There's a lot of different ways to look at Second Life. It's a creative medium. It's a business platform. It's a game. It's pornography. It's an escape. It's dangerous. It's boring. It's enabling. It's empowering... fill in your own 'it's' if you like. There are probably a lot more I'd never even think of.
I like to write a lot about what I think Second Life is; all the little parts that make it my own little experience. The most important 'it's' though is really the simplest. It's fun.
Seriously, it is. If you're like me, you came into SL with really no idea of what to do next. Lot's of exploring in those early days. What kept you coming back though was just how much fun everything was. Even you designers and builders, yah you; even if you had your 20 point 5 year business plan put together before you ever even selected that first noob AV, you've got to admit this is a pretty fun place. It can be sometimes hard to see, sometimes there's a lot of drama and just boring downtime, but it's the fun that makes your time here worth it.
Maybe your fun comes from stringing prims together and making something new. Maybe your fun makes you dress up like a vampire and chomp on virgin blood. Maybe your fun involves poseballs. You might like shopping or dancing or whatever. The cool thing is, all of that can be true for you and there's still some new adventure to have here. SLifers are tourists and townies all rolled into one. We live here, sometimes work here, but there's always something somewhere you haven't seen or done yet.
Oooo, here's something new and fun! Agnes Periapse of Chaos Lotus gives us her Power Bangles and Ducky Ear rings. I mean, cute is fun, right? Put a pair of Agnes' rubber duckyish earrings on. Cute, yes, with an added scripted customization feature to accessorize with anything else you want to wear. The Power bangles are so cute and random with bright colors and interesting patterns. These are really well made, and fit really well right out of the box. Another WIN too is I didn't see even a speck of bling at Chaos Lotus; so not only is there a pretty wide range of accessories to choose from, it's perfect for all you purists out there.
So go! Have fun! It's why we're all here.
Bangles/Earrings: ~ChaosLotus~ Ducky Earrings and Power Bangles
There's always been a long relationship between music and fashion. Google it, I'll wait.
There's CD compilations of New York's Fashion Week, MTV music gods and goddesses get kids all crazy for the latest look. All the entertainment channels follow artists up and down the red carpet at award shows. It's all over, and that's just first life.
In Second Life, you can hardly pop into a sim that doesn't have it's own 24/7 soundtrack piping in whatever. Oh, sure, sometimes it's pretty random, but a other times there's a careful selection coming through. Thank god for that too. It's as much about mood and immersion as it is about a marriage between sound and picture. I don't want to hear Kenny G when I'm wandering around a vampire sim, and I'd much rather put some Nine Inch Nails on my IPod when I'm shooting pics for a post. There's a relationship.
Music isn't just the soundtrack for our Second Lives either, a lot of times it's an inspiration for the builders and the artists who put the whole thing together. Yukio Ida of [Gauze] uses music a LOT as inspiration for his designs; his Myaku Stomps are a perfect example. YES these boots are made for stomping, but Myaku comes from j-rock insanity Dir en Grey. Um, they're twisted, see for yourself here. Anyway, the stomps are really gorgeous, totally detailed and with scripted colorchange laces for added customization. Another win too is Nightshade Design's Bonerific set. Sexy, simple and with just this totally Suicide Girls feel Bonerific is totally hot and fun. Seriously, I had a Suicide Girls soundtrack playing while I did the shoot. Anyway, we don't always wear thongs hiked up over our hips in RL, why is every pair of undies in Second Life designed that way? Whatever. Anyway Bonerific comes with cute panties and matching cami and socks. The little skull and bones (THAT'S where the name comes from you perv!)are really fun too. Nightshade has a really diverse selection of punky goth styles and definitely deserves some of your time.
So get over there! Crank up the music! Wear headphones if you don't want to bother the cat... fill up your Ipod with fun tunes or just enjoy the SLections piping through the mall soundsystem. [Gauze] and Nightshade has all this stuff just for you. Take what you need and rock to the soundtrack of your Second Life.
I don't know very much about the 50's. I know a little, of course. There were a lot of fallout shelters, communists, Howdy Doody, Bettie Page, bad science fiction, black and white t.v., Mr. Bungle films, rock and roll, the missionary position, martini hours, beautiful cars, and duck and cover. Oh, those poor 1950's people.
Seriously, I think we have it a lot better. Of course, since I don't really know that much at all I'm making a totally uninformed judgement call, but, whatever. Look what we've got though! All this cool stuff, so many toys to play with. Ok, so instead of communists we've got terrorists, maybe our cars aren't as cool looking. On the other hand, Spongebob Squarepants beats Howdy Doody totally, and I'll take a Jager-bomb over a martini any day.
They never had latex in the 1950's either, but that didn't stop Kai Heidemann of Powers of Creation from bringing Peggy Sue to life. Yah, Peggy Sue, like the song from the guy. You know his name right? No? Well, it's Buddy Holly, and if this was the 1950's I would have had to dial my rotary phone to call my sorority sister to help with the name if I couldn't remember. NOW all I have to do is Google. Even better, I probably wouldn't have been able to even write this blog then either; I would have been too busy pickling fish for my hardworking yet distant husband so we could stock the bomb shelter from the impending atomic armageddon. Right, think about it.
