Thursday, April 30, 2009

~*{The Black Canary}*~ The Iris (Tomoyuki)


[Ugh, WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS? This blog is in NO WAY affiliated with the RunwaySL blog or magazine. So I've got to put up this disclaimer, because RunwaySL continues to repost my blog putting themselves as the author. Oh, and they won't respond to my emails. Whatever, property of Minx Arashi. grrrr]

Ok... on to the post:

they're like dreams but they're not dreams they're real ya know you feel as though you're alive when you're dreaming, you think you're alive when you're dreaming~Dream Song, Ministry.

I wonder what someone from 100 years ago would think of places like Second Life. What will people 100 years from now think about it? What if you were suddenly whirled back in time by some weird whatever time *thing* in the universe and you found yourself in some early 20th century town and for whatever reason you're trying to explain Second Life to them? Wow, how do you even start?

I'd skip over the whole 'internet' and 'wireless' thing, personally. Easier to start with what a thing is than have to explain the rest of the century to them. Of course, you might explain it differently, but I personally lean toward a little more wordy and misty eyed approach to things. The first thing I'd have to compare Second Life to though is a dream. Kind of a shared dream, really, but still pretty much a dream. Lucid, definitely, if you're looking for a definition.

Everyone LOVES to talk about their dreams. Admit it, you do it. You've had that thing with that guy dancing at that place with the elephants and fuzzy alligators. You wake up, totally confused, and latch onto your roommate to tell them about that insane dream you just had. Yeah, me too.

Anyway, I find that when I'm doing compositions for the blog or just for fun, most of my location choices end up being very strange, dreamy places. The lighting is a lot of fun there usually too. I like the idea of Second Life as a dreamworld, some of its most beautiful places are fantastic, glowy, moody places. I love doing photography there, and I love when a designer shows me something that let's me do that.

Morrigan Denimore's The Iris is a gorgeous, dreamy short kimono style dress with some lovely texture work. Seriously, the artwork on the obi and bow are really fun to look at. The Iris comes with a matching set of boots and the whole look is a lot of fun. It's a lovely profile and some lovely prim work overall. The monochrome patterns made me think of mysterious, misty Japanese forests, so I had to find one.

Anyway, really gorgeous, and a lovely piece from The Black Canary.

~*{The Black Canary}*~

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

.+*Cipher*+. Prayer Shrug and Zip Up Skirt


So it starts like this. I went to this shop with awesome prim jewelry I don't know how long ago. I don't even remember going there, right? So I'm hanging out with a friend of mine the other day and suddenly I'm like "wow, I really love that vest" or something. Not a direct quote, but you know, your friend shows up in something really hot and you MUST KNOW IMMEDIATELY where it came from.

Cipher, she says, I told you about it months ago. Hmmm, so I forgot about that I guess. Anyway, I apologize for the whole forgetting thing and then pop offline for whatever RL thing I had to do. So of course, whenever I get back online I decide to go check it out, I mean, the vest was REALLY COOL after all, right?

Wait a minute! There IS a .+*Cipher*+. LM in my inventory. How did that get there? Whoa, I've got jewelry from there already? Nothing, no recollection whatsoever. So, anyway, I TP over there and went a little nutz with my $L.

Okay, so really really nicely textured leather, we'll start with that. From the shrug jacket to the zip up leather skirt, there's a lovely muted texture that works nicely in any light. The chrome on the belt and the eyelets on the shrug collar are just gorgeous.

Now, as for the skirts, well, couple things there. First, I love them, the attention to detail on the zips and the leather are very nicely done. There's no glitch pants, so most skirts come with an underwear warning if you don't want to flash everyone the next time you're out clubbing. Skirts are a single attachment, so I did find that my AO would sometimes make my let cut through the sides sometimes, but the belt attachment did help cover that sometimes and it may not affect you depending on your AO. I did try playing with just some other glitch pants I had in my inventory to minimize it and that helped too. It's a minor annoyance from an otherwise gorgeous piece of design I'll totally forgive.

Anyway, if YOUR friend hasn't told you to visit .+*Cipher*+. yet, I'm telling you now. There's a lot of awesome primmy goodness to choose from.


