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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Highs and Lows


pleasure and pain. yin and yang. it's pervasive in our real lives, and it's no different here in second life. you can have from one extreme to the next. in lifestyle and design, attitudes and tolerances. they all follow the same relative lines. fashion? you bet. from amateurish junk to haute couture. i've seen them all, hell, i've even made my own crap (a joyful squee to me).

i have my fingers in a lot of pies. get your mind out of the gutter. i mean my talents are diverse and i pursue them with vigour. i'm trying to put out a post here every second day. alternating between my personal blog, putting together these posts here, and integrating various aspects of projects is proving to be quite the little juggling act.

i've had some help on the writing front, Arabeth, yer a dream, but the expectations of bringing the other writers out of their "comfort zone" is proving to be severely tested. so, as i progress them through my hand holding and cajoling, i thought i'd put out a request to any and all residents who are coming here: if you would like to try your hand at second life fashion reviewing, please get in touch with me inworld. IM or notecard. i can bring you to the water, but yer gonna have to drink by yerself.

i'm not sure if the regular fashion blog reader realizes just what kind of hard work goes into putting a fashion post together. of course, as in all things, there are good and bad reviewers. i respect and admire a few. they are ranked hierarchically (say that a few times real fast) in my bloglines feed page. i arrange it weekly so if yer at the top one week, you just might fall to the bottom or be removed the next. i won't relate just how i determine how that all happens, but if you respect my opinion, you'll understand.

now, i should state clearly at this point, doing my brand of fashion review takes hard work and committment. you probably won't have the time or resources to do it full time. if i can put together a team that can each pop one post a week off i'd be happy-er. not only do we have to deal with all the technical quirks of this blogger interface (never compose online!) we have second life's madness to contend with. putting together a post (text and pix) is the easy stuff compared to how one relates to our special girls, our designers.

it's actually a pretty easy thing to make clothes. right click your avi, go into Appearance Mode, select a Clothes tab and hit the Create New button. voila, you are a clothes designer in the Fashion World of Second Life! unfortunately, this low end of the scale has its adherants and they can be packaged, marketed, and sold with very little consideration for quality (artistically or technically). what ya gonna do?

it's one thing to pop a photo texture on your t-shirt (it is a simple thing, and one that i suggest you try) but quite another to be able to paint or manipulate your own or someone else's textures to wrap around an infinite number of body shapes. i've worn some of the best designers clothing and some of the worst. it's my committment to blogging about quality products and my unqualified feedback to the designers that i hope will improve and invigorate our world.

i hope you appreciate it. please tip your dancer generously.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ameshin's Tartan Skirt


i flew over to Ameshin Yossarian's Curious Kitties sim island the other day. i won't tell you how long ago, cause i've been wearing the skirt i got from her ever since. how embarrassing, i know. i'm not taking it off till i cycle through my friends list for complements.

i didn't have the time to get an outfit put together at the time i was there, just taking in her build again. looks like she's made some changes since i was there last taking some shots for an ASpiRE! Magazine layout. when i spied this skirt i just couldn't let it go. when i got it on it was a bit large, accentuated my boy hips a wee bit much with the layers of belt prims. i prayed it was modifiable. to my delight, it was. i sized it down to a more flattering dimension and did the walk.

the strands coming off the mechanical loops seemed a bit stiff for my taste. the skirt prims were just perfect and indeed they did make me ga. but the strands had to get edited. if anyone else is unhappy with their physics i changed their Softness to 0, Gravity to 1.3, Drag 1.5, Wind 0, and Tension to .5. that seemed to do the trick. you can see the results in the video below. for the entire ensemble click the image at the top to reveal the details.


if it's not embedded (as it appears to me) check it out at youtube.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lilyana Dryke Comes to Behold


i wrote about Lilyana a while back on the Women of Second Life blog. we've been chatting ever since about this and that (she's giving me some interior decor ideas for my 60s luv pad) so i thought i'd offer her a space on my land to display some of her items. seems like a fair trade. more exposure never hurts unless you are a "competitor" haha. since i do not play that game i think she makes a nice addition. my take on it all is that everyone wins.

