• Published 12th Aug 2015
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A Change In Fashion - Kevinltk



A changeling finds love in the world of fashion modeling.

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Chapter 3: Change

Glamour let out a sigh as she trudged through the streets of Manehattan. Tired and despondent, she had decided to just idly wander for the rest of the night to try walking off the gloom of yet another disappointing day.

It had been a few days since the fashion show rehearsal, and she had been busy. After finally getting used to the crowds and layout of Manehattan, she had started looking for ponies to siphon love from.

So far, she had a limited amount of success. A very limited amount.

Most of the ponies she tried to get to know were either too gruff or too much of in a hurry to spare more than a few words. The few that did happen to stop and speak with her were wary of giving her too much of their information. It probably did not help that she asked what they did at home with their loved ones.

Glamour had also attempted to stalk a few couples, but between the noisy atmosphere and the huge crowds, she would end up losing track of her targets long before obtaining any useful information.

Each fruitless day had made her worry more and more about her food supply. The love she extracted from Ambleton would not last forever, and she needed to secure a food source before she began to run low.

At least, she had the fashion show after tomorrow to look forward to.

Ever since she saw the rehearsal, the show had been on the forefront of Glamour’s mind. Even with the odd choice of clothing on many of the models, it was still a lot of fun to watch. It had even kindled a bit of curiosity in fashion. In fact, when she was not frantically hunting for a pony to feed off of, she had been stopping to look at the clothes on ponies and in the windows of stores.

With all the adoration that would likely be filling the whole place, the fashion show was also going to help replenish her energy. When Coco gave her a ticket for a show, she had pretty much given her a free meal ticket as well.

Speaking of, Glamour was kind of hoping to meet Coco again. If it were not for the generous pony, Glamour would not have had as much fun at the show, not to mention also saving her from being punted out of the building. Even if they could not enjoy the show together, Glamour wanted to at least try to thank Coco for her generosity.

Still, despite the fun and free food the fashion show was going to bring her, it was only going to delay her troubles if she did not find any ponies to steal love from.

As Glamour turned a corner into a residential area, trying to think of a way to keep her fed, she found her mind had started entertaining the idea of attending more fashion shows. With all the fans and enthusiasts that flock to them, siphoning the adoration in the air would be a lot easier and safer than trying to romance somepony’s loved one.

Of course, that would mean she would need a way to attend fashion shows on a frequent basis.

Since Coco just started putting her work on display, Glamour doubted that Coco would be able to attend many fashion shows, let alone give out free tickets to them. The thought of constantly bothering Coco just for tickets also did not sit well with Glamour.

Sneaking into shows was also not an option. Given her almost failed attempt at the rehearsal, Glamour was sure she would end up behind bars sooner rather than later.

That only left with getting a job and paying for a ticket herself, but even that came with problems. It would likely take a long time to find a job, and even if she did manage to get one, she knew fashion shows were expensive, and the amount of time she would need to save up for even one ticket would be better spent trying to find a pony to extract love from.

That is, unless she could get a job working in fashion shows. That would pretty much grant her free entry to every one of them.

Glamour stopped walking when she decided to let her brain pursue the crazy idea and think of what kind of job she could do.

A backstage worker would probably be the easiest job to get, but she could already see complications. She would have to be relatively close to the adoring audience to feed, and at the rehearsal, she noticed how busy many of the workers were. Even though she did not know exactly what they were doing, she saw that they had all sorts of different tasks and were sent all over the place. There was no guarantee she would have the time or would even be close enough to harvest the adoration. She probably would not last long in her job if she was constantly shirking her duties to go feed.

Glamour then wondered if she could try and be a designer, but the idea was dismissed quickly. It would be difficult to constantly make good enough dresses for fashion shows. It would also be difficult to make even one dress since her knowledge in dressmaking was limited to pretty much nothing.

That only left being a model. From what she saw, they had to wear a dress, walk down the runway, and look pretty.

Glamour froze.

She had worn dresses before, and she had been walking since she was little. She could probably manage those two things and look pretty at the same time.

Being a model also meant that she would be at the center of all the adoration. Emotions directed at a changeling was far more potent than scavenging for it from the surrounding area. After all, there was a reason Queen Chrysalis surrounded herself with so many subjects.