Skin: Tainted Innocence

Hair: [Detour] Placebo D. White Mix

Top: .+*Cipher*+. Shrugs Jacket ++Prayer++ Black

Skirt/Belt: .+*Cipher*+. ++Zip Up++ & ++Rad++ Type 2

Boots: [Gauze] Eclipse Boots

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

House of Nyla~Miss Burlesque Sets

House of Nyla

I wasn't sure where to start this post. I mean, usually it's a pretty straightforward process. There's an outfit, and it makes me think of something. Then I write it out and submit for your approval. Boom. That's it.

Oh, I can find a lot to say usually, I mean, good design should generate that. Beauty is rarely just a surface thing. A lot of designs are beautiful not just because they are, but because of the story behind the design, where it comes from. I like to look at things and find out about them, or dream up stories to go along with them.

House of Nyla has a great story. Nyla Cheeky's Second Life project is fairly unique, actually. With designs ranging from the truly avant garde to something like today's Miss Burlesque sets, House of Nyla has some of the most interesting and colorful costumes, masks, and lingerie in Second Life. There's a twist though! Nyla's first life persona sells them too! Really interesting, like I said.

So, you can visit Nyla's inworld from the landmark below, or, if you like, you can go here for a first life look at her selection on real world models. One of my favorite questions to ask designers and artists in SL is if they have the same sort of job otherwise. Usually, well, it's no. Oh, they might be a clothes maker in SL but a graphic artist or something RL, but I've only met one or two who is doing the exact same thing in both worlds.

Not that they need to, really, I mean, I've met so many people who have found talents they never knew they had in our virtual world. I've discovered a few things about myself even. Nyla Cheeky's SL experiment shows that talents can be shared between both worlds, and that's something to think about.

Nyla's Miss Burlesque sets are just the latest gorgeous example of her tastes for colorful and theatrical style. Perfect for a show! Fun, sexy and so well made, Miss Burlesque comes in 8 colors (Purple Haze and Miss Bee shown). Each set comes with three tophat variations, along with stockings, panties, bra, garters and corset. Nyla also has some matching crocodile skin heels if you're looking to accessorize more. Each piece is very well made, the textures are nicely detailed and brightly colored. Loving these, so different.

House of Nyla deserves a visit definitely, there's a huge range of fun and sexy designs to choose from.

House of Nyla

Monday, April 27, 2009

Boingo! Nightsong Latin Dress

So, summer is coming up soon, and I can't wait.

Yah, I know, we've talked about it. My favorite of the four seasons; sunshine and warm long days. I love it.

I love it for other reasons too though.

Ok, so I've got a little confession to make: I'm kind of a reality show addict. I mean, I don't watch ALL of them, ugh... I'm an addict with some standards I guess. It's not those '11 strangers in a house' type reality show either; nope, strictly competition stuff. Love it. America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, and of course, So You Think You Can Dance sorts of shows.

SYTYCD only comes on in the summer though. I wait all year for it. It's a really fun show with awesome music, the costumes, wow awesome choreography, and gorgeous people. Oh, and don't try to push that Dancing with the Stars show on me. Yawn. All fake, and really really tacky. Seriously, it's annoying.

Anyway, it's so awesome I Jeela Juran of Boingo! just released her Nightsong Latin Dress. Inspired by those sexy sexy cut dresses the professionals get to play in, Nightsong is perfect for that tango, rumba, or paso doble under the stars on a warm summer night. Hawt! The cut is dead on, and the texturing is lovely. A really nice release from Jeela Juran.

Oh, and rumor has it Jeela's considering a line of these dresses, so keep an eye out for more.

Boingo Headquarters

Thursday, April 23, 2009

[Gauze] *Illuminati* Ganguro Skins


I have a list of places I'd love to visit before I die. Well, before I get too old I guess; there's no point in going someplace if you can't have a little fun there, right? Oh, I've done Cancun, so that's off the list. Brazil looks like a lot of fun. I'm sure I need to see Australia too. Europe, of, specifically Greece and Ireland. Spain too I guess. First though, I've always wanted to visit Japan.

