design

Ah, FFXII fashion. Ranging from beautifully intricate to absolutely ridiculous, the character designs of the game, by Akihiko Yoshida, are undeniably creative (and clearly warrant an entire section of this site devoted to them). Even the background designs exhibit a great level of detail, drawing on inspiration from Mediterranean architecture to Indian temples. Ashe in particular had her design heavily based on the "bone structure of a French woman," as Yoshida revealed in an interview. Though he also states that, "we were given orders from the start to not make her look like an Asian. But we modified her a bit to look more like a Japanese for the sake of the Japanese audience, and also since a character that looks completely French makes some of the CG expressions difficult." Still, Ashe look distinctly different from, say, the characters of FFX. Anyway, Ashe's design saw a few aesthetic changes some time after the original pictures of her were released. Which was cause for some memorable wank uproars amongst fans. Her hair and skin tone were darkened, but the images looked a bit hastily made and washed-out, causing some fanboys to cry "zomg she's ugly!" But uh. Personally, I really liked the change; I think she looks less like a Barbie doll and a bit more... rugged. And she's still quite beautiful, without looking too delicate. You can find both designs floating around the internet, but all official materials use the later redesign.

fashonista

Ashe's main outfit is quite revealing, but developers have noted that Dalmasca's hot climate calls for less clothing. In fact, Ashe's shirt isn't too different from that of other females in the game, as you can see from the concept art to the left. Ashe wears some intricate pieces of gold colored armor, which doesn't look too protective to me, but at least it's something to offset the miniskirt. Her outfit also features gold fleurs-de-lis in a few places; the "flower of the lily" is a traditionally French symbol, and alongside the gold color the motif fits both Ashe's French design basis and her status as Princess. Additionally, her outfit features a couple jewels inlaid in her... neck-thing. The large stone looks something like turquoise, while the smaller, bright pink stones are similar to pink or red tourmaline. Ashe wears this same outfit in her Itadaki Street and Revenant Wings appearances. And no, I don't understand how those boots work.

Ashe actually goes through a few outfit changes during the game. The opening sequence shows her in an exquisite wedding dress. The regalia features blue feathers and plenty of gold, while her intricate veil and head ornament seem to have some Indian influence (check out some examples here). Ashe's appropriately dark colored mourning gown shows similar intricate pieces. Her last in-game outfit is a relatively modest white and grey dress, seen both in the first FMV and the ending sequence. But in during the ending sequence, one can clearly see the silver ornaments below Ashe's shoulders which seem to have some wing-like symbols on them. Perhaps a reference to achieving the final goal of freedom? Additionally, some concept art shows Ashe wearing a bikini similar to her usual outfit (while Basch dutifully carries her belongings). Finally, her design in Fortress artwork shows her in some new regalia, featuring the same blue and pink color scheme and even a headress similar to the one her father wore.

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