A smile appeared on Glamour’s face as the idea grew more and more enticing, and it did not take long before she was trotting in place with glea. If this plan worked then she would never have to worry about scrounging for food.

“That’s it!” Glamour shouted cheerfully. “I’m going to be a fashion model!”

She was then buried under a mound of soil and flowers.

“Shut up! Some ponies are trying to sleep!”

A long sigh came from the pile of dirt before Glamour emerged from the soil and flew off to prepare for the next day.

Glamour had found sleep to be a bit elusive due to her giddiness. Yet despite the lost sleep, she woke up full of energy, ready and raring to go and become a fashion model.

She remembered Coco mentioning that the organizer of the show had an office in the same building as the fashion show, so with her destination already known, Glamour flew off.

Facing little air traffic along the way, Glamour arrived at the building after a smooth, short flight and found no guards were barring entrance through the front doors.

Entering the building through the proper entrance this time, Glamour immediately saw a hallway full of doors straight ahead of her when she stepped into the lobby, and to her right were a set of giant double doors, no doubt housing the performance area behind them. A number of tall, potted plants were placed against the walls, as well as a few odd-looking paintings that looked suspiciously like somepony had just chugged a can of paint and spat it onto the canvas.

The sound of a typewriter clacking drew her attention to the left where a light-lavender mare with a yellow mane was busy typing away from behind a receptionist desk. She wore a white collar tied together by a small, black bow, and her purple glasses had three white gems on each upper corner.

“Hi there,” Glamour greeted as she trotted up to the receptionist.

“Yes? How can I help you?” the mare asked in a bored voice, not even looking up from her work.

“Um, do you know if I could apply to be a fashion model here?”

The mare stopped to glance up at Glamour for a few seconds before nodding. “You’ll want to see Prim Hemline then. She’s the one running everything around here.”

“Could I see her right now?”

The receptionist opened up a planner, read over a page, and nodded. “It looks like she’s in her office now before she has to go do more preparations for tomorrow’s show.” She then pointed to the hallway. “Prim’s office is down that hall, up the stairs, last door on your left.”

“Thank you!” Glamour proceeded to the office as quickly as possible without actually running, skipping, or any other methods of movement that would betray her enthusiasm.

As soon as she found the door with Prim Hemline’s name on it, she opened it and strode right on in with a smile, only for it to instantly disappear.

Prim Hemline was a dark-grey pony with a bright-amaranth mane. She also wore a faintly-pink collared shirt with a white trim. But that was not what Glamour was paying attention to.

Prim was giving her a withering glare that was making her confidence and exuberance flee for an underground bunker where they would begin to realize why the pony population was so heavily skewed towards mares.

“Who are you, and why did you barge into my office without knocking?” demanded Prim.

Glamour gulped.

So much for first impressions, she thought before clearing her throat. “Uh, h-hi, Miss Hemline. So sorry for disturbing you. My name is Nutmeg, and I would like to apply for a position as a fashion model… If that’s alright with you.”

Prim rested her head on a hoof, and her eyes looked up and down Glamour’s disguised body. A few seconds later, she replied with a flat “No.”

“W-what? Why? Y-you didn’t even give me a—”

“Miss Nutmeg, you look like you have just dug your way out of the ground with all the dirt in your mane and coat. The crooked feathers in your wings also tell me you are in urgent need of a preening. Why should I bother with you if you don’t even take the time and effort to at least make yourself presentable?”

“Because I—”

“And even if I ignored your terrible personal hygiene, you have a bit too much muscle in your legs, and your appearance is just too plain to be on stage.”

“But I can easily fix my appearance! I can be a model!”

Prim sighed. “Alright, I’ll humor you a bit more. How much experience do you have in modeling?”

“Well, I um… uh, well… none…”

“Uh huh… Do you have any knowledge at all on how to be a model?”

Glamour swore the room was becoming hotter by the second. “You um, put on a dress, walk on stage, and look pretty?”

Prim buried her face into her hoof and let out an exasperated sigh. “An oversimplification of the process and an insult to the profession. Tell me, why should I let a mare who does not have the right look or even any experience into one of the most prominent fashion organizations in Equestria?”