Oh, there's that whole rich history thing. Geishas, smoky temples, samurais and weird haunted forests... I've GOT to see that. Of course, there's the cities too. Every time I see a picture of someplace like Tokyo it just looks so cool. All the lights, all that neon, it's like something out of science fiction. There's so much of the new mixed with the old. It's weird and beautiful, totally exotic but with something just soooo familiar. Zen Buddhists compete on bizarre game shows. Robots are replacing fashion models and learning to read minds. Where else IS any of this? Nowhere. Sure it's been imported in diluted form over to the West. We copy the game shows, Gwen Stefani carts over her Harajuku Girls (of course, I LOVE Gwen, don't get me wrong!), we remake their movies into something less.

Whatever. It's a strange place, with a whole history of discipline and regiment but still at the same time a free craziness that's just colorful and full of life. Maybe it comes from seeing the end of the world and coming through it. I don't know.

Anyway, it's gorgeous, and Japanese art and culture has been Yukio Ida of Gauze's inspiration since he first set up shop in SL as Illuminati Designs. His latest skin releases are gorgeous Ganguro skins inspired by one of the more beautifully weird subcultures in Japan. Manba, Banba and Ganguro are the first in a total revamp Yuki's been doing on his skin line, and absolutely I love the choices here. The makeups are perfectly ganguro and all those little bits like anatomy and shading are VERY well done on these hand drawn skins. I love these to pieces!

Shown (clockwise from top left):

*Illuminati* Female-Dusk-Ganguro
*Illuminati* Female-Ginger-Manba
*Illuminati* Female-Peach Banba

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nightshade Designs Blacklist~Drusilla


Moods are funny sometimes. Musical tastes, those midnight snacky cravings, a Friday night cocktail, well, they're all sort of moody decisions. I might want to listen to Her Space Holiday one day and Mindless Self Indulgence the next. Maybe I want a shot of something fruity tonight or maybe it's just perfect for wine. Whatever, it depends on my mood, right?

Same thing with finding what I want to wear today in Second Life. I've got LOTS of jeans, but there's also a ton of cute looks, interesting designs and fun hairstyles I could put together too. Lots of possibilities. Of course, all I'm doing is picking a look for myself.

Designers know all about mood too, most shops and sims are just dripping with it. You've got your Rodeo-Drivesque shopping strips and sci fi marketplaces, gothic castles with wares hanging from the walls and medieval storefronts filled with chainmail and weapons. Even more, most designers have their own definite feel as far as what's offered for sale. That doesn't mean it's all the same though, and that doesn't mean there aren't little moodswings now and then.

When a designer has a moodswing, well, something new pops up. Maybe it's a one-off, a fluke, a random interest that creates something just a little different and surprising. Sometimes though, it's almost a redefining moment. It doesn't have to be completely different, of course, but sometimes a designer approaches their usual looks with just a slightly different point of view.

Belladonna Mureaux's Blacklist line from Nightshade Designs is like that. Yes, it's still some of the very gothy sexy looks we've come to expect, but it's a more focused point of view. Focused enough to deserve it's own subtitle anyway. Drusilla is the latest from the Blacklist line, and this is my favorite so far. Belladonna has gone for latex this time and it works really well in this sexy, lowcut long gown. Latex is usually hit or miss in SL, it's a hard texture to get right in a world where there aren't really any reflections, sometimes latex can be disastrous. Drusilla is really nicely done though, and I hope we'll see more latex from Belladonna in the future. There are some really beautiful lines in this curve-hugging, evilly sexy dress, and the matching gloves are perfect for completing the look.

Soooo, light some candles, put on some suitably sexy mood music, and slip into something dark and lovely from Nightshade's Blacklist.

Nightshade Designs

Monday, April 20, 2009

~{The Black Canary}~Charisma

Okay, so I know it's not really like this, but I sometimes like to imagine SL designers sort of Leonardi Da Vinci style hunched over some huge canvas creating their designs by candlelight. Of course there's a big quill dipped in ink. Of course there's the soothing sounds of some minstrel playing some tune. Well, maybe not all designers; I mean, there's your create it and shuffle it off to the vendor types out there just copying copies of earlier works: sometimes their own, sometimes someone elses, but whatever.

