So it all started with an obsessive need to change my AO the other day.
It happens every once in a while, I just want something to change... maybe I saw some weird twitch I didn't see before. Maybe the poses were a little hard on some of my outfits; skirts cutting through legs and all that. Either way, I was on a mission.
Of course, that's how my little adventure from shop to shop started, and that's how I ended up looking at a wall of VERY interesting hairs from designer Mystica Matova. The shop was Bizarre Hairs and mmmm, what an interesting selection.
Okay, so not the biggest selection, but some very lovely textures and movement in them all. I grabbed Xtreme Messy but there were a few other of Mystica's fun, interesting hairs I wanted. Oh! and then I turned around to find her Chique neko tails and ears on the other wall. Scripted, yes, with animation controls but also adorned with some lovely metal work. There's a warning too, of course, about NOT rezzing these on the ground because of a built in copy bot protection. I know this is a sorta controversial trend that we've seen pop up across Second Life, but Mystica's interesting styles are not to be missed, however you feel personally about the practice. They're that good. I also ended up for some reason at Snow Rabbit, Shirousagi Noel's skin and accessories shop. Funny thing. Actually, a friend of mine showed me the shop a few months ago, so I'd been before. At the time though, I remember feeling a little 'meh' about them. Still, I tried on a few demos again and I dunno, everything was different. I'm blaming my original feelings on a slow graphics day or something, because Snow Rabbit is totally awesome! I'm sure I'll be wearing this for a while. Snow Rabbit skins are lovely, delicate and simple skins that remain still very lifelike. First impressions, well, they're only first impressions and maybe sometimes it's best to just put all that aside sometimes and take a second look. 'Meh' turned to WOW and a happy me!
So, yes, I DID manage to find some new AO animations, but mebbe I'll save that for another post. I guess the moral of the story is there's always SOMETHING to look at in SL. Or maybe it's a meditation on self-imposed attention deficite disorder. Whatever. I was looking for one thing, found something else. Another good day in Second Life.
Hair, Tail and Ears [Bizarre Hair] Extreme Messy Black Chique Neko Tail and Ears (black)
Lately, about 90% of my time in Second Life is spent just pretty much exploring; and NO, exploring is NOT a euphemism for shopping. It's more like scouting locations I guess. I mean, so a lot of my photography is done within th safe confines of my studio. I load my favorite poses, maybe make a background or two and there's my 'mood' for the picture. I still like to do a lot of photography 'in the wild' though, so I end up popping around SL... maybe following a SLurl from Koinup or someplace.
Now Embryo, well, that I picked up in a group chat someplace, or maybe it was Plurk. Whatever, thank you whoever, I'm sorry I totally forgot who said it. Anyway, Embryo is gorgeous, and I ended up using it for my last post. It's absolutely gorgeous, Lizzie Lexington has some really lovely photos of the sim here.
Anyway! Right, totally beautiful...ohhh wait, what's that over there? A SHOP!
Un Jour to be exact, and full of win!! Wow, look at Bird's Nest. Is there a word for it? Avante-garde Couture? The 'nesty' skirt and veil are absolutely chaotic primmy messes and I fell utterly in love with the really well made feather boa with a peacock highlight. Bird's Nest is pretty versatile too, mix and match different attachments for a different look.
In short: totally fantastic, and a really nice example of 'wearable art' in Second Life. Embryo and Un Jour are definitely worth your time, and I seriously need to go back there to play.
I'm not even sure how to start here. I wanted to talk about how a look might evolve. Y'know, sort of a step by step from the whole digging through your inventory to actually making decisions on what to use for the day. There was going to be a whole paragraph on picking and changing, taking an hour to decide on an outfit, that sort of thing. How does this hair look with this skin? Hmmm, which makeup? Wings?
I take forever to get ready some days. Ok, so some of it has to do with my horribly messy inventory. It can take a while to sort through some of it. Add in sometimes just trying to remember the name of something so I can search it and pull it up too, and you've lost at least 20 minutes there. I don't know which takes longer, actually... the search when I know exactly what to wear or the search when I have no idea at all. Even just a little bit more stressful when I've got a blog post to write up (just one more of those 'grrr' moments I give myself.)
Every once in a while though, the planets will line up and something really cool happens. Maybe call it synchronicity; it's that time when you've got just enough of an idea and somehow your inventory seems laid out beautifully in front of you.
It started with Silver Wheel's new piercing from designer Arianrhod Gehlbard. Puncture comes as one piece with a nose ring, lower labret and vertical lower labret spikes. VERY easy to mod, and really lovely and simple. No bling here at all, which is nice, but then again this is a no bling blog.