Lilyana's selection in styles is still slight but you can fully appreciate her relative youth. not that the items she has are primitive or crude attempts of your every day average newbie. she brings some fresh shaping and texturing to the world. she's a little shy to shill her wares, but i'm not. i think she's got a good balanced perspective and is a valuable asset to our fashion industry. she's even committed to putting out new designs by Friday each week. i wilth maketh sure she does. such a hard ass, i know. anytime yer in a pinch you might wanna pull out that upturned collar shirt love? you know the one. yeah, your personal stash. (just thinkin....)

the top i'm wearing above, taken at her wall at Behold (click the image to view more detail) suits my vanity just right. if you need to show off your cleavage (make sure the light's on your side) this is the top for you. there's more clever detail work with double horizontal straps across the back. oh, did i mention it's from her freebie gift pack? uhuh. and, along with this top, she's put her powder blue knit top that i wrote about over here in there too.

i'd like to have as much variety and choices in my little shop of horrors as possible. as it is we have Myllie Writer and now Lilyana for clothing. i've made some quirky furnishings and jewelry, and i've packaged up some freebie finds to fulfill any newbie's needs. kick back by the pool (you must try some pose snapshots!), splash about, hell, give yourself a tarot card reading. what more could you ask for? all in an open friendly environment. check out the progress as we evolve the content and build. there's still plenty of pink primwork to blind you but i'm gradually adding texturing so you should be able to tell the walls from the floors real soon. oh, and btw, don't hog Stroker's sexgen bed! you never know just when i'll be coming back. share!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aloof Funk


i am a little bit "verklempt" today. there's nothing better to chase away the moody meanderings than to try on a new outfit. i'd seen Myllie Writer's post over at her blog about Tame and couldn't wait to try it on. i do a fair amount of shopping, i catch the newest releases on the blogosphere, i do spend time putting outfits together; but, in my funk, i'd really like someone else to be responsible for dressing me. yes i can dress myself, i told you i wasn't feeling well.

so, as it is in my present predicament, i don't want to adjust anything, edit, rotate, stretch or nothing. it seems that every other outfit i try on i'm asked to put this here, move this there, might want this over here, ad infinitum. it was a welcome relief to pop on Myllie's skirt, sweater, and stockings ensemble without any user intervention. and, what a charming outfit it is indeed.

it's sophisticated office wear, casual walk in the park gear, and lazing around at home fare. of course, your house better be a chalet or spanish villa since this look puts out far more than anyone could be asked. it just exudes top line. and, yes, i can't get over how far Myllie's come in such a short time. the blogosphere is all abuzz about her talents.

far be it for me to sing her praises. check out Shir Dryke's post at her Ornamental Life blog, and tamk's post at Does this Make My Ass Look Fat. if i didn't know Myllie so well, i'd think she'd be getting a big fat head right about now. as it is, i do believe she loves what she does and the adulation adds to her spirit. something we could all use generous quantities thereof.

each item has its own challenges. i'm impressed with the progress she's made. you'll have to click on the above image to see the detail. i enhanced the brightness on one of the cuts (black does not lend itself to viewing the finer intricacies of the texturing) so you can take a good close look at the phenomenal concentration to detail Myllie is mastering.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

ANNÉE VERITA

...one year ago today...

i popped into the world one entire year ago. i'm probably gonna put out a retrospective, but in the mean time, here are some pix i've culled from the whole cloth. yes, that's me in the mohawk.































Thursday, October 18, 2007

Patterns Before My Eyes



i'm wearing a new designer's system dress. not that i'm all that impressed with anything that doesn't carry prims, but this dress is different. i've known Yaharra Beattie since her birthing, maybe a few off, i'm not sure. we met at free dove. she had on the cutest little prim skirt, flat textured skin, and the loveliest prim hair.

i didn't hesitate to capitalize on any opportunity to pounce upon her. i musta impressed her with my technical prowess. we fixed up her foot size problem, i gave her a few skins i had and we were fast friends. she showed a tremendous talent for grasping and implementing a high level building routine i was engrossed in. her eye on the camera is natural and startling. i've got one of her pixel paintings at my shop in Choerom.

as our conversation relaxed we shared real life details. i was quite beside myself when she told me she was involved in the real life fashion industry. she's a designer with a small international clothing manufacturing business. she was flying between Hong Kong and London sampling fabrics, i think. i was all aghast so i might not a remembered her exact particulars. to me, she's the virgin queen. all rise!

