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Couture is a measure of the current social position of an Elder in regards to any other Elder at a particular place - usually a salon or other type of gathering in Elysium. It is a difficult concept for vampires new to the intricate rules of Camarilla society. It generally refers to a combination of factors, most important of which are: a Kindred’s age, experience and relative Status. When determining the Couture of individuals from the same clan, their Clan Prestige may also become relevant.
Couture rises to the fore in one-on-one dealings on a more social level. When two Kindred come together for even the briefest of discussions at a salon there are inevitably many pairs of ears and eyes, analyzing their every word and motion. The call to battle is sounded by a raised eyebrow and a sneering “Do you really think so?” in response to an offhand comment on any of a number of topics both political and social. If the first vampire does not hastily back away from his stated position, he must attempt to rise to the challenge. The winner of any such duel of wits may be rewarded by the grudging esteem of his peers, while the loser immediately becomes the subject of disparaging gossip. The effect on the Couture of the two individuals depends on many factors, most importantly how interesting Camarilla society considers the combatants and the topic of discussion.