“Because it would be really nice of you?” Glamour ventured with a sheepish grin.

Prim gave an even more scathing look that made it clear to Glamour that she had screwed up horribly. “My answer remains the same. You have no place here.” She turned her attention back to the papers on her desk and waved Glamour away. “Now, leave me be. I am very busy and have no time for ponies who have no appreciation for what we do here.”

Glamour scrambled over to Prim and planted her forehooves on the desk. “No, wait! Please give me a chance! I could—”

“Miss Nutmeg, we are done here. Remove yourself this instant, or I will call security.”

“But… I…” Glamour’s whole body drooped as she slid back off the desk. “O-okay, th-thank you for your time.”

Glamour slowly and quietly exited the room and closed the office door behind her without looking up at Prim. Only when she was halfway down the hall did she allow a few sniffles to escape her.

Even though the idea had only come to her last night, having her idea shot down so thoroughly and quickly stung a lot. She had thought she had found an easy way to feed herself for the rest of her life, but Prim Hemline had pretty much crushed that dream into dust and then blew the debris into her eyes.

After dragging her hooves back to the first floor, she stopped when she heard two mares speaking in the lobby.

“Here you go, Grace.” Glamour immediately recognized the voice as Coco’s.

“Oh my goodness, coffee! Gimme!” Glamour also recognized the receptionist’s voice, but this time, it was without a bored, monotone voice. “Thank you, Coco. You’re a lifesaver!”

Glamour let out a quiet groan as she heard Coco giggle. She did not feel like talking to Coco, not when she was so shaken from her verbal lashing, but as she heard the two mares chatting away, it seemed that it was another thing that was not going to go her way today. With no other way out of the building and the possibility that one of the mares would come down the hall, her only chance was to quietly make her way to the door and hope that the two mares were distracted.

Creeping out into the lobby, Glamour saw that Coco and Grace had not noticed her yet and quickly hid behind the closest potted plant.

Glamour grunted as she pulled the potted plant with her, trying to keep herself hidden as she slowly made her way through the lobby, but the heavy object was barely budging from her efforts.

That is, until Glamour got impatient and pulled even harder. She let out a yelp when she slipped, tipping the plant and causing the both of them to clatter to the floor.

As the two mares quickly turned to look at her, Glamour wondered why it seemed that even potted plants had a thing against her.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!?” Grace cried out.

“Nutmeg, is that really you?” Coco asked.

“H-hi, Coco,” Glamour replied quietly as she got up.

“Wait, you know this mare, Coco?”

“She’s a friend of mine.”

Glamour’s eyes widened. “Wait, we’re friends? But we have only known each other for like half a night.”

Coco smiled. “That may be so, but we had a good time together at the rehearsal, and you helped cheer me up when I was feeling down. At least to me, I would say we’re friends.”

“Oh, um, thanks.” A small smile appeared on Glamour’s lips. “I would be happy to be friends with you as well.”

“So what are you doing here, Nutmeg?”

And just as quick as it came, Glamour’s smile disappeared. “I was, um…” She bit her lip as her gaze went down to the floor.

“She wanted to apply for a job as a fashion model,” Grace answered for her.

“You did? How did it go?”

Glamour stayed silent, her gaze remaining glued to the floor.

“Oh… Nutmeg, I’m so sorry.”

With her attention focused on the floor, Glamour did not notice Coco approach until she felt hooves wrap around her, and she let out a tiny squeak when she was pulled into a hug.

“Are you alright?”

Glamour blinked before giving a small nod. “I… I’ll be fine.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Glamour tensed up. While the hug did make her feel a bit better, the disappointment of failing her interview still weighed heavily upon her head. As much as she would have liked to spend some time with Coco, their talk would likely get into questions that she did not have the energy to lie her way through.

“Actually… I think I would like some time alone, if you don’t mind.”

“Oh, um, alright…” Coco said as she ended their hug. The disappointment in her voice was not lost on Glamour. “I uh, I hope you feel better soon.”

“Thanks, Coco. Maybe we can talk some other time. Bye.” Glamour walked past her new friend and made her way over to the door.