I like to imagine designers working that way just because sometimes there's so much real art in what they're doing. Da Vinci was a scientist, engineer, biologist and all that stuff, but his drawings and designs were a little more interesting to look at than say... well, your laptop owner's manual for example.
I think what it comes down to really is love.

We're lucky to have designers who love their creations; I think the good ones love them more than we do. It's their love and our chance to celebrate it. It has to be love, especially when something appears that's so well crafted, so interesting to look at, and so fresh and original.

Morrigan Denimore of ~{The Black Canary}~ I think has a lot of love to share. There's a consistency in his work; but also an evolution. Evolution is another side effect of love; taking the best of what was and reworking it into something new. Morrigan's new release, Charisma, has all that. Not only is this a meticulously crafted look, I personally think it's the best I've seen from TBC so far.

From the gorgeous textures on the cute short jacket and prim sash to the really nicely done prim collar and flowers, not to mention the lovely translucent bloomers, Charisma has everything we've come to look for from Mr. Denimore.

So, maybe there's no candle burning computerside (who wants to clean all that wax off your mouse anyway?) but I still like to think there's a notebook someplace filled with scribbles and sketches not only for that whole technical angle, but also a sort of love letter or blueprint to art in SL. We still have that flickering halflight from the monitor, and there's still that mad designer working, creating and evolving most importantly. It IS art, it IS fashion, but this is something so fun and well made... well. Whatever.

Purely Visual is MY love letter to design in SL, and I'm happy to be able to share this with you.


~{The Black Canary}~ Charisma

Tukinowaguma Hair Styles Spiria B

Friday, April 17, 2009

:+:Studio Sidhe:+: Elven Anklets


So, it's been a weird week.

For me, anyway. Of course, there's only weirdness if you're looking for it, so maybe I'm making too much of things. Still, it feels like I just HAD to do today's post. The fates were guiding me toward it. Here's the breakdown:

1. I've had this urge all week to break out my wings in SL, but just can't find the time!

2. Faery Sola pops on early Wednesday morning to let me know about a new release. Elven Anklets, specifically. They're unisex, for all you fae girls and boys out there. More on that later.

3. Thursday morning I'm watching America's Next Top Model from the night before, which my room mate had to tape for me because I was working. Allison (my fave!!) aka Creepy-Chan mumbles from her bed after an early morning wake up that she looks like a 'woodland creature'. Hmmm... seeing the pattern?

Ok, maybe not. Maybe it's just my own personal weirdness. I mean, this subliminal urge to go fae? Faery's distinctly fae release? Creepy-chan's definite message meant FOR ME to think about woodland creatures? Hmmm? Whatever, there are forces in the universe bigger than all of us.

Either way you look at it, Studio Sidhe's latest are perfect for springtime. FINALLY the weather is changing and all we have to do is wait for all that green to come out. Faery's anklets are really meticulously detailed and colorful. There's a scripted sizing feature built in for customization, and while these were made specifically with SLinks prim footsies in mind, they work with just regular foots as well.

I've always been a huge fan of Studio Sidhe, with its huge range of really detailed and imaginative accessories, fae or no. Still, if you're feeling a little buzzy from the warm sun and maybe hear the rustle of some woodland feet, maybe it's time to explore your fae side. Faery's Elven Anklets are a great place to start.

Lovely lovely lovely.

:+:Studio Sidhe:+: Elven Anklets (unisex)

*Analise* Tattered Work Camisk (Green)

Tukinowaguma Hair Styles Funky (Platinum)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sn@tch~Do You Dred?


Dreads dreads dreads. Dreads.

Oh, did I mention dreads? Yah, two days in a row now. Yesterday of course we looked at Kallisti Burns' take on the style with Yannick. Today, Ivey Deschanel of Sn@tch asks us the question, Do You Dred?

Do You Dred is a bit different actually. I mean, it's hair from Sn@tch, not something I've seen before. DYD is a really cool long style, with options as far as bangs and top knot to let you customize it from the cute 'Betty' style bangs to a more severe v shape. There's a swept look or you can just go bangless. Pretty flexible.