Anyway, back to the dress. Peggy Sue is an interesting twist on SL latex fashion, a very 50's cut complete with a cute sunhat and scripted petticoat for colorchanges. Also, it's 'smart', so it moves with you and helps avoid that immersion breaking prim cutting through your leg. The hat is scripted too, with a colorchange menu built in. And, of course, Peggy Sue is just all about polkadots, which are just totally cute. It's really an interesting viewpoint on an otherwise standard SL staple. More than just for the fetishists, Peggy Sue is a really fun, sexy outfit and a creative departure from Kai.
THIS is a special post. THIS is a post I was hoping I'd be able to do for a long time. So, well it's not like I had a specific post in mind, I guess... I mean, ok, so it's not the post exactly I've been waiting for, but the release. Except I didn't know what the release was going to be, so I can't really say that I've been waiting for that either.
Hmmm, where to start? Ok, we'll start with favorite designers.
We've all got them, you know I've got mine here. They're the designers you scan the feeds for, they're the designers whose shops you TP to whether or not you've got any $L at all just to see if there's something on the 'new release' wall. You obsess over them, you take forever trying to accessorize and mod to get that perfect fit. They're really a part of you, actually, since they're the designers you choose to let you express yourself in Second Life. You might have them under your 'picks' in your profile. You might have an entire folder dedicated to them in your inventory. They're that one person in Second Life you feel closest to who may not even be on your friends list.
There's a dark side too, of course. Your fave designer is probably the reason you're broke all the time. They may be a whole bunch of other people's favorites too and you have to fight lag and people standing on your head to get through their shop. Maybe their group chat is a constant barrage of spam and really annoying chit chat and fangirlesque non sequiters.
So, yah, faves can be an excercise in passive aggression. For me? How do I make myself crazy about my faves? It's impatience. For me with some designers it feels like Xmas Eve all the time. You know the feeling: an-ti-ci-pa-tion. It's a special kind of sado-masochism that infects my whole life. Where's the new stuff? How can you have a life of your own? Why aren't you making something for ME?
Yah, so, it's all me, I know. My own problem. I hate Xmas Eve. Now, Xmas morning is something different!
New stuff. New releases. New cool new releases dropped on my doorstep ready to try. For me, it's Xmas morning, courtesy of Mina Jun. Celebrating a new Mina Junk store opening in the Japan Sim, Mina's put together complete AV box sets, each with a unique look but all with Mina's specific cute point of view and colorful stylings. Well, five points of view to be exact, but all completely Mina.
Each box includes a skin, hair, shape, eyes and outfit built around a 'Japanese flower theme.' Full AVs yes, but these are NOT noob packs (well, maybe for the discerning noob, but who's ever met one of those?). I've always loved Mina's skins, but clothing is something new here. My absolute personal fave is the flapperish Tsubaki outfit, but there's also Sakura, Kiku, Ajisai and Sumire to choose from. Oh, did I mention the included female AO? There's also a scripted couples couch too. There's too much newness to show here!
A couple notes, there are a LOT of prim attachments on these, so you might need to spend some time modding if you decide not to use the included shapes. Other than that, well, the colors are gorgeous and the styles are all so much their own and very very cool.
These were definitely worth the wait, and I'd love to see more clothes and accessories from Mina, here's hoping it's soon.
There's something really interesting happening in Second Life. I think we're all getting better at it.
I mean, it's all cyclical right? It's a different world than it was when I first rezzed, and of course it's different from when all those first SLifers first crept out of the ocean (and the Lindens saw that it was good...). Change is good, change is fun. Change is pretty much how the rest of the universe operates, so it's not like we should expect Second Life to be... well... static or something.
It's really disappointing sometimes to pop into some designer's shop you know from way back and see that not much has changed. Something has to change, doesn't it? At least, it should, especially if they actually care about what they're doing. I've seen designers scrap entire lines just because they figured something new out, because they suddenly realized wow! I can do THIS now!
Maybe it's not even that, maybe you don't need to just throw stuff out, but it's always fun to see something different from a designer. Sometimes it's just good to know that your fave designer is always thinking of the next thing. We are, right? We, the users, the consumers... we're always looking for the next cool thing, so isn't it nice to know someone else is? If you know anything about Discord Designs, you know that recently there's been some pretty interesting new stuff coming from Kallisti Burns' shop. ForEVER I've been in love with Kallisti's braided styles, her prim work has always been amazing. Most recently though, there's been some really lovely longer flexi styles on the Discord shelves, and it's a direction Kallisti seems to have figured out pretty well.
Shurelia is one of Kallisti's latest; long... well, superlong really, with really nice texturing and very natural movement. There's the little Discord touches too that make this not just your average long style. Twin, metal tipped braids hang down from the back, breaking up the style and adding a fun edge.
Really well made, and definitely Discord... Shurelia is gorgeous and sexy, and an interesting new direction for Kallisti.
You have a party to go to? Maybe a date? Pizza and a movie? Popcorn? Paintballing, Malling? Hmmm... wait, maybe you've got a WoW campaign to wage or you've decided to conquer a little more land in Tiny Empires. Maybe there's a martini with your name on it. Maybe it's something a little more, um... illicit.