she's a real peach and i really like our frequent conversations. there's been many a turn along the road since that first day. she is just now beginning to concentrate her considerable skills on her dream of designing clothing in second life. good luck and much love as you ascend upon the trail love.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where'd Ya Get That?

yeah! we's on the fashion planet feed. now the revolution shall begin (again). thanks Tao, yer a giant!

i'm constantly chatting. anywhere i go, whatever and/or whomever strikes my fancy, i'll chime in. public or IM. i don't care, i'm a magpie. some people can't stand being interrupted no matter what they're doing. even if they're idling, camping, or organizing their inventory. they can't stand people and they can't stand people communicating. you can be a real nuisance to this type. maybe we could design a game where you can murder people at random with absolutely no concern for any repurcussions. oh, we have! been there, done that.

in my own second life, in the majority of instances (no matter what their typists are doing, or however their avis are performing for us (most definitely not the same thing), people respond in the sweetest, most polite fashion. this medium is made for social interaction. thank you Philip. i'm really enjoying my life here. get over it children. this aint like them there other shoot em up games. it's really quite invigorating meeting new people from all over the world. opening up extraordinary adventures or simple exchanges of data. ya never know. try it. get out of your "comfort zone" (read: clique) and let the rest of the world in.

the other day i chanced upon Vye Ballinger. she had on a nice little miniskirt that i just had to have. since the linden's or resident scripters have not provided any means of knocking her down and tearing it off her, i resorted to the built-in common human touch. so what if i was dressed in a robot skin. there's a girl inside EnCore who likes to dress her human avi up on occasion.

i asked her if she knew who the designer was and she was nice enough to tell me. so i hightail it over there and pick it up. when i put it on there's no lace frill on the skirt! hell, it wasn't near anything like what i saw. the most attractive part of the entire outfit she had on was the exceptionally detailed lace edging on the semi opaque prim skirt (click the image to reveal more detail). argh.

so i IM her the next day (yes, i do sleep. occasional REM states do indeed occur) and she tells me that she mixed up that outfit with a top from where she sent me with the skirt from Analise Fashion. unfortunately, the skirt's a part of an entire silks set and i had no need to sex myself up quite that much. gulp, you can get in trouble with that kinda dress, i'm sure. nonetheless, if anyone's adventurous and can show off the quality to your advantage, here's the landmark to the wall display. the land has a Teleport Routing set to the Landing Zone a few meters away in the central court so you'll have to follow the beacon. it's 600L for everything. close, but i only needed the skirt. still do. come by and show me if ya pick it up.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Callie Cline's aLLy Cat Coat


what hasn't been said about Callie Cline already? i sure don't have anything but adulation for her stellar rise to fame. her connection with the corps moving and shaking our world (ivillage, pontiac, maxim) along with her many many collaborations has brought her to a well deserved spotlight. the fact that she's been with the ASpiRE! gang forever and that i'm completely blown away with her avi's head shots should not enter into any particular bias. draw your own conclusions.

the funny thing is, i've not got any of her clothing. i had a few freebies found in my inventory from forays into the wilds in my younger days but they never really stood out. perusing the blogs, as i normally do on a regular basis (my bloglines is over 100 now), nothing popped out that gave me the wow, i have-to-have-it™ feeling. so it was a welcome surprise when she dropped her newest design on me. apparently, my technical expertise was called for in this particular instance. i have this peculiarity of zooming into the thread count realm. go figure.

when i opened one of the folders (there are 10 colours available) i was totally confused. there's three choices of layers for the two types of tops. one top's got fur-like shoulder pads so as to hide the furry wrap (shown in the photo below) the other follows the pattern of the vertically striped chinchilla (at least that's the impression the pattern gave me). i'm hoping it's simulated simulated fur. peta's entered sl so watch out.

i figured out where my confusion was by checking Callie's blog. seems she's considered this garment to be worn in every conceivable configuration. there's a system skirt included in the pack as well. if you don't want to wear the full coat's prim skirt (glitch pants included) just throw on the skirt. mix and match. wearing the system skirt with the coat prims looks kinda silly but hey, it's an option for the unitiated. since it's getting damned cold up here in the great white north i went with the fully wrapped furry look. both cuffs and belt are in a contrasting coloured fur (the belt is constructed by Jackal Ennui). it might need a little tweaking to size but it's fully modifiable. [Callie Cline: "just to clarify, i made the belt, i added the charms jackal made to it."

