A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Midsummer Night's Dream

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
Lovers, to bed; ’tis almost fairy time.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Midsummer Night's Dream

A beautiful dress, glowing makeup, sexy up-do.. how many of us log into SL in the evening to dance a little and dream? You can dance beautifully and dream in one of Agnes Finney’s newest releases. With its beautifully done lace bodice and lace-trimmed skirt, this dramatic dress will take you dancing and possibly out for a romantic evening. By changing the silhouette of the typical evening dress—pushing the skirt to an empire waist—the dress sets you out from the crowd.

Midsummer Night's Dream

My skin is a new one from Alexandra Barcelos, who offers soft skins with sexy touches. My hair is one of Mirja Mills’ beautiful offerings for Hair Fair. (She has done all romantic this year—you really need to see her booth.) This hair comes with flowers AND without, so you are not stuck with them if you don’t want. However, with this ensemble, I think they are only fitting.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Look how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her….
~Charles Best, “A Sonnet of the Moon”

Hair: .:EMO-tions:. * ALICE – flowers * /darkbrown by Mirja Mills for EMO-tions *

Skin: Paige . Bronze . 07 by Alexandra Barcelos for Filthy Skins *

Dress: Agnes Queen Trista Champagne by Agnes Finney for My Precious *

Lunchtime Shopping

Step back a second and think about your favorite shopping experiences in SL. They are usually a social thing—you go looking for a new dress for a party or a new skin. You gather landmarks from friends. You walk around stores admiring the ambience and the products. You try on an infinite number of hair demos to show your partner (who is infinitely patient, which is why s/he’s your partner). Shopping in SL is an event.

But… when you’re at work where you can’t log into Second Life, know you have two rez days celebrations to send gifts for, need a costume for one of the rez day parties (who decided an all-pink pajama party was needed?), and you have a long lunch hour stretching out in front of you.. where do you go? Marketplace. (And do NOT tell me you don’t surf the web at work—you’re reading this blog, after all!)

The new Marketplace went up for Second Life aficionados recently. The transition from XStreet to Marketplace can’t have been an easy one but it’s done. Lots of folks have complained, but honestly, I don’t understand everyone’s griping. There’s so much to like.

First, there is the clean interface, which removes all the “junk” from the listings and the opening page. You get big bold images with a pleasing color scheme that is integrated with the Second Life main page, letting you know that it all goes together and makes the sale of content become much more important. Making content king in SL has been one of my points of agitation—I have always thought LL needed to acknowledge the importance and value of content for the continued existence of SL, both financially and aesthetically. The new Marketplace does that.

Then you have that shopping cart, which I love. I *hated* having to go back and find my place after purchasing something in XStreet. Now I don’t have to. I can look at my cart and see exactly how much I am blowing… I mean, spending *cough* before I buy it all. I can decide right there who is getting gifts and who isn’t, ALL IN ONE PURCHASE without the fear of making an error. From a consumer standpoint it’s a win. And oh, oh.. you don’t have to run to a terminal anymore to deposit Linden. Thank goodness!

Finally you have the seller interface (yes, I sell on Marketplace so I am not talking out of my whatsit here). I checked out the process for entering a new item, and it seems quite streamlined and less clunky than the XStreet interface. They also have provided the opportunity to split sales, attach a pdf, enter an in-world slurl, a website, a video link, and link it to eight other associated products. Come on! What could a content maker possibly be unhappy about?! The time it takes re-editing to take advantage of all these goodies, I suppose, but that’s life. Deal. And hello, the website runs lickety split (unlike the old XStreet that took forever to update when you were editing a listing).

Lunchtime Shopping

So… I can’t NOT show an outfit here. This ensemble is the result of Marketplace browsing. Imagine you’re click, click, clicking away, browsing all the dresses and skins and shoes while you munch on your salad, and then you see this cute dress from Ava Lu, and it’s a must have. She has combined the funky colorful abstract pattern of the puffed sleeves with a sleek mini made of cheetah skin. It’s one large step beyond the typical mini.

Lunchtime Shopping

Then you look a little farther and Cora Lu has the perfect earrings and ring to go with the dress. The earrings, oversized and beautifully textured, compliment the updo from Truth Hawks, also found by click clicking. The skin.. well, you know.. I saw the set and had to have it.. this from Heather Beebe, who does beautiful subtle skins. (And the cleavage works for a dress like this.)