I mean, whatever, it's your life... I'm not judgemental at all. I'm not here to tell you what you should be doing. Nope, PV isn't a blog about dogma... no commandments here. I give hints, suggestions maybe. You might get a little nudge from me... geez, maybe even a little inspiration. We're not talking accepting-Jesus- Christ-as-your-personal-savior inspiration, nooo, that's not me; but maybe you'll find something interesting here and keep it for yourself.
So what are you going to DO? THAT'S the question, right? Well, what's going on? I guess you could ask me back. Well, THAT'S easy. Ivey Deschanel's Sn@tch City has finally opened, you could check that out maybe. Why?you ask, why would I want to do that? Well, geez you're being difficult, why WOULDN'T you want to go? Ugh, you say, I've had a really crappy week... my boyfriend's been crabby, my job sucks. Oh and that stupid lady with the yippy dog just keeps me... Wait wait wait, I say smiling, well that's EXACTLY why you want to go to Sn@tch City. Look at these.
I show you my totally awesome Oblivion Belt and matching boots and your eyes get wide. Wow, those are really cool, you say, where did you get them? I roll my eyes a little bit, because sometimes, seriously, you really don't listen to me AT ALL. They're from Sn@tch... I mean, HELLO!
It's all in the details, right? The Devil, the little conversations.... details details details, and Ivey's Oblivion accessories are detailed and them some. Instantly this is my new favorite belt, first of all. Of course I made the mistake of telling a friend about them and now I can't stand to hang out with her because she's wearing it all the time too.
Ugh... look what I just did, I told YOU about the belt too. Why do I always DO that? I give the best stuff away..
Whatever, go to Sn@tch City, fine... buy the f**king belt if you want...Oh sure, buy the boots too while your at it, they're only totally f**king awesome.
Deep down in it's electric heart, Second Life is basically Pac-Man with a chat feature. Oh, I mean, it's a lot more than that, obviously... but the comparison is there. Let's say, Pac-Man is the Neanderthal to Second Life's Homo Sapien. It absolutely looks 3D, sometimes it even acts 3D; but the DNA hasn't really changed all that much from it's squonky, beepy ancestor.
So how did we get from there to here? Well, duh, evolution.
Second Life probably wouldn't be as popular if we were all little pie-charts binge eating yellow lights. I'm just saying probably, for all you retro junkies out there, so back off. For the rest of us, we like our worlds a little more immersive, a little more complex. To evolve a little 2D world into a 3D illusion, call in the programmers, artists and designers!
These are the people we count on to flesh out our little world here. Adding everything from stylish clothing to neo-tokyoesque skylines, it's the designers who make SL more than just mindless clicking. It's lighting, and textures and the overall feel that really does it; and it's all totally subjective. A designer is really only speaking to you. Oh, there might be others with the same taste, but it's still a very individual experience.
Every once in a while you hear grumbling about how there's nothing new in SL. The styles have been done, the cuts, the textures... all the shops have been explored, all the designers are tapped. Maybe nobody's speaking to them, maybe they just haven't found that next perfect thing because they haven't looked hard enough. I was thinking something similar not too long ago, actually. Not about SL style, I know there's plenty of that. Specifically, it was about leather.
I'd taken a friend shopping, she wanted a new look. Mostly we were looking for clothes, she was fine with her skin and hair, but her warddrobe was a little, well... oldish. The cuts were fine, but I think maybe the textures just weren't holding up the same as they did when SL was a little less impressive graphically. We popped around, I picked out some looks for her... but in the end I wasn't really able to help her with what she really wanted: Leather. And NO I'm not talking fetishy harnesses and strappy outfits. Just some leather pants. Well, and maybe a skirt.
Now, I'm more casual usually in SL. Jeans, maybe a jacket... it's easier to move around and honestly I got tired of people looking up my skirt. So I know where I can find cool denim pants or skirts, but I had to apologize when I couldn't find her any leather she liked. I told her that honestly I hadn't seen much better (and this was good, btw). We said goodbyes and I thought to myself, leather's been done, I guess... oh well. Then I moved on.
Turns out, no, it hasn't. I was wrong. I'm thinking I need to log in and let her know too. I've got a love/hate thing with being wrong, of course. I mean, I hate it. Me? Wrong? Pah! Whatever... still, it happens. I love it too, because I get to find the thing that proves me wrong.
So who proved me wrong this time? Jeela Juran and Kallisti Burns apparently. The skanks! Ohhh, no seriously... they're awesome! SEER-EEE-US-LEEE. I mean, wow... Right now at Boingo you'll find Jeela's leather sets and let me say again: Seriously, these are HOT. It's the textures, for starters. I love a distressed leather look and these are just really really awesome. It's worn in all the usual spots, and the little touches like creases and wrinkles really bring these to life. Not only that, the wearing options are totally awesome. With either full pants or a dangerously revealing one leg option and top options that include a really well made leather bra, vest or shrug, the clothes themselves are really really fun.