i had no plain knee high boots to go with it and with very little time to shop i IM'd a good friend Stacey Foxley (a model from the Bud Select lingerie contest) to ask if she had any landmarks. well, as if by magic, she TPd me to where she was but the ones she had were above the knee. the next TP we hit the motherlode. Bax Coen's got a way with boots.

as you can see by the top image (click to enlarge) they are gorgeous. the texture is black suede with metalic stilletto heels and toe cap. the weird thing is they have a signature logo on the back of them just like callie's fur belt has her own CC mark. of course, they are not a chump change buy. at 800 lindens they include two pair; one under the knee and the other above. they fit me fine with a slight sizing adjustment. both have scripted footstep sounds (not to my liking, but they are easy to turn off in the menu) and the metal is colour changeable from a gold texture to a silver one.

you'll just have to get over to one of Bax Coen's shops. she's got a really neat little Craig Altman animation there for you to "Worship" her boots. Colleen was good enough to be roped into doing a shot for me. teehee. boots, ya gotta love em.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Kill the Chill


got a few gifts from Myllie Writer the other day. she's such a dear. musta known the temperature's dropping pretty low around here in the great white north of late. not so much that you need mittens but the nip is definitely in the air. it was sure nice to pull on her thick wool sweater and knit tights.

for this outfit, you might think that Myllie's tartan mini is a bit too summery. well, there's no snow on the ground (yet) and if i'm not showing off my long legs, wrapped snuggly in her thick woven tights, i might just stay under the covers. yes, still wearing her tights. as it is, the skirt needed some adjustment to hide the prim's top ends. i thought the game was going bonkers when i was adjusting it. it kept snapping back no matter where i put it. thankfully Myllie was nice enough to figure it out. i was wearing Nauka Umaga's Intellskirt scripted version (Myllie's upgraded all her Persona store packs to include an intellskirt copy) and it wouldn't budge under manual intervention. the touch menu sure looked interesting but i didn't have the time for an education so i tried the traditional style and slid it around to fit.

when i first tried on Myllie's cable knit sweater i thought her turtle neck attachment was a sculpty. not so. if you take a look at the larger detail (click the image at the top) you'll see it's a bunch of torus' (torii?) placed just so to simulate the real thing. you can't get much closer to reality than this. with her imaculately wrapped textures (how does she do that?) you'd be right in thinking she's an expert. i'm writing this outside on my porch and with my overly imaginative mind, i feel as if i'm still wearing it. yeah, i know. gotta get out more. the only chance i get is when i'm forced to make the trek to have a smoke. kinda chilly at 52 degrees (40 in the morning) but with Myllie's graphical aids it feels cozy warm.

you should know Myllie from earlier blogposts here and there. she is a phenomenon. i'm kinda protective of her for some unknown reason. i guess i see a potential technical greatness in her and i fear she may, with her innocence and newness, fall in with the wrong social crowd. if anyone feeds her negative mutterings about the lindens, the game's technical failings, and countless horror stories she just may pack it up and move on. and, that would be a loss for all of us.

as i creep towards my one year relationship of inworld love/hate i can see the affects of negativity on an artist's productivity. i'm not in the same league as Myllie but i still consider myself an artist. we all are. turn that cam on yourself girl. i've eaten from the dog's dish of i-give-up but i always slink back home. there's just something about this platform's universal human connection that can brush me off and get me back to creating. we can choose to wallow in our own tears (there are plenty of people who'll support you in that too) but the best of us rise above it, get past the emo, and choose to continue the climb. putting their time, talent, and creativity to best use for us all is a natural aspect of their being.

as chance/serendipity or just good search capabilities would have it, i had to get a background for Myllie's outfit. something autumnal, yes, autumnal (look it up). so i find this neat little place over at babydoll stardust's that has a maze of harvested corn. if you want to have some fun and test your tolerance, check it out. no spooky shit, just the true spirit of thanksgiving harvest. get back to the roots folk. enjoy the Earth.

originally posted on Women of Second Life (still awaiting Fashion Planet's switchover)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lilyana Dryke: new designer


i got a notecard slipped under my door the other day by Lilyanna Dryke telling me about her new shop where she is displaying some clothing. i'm really busy these days, i'm building out my new retail space on Choerom, i'm getting married(!), my rez day is coming up, i've started a new blog, i'm trying to get a design commission completed for a friend, everyone i talk with is an emotional wreck, etc, etc. how could i possibly do a review of her clothing.

