring straight ahead, into the distance, where ambition unveiled itself into reality. The cameras flashed. Nicco's bright blue hair, cascading down one shoulder in all its elegance, gleamed from the light of the chandelier. Swarvoski diamonds, probably 20 karat, maybe 22. She took a breath in, and with the exhalation came a smile. Underneath the familiar light of the diamonds, she found a foreign emotion wash upon her: not one of wanting, but of comfort. Strange as it was, for the first time in a long time, Nicco felt as if she had come home.
I don't want to be here. Her tulle skirt rippled across the marble floor. She wore a smile on her face. I don't know where I'm going. She blinked away the colours floating in her vision as the cameras flashed, and she waved to the reporters. Please, just go away. I need space. The dress showed off her curvy figure. It was too tight. She was suffocating."May I ask you a few quick questions?" a reporter gushed. Jem flinched and shook her head. She stumbled away from the man, weaving around clusters of men and women in various oufits. She wasn't comfortable here. She didn't know what she was doing. Jem paused, momentarily hidden amongst everyone else. She touched a hand to her stomach and closed her eyes. She pulled the bodice of her dress forward to breathe, her heart gradually slowing to a steady beat. She opened her eyes, and the crowd didn't seem so immense anymore. Jem straightened her back, flicked her close-cropped hair out of her eyes and shook her arms out. If she was going to get through this-if she ever had a chance of making it far-the first step was to keep up a good impression. And a good impression didn't include collapsing of exhaustion.Jem smiled at the reporters and few guests when they began taking notice of her, and slowly moved forward, ignoring their looks of concern. She wasn't beautiful. She wasn't drop dead gorgeous, like some of the other contestants she'd noticed. And she certainly didn't have a confident, 'I've-done-this-all-my-life' appearance and air of unquestionable grace-like she just knew she was going to win. Jem didn't have any of that. She didn't belong in the Selection. But she was gonna do it anyway.(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]
This wasn't any different to the countless red carpets she had had to walk on since she was a little girl. So why did she feel so nervous? Maybe this was because this wasn't some movie that she had been in's premiere. This was really important and all the other girls were so much more mature and regal than her. Normally she was confident in herself, but it was difficult surrounded by these beautiful girls that were all going for the same thing as her. The prince's heart and crown of Illéa.Her long pink dress swished around her ankles as she smiled happily at the cameras, sometimes waving if she saw a person she recognised. A part of her knew that wasn't very professional, but it also made her less nervous. She tucked a piece of her long dark brown hair behind her ear as she posed for the cameras just slightly. She knew what to do now.(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]
London felt rather regal in her silver and mint dress. With the top covered in silver, daunting scales, and the bottom open and airy, it was just her style. The best part was that so far she didn't see any dresses similar to hers- meaning that she stuck out, that she was different. London was sure to walk the way her mother had trained her, one leg in front of the other, walking smoothly and gracefully. Not too fast and not to slow. Partially because of instinct- she had been trained from a young age as of how to act in this moment- but also because her mother was watching. Although she couldn't directly see her mother's icy eyes, she could feel their gaze coming from somewhere around her.None of her emotion showing on her face, London kept a small but icy million dollar smile on her face as she continued down the red carpet. When a reporter let out a funny remark, clearly trying to get London to open up, she made a snazzy remark and tossed her long brown blonde waves before continuing to walk. No matter how many times she tried to forget about her mother, her strict words kept on coming back; all of her strict rules and instructions were like ghosts refusing to leave the depths of her mind. This would be fun. Even if she didn't win, it would be fun, London tried to tell herself. But this whole idea of having so many cameras surrounding her constantly, trying to figure out thirty four other girls made her head spin. It would be fun.(view spoiler)[this is the dress that london's wearing (hide spoiler)]