Kallisti Burns of Discord Designs made matching hooded hairstyles for these too, not only scripted sizing options but also a colorchange feature. There's also a hood down attachment if you want to just wear your own hair too, although there's rumors that Kallisti is working on full versions of the hairstyles featured with the Boingo release.
Wow. So, to sum up. 1. Designers save the day again! 2. If I'm wrong, I'm only wrong for a little while. 3. Get over to Boingo for a really cool leather look.
Laurie Anderson has a really interesting quote about art. If you don't know her, well, she's kind of an avant garde musical performance artist; sort of the lost love child of Andy Warhol and Annie Lennox. Totally weird. I love her. She tells the best stories...anyway, right, Laurie Anderson on art:
As an artist I'd choose the thing that's beautiful more than the one that's true.
I think it's an interesting idea. I think it sums up Second Life pretty well, actually, even though she said it back in 1985... before SL was a twinkle in Mr. and Mrs. Linden's eye. Isn't that why we're all here, to experience a little bit of all that 'beautiful'?
It really IS art, you know, Second Life. It'a an art machine pretty much. Kind of like that quote by whoever about how the most beautiful part of the painting being the frame; Second Life is like that. The best part is we all get to be a part of it... we may not all be artists or designers, but we're all definitely contributors. We have to be, so much of the art and design inside the metaverse wouldn't make sense anywhere else. The skills might, but the end result definitely wouldn't. It's a contextual universe. Artists in SL, even if they're RL artists or designers or programmers or whatever, have a really unique way to share their art with us. Even better, we get the chance to really collaborate with them, reflecting their designs back in our own way.
Of course, now it's all spilling out of the frame; look at all the words, blogs, photography, points of view, drama, laughter and community that comes from it. First life might be 'the truth' but there are reasons we choose to visit SL.
You can't say that there's a single artist that drives Second Life, but for me at least there is art that is absolutely the coolest, most beautiful and most inspiring. Call it a 'short list.' It's art that just clicks. Selos Dae I think is a 'short lister' for me. His skins, specifically, are unique, alien and gorgeous. I was soooo excited when I heard there was an updated Koi line coming out I started harassing poor Selos about 2 months ago. We saw these originally as a limited edition skin released last year and I'm so happy to see an expanded line. I'm not the only one either, considering the fact that the blogosphere has pretty much blown up on these over the last couple days. There's some cool new twists over the originals too, including a wider range of colors throughout Trap's standard tones and some cool 'underwear' layers to cover up your naughty bits.
It says a lot about a designer when they can generate that kind of excitement. Trap skins features some of the most innovative, daring, sexy and really truly beautiful designs in Second Life. These are special, and an awesome example of what we can experience only in the metaverse. It's not art stuck on the wall someplace. This isn't the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel... this is art you can 'touch', wear and make a part of yourself. This is art you can play with.
Second Life, really, is kind of an experiment in potential.
We can all play, right? We can all be a part of it, there's no rules, no guidelines... it's not a game really in the traditional sense. It is a social experiment though, and not just in the way that we're all being social and experimental. There's just so many ways to approach it, it's amazing.
I had no idea what I was in for when I first rezzed. Alts? Oh I had plenty at the beginning. I think I made a new one every time I logged on for about a week. Totally clueless, always trying to find that perfect name or that perfect look. I didn't know anyone, and honestly I was really confused every time someone exploded into a particle field of flowers or hearts or just ran around screaming I WANT TEH SEXXXX! Very confusing. Very frustrating. I certainly wasn't going to spend any money here, what a horribly chaotic place. I seriously hated it. I mean, what WAS all this stuff, and why would I want to talk to any of you people?
Then, it was a Saturday I think, something clicked. Suddenly I understood teleporting and how to avoid giant prim penises. I got past all that frustration. I'd finally got past all the mindless roaming from place to place. The thing was, I'd finally got the plan. It wasn't this plan, I was still a long way from blogging, but it was a plan definitely. I don't remember what it was specifically, but I do know that I finally saw the point. I'd made a friend maybe, maybe I finally figured out how to fit that horrible freebie outfit. Either way, it was something solid, I saw the potential. I saw the options.
Wow... I think I spent about 20 hours online that day, my room mate was totally unimpressed. Probably a little pissed too, I totally hogged the computer. I finally crashed, sooo exhausted but I could barely sleep coz I was thinking of what I wanted to try next.
I think there are probably some residents who pop into Second Life that first time knowing exactly what they want to do. Maybe they came from another virtual world and have some experience. I don't know, I think that most of us though came in the same way. There's Second Life, and then there's it's potential.
When I consider fashion designers, I look at pretty much two basic things. It breaks down to what they are doing, obviously, but also why they are doing it. We'll take 'to make money' as a given, I mean, there's definitely that. After that though, what's left? Even if they don't come out and say it, I think for most designers theres a simple joy in seeing something they've made come to life. It's that little area between design and business where art lives. It doesn't have to be mind-blowing even, not everyone is out to change the world. It can be something simple and fun.