Lunchtime Shopping

And finally, the shoes.. these by Felicity Overlord with sculpted feet and toes and a very simple but easy-to-use hud that allows you to color your feet using the edit tool from SL directly on the hud and then clicking to transfer it to the foot.

Lunchtime Shopping

You log in that night. You have a complete outfit, you found some cute pink PJs, two gifts are scheduled to go out to friends, and you’re set to go.

Hair: >TRUTH< Midori – cocoa by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH<, available at the Marketplace *

Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Jules B light Dk Brows/Cleavage by Heather Beebe for Rockberry, available at the Marketplace *

Dress: p.c; White cheetah Mini by Ava Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Earrings: p.c; Oxidized Silver Hoops by Cora Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Ring: p.c;  Diamonds and Pearl Ring by Cora Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Marketplace

Shoes: *FO* Keira – Black Stilettos (Shoes with Sculpted Feet & Toes) by Felicity Overlord for Felicity Shoes, available at the Marketplace

Golden Girl

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever. ~ Horace Mann

Golden Girl

Gold seems so permanent, but really it’s ephemeral. Think about it—the golden sunlight of a fall day, the golden years of someone’s life, the golden promise of a new love—all over in a second it seems. Ava Lu captures the idea of a golden moment with a dress from the new fall Paper Couture collection, with gold that shimmers. this dress is particularly beautiful with its combination of great system piece use and sculpties.

The collar, loosely inspired by African silhouettes (as is most of the collection it seems), tops a “standard” asymmetrical, just-above-the knee dress. But the fabric of the dress is fantastic—gold underlaid with a distorted liquid metal vaguely animal print. It’s accented by a large gold peapod and flouncy waist tie.  Dark plum tights shot through with gold threads accents the dress.

Golden Girl

Hart Larsson’s skins are the only choice for such an elegant dress. With their hand-drawn character (Hart paints in his spare time in RL), Hart creates women whose faces seem less airbrushed and more realistically beautiful, although such beauty is rare. I wonder sometimes if this is Hart’s ideal woman, the one he hopes to meet some day.

Golden Girl

“You have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.” ~ James Matthew Barrie

Hair: =TEKUTEKU=gloss(cream) by momo Foulon for TEKUTEKU

Skin: [PXL] Candy NAT NE NudeLips MEB by Hart Larsson for PXL *

Dress: p.c; Gathered Skins by Ava Lu for Paper Couture, available at the Modavia Fashion Week

Nails: Candy Nail #P027 Clear French 3color change by peche Bury for Candy Nail

Shoes: [Armidi Gisaci] Barcelona Slingback  – Bole w/Gold by Nicole David for Armidi

Owlishness

I met Owly Indigo.. hrm.. I don’t remember how I met Owly. She just kind of appeared in my SL and is a great person to know. A leader of community of fun-loving and poetry-reading people, she is always there with a joke, a funky thought, an anecdote about her Owlette, and a bird. Yes, she always has a bird on hand—whether it’s for SL7B or her blog or.. well, my blog. I asked Owly to explain her Owlishness and she accommodated me quite beautifully.

The crow wished everything was black; the owl, that every thing was white. – William Blake

Owlishness

When Harper asked for contributions to A Passion for Virtual Fashion, she asked for a focus on persona. From the very beginning, my SL persona has been my RL self, with this playfully owlish overlay. I have always thought of Owly Indigo as my RL self and as a female snowy owl. I am comfortable with the idea that this might not make a whole lot of sense. However, I do not roleplay an owl – I rarely wear an owl avatar, I do not perch on the side of a cliff or eat rodents or fight with wolves. Instead, I think of my avatar as a snowy owl in a mostly human form, and many of my avatar adornment choices come from this notion.

This “oldie” dress by Paper Couture, called Pica, makes me feel the most snowy owlish. The floatiness of the white skirt with giant black-edged feathers and the black diamonds on the white bodice mimic and evoke the coloring of a snowy owl perfectly. I certainly don’t think it was the designer’s intention to make a snowy owl dress, but DANG it sure turned out that way!