Mae couldn't stand all the flashing lights, very disturbing considering the peace and natural light she had lived with her whole life. Still, she tried not to let it affect her as she knew that wouldn't look great to the reporters. She walked stiffly, having only just been taught how to walk in heels by her Mother. It was an absolutely awful feeling and she couldn't wait to get into her room and slip them off her aching feet. How could the others walk so effortlessly, even the youngest girls? A reporter started calling for her, so she walked over slowly. She met him with a smile and raised eyebrows to ask what his question was. He asked what it was like coming from a low, little life as a farmer to being a Selected, which caused her to purse her lips. The way he spoke of farming life in that kind of condesending tone did not make her very pleased at all and her familiar temper was flaring inside her. She tried to quench it. She couldn't be kicked out already, before they sent anything to her family."It may surprise you to know that my parents own one of the biggest farms in Illéa, so I wouldn't exactly call it 'a little life'," she told him with a smile, but there was a steely tone hidden in there. "However, this is much grander and I'm very excited to live here with my fellow contestants," she added, sounding more poised and less annoyed now. With that, she turned and walked away from the embarrassed looking reporter.(view spoiler)[Mae's dress (hide spoiler)]
Unlike a majority of the girls already in the Entrance Hall, Lee's face was new. Thank god, was her first thought. Thank whatever god I don't believe in that I don't have to do this on a regular basis. How were you supposed to move in a dress like this? It had taken all of her mother's 22 years as a defense attorney to convince her daughter to first, apply for the selection, and second, try on the damn dresses and hold still as the maids fussed over her hair and her eyes and her "cosmically clear" complexion, or whatever the fuck it was that they'd said about it.Why so superficial? Why did looks matter so much? Was not the prince supposed to choose a bride depending on her intellectual capacity and her ability to rule, not how pretty she would look standing in a sparkling navy statement dress with a plunging neckline? Looking at all the other girls, with their 10+ hours of make-up and styling, no doubt, Lee felt as if this was the competition to become a trophy-wife, not a queen.But disregarding her reluctance to be here, the ridiculousness of this entire "red-carpet (literally, red carpet) entrance" and the fact she was an unknown, Lee walked in and she made a statement. She was Snow White, her pink lips tinted with red by the subtle makeup she had grudgingly tolerated before shoving her maids out and bolting herself in her room. Her hair, unlike most, was completely loose, tumble in natural dark-brown curls down her shoulders and the gently clinging dress (which left little to the imagination) seemed to make her glow, white, clear skin radiating with some godly light as she made her entrance with the slightest hint of a smile, a mysterious smile, no doubt, for what reason could Lee manage to smile, her entire body screaming defiance to the blatant intrusion of her tomboy-ish tendencies?It was this: at least they couldn't force her out of her black chuck taylors, hidden behind the ridiculously long dress and providing her the slightest amount of comfort as she walked in with grace and confidence, taking a deep breath and letting the scenery in. And so it begins.(view spoiler)[the dress (hide spoiler)]
No matter how much the poor maids assigned to Zoya had attempted to cajole and persuade, she would not be swayed from her decision. The swaths of cloth filling the wardrobe in her room had almost given her a heart attack -- the fabrics were amazing, unlike anything she'd felt before (she was a six, after all), and the colors blinding, brilliant. Her hair felt positively dull in comparison. That would have annoyed her in any other case, but the dresses she was running her hands over had stolen her thoughts. It felt like a dream against her skin, all smooth and satin and gauze, billowing around her slender legs and curving with her figure. Floor length and falling in airy folds, it was a confection of midnight, all plunging neckline and sheer gauze. Besides being absolutely gorgeous in the purest sense of the word, the dress had the added bonus of being racier than what should be worn to the first meet and greet event (judging my the maids' frantic looks and subtle hints to pick out a different dress). Which was exactly what Zoya wanted. Like hell she was going to try to fit in. Like hell she was going to play by the rules, stick her pinkie in the air while holding her teacup. The only finger these nobs would be seeing in the air would be her middle one. Walking into the hall of flashing lights and milling girls, Zoya thought she would feel something. Anything. A little excitement, a little nervousness. But her heart didn't quicken, her hands didn't shake. All she felt was a certain apathy towards the reporters now making a beeline for her, a certain disdain to all those girls here to fight for the crown. Zoya was not here for love or for power -- she was here simply because she had nowhere else to be. There was no one to keep her away, so she said "why not" and came. And now here she was, ringed by extravagance and elegance and fluttering nerves, and all she wanted was a mike in her hand and the smoky atmosphere of a dingy pub. (view spoiler)[ the dress (hide spoiler)]