So I had this piercing, what next? Ohhhh, Philotic Energy's Delphini, of course. Actually, I bought this the other day when I started playing with some lovely angel wings from DBS. Oh, y'know, I was wandering the store, not really looking for anything. There it was, Delphini, and the first thing that pops in my head is 'oohhh, my WINGS'. It works, and Aemilia Case has a lovely selection of punky sexy styles.
The rest just happened, I guess. I've been addicted to my Snowflake Skin for the last few days for some reason, and the lips worked so well with Puncture I had to keep it.
Either way, it worked. The experiment is complete. Oh, wait, that would have been in reference to a post from my original idea. The 'experiment' thing. Yah, I was going to go into a thing on experimenting with styles and compositions, about how Second Life is beautiful because of its potential. Whatever, don't worry about it.
Okay, so it's not 'officially' here, whatever that means (okay, I KNOW what that means, but just go with it.) The temperature's been rising, and the Sun decides to hang out a little longer every day. If Summer isn't exactly here yet, it's definitely phoning ahead.
On one hand, it does make me a little dizzy. Well, not dizzy dizzy, but sort of distracted. You know that feeling where it's like you're constantly 10 minutes behind everyone else? Yah, that's what I've got. Of course, the other hand part is that I just want to get up and go! It's that conditioned excitement that's followed you from school. Remember? (okay, so maybe not sooo long ago for me, but whatever, I know I'm right) Remember watching the clock on the wall of 8th period English with Mrs. Blah Blah? Ohhh, there's a party tonight... awesome let's go! Summer in suburbia.
That's the feeling. Maybe stop by Starbucks before we go over. Who's throwing the party? Oh! There's a band? Awesome! Punk rawk party this weekend!
Me? Oh, I'm gonna rock out with Sn@tch's Suburban Goth baggies. With red or white stitched bases, these primmy fun skater punk jeans are really cool. There's a pair of prim cargo pockets and awesome suspendors that hook right onto the belt. The attachments work really well together, and modding was so easy.
Also, I have to mention Renegade's Pitch Lunar tank. I've never blogged them before, but I've always had a huge selection of Renegade's tanks and tees, the designs and fabric textures are really awesome. I wear them a lot when I'm wearing, well, jus' my normal day to day SL self. If you haven't been there, check it out.
I've had a lot of RL stuff to do this week so I haven't been hopping on SL as much as I'd like to. Normally, I'll get on at least a little bit once a day, take some time to chat and take some pictures... then I'll put together a blog post and get it out. Pretty standard.
Well, this week's been different. I mean, I've been online and inworld, but only a little bit. So, instead of having time to really play with review copies and put together post for a look or whatever, I've been kinda just playing with the ideas for the review copies and posts. I know, totaly nonproductive, I feel horrible.
Anyway, I woke up this morning with a need to blog, my fingers were itching. Instead of just one look today, I've ended up with snapshots I've been playing with all week. It's a little random, but there IS one common thread. [Gauze] released new skins this week and last, and NOW we've got a new hair: Destroy.
Can I say it? Shouldn't I? Ok... I will. Love these!
Destroy is a bizarre, beautiful mess of a hairstyle that works on sooo many levels. There are some really nice flexi strands hanging from the piggy bunches. I tried them with everything too! From ganguro rocker (courtesy [Gauze] and Amerie's Naughty)to Hollywood Blvd popstar (Emery, naturally), and of course something a bit more goth (featuring a lovely coat from Grim Bros and my fave goth skin from Nightshade Designs).
So yah, really cool, and really well made. We haven't seen a lot of hairs in the past from [Gauze] designer Yukio Ida, but his texturing skills translate well. Can't wait to see what's next!
What can I say? Loving these new skins from Yukio Ida's Illuminati line. Sadness is Yuki's followup to last weeks Ganguro skins, and a lovely addition to his revamped skin line.
I go on a LOT I know about stories in Second Life, how it's really in a lot of ways a place to explore or create something like a dream world. Well, in any good story there's a least some kind of arc, right? There are events that shape our characters, moods that drive whatever happens next. You've got your 'best of times... worst of times..." stories and comedy. There's dark fantasy and drama, wins and losses.
And there can be Sadness.
Yukio's latest skin release comes from his brand new skin bases and features some lovely subtle touches along the body and of course a tearful, tragic, gorgeous face. Tears come in 'bloody', 'soft', and makeup... soft being clear tearstains. Sadness is available in 5 skintones, from Dusk (a deep glowing brown)to Rozen (a ghostly pale). All the shades are lovely, and of course the tear effects are have different effects that are quite interesting depending on the tone.
I'm loving Yuki's new bases, and I can't wait to see what's next from [Gauze] Illuminati Skins.