Fukmi Sideways is really interesting that way. Artist? No, not if you ask her; but I think she gets that little thrill all designers and artists get when something she only had in her head suddenly runs across the screen in front of her. It's all about potential, and I think Fukmi Designs is a really good example of someone coming into this little world, a programmer in RL, and put together outfits that I think are as good as many of the so-called artists in Second Life. Fukmi's got a real eye for fun colors and sexy cuts too, along with knowing that variety is an AWESOME business model. Her Skully Wears Plaid outfits come it a selection of tops along with short pants or skirt options; none of that one box one look stuff here. I'm really loving her textures and seriously these are just some eyecatching looks.
A LOT of fun, check it out.
Also, watch for Fukmi's shop appearing soon at Ivey Deschanel's Sn@tch City Sim... opening soon.
I really love the 80's... retro, sure, but there's something just so futuristic about them.
Maybe it has something to do with the music. Maybe that's it. It could be... all those synthesizers and sci-fi hairstyles. Maybe it was the movies; I mean, there are a LOT of sci-fi movies from the eighties. All that neon, movies like Liquid Sky and songs like Tainted Love, designer drugs, the space shuttle; sounds like the future to me anyway.
Okay, so I can't say I really LIVED the 80's... I'm an outside observer, I'm an alien anthropologist. Whatever, thank god for DVDs and CDs right? Anyway, everything moves in circles, right? I missed the fun stuff the first time around but we can be pretty sure they'll be back. I think they're sneaking in already anyway. Band like Freezepop and The Killers: totally eighties.
Of course, in Second Life, it doesn't even matter. SL is ALL TIMES. SL has the past and the future, and usually all rolled together. You've got your gothic lolita cyberpunk pirates. How about a samurai punkette schoolgirl? She's there too I'm sure. Take what you want and put it anywhere you please, that's Second Life. So when I saw Fab.Pony's 'Rita' rompers I had a few choices. I mean, do I go totally eighties glam or follow the future route? Is there even a difference?
Turns out, 'yes kinda' there is, but also 'not really'. I put on Rita and I was consumed with a need for neon. Had to have it. This was an outfit screaming for urban nightlife. I needed wet pavement reflecting streetlamps. 7-11 nightmares at 3 AM... Ugh, I hate to steal a line from Tyra, but this is totally 'fierce'.
Something interesting about Tatianna Faulkes' designs is she manages to keep everything sexy without being slutty; showing that it doesn't have to be a midriff-baring butt grabbing barely-there outfit to be feminine at all. Rita is actually really versatile too, I could have easily put on a nice piled up hairdo and been Absolutely Fabulous with this instead of a neo-punk night timer cruising the strip at midnight.
Either way, this is really fun, and definitely a new favorite from a designer who does some nice work. Each outfit comes with a matching sash or PVC belt option with scriped resizing features, and either one really changes the tone of the overall look.
Stop by, check out the shop... Posha Beach is lovely this time of year.
Yah, it's a revolution against Winter. Winter is the enemy. Shoot to kill. Make it go away, I'm done... I'm tired of the cold mornings. I'm tired of sweaters and coats. I'm tired of long underwear and wool socks. Oh, sure, they were fun a few months ago, but not anymore. All the cool things about Winter are OVAH! This isn't one of those things where you can just slip Spring in there either. I'm in Chicago, Spring sucks too. Nope, Spring won't do it... give me Summer right NOW.
If you surrender NOW we'll make it quick, I can't promise painless necessarily but definitely quick. We don't want one of those long drawn out deaths, Winter has to GO.
I mean, think about it. SUMMER! Sun on your shoulders, open toe sandals, laying out... maybe the beach if you're lucky. Yah, Winter has Xmas and all that, I guess New Year's Eve is a lot of fun; but seriously, Summer just rocks all over Winter, I don't even know where to start.
Whatever. Anyway, it's all Shelly Toonie's fault. Not Winter, no, I don't want to get that kind of drama started. She's not responsible at all, I checked. Shelly's responsible for my rage. Shelly's responsible for my really really needing Summer right now. It's her Cha Cha tops I guess. The colors, yah, that's part of it. The cute ruffles, totally not helping. It's all just soooo summery and cute I can't stand it.
I mean, wow... these are really cool. Not only because of the really well done textures and super-cute styling, but Cha Cha is extremely customizable. The ruffles come in two attachments, top and bottom, so colors can be mixed and matched for at least... well, a LOT of combinations, I'm not in the mood for math. Anyway, Cha Cha's hitting the Moonshine Designs' shelves Monday March 17, so we can just put the revolution on hold til then. Of course, you don't have to wait til Monday to stop by, I mean, there's LOTS of Moonshiny goodness all over, so you may want to check it out anyway.
Hear that Winter? You've got the weekend to skeedadle. Otherwise, come Monday... well, just don't let me catch you around.
She might seem shy in person, it's no lie She's always nervous But the verdict is she's worth it She gets crap but don't deserve it She look like Emily Strange Always ravin' 'bout her favs Wanna conquer her like Kang When you kiss like Cassie Lang
~Nrrrd Grrrl by MC Chris
This is a Nerd's World.
Oh, don't deny it, you know you're one too. Surprise! We all are. Oh, yah, you're different right? You're cool? What.Ever.