“Nutmeg, wait!”

Glamour looked back. “Y-yes?”

“I…” Coco opened her mouth and raised her hoof to take a step closer, but stopped. Her eyes drifted to the floor, and she let out a sigh before looking back up at Glamour. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Glamour slowly nodded. “Y-yeah, see you.”

As soon as she exited the building, Glamour flew away until she found a cloud that was out of sight of the building that now housed her shattered dreams. Laying down into the fluffy surface, Glamour sighed as she began her sulking.

With all the times she had been ran out of towns or failed to get her mark, she should have been used to failures and disappointments. Even the failed invasion of Canterlot did not sting as much as her failed interview.

The problem was that she had thought she had a way to drastically improve her life and put too much of her hopes on the makeshift plan. As a result, she allowed her judgment to be clouded in all the excitement and rush.

She believed that the job of a model was a simple one, but Prim Hemline made it perfectly clear that was not the case, and her overconfidence left her ill-prepared for reality. She had failed before she even started.

With her master plan in ruins, it looked like she was going to have to resort to the old ways. Trying to drown out her depression, she forced herself to try and figure out how she would be able to find a couple to scrounge love from. She also started poking at possible escape routes out of Manehattan for when the inevitable moment that she was exposed and would be forced to run for her life. She figured she might as well decide what was the next town on her list so that she could repeat the whole process.

Glamour groaned and planted her face into the cloud.

She was tired of worrying when her next meal was, tired of having to pretend to be someone else, and tired of traveling from town to town.

She was tired of the endless cycle of running and hiding.

All her life, she had been fighting just to survive, but she wanted more than that.

She wanted a place to call home, to have fun, and even wanted to give the whole friends thing a try, even if they could never know the real her.

Glamour slowly raised her head off the cloud. For the first time, she had found a glimmer of hope that would break the cycle and give her what she wanted. Despite her miserable failure, she was not going to let her this chance slip away after only one try.

If becoming a fashion model will be able to give her what she wanted, then she wanted to become a fashion model.

“I will become a model, if it’s the last thing I do,” Glamour declared to herself as she got back on her hooves, replacing her depression with determination and a hint of stubbornness.

The one advantage of being a changeling was that if they failed one thing in their disguise, they could always try again with another disguise. But this time, Glamour would make sure she did this right.

With her spirits rekindled, Glamour flew back down into the streets of Manehattan with a plan for her previous plan.

During her time in the big city, she had passed a number of newspaper stands, and many of them carried all sorts of magazines, including fashion. She could use those magazines to get a better idea on what the fashion world was like and prepare herself for her second interview.

It did not take long before she spotted one such stand, and quickly picked out a fashion magazine. She barely got to read more than a few pages before the mare running the stand called her out.

“Hey, if you’re going to read that, you better buy it.”

“Oh, um, I kind of don’t have my bits with me.”

“Then get your grubby hooves off of that and scram. I’m running a business here, not a library.”

“Library? Where’s that?” Glamour asked. The public service would be a lot more friendly to her empty wallet.

“You serious?” the newspaper pony asked. After receiving a nod, she rolled her eyes. “Whatever, weirdo. At least it will get you out of my mane. Go down a couple of blocks until you hit Fifth Street. Take a right and then keep on going until you see it. Now, get out of here, freeloader, before I make you say hello to my little friend.”

“Uh, what little friend?”

“My attack kitten, Mittens.”

“Riiight… Anyway uh, thanks for the directions. I’ll just be going now.” And Glamour was flying off once again, in pursuit of fashionable knowledge.

She eventually came upon a wide building with a short flight of stairs. There were multiple sets of tall doors in between sets of thick pillars, and a giant sign of a book above the building confirmed that she had followed directions correctly.

Trotting inside the building, she was amazed to see every single wall was lined with books. Other than a couple of areas where ponies could sit and read, tall bookshelves filled with even more books were placed through the whole building.

Glamour had never seen so many books in one place before. While she was sure that they covered all sorts of fascinating subjects, she had only one interest at the moment, and it lay somewhere within the labyrinth of paper and ink.