The flashing lights and paparazzi weren't anything new for Aisley. In fact, they were a sight that was all to familiar. The grandeur of the whole initiation event was exciting, and it was certainly a sight to behold. The white walls of the castle sparkled and gleamed, and were polished to the point where she could see her reflection in them. Enormous arches served as entryways and the Romanesque architectural design certainly wasn't something she hadn't seen before, but that didn't keep it from being beautiful. Of course, the whole event was designed to look gorgeous and stunning, and seem much fancier than it really was. It was exciting yes, but it was just a walkway.She knew how to work the red carpet though, and that was exactly what she did for the cameras. Not to the extent where it was blatantly obvious, for she hated that sort of thing, but it wasn't hidden. She felt good in her dress, which was tight, lacy and floral, with a long, flowing skirt that had a two slits in it, one on each side. It was golden, and it certainly said "formal and elegant, with a hint of sexy". Not that that was the message Aisley was trying to convey, but it certainly wasn't something she minded doing. She could already feel her mind reeling and adjusting her personality to fit the situation, to fit the dress she was wearing. She felt her true personality, which was already so muddled and faint, slipping away again, replaced by some new persona that she would embody for the remainder of the Selection.She brushed a stray piece of her hair, which was tied back in a long, fishtail braid. She waved at a few people, smiled at a few others, and made her way past all the flashing lights and cameras, where she was finally free. She sighed and rolled her eyes, leaning against a nearby pillar. Was that something she did now? She shook her head and continued on a walk around the palace, her mind reeling with ideas about a character she would become. It had to be something she liked, since there was a chance she would be keeping it up for a while. Perhaps something she hadn't ever done before, so she wouldn't be confused with her previous acting jobs? That's what this was to her, right? Another acting job, that's what it was. That's what it was.(view spoiler)[the dress (hide spoiler)]
Felicity blinked as a camera clicked and blinked her with its brightness. Gosh. A picture of her with her eyes closed was probably going on television and a dozen newspapers. Who cared, though? She would probably be in a ton of other photos too, so it didn't really matter. She was just happy to have a new dress that looked as nice as everyone else. She looked around the immense entrance hall in awe. It was humongous compared to her own home and, she never really thought about how poor her family was compared to the royals until seeing the riches and beauty of the palace. She was raised in a family of fours and they didn't live horribly, but they couldn't exactly afford the things other fours and twos and threes could. Going to a restaurant was a treat that happened once a year, and birthday parties as a child consisted of a homemade cake and having a few friends to eat the cake with. Life was pretty simple. Felicity didn't hate it though because she didn't have to work as hard on the farm as her two older brothers had to. She did wish that she was treated like their equal and not just a young girl.♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡Lucia walked into the entrance hall wearing a dress she really didn't want to wear. It was a tad bit flashier than she expected, and had a weird pattern that made her seem more like an art project than a Selection contestant. She was sure to be teased by the other girls, and she was not looking forward to it. The only reason she put on that clothing item was because she got it for free from a stylist, and her mother insisted on wearing it because it was "trendy". She still hated it.Lucia gave a natural smile as a camera flashed in her face, leaving her seeing spots in the air from the brightness. This was just like another modeling job, wasn't it? You just have to wear a couple of pretty dresses, act like you're having the time of your life, and be as pretty as you can without looking like a real fake. The only difference was that she had to try to be royal and date a prince. You also had to do a ton of interviews. All of that couldn't be too hard, could it?♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡Adelina smiled her widest as she saw a crew of cameras gathered around her, and looked around the entrance hall, "How beautiful!" She said to herself, but exclaimed it just loud enough for the cameras to capture it. Complimenting the palace was just going to make her adoring fans love her even more. It would show that she actually was humble and recognized the work and luxury of the palace. In reality, she thought it wasn't that great: her own home was almost as grand as this hall. She wouldn't be telling that to anyone since that would only bring hatred.Her dress wasn't like all of her other competition. She ditched the classic ballgown and went for a short pink dress like she would wear at one of her concerts. Something that would make her noticed and seem nice and bubbly. It was so easy to make herself a fake personality. Adelina picked up her pace as she walked through the entrance hall, wanting to see other parts of the palace. Where was a good place to go? Who knows, she would soon find one. There were probably dozens of rooms here!
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