Not everyone denies it, which is cool, coz it helps cut down all that dramatic weirdness that comes up whenever someone's acting like something they're not. It's just sooo much easier if you just relax and embrace your inner nerd. Maybe you're the kind of nerd in SL who just wants an avatar a little bit funnier, sexier and cooler than RL. Maybe you're the kind of nerd in SL who really really needs retractable fangs and a tail. Maybe, just maybe, you're the kind of nerd who wants to spend every waking hour compiling scripts and building replicas of Mos Eisley except this time all in pastels. Don't even get me started on you Plurkers and Tweeters. It's all true, Second Life is a nerd's paradise. I don't care if you're the queen of haute couture. Guess what... yah, I won't even say it.
For me personally, well, I always suspected I was a nerd. I mean, the books, the movies, a music collection that includes MP3's like Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits... it all had to mean something, right? Yah, so when I first started playing in Second Life was when the truth actually came out. I can't say it was really a moment of self-realization or anything. It was my room mate. It went something like "what are you doing?" and I said "playing Second Life"... a pause... and she says: "Nerd."
It's a long story, I won't bore you, but since then I've pretty much embraced the whole nerd thing. I do secretly suspect that the 'nerd' accusation might have been whispered behind my back for years... no proof of course, but whatever.
I had a whole set of pictures already done for today's post but ended up tossing them. I just couldn't get it right. I think I was going for a dark gothic type thing but it just didn't fit. Just so ya know, most of these posts get started after the photography is done; I get to play with different moods, get a feel for the look. For this, I had this whole set of photos done, and then that little voice in my head whispered "neeerrrrrd." So I had to start over. Kallisti Burns' Boo from Discord Designs is definitely nerd hipness. What it is ALSO is proof positive that Kallisti's been holding out on us. Yah, always one of my favorite prim designers in SL, Kallisti's taking a break from working and re-working her really nice braided styles to give us Boo.
My two fave things about Boo: 1. the metal prims holding up the tails, and 2. that little tussle of hair dangling along the neckline. It's a lovely RL touch to a a very cute punky style. Of course, the resizing menu is still there; find your perfect fit and set it. Lot's of colors to choose from too.
If you're in Discord Design's Subscrib-o-matic group you might have seen these demos come out this week. If you're NOT, well... just do it, I mean, what's taking you so long?
Either way, really nice work and cute styling from one of my favorite SL nerds.
I just realized it's been almost an entire week since the season premiere of America's Next Top Model (Cycle 12) and I haven't used it once in a post! Not that it's an addiction I'm proud of. I mean, admitting to watching reality TV at all is enough of a stigma I'm sure I've lost all kinds of credibility already. Seriously. Look away, I'm ashamed... okay?
Of course, it IS an excuse to mix some margaritas every Wednesday night and pop some popcorn... maybe have a few friends over and spend an hour watching Tyra's celebration of herself over 12 or 13 model hopefuls in their caricaturish drama blowups. It's an homage to vanity, seriously. Sooo, why do I watch it?
Oh, I know, because every 'cycle' there's at least one or two girls that really stand out. It's all editing, I'm sure, but there's always your 'queen bitch's' presented for your booing and hissing pleasure (don't spill your margarita!) and then there's the cool girls. There's always at least one. It can change too (editing again!); you can start out just hating one girl and by the end of the season you finally get her. It goes both ways of course, someone you love week one can show her 'true' colors eventually and you end up screaming at the screen throwing pillows while lime sour, triple sec and tequila squirt out your nose. Oh, it's happened (I'm looking at YOU cycle 11 season finale).
ANYWAY, I've got an early favorite this season, which is rare. I usually wait a week or two to decide, but week 1 winner Allison is ohhh so interesting. It's been the thing the last few ANTM cycles to have at least one or two gimmick contestants. We've got our 'plus-size' models (which seriously, is totally ridiculous. Have you SEEN these girls? 'Plus-size' to ANTM is like an 8, gawd) and there's been an Asperger's model (Heather Kuzmich, my FAVE from cycle 9). We've seen homeless model's and legally blind models... whatever. ALLISON is different. ALLISON likes blood. Totally awesome. I mean, I like blood. We're not talking liking blood in a cutter way or anything, but wow... Allison's a girl with a dark side. And, she's totally gorgeous with her pixie shape and huge Christina Ricci-ish eyes... I'm probably going to take a stab (HA!) at making a shape of her...
Anyway, she's a girl after my own heart. It's an edge, and I LIKE edges. Yukio Ida understands; he's on the edge. Oh wait, I guess I should mention... Yuki's been putting his Illuminati store through a little bit of a rebranding lately. Soo, apparently while his unique and artful skins will still be Illuminati, his clothes are now going under the name Gauze. Still a work in progress, and the climax I guess will be the grand opening of his new mainstore once the Sn@tch City sim is complete; updates to follow, I'm sure.
So, new from Gauze is Stained: a very simple, sexy halter with matching gloves. Yuki's always done some of my favorite texture work in SL, and it's really amazing to see how much he's done with so little; the more than appropriate gauzey material looks so real, and the cut is daring and sexy. The colors are deep and beautiful, and there's a whole range to choose from; ivory, black, red (shown), purple and more.