Spying a mare reading a book at the nearby front desk, Glamour went over to ask for help. “Hi, I’m looking for—”

Shh!

Glamour blinked at the mare now giving her a stern gaze and had a hoof in front of her lips. “But I was just—”

Shh!

“Can I just—”

Shh!

“Why—”

Shh!

Glamour let out an exasperated groan.

Shh!

Glamour’s eye twitched. Before she could say something else, the mare pointed to a rather large sign next to her with the words, “Please be quiet. Ponies are reading.”

Glamour wondered if all those facial collisions were beginning to affect her ability to see, or at least see the obvious.

“Ohhh—”

Shh!

“Sorry,” Glamour whispered. She almost let out a sigh of relief when the librarian nodded but kept it to herself lest she be shushed yet again.

“What do you need?” the librarian asked quietly.

“Do you have anything on fashion?”

The librarian merely pointed her to a section in the back before returning to her book.

Glamour bowed her head in thanks, not wanting to provoke the strict librarian’s quiet wrath again, and made her way through the library.

At the fashion section, she found books on how to make clothes, what they were like in earlier years, and even how to properly wear clothes, but they offered little information on how to actually be a fashion model. Eventually, she found a shelf that contained fashion magazines.

Pulling out a random one, she opened it to find that the pages were covered with pictures of models. Like what she saw at the rehearsal, she found both normal and outrageous clothing, but sprinkled throughout the magazine were several articles. While they primarily discussed the details of the model and the clothes they were exhibiting, Glamour was able to glean some tips on how to be a fashion model.

Grabbing a hoofful of magazines from the shelf, she moved herself to a desk and began combing the material for anything that would help achieve her dream.

Several hours, several trips back to the shelf, and a near-death experience involving a paper cut and a collapsing tower of magazines later, Glamour was feeling confident that she would be able to pass Prim Hemline’s interview questions and was now referencing pictures to take care of the other problem.

Prim had already dismissed her current form, so she needed to get herself a new look, in particular, one that looked good enough to be a model. However, she could not just copy one of the models in the magazines. All of them were already known and using one of their images would quickly come back to bite her in the plot.

For her plan to be a fashion model to succeed, she would have to make a disguise from scratch. Conjuring a disguise without any pony to copy off of was going to use up a lot of her stored magic, but despite the risk, it was worth the gamble if it meant she would never have to live in fear again.

Switching to another magazine, Glamour saw a white unicorn with a mane of pink and white on the cover. She had seen this particular unicorn in quite a few covers, and despite not remembering her fancy, complicated name, she knew this model was popular because of her taller, more lithe body.

While Glamour would have liked to have every advantage she could get, she was already going to stretch her magic thin by making a completely new pony. Trying to mimic the unicorn’s elegant features would likely make her spell literally blow up in her face.

Glamour yawned and rubbed her tired eyes. She was beginning to get an idea of the look she wanted in her head, but she decided one more magazine would not hurt.

Sliding another magazine in front of her, she paused when she saw the cover. The magazine was dated earlier than most of the others she had read, but what really drew her attention was the picture of a yellow pegasus. It was clear the model was shy by the way she was hiding behind her pink mane, but Glamour was sure she saw this mare somewhere else before. In fact, she looked just like—

“AHHHHH!”

Glamour had screamed and pushed herself away from the magazine. Since she was still seated in her chair, the push had also caused it to lean backwards. Glamour flailed her hooves to try and balance the chair, but gravity won and brought the chair and her crashing to the ground.

Shh!

Glamour smiled sheepishly from the floor and nervously waved back at the angry glares. She quickly, but quietly, sat back at the table and propped up a different magazine to hide her face behind it.

Slowly, Glamour peeked over the top of her cover to eye the yellow pegasus on the other magazine.

The mare was none other than Fluttershy, one of the Elements of Harmony and defenders of Equestria. Glamour heard that Fluttershy and the rest of the Elements of Harmony had wiped out a whole battalion of changelings by themselves, and it took two more before they were finally subdued.

When Glamour was sure the printed picture would not suddenly come to life and possibly pummel her to pieces, she carefully grabbed Fluttershy’s magazine and began reading it.