Something here too that deserves mention. First of all, I love a cool dread style, it's not something I'd actually do in RL though. Dreads are kinda high maintenance if you know anything about them. Second Life is there to let us play with ourselves, right? We can try the things we might not be able to in our first lives. So why is it that you'll hear little mutterings around the metaverse that styles like dreads and even braided styles like the ones Discord Designs is famous for are too ethnic? It bugs me, especially when I see something really cool and interesting like what we've seen this week. Of course, I guess it's ok that I can be confident I won't run into too many people rocking the same look as me; but on the other hand, it's a little sad that so many SLifers still find ways to limit themselves in a world that's supposedly limitless.

Now, the fact is, I know that enough of Purely Visual's readers aren't really hung up on that sort of stuff, so I'm probably preaching to the perverted already. Do You Dred is NOT an ethnic style. It's a very lovely addition to Sn@tch's already very cool line of goth, punk and raver style accessories and clothes, and something for ANYONE looking for an interesting and fun way to play with your avatar. Really well made, very customizable, and... well... just rockin'. I love em.

So if oyou like em, go grab em. Don't let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn't be able to wear. Get on down there. Now!

Love you.

Sn@tch City

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Discord Designs~Yannick


Second Life is a lot of things; playground, business place, art forum. Basically though, it's a tool for expressing yourself.

There are so many ways to do it too, that's the really amazing thing. That's the thing that makes Second Life really special. No matter what you're looking for, no matter what you want to share, there's something here to give you that chance. It's awesome really, it's the reason we log in.

That's where fashion comes in, really. You don't have to be a fashionista to be a part of that whole thing, it's actually pretty simple. It's your look. Maybe it's not the way you look in your first life, but it's something inside, something that makes you you, only here instead of there. Easy.

Want to share something cute and fun? Wellll, Kallisti Burns of Discord Designs just dropped Yannick on us. Yup, a bobbed dread style, really cute... l-o-v-i-n-g it!

So, we've seen Kallisti's braidwork before, dreads are something a little new, but these are still so very Discord. A huge range of colors lets you add a fun punky twist to your look, and it's another way you can shine out that little bit of you inside. These are really cute, and Discord Designs is a shop that deserves some of your time.

Discord Designs

Monday, April 13, 2009

~*{The Black Canary}*~ Temps de Catedrali


Spring is here. Well, sort of.

If you're anywhere in the Midwest, it's still kinda gray and wet. We even had some April snow last week. The irony of course is all the springy type stuff in the stores now is all bright flowers and sunshiny happy. I like the idea of spring, kind of the waiting room for summer I guess. Summer's what we're all waiting for anyway, right?

Now, I love the sun. I love the long warm days and laying by the pool. I love wearing shorts and sandals and all that good daytime stuff. On the other hand,I also love the warm nights, that summer wind stirring through the leaves. Summer night time is for parties, and exploring the city. I love the night. There's a lot of beauty in those evenings, and the weather finally cooperates so we can all go out and play.

I'm pretty sure Morrigan Denimore of The Black Canary likes the night too... his deliciously dark sensibilities conjure up images of dark midnight romps through gothic castles. Temps de Catedrali seems like the perfect look for some dark Alice exploring her slightly gothic Wonderland. Lovingly crafted, truly, TDC has some really cool touches like the cathedral embroidered along the skirt and gorgeous lace work. A high, tight collar and matching bow with prim cross complete the look. There's a lot of gothic lolita styles in Second Life, absolutely, but Morrigan seems to always have something interesting to add.

So, while we wait for the trees to fill in and the cold cold rain to dry up, get ready for summer. Those warm nights will be perfect for all sorts of evil fun under the full moon.

~*{The Black Canary}*~

Friday, April 10, 2009

[Love Soul] Here There Be Bunnehs...


So, it's Easter this weekend.

I know, I know, not EVERYONE celebrates it the same way... I mean, there are LOT's of interpretations and all that. Whatever. For me personally? Well, it means I have to get all prettied up for one of my bi-annual trips to church with the family. Oh, and chocolate; and coloring eggs! (all boiled last night, we're coloring them tonight and watching a movie).