It's gorgeous, it's dark, fun, sexy... it's all sorts of things. Love it.
Blogging, fashion or otherwise, is a real process. A lot goes into it. Obviously, especially for blogging fashion, you need a subject, something to photograph and ultimately review. That's just basic. That's a given. That's why we're here. Of course, the clothing is someone elses, the photography is working sliders in SL and maybe doing some post-prod editing like borders and stuff. Boom and boom. Done.
Well, not exactly... because we still have to look at all the other stuff that goes into a post. Words have to come from somewhere, right? There's caffeine, of course. I mean, caffeine is pretty much the battery from which all literature flows I think... it's the opium of the 21st century (no offense to Mary Shelley). We can't forget MUSIC either. Thank god for sites like Blip.fm for a totally random mix of faves from around the world (I happen to be listening to Pussy by the Brazilian Girls at the moment...oop, just ended... what's next? Wow, it's Waterloo by Abba. Totally nuts.)
Okay, so we've got our pics, we've got our little caffeine buzz (brought to us today by Full Throttle energy coffee drink), there's some random song coming up again, and I've decided to sit down in front of the computer.
So maybe my recipe for a blog isn't exactly like everyone elses, but I'll bet it's pretty close. I'll bet it's not too far off from just about anyone who enjoys creating something (or doesn't enjoy it, all you tortured artists out there :p). The basics might all be the same, but the end product is yours alone. Izzy Dench from Blackstar I'm sure has her own process... sure, it might not be too far off from half a dozen designers in SL, but where we land is with outfits like 'Lost'.
Cute, sexy, and most importantly, really well made, Lost comes with a grungy ripped tank and a prim skirt with some really really amazing detailing. You've got little skulls hanging from a well-crafted chain and a belt I wish I owned in RL. Lost also comes with stockings and socks on the pants level in multiple options, although the look worked better on my AV without. Lost is punk meets Mad Max; grungy, schmexxy, fun and almost scandalously short. The itty bitty skirt certainly isn't something new in SL, but you'd have trouble finding one better made than this. Of course the skirt is mod but also comes in multiple sizes, which is awesome because I usually find it hard sometimes to shrink a skirt down to my dimensions... no prob with Lost.
So yah, a WIN. Whatever Izzy's doing, I'd love to see more from it. Blackstar is the place to watch for grungy punky styles, so pay attention... there's lots more like this, but plenty variety to choose from.
You kind of have to, don't you? Isn't Second Life pretty much exactly like the stories we heard when we were little? That fantasy world, that place where all sorts of mystical and magical people and creatures ran around doing their mystical and magical things. It's that magic place. The Labyrinth is real, you really CAN go over the rainbow, and of course Fantasia really wasn't a dream. Let the unbelievers stay Muggles, we've finally got our dream world.
I think everyone believes in it just a little, even the most techie scripter or serious business owner. Something happened, some story you read or movie you grew up with put a little seed in your head and here we are. Fashion is a really limiting word sometimes, because it seems to just define cut and color and style. Which it totally IS, of course... I mean, goth is goth and glam is glam. It's not like Second Life is just one fantasy world after all.
That song your listening to, the book your reading now, and how you choose to make your avatar are all a part of that same thing. I believe in magic because of books from Ursula K. Leguin and movies like The Neverending Story... and that's probably why I like Keishii Roo's L'Oscurita Della Luce from Goth1c0. I think it's the classic gothic style mixed with a very contemporary punk sensibility that brings this sexy, interesting and just so witchy look to life. Keishii Roo really nailed it, and why not? She's been a fixture in the goth/punk fashion scene in Second Life long enough to know how.
The dress comes with sexy stripey stickings and the prim cuffs and skirt have some lovely detailing that holds up pretty well under close scrutiny. Overall, it's a sexy look without being trampy, and perfect for your next coven get-together. Of course, it's probably not strictly just for witches... there's plenty of room for you vampires or emos in Second Life too.
You know what's really hard to find? A comprehensive history of latex fashion. Seriously, I looked. I mean, ok, so if you google a search for it some sites pop up, but a lot of them I didn't really want to click on because they just didn't look...um... safe.
Not that there aren't some very at least 'not horribly pornographic' sites on the internetz about latex, Wikipedia of course has an entry even. Wikipedia's pretty safe, I guess, but really short on any kind of historic relevance. Now, I don't have any statistics, but my guess is that the fetish community in Second Life is probably a larger percentage than out in the real world. Obviously, there's a lot of places on the planet that just don't have the time to indulge.
Now, it might be that the percentages are closer if you compare them to the number of fetishists in the industrialized world, but that just brings up questions like what has technology actually DONE to us? Not really going to go any deeper into it, any observations I have would be totally unscientific anyway. I was really only looking so I could find a hook to start my blog post, so I guess this will have to do.