The entire magazine was dedicated to the yellow pegasus, and Glamour was surprised to see the supposedly fearsome warrior look so shy and meek in the pictures. Just about every picture of Fluttershy was her trying to hide from the camera. According to one of the articles, she was a really big hit during her career, but it only lasted a short time before she unexpectedly quit.

“Probably got too busy battling dragons and manticores, or something like that,” Glamour mumbled as she set down the magazine.

Glamour leaned back in the chair and glanced over at a clock on the wall. The library was going to close soon, ending her cram session with it. Fortunately, she was almost done with her preparations for the interview. All that was left was her disguise.

Glamour looked around, trying to find a place where she could put on her disguise. Copying a pony’s appearance only took a second, but creating her own would take a bit longer, and if any pony saw her while she was casting the spell, all her efforts would go to waste.

Her first thought was to go use the bathroom, but she realized taking magazines of beautiful mares to the bathroom was probably going to look very suspicious.

Looking around a bit more, she grinned when she spied the section on ancient tax codes. Whether it was ponies, changelings, or any other species on the planet, they would agree that only the super nerds that spend way too much time in books would find any interest in the dull subject.

Taking a few choice magazines with her, Glamour made her way to the deserted section, noting the piles of dust and cobwebs all over the seemingly abandoned part of the library. After laying out the magazines onto a nearby table and giving one last glance at the pictures, she closed her eyes and started imagining the look she wanted.

Her changeling horn appeared on her head, and a soft, green glow bathed the surrounding area. Focusing on the pony in her mind, she felt a familiar tingle as a ring of fire started rising from her hooves. However, instead of it quickly washing over her entire body, the tingling sensation crept slowly up her legs.

Glamour could feel the transformation taking effect, but she kept her eyes shut, keeping her concentration on the picture in her head. She felt the magic work up to her chest, removing the feeling of her feathered wings, and continue up her neck, up to her head, before finally ending at her horn.

When the tingling sensation finally stopped, she let out a big exhale and opened her eyes. She immediately closed her eyes again when she saw the spinning room. A moan escaped her as she brought a hoof up to her aching head, but her dizziness almost made her fall. Carefully, she sat down on her haunches and tried to take in deep breaths.

As expected, the act of using so much magic at once came with some side effects, but they were minor annoyances that would go away quick. While she was anxious to see her new form, her throbbing headache was making it a bit hard to pay attention to anything else.

Eventually, Glamour felt her body recovering from the exertion and let out a sigh of relief. Opening up her eyes, she immediately reached for the compact mirror in her bag and looked at her reflection. She let out a gasp at what she saw.

Staring back at her was a set of pupiled eyes colored in the same blue as a changeling’s. She turned her head around, marveling at her own light-grey coat and cutie mark of a spotlight shining down. On her head was a unicorn horn brushing against the edge of her pink mane.

Glamour had noticed quite a few of the more popular models, including Fluttershy, had long, pink manes, so she had done the same with her mane. The right side was slightly longer and almost reached her chest, while the other side covered a bit of her left eye and curved upwards.

A frown appeared on her face as she took a closer look at her mane. Apparently, there was a little bug in her spell, and it left the bottom of her pink mane a black color instead. Looking back at her swishing pink tail, she saw that a similar effect had also occurred. Yet despite it being unintentional, Glamour found herself liking the pattern the more she looked at it and decided to keep it.

After stuffing all the magazines in a manner that would make whoever who had to clean up after her a sobbing mess, she exited the library and into the Manehattan night.

While the night life in the big city was almost as lively as the day time, Glamour only had one thing in mind and that was to sleep. Creating a new form had left her exhausted, and she needed to be well-rested for the interview tomorrow and then attend the fashion show. Hopefully, tomorrow will finally bring a change to her life.

She looked up into the sky and leapt into the air. She only rose a few inches into the air before landing right back on the ground.

Glamour facehoofed.

She had forgotten that unicorns could not fly, and with her magic reserves running low, she could not afford to switch back to a pegasus and then back to her new look. With no way to get to a cloud and no bits on hoof, Glamour trudged off to find suitable lodgings for the night.

Maybe if she was lucky, she would find a nice box to sleep in.