You might have a similar plan, maybe not. Whatever, I can't judge. Either way, there's bunnehs. Creatures of mystery, skulking around your house and yard secretly placing little surprises for everyone. What do they want? What is their real agenda? Hard to tell, with their little mysterious noses twitching inscrutably beneath their deep, cute eyes.

Yah, well, bunnehs are cute, and I had to have SOMETHING for the Easter weekend post wise, since most of my 'free' time will be spent hanging around with family and mooching off the buffet table (a reward for sitting quietly in church, I guess). Anyway, I found THIS in my inventory, had it for a long while. I wanted to do a standard blog review on it but honestly, I don't even know if it's still out there.
So, ok, I went to [Love Soul] (where I picked this up like last summer I think) and looked EVERYWHERE. I found Honey Bee Wear and Kitty Wear but I just couldn't find the Rabbit Wear outfit. Weird. They're ALL horribly cute, and I almost bought Kitty Wear while I was there but I'll save that one for another day.

Anyway, so I guess there's a few ways to look at this post:

1. It could be a review of an awesomely cute Bunneh look from [Love Soul]
2. It could just be me thumbing my nose at you because I have this and you don't.
3. It's just a little HAPPY EASTER post just in time for the weekend.

Okay, so maybe it's still out there, if it is, GRAB IT. If it isn't....

Happy Easter!! XOXOXOXO

[Love Soul] Rabbit Wear Black

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I use a lot of strange words sometimes when I'm blogging an outfit. I use words like feel and comfortable. I use words to describe parts of an outfit that can't possibly be experienced the same way we do their real life versions.

I mean, I know you can't really feel the fabric... I know there's no way to really feel snug or to enjoy a silky touch. I know the difference between what's real and what isn't, geez.

On the other hand, go to a tropical sim and everyone's in their swimsuits. Go to a winter wonderland and look at all the furs and heavy coats. So I can't be the ONLY one thinking this way, right? Maybe it has something to do with our brains. Well, DEFINITELY it has something to do with our brains, duh, but I guess there's a switch in their someplace, something that knows how cold or warm it is, even if it isn't. Whatever, there's probably a whole heap of literature on this somewhere.

Anyway, with all the different looks and styles in Second Life, sometimes it's nice just to dress comfortably. You know, just taking some time to wriggle out of your harnesses or bustles or that horribly uncomfortable evening gown you've been wearing all day and just throw on something normal. There's LOTS of interesting fashion in SL, definitely, but thank goodness for those designers who put together something normal. Of course, we still have our standards, no? It needs to be comfortable AND well made, nothing less. Oh, and cute. I mean, we're still going out and about, right? Leave the pajama bottoms and swishy pants for RL, let's wear something with interesting textures and fun designs... but still casual.

Ohhhh, look at THIS... so cute, so fun.. but still very comfortable... we have a cute halter from *Fukmi*. Love it. Casual, yes, and still very sexy. What? Sexy without a bared midriff? Yes, it can be done, and designer Fukmi Sideways has a lot of fun, sexxah, colorful designs. This is really simple, but still so nice and fun to wear. Looks comfortable, don't it? Tuli's new Worn Denim Mini works nicely with it, and just in time for Summer (ok, so it's still technically Spring, but, a girl can dream, can't she?). I'm loving the frayed seams and the little painted details. VERY awesome.

Something else too, I feel like I should mention. I hadn't been back to Detour for a loooong time. Oh, early on in my SLife, I stopped there, I think to check out a hair I'd seen blogged. Whatever, at the time, it didn't really do it for me. It happens sometimes... it's not even a quality thing necessarily. Styles, looks... you know what I mean. Anyway, I'd moved on. Just stopped back there last week after who KNOWS how long, and wow. As in, WOW, I mean it. New styles and WOW, really nice quality. I grabbed a few and now they've made it onto my little list of designers who can't put new stuff out fast enough. Once again, proved wrong, and happy to have it happen. Detour's new styles are very cool and sexy.

Anyway, call it casual cool. Call it summer sexy... whatever. I love it.

[]::Tuli::[] Worn Denim Mini
*Fukmi* Kiss of the Skully Halter (Blue)
[Curio] Juxt
[Detour] Placebo D. Sand Mix

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Elixir~Latex Dress Uniform

Elixir Dress Uniform
Minx fun fact: I'm kind of a movie freak.