Cold blows the wind over my true love cold blows the drops of rain I never had but one true love and in Camville he was slain
I'll do as much for my true love as any young girl may i'll sit and weep down by his grave for twelve month and one day Cold Blows the Wind Ween
This is just beautiful.
I know, I know, skipping my usual preambulatory rant and roundabout thing to go straight to the heart of the matter. The Black Canary's latest, The Old Soul, is beautiful.
I did have a whole thing worked up in my head about what to say too. Even grabbed some lyrics to add some mood to today's piece. The Old Soul is a beautiful kimono from Morrigan Denimore, with some lovely touches that really create a feeling of real story about it. The texturing is flawles, and while Morrigan recommends a Geisha AO for the full effect, it was very easy to fit. I really love the monochrome characters highlighting this kimono, and the graphics are beautiful. The prim skirt, collar and obi belt all fit very nicely, and the torn fabric touches do a lot to sort of tell the story.
There's something really ghostly about The Old Soul too, my mind instantly sprang to old Japanese ghosts haunting some ancient forest. Of course, I don't actually know any of those stories so I jumped to the next best thing, Ween's Cold Blows the Wind which is a beautiful story about lost loves and cemetaries.
Simply, I just had to share this really lovely design from Morrigan Denimore. He seems to be able to surprise me every time I see a new release and it's a pleasure.
The Old Soul is available for boys too, so don't feel left out. If you haven't visited The Black Canary before, I think it deserves your time.
I've always had a short list of designers whose work I really really liked, but just never got around to actually owning anything. You know, sometimes the $L balance is too low, or maybe you just aren't in a shopping mood. Or maybe you ARE in a shopping mood but just not for that thing today.
I'd heard of Exxess Designs before the Digital Alchemy Nile fashion show a couple months back, but I'd never really gotten a close up look at anything from Exxess designer Layja Vidor. The show was a success, and I loved her 'Nepthys' look so much I just had to have it. Exxess moved to my short list of 'must see more' after that show, and finally I got around to visiting again about a month ago.
What a lovely shop, so much cool stuff. I wandered around, tried some of the hairs and looked at all the shiny prim outfits on display. I finally decided on 'Wild Thing', dropped some $L and scurried off to play.
So, let me start by saying first, I really loved this outfit. Okay, out of the box, I loved it...BUT, ahhh, well, there were a lot of prims to mod. I'm used to it, of course, I don't think there's much in SL that doesn't require at least SOME tweaking, right? Some outfits are harder to mod than others though... maybe you can't shrink it anymore or something just doesn't match up. Anyway, it happened with me for Wild Thing. Ohhhh, but no problem at all, because Layja Vidor includes a notecard in her folder that gives information on how to have your new and lovely Exxess outfit customized to fit just you! April was nuts, so it took me a month to send over my measurements and proof of purchase to Layja via notecard. It was a lovely exchange, and Layja sent me my now fitted outfit really within a day. Wow.
It was perfect, and a lovely service from Layja for her customers.
On to the outfit. The primmy belted skirt and tassles are really lovely and very realistic, and with custom fitting there's nothing that cuts through my AV when my pose changes. Wild Thing comes with boots, legband, belted mini, bikini bottom and top, and awesome prim wristbands. Schmexy, tough and really well made, perfect for a night on the prowl...
Sometimes, SL is just a happy accident waiting to happen.
You'll be wandering around, minding your own business. Maybe shopping, maybe people watching... maybe you're just wasting time. You pass by a shop and something through the doorway catches your eye. Wow, you think, that's pretty cool. You pan up to see the shop name overhead. Ohhhh, I've heard of THAT before... so happy to have found it.
We don't have 500 satellite channels in Second Life with 24 hour commercials telling us where to shop and how to find the coolest stuff. Oh, sure, there's blogs and advertisements that you might run into to give you some thoughts and maybe an LM or something, but the system isn't nearly as big as it's First Life counterparts. So, we end up with a model of shopping that's as much exploration and education as it is an exchange.
It happens to me all the time. It happened to me last week actually, when I stumbled into Cutea Bennelli's Grim Bros. Grim Bros features some of the most bizarre, interesting and truly lovely victorian style steampunk cybernetic fashion in Second Life. Cutea's 'Injector' spine jumped out at me first... wow. Mebbe it's becuase of all the Wolverine trailers on the TV lately, all that metal and muscle pornography... Who knows, but this Grim Bro release is meticulously crafted and has a gorgeous chrome sheen. It's a beautiful accessory if you're looking for something a little more than just a cute pair of earrings to accessorize that post-apocalyptic ensemble you're putting together.