Sketches for Untitled Kingdom Volume IV: “Literary & Debating Society”, an episode in which the girls at the orphanage fortuitously receive the wrong uniforms, instead of the ones ordered for them at the behest of the First Lady.

The backstory: the orphan schoolgirls have now figured out how to wield certain forest magic elements in their favour, and set about to end their isolation and start exploring the world beyond the walls of the orphanage. Their first excursion to the world outside the school is to the Capital, for the Literary & Debating heats. Despite the fact they are well prepared, and obviously the most erudite and competent of all the contestants, they meet with swift humiliation. The orphans quickly discover this is no meritocracy, everyone, even the adults on the judging panels, are more concerned with appearances. Sartorial elegance is what sways the debate. So when the opportunity arises in the form of a charitable visit from the First Lady, Odu— the boldest and trickiest of the girls, entreats her to help them overcome the blight of their humble and modest orphan wear, noting that she of all people must understand the power of the right outfit. 

The new uniforms arrive but there has been a mixup: these are the glamorous get ups intended for the staff of President’s private jet. Even more mysterious is the gender switch that seems to occur when some of the girls don the more masculinely defined outfits…

These sketches ended up with military and equestrian elements I found myself exploring, rather than the initial aviation theme.