I mean, probably not as big a freak as some people; but, my room mate and I like to sometimes have movie nights and invite a ton of people over. Y'know, margaritas in the blender. Popcorn. Snacks. The whole thing. We like to watch a pretty wide range of genres too: scary movies, comedy, science fiction, even kung-fu stuff sometimes. We'll do subtitles even, but we usually avoid really sad dramas and serious ones. I like them, and so does my room mate, but those we'll watch usually with a smaller crowd. It's a party, right?

So, yah.. movies. I like to compare Second Life to movies sometimes, it's a pretty short jump really. The whole visual narrative thing I guess. While, yes, sometimes SL can be almost a bad porno, there's plenty of room for space opera too. That's what jumped in my head when I saw Elixir's latex 'Dress Uniform'.

These are really my favorite types of outfits to blog. Costumes, looks that put you someplace else... looks that conjur up worlds and fantasies. Looks that make a story. Khorus Magne's latest does just that, and does it well. The latex texture is lovely, but the real star of this one is the cool epaulets and sashes that really make this something interesting to play in. There's optional particle effects for the shoulder attachments too, so you can get a real glowing sci-fi thing going on too. It's awesome. I mean, I don't know what it's for exactly, but who cares! It's still a lot of fun.

So suit up and go explore that alien planet. Make sure to watch out for the carnivorous plants and the mysterious indigenous lifeforms.

I'll make the popcorn.

Elixir Dress Uniform

*Snowflake Skin* Ebony-Burgundy

Sadistic Hacker Ciel (Gold)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moonshine Designs~Sheer Tops

Shelly Toonie is dangerous.

So, not really dangerous like you wouldn't trust your cat with her or anything. I don't think she's actually violent at all. I mean, I can't be sure really, but I usually have a good instinct on these things.

Nope, not dangerous like that exactly, but wow, look at her latest release. Moonshine Designs Sheer Top sets are a reworking of an older Moonshine Design release and again, wow. I'm not going to spend much time on the original Sheers, I mean, they were really nice, but what's the point.

Shelly's updated sheer tops are gorgeous. I still have one of the original tops in my inventory, and while the basic idea has stayed the same the execution is really breathtaking. Sheer includes the eponymous top, along with a matching cross halter style bra and... well, here's the really dangerous part, a short short prim skirt beautifully crafted. This is not an outfit for you if you're shy. Still, the lovely sheer top with it's really detailed embroidered designs is absolutey stunning and enough fun to wear to make you maybe get over your giggling, blushing self.

Love it!

Moonshine Designs

Friday, April 3, 2009

[Gauze] Ouka Saki Some ni Keri

You know how sometimes you're just minding your own business, scrolling through your inventory and then suddenly you spy a folder you haven't opened in a while? Click. Sometimes you find some maybe some scary freebie and promptly delete it. Sometimes you find some stuff maybe you thought you lost and go ahead and put it in the correct folder. Sometimes though, just sometimes, you find something really special.

It's a pretty common really. After you've been in SL for long enough your inventory can just become this horrible unwieldly mess. If you're like me, you have a couple favorite standbys and just search down to them and put them on so you don't have to fight your way through your the rest of the disorganized chaos. Still, it's nice sometimes to kinda rummage through the clutter to look for something different to play with.

Ouka Saki Some ni Keri isn't something I'd forgotten about, actually. I've known it was always there, a special gem. I've photographed it before, not for Purely Visual but still, I always wanted to kind of re-explore the outfit. My graphics card is a lot better than it used to be, after all, and I like to think I've learned a little more about SL sliders to maybe bring out some new details that I wasn't able to capture before.

Ouka is not something new from Yukio Ida, it's older. Ok, older doesn't sound right, it's classic. Yes, much better. It's a beautiful design that still really shows Yuki's skills with textures, mood, and stylings. We've seen some new releases from Yukio Ida's now rebranded Gauze shop, but Ouka Saki Some ni Keri is still one of his loveliest designs, and a very special find.

If nothing else, it's an excuse to check out the new Gauze location at the new Sn@tch City sim.