she never specifically said i should, just a friendly note filled with some photo textures saying she was new and could use some more eyes on her creations. well, since i was in the area (doing some detective work for the Linden's case against me, more work) i thought i'd stop by and see her layout.

well! the tone of the Blight Mall where she has her shop was quite dark. a death metal club was the main attraction (it's gone now as of this writing). i asked around in the club if they knew of Lilyana's shop eLDee. the conversation was focused on some goat whore band. i thought they were talking about me. yeah, i'm sensitive like that. nonetheless i was able to locate it and was instantly pleased it wasn't some horribly hellish hallucination.

i met Lilyana there after purchasing what i thought was her best dress design called Tangy. as you'll see from the photo above (click to reveal the WORN inventory image) i was able to complement it with some more fresh designs from some equally fresh designers. i blogged about Myllie Writer (her stockings and bangles) over at ASpiRE! Fashion Blog a while back, and i did an assignment on Fuscia Jewell (Petal Meg Jewelry) for ASpiRE! Magazine (yet to be released). the earrings are freebies. whoever made them, i didn't do an inspection on their combined properties, they're big and dynamic. i thought of going with some big plastic beads but it's all i had in my inventory. i think it works okay.

Lilyana's favourite is this Skulls design. it's got some nice texturing details. there are safety pins on some of the prim skirt segments and bodice that i thought were really quite cute. she's got grommets on the slimmer strap too. heavens if the 80s punk movement digs up the Ramones. i would have liked to see more detail on the pins. the most obvious detail, the buckle just under the boobs is quite nice. another detail, which i wasn't able to discern seemed to suggest a heavy brass lock which i felt wasn't necessary. it was not well defined, the colour didn't blend, and really served no punk styling, unless i missed its importance altogether.

the next item i tried on, her powder blue knit top, was a freebie, she's got a gift box on the floor of her shop containing some nice items she could really retail. she has more designs in the can and in the works but she's just getting herself into the retailing groove. plenty of talent here. she's committed herself to putting out more each and every friday. if she can pop off the quality of this sweater (check the detail of how the gold metalic insert is joined to the soft texture of the knit!) she's gonna do just fine.

there are some flaws, or was that intentional, with the knit texture on the back of the arms. there seemed to be a discernably repeated pattern unlike the rest of the luscious, warm, breathy, loose-knit fabric on the rest of the design. i could have used some more detailing on the hem but with the quality of the rest of the garment i'm sure revisiting it would be a cinch to correct my need for perfection.

lastly is Lilyana's checked miniskirt with belt. i really like her logo (based on the sound of her initials LD). the belt hides some of the prims if you position it just so (as i suppose was its intention). you'll have to adjust it to suit. i changed the dip a bit. and, as it depends on what shape she's using to design, i consistently had to move things forward, even though i was wearing my Zero Butt review shape (otherwise, the butt's prominance projects out past the flexi prims.) can't remember where i heard that, but it's a maxim i'm living with from now on.

all in all, Lilyana shows great promise. her texturing, especially for her sweater is quite seriously advanced. she has some work to do on her flexi prim edges. each and every edge can, and should, be considered a separate design element. unfortunately, with her Tangy dress the bottom edges of the hollowed cylinders were not made transparent and with the complications of the alpha in the lace detailing, well; i couldn't give it my full four kisses. of course, at a distance, with the choice of colours and detailing in the bodice, it rises above the rest. all in all, three kisses. well done so far love. we'll be around to see what new stuff you have.

anywho, just so you know, if anyone's interested in Arabeth or myself doing a review on any of their stuff, just fling it over to either one of us. as our time inworld is meant to have as much fun as possible (reviewing's hard work) we will do our best to accomodate as many of you as possible. no promises, kk? if anyone has any writing talent and would like to contribute shoot me an IM or notecard. we might start a fashion empire.

BTW if you've come from our sister publication Women of Second Life, this blog is for the Fashion aspect of our lives. the other is a wee bit more involved in philosophical discourse. if yer keen on hearing what we have to say on everything else but fashion you can take that in too. as it is for this blog, i've got Arabeth all primed to give us a lengthy fall special treat. stay tuned, stay true.

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