Either way, it's here... in FL and SL. Out here in the real world, well, you can just buy it, shine it up and wiggle into it... there's that satifying snap and squeak and you're a fetish goddess. In the metaverse, though, you're pretty much dependant on the skills of the designers themselves. For that, and for latex anyway, Kai Heideman's Powers of Creation is pretty much the best you can do. Kai's 'Very Petticoat' skirt has poc's signature beautiful textures and adds a bit cuteness to an otherwise very VERY sexy ensemble. I'm also wearing a simple poc tube top and even though these are from two different boxes, the textures still match VERY well. The skirt comes with a scripted feature for recoloring the lace petticoat and multiple glitch pants depending on your mood. The top comes in short or longer styles if you want to bear a little midriff too. Really versatile, very sexy and absolutely the best latex wear in Second Life.
So, for history? Well, I don't know where it came from but I'm really glad it's here... Enjoy.
There's a pretty good chance all this will be gone soon. Seriously, it's all over the news. End of the world and all that. It's a little depressing actually. I mean, from what the talking heads are saying, it won't be a big blinding flash of light or some biblical Xtian style Armageddon. Nope, looks like this is going to fall under the 'not with a bang but a whimper' heading.
Too bad too... I mean, wouldn't something like zombies or alien dinosaurs be a LOT more exciting? Now THAT'S an apocalypse! Nope, we get the dollar. The world is going to end because of MONEY. What's THAT? Money isn't even REAL... it's like... ohhh I don't know. It's a metaphor.
Whatever. There are much smarter people than me who can sort all that out. For the rest of us, well, if there's going to be an end of the world then at least we can have an end of the world PARTY.
~quick side note here... my room mate and I actually ARE planning an end of the world party for the Winter Solstice in 2012. Why 2012? Look it up. There's a movie coming out even. So, well, you're all invited I guess. No matter how it all turns out we can really only do it ONCE so we might as well do it right~
So, does Ivey Deschanel know the world is ending? I think she might. It explains her oh so cute Post Apoc Picnic outfit. Post Apoc comes with a shmexy netted skirt and multiple top options; purple, red, black... a dangerous net and a couple others. Of course, one of my favorite things about Sn@tch's releases is just the huge number of wearable options in each pack... you get a lot for your $L. Sexy, fun, gothic and yah, I'd wear it for the end of the world.
Of course, you don't HAVE to wait for the apocalypse... we could all be wrong. Maybe it's NOT all over. Maybe everything will turn out ok.
If it DOESN'T though, and you're planning on getting your own party together. I'd run out to the store before that spinach dip costs you $100 a pint.
Story has always been something I've tried to talk about when it comes to fashion. It's important. Story is mood, style, attitude, character... all that stuff. They're all parts of any kind of story: love, horror, science fiction, quasi-politico victorian melodrama, whatever. There are a lot of these kinds of stories in Second Life too, and it's the designers and artists that help us make up our own.
What's fun is when a certain look or a certain designer shows me something that just totally clicks, there are looks that just create their own story really. That's what happened when I saw Satori Triellis's 'Elegance' outfit from Ideal Illusion Sexy, gothic and very cool, Elegance somes with vest, prim collar, tails and buckles, and matching skin tight velvet leggings with some very lovely textured patterns and a strappy effect that works very well. Satori does some really nice work in her prims and everything is very easy to mod. So, yah, that was the first part of the story... I added Illuminati Designs 'Eclipse' boots just because they matched the strappy effect on Elegance so perfectly, and of course Sadistic Hacker had the perfect jrock/cyberpunk style Vermillion to complete the look. The skin, naturally, is Nightshade Designs 'Emilie Autumn', which I just LOVE TO DEATH.
So there it was, a story. Look, setting, mood... all there. Designer not only as clothesmaker but as a storyteller. It's what we're all here for anyway, isn't it?
Satori doesn't have a huge selection in her shop, but what's there is just gorgeous. I'd check it out.
Stories are important in Second Life... if you're interested as well, I've started a Flickr group dedicated to the art of story in SL. Join here.
It's true... it's everywhere. You've got your Twisted Hunt going on, there's evil sexy styles featured on the the new Nocturne blog feed. It's everywhere. Evil is sexy, evil is hot... and evil is Nightshade Designs' new Dark Jester skin.
So why so much evil? I mean, what's the deal, right? Well, honestly.. it's just more fun I guess. Look at 2009 so far: Heath Ledger wins Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars for his Joker. Joker's pretty evil. Tyra Banks has like a million shows she's either in or producing. She's evil. We love it, and honestly, in a virtual world like Second Life where 'pretty' seems to be the norm, it's just about time we all started embracing the ugly evil potential there.
Of course, it's not sooo ugly now is it? Belladonna Mureaux's extremely evil Dark Jester passes boring pretty into something very different. It's not just that this is a gothic horror themed look,nope, it's more than that. The beautiful makeup effects are genuinely well made, with a very visceral, blood colored smeared makup effect around the eyes and ghostly clownish skin tone. Scared of clowns? Yah, well, then maybe this isn't the skin for you. It's seriously beautiful though, something really lovely and fun to wear.
And EVIL, yes... Celebrate it. Embrace your dark side. Smear some facepaint on those cute pink bows and put on those chunky boots.
I mean, pretty is easy, no doubt. Pretty is boring. Beautiful? Well, sometimes you have to sell your soul for that.