[Gauze] Ouka Saki Some ni Keri

Lionskins Forbidden 20

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Discord Designs~Katja and Lydia


So, it was just a couple weeks ago I got to play with Boingo's Leather Sets, a really cool sexy ensemble with lovely texturing and a very post apoc feel. Loved them. A collaboration between Kallisti Burns of Discord Designs and Jeela Juran from Boingo, these were an awesome example of what can come from two minds looking for something new and creative.

Of course, at the time, there were rumors that Kallisti wasn't really done with the project. Oh, no... not her. No, Kallisti is one of those obsessive designers SL seems to create every once in a while. You probably know one or two yourself. They endlessly link prims or build or whatever it is designers do while the rest of us are living our carefree SLives. They're either under or over medicated or at the very least supporting some kind of caffeine addiction.

Anyway, so Kallisti kept on working. If you remember, the original Boingo set came with hoods with some hairs options, but at the time there weren't any full sets of the hairs. Well, the wait is over... at least partially over I guess. This week Kallisti started dropping full versions of the hair sets featured in her collaboration. Today we're looking at Katja and Lydia, which go with the Boingo Rogue and Valkyrie styles, respectively. Don't go thinking you need one for the other though, Katja and Lydia stand on their as hairstyles just fine. Lydia is a cute, short shaggyish cut if you're looking for a more messy, casual feel. Katja is pulled back tight from the forehead and moves to a long, beautifully crafted braid. These are both really nicely done, and of course come with Discord Design's signature scripted sizing menu.

So, WIN! And get over to Boingo to check out those leathers if you haven't already!

Discord Designs

Boingo Headquarters

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

*Snowflake Skins* Battle Angel and Dark Drow

battle angel

I think that how we each decide to define Second Life has to do with what we bring into it. Coders and programmers might look at the metaverse as kind of a technical exercise. Video gamers might see it as a huge game. Artists might use SL as a new forum for their work. We can be whoever we want, of course, but who we want to be comes from where we started.

I've always seen SL as a sort of story machine. I never played video games too much and I don't have any technical expertise at all, but I've always been a reader and a movie freak. I've even been known to pick up a comic book or two. So, when I found myself in a world where pretty much everyone communicates in text in a really interesting visual landscape, well, movies and books were the only real experience I've had that even came close.

We're all really in a story, whether you look at it as a video game or comic book or whatever. Even you strictly business types get to play a role, since you pretty much have to accept it on some level; especially when chatting land prices with an 18 foot tall dragon or neko cyborg.

There are a lot of stories in SL. We've got our Star Wars sims and Gorean sims, you can play as a knight in shining armor or a futuristic bounty hunter. Each sim has it's own theme sometimes with pieces inspired by if not outright borrowed from someplace else. For the immersion, well, we've got designers making skins, attachments, weapons, hairs, accessories and everything to make the world a little more real.
Snowflake Skins aren't all that new to the metaverse, Snowflake Chaika's creations have been inworld since 2007 at least, but they still deserve mention as beautiful and imaginative examples of adding to the story of Second Life. What's interesting about Snowflake isn't their realism, these aren't haute couture runway skins. These are skins straight from the world of anime. Tones, shading and makeups are straight from the painted pages of your fave mangas, and if you're a fan of the genre, these are the skins for you.

What's really cool about these skins is that while more 'traditional' skinmakers have seen their work sometimes maybe fail under the increasingly realistic glare of the latest and greatest windlight viewers, Snowflake's won't. Realism isn't the point here. The Battle Angel and Drow skins are beautiful because they're so unreal, not in spite of it.

Snowflake Chaika also has a shop called Bleach with some anime inspired hairs to add to your look. Not a huge selection but what is there is really quite nice too.

So enjoy! Pop in your Akira DVD and log in. Snowflake Skins are gorgeous examples of just another possibility in everyone's favorite metaverse.


Pic 1:

Skin: Snowflake Skins Battle Angel (light tan)

Hair: Bleach Apocalypse (Black)

Bodysuit: Graves G87 V-Body

Pic 2:

Skin: Snowflake Skins Dark Drow

Hair: Emo-tions Wildlife Hair