Owlishness

The choices I make for the base of my human avatar – the skin and hair – are nearly always black or white. I am so white in RL that I’m blue, and I am pale in SL, too. I think of l.fauna’s palest tone as a “natural” pale that is pretty close to white, and sometimes I wear completely white or gray skins. The “Startled White” color at fri.day is the white I definitely consider “my” color – oftentimes when changing hair, I just type “startled” into inventory to find what I want.

Hanging out with me here is the female snowy owl from Animania. See how great we look together!? Birds by Animania are ubiquitous in SL, not to mention pricey and sometimes primmy, but they really are the best in terms of variety, features, and how they look and move.

And what’s with the very non-owlish antlers? They come from Illusions, where there are many many different kinds and sizes of horns and antlers. And how, exactly, do they fit with the owl theme? Well. They don’t. I just love antlers. Wearing them makes me feel happy and complete. I think nearly everyone in SL has something they wear like that – maybe it’s a piece of jewelry, a mechanical arm, a crown, a fluffy cat’s tail, a certain hairstyle, a collar, or fangs. This is one of the things I really love about SL, the ability to create a completely unique avatar from the millions of choices out there.

So what do you wear on your av that makes you … you?

Owlishness

If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come. – Chinese proverb

Antlers: Sika Antlers by Siyu Suen for *Illusions*

Hair: Amelia, Startled White by Parvarti Monday for fri.day

Skin: Lapine, Pale 1, Velvet by Launa Fauna for L. Fauna

Eyes: Tragic Eyes, Lisa Frank, Large, group exclusive by Rita Groshomme for Curio

Dress: Pica by Ava Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: Querelle, black by Sissy Pessoa for Baiastice

Photos by Harper ;)

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

As I have said before, I have always had a little trouble being blonde in world. I am not blonde in RL nor do I understand the fascination with blonde coloring. Even when I was a girl, I always thought Sabrina was much more intriguing than Jill and that Kelly was just way better looking in general. (See, I thought I was Sabrina but I *wanted* to look like Kelly.)

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

But I am starting to see the appeal of being a blonde. First is this new skin from Mallory Cowen, made especially for blondes. With its subtle and light features, beautiful glow (it really does glow as advertised, and we aren’t talking about prim glow), and the well drawn features (eyebrows!), it’s an exquisite skin that makes being blonde pretty damn fun for me.

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

Then add Sascha Frangilli’s remade Temptation dress. She has remade the dress with less “battleship” and more cocktail. She gives you, as always, several options. I show two here—the prim longer skirt and the system skirt, with the great bolero and without. I paired it with these great slingback from Nardya Rousselot. I completely endorse her shoes—great shape, great textures.

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

Don’t hate me because I am beautiful:

Hair: MIEL BM HAIR – Blonde 4 by Mika Nieuport for Miel

Skin: LAQ ~ Pearl – 05 [Peach] Glow skin by Mallory Cowen for Laqroki

Dress: SAS – Temptation Cognac II by Sascha Frangilli for Sascha’s Designs

Earrings: P.C; Gilded Pearl Fruit Earring by Ava Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: NX-Nardcotix Eva Bronze by Nardya Rousselot for Nardcotix

P.S. A quick note. RFL Clothing Fair is happening again this year, starting at 3 pm slt on March 13. IF you are a fashion blogger in good standing, you may drop a note to Phoenix Ember with your name and blog url and she will add you to the group to preview the sims on press day, March 12. RFyre will be sponsoring the Paris sim, based on the city where Raven and I will be vacationing when either of us wins the lottery.

Vintage Postcard

Another collection has been released recently that has had a ripple around the grid, this time with the opening of a famous and much lauded sim—the collective of several creative and clearly well-organized artists. It’s an interesting model, as I had commented, and very impressive.

Vintage Postcard

The Tableau sim is, as expected, unexpected and beautiful in a sort of ordinary picture way. It’s great to see the not-so-fantastic, the home of grungy gray snow and quiet streets, rendered in this world of spinning and glowing things. The creators at Paper Couture add a splash of drama to the proceedings with their Winter Collection, again pulling out the stops with interesting experiments with sculpties and flexis, textures, and system pieces.

Vintage Postcard

In fact, one of the things that Ava Lu does brilliantly—more so than most any designer in SL, is use the flaws of the system skirt to her advantage. She blows it out and up, making a broadly skirted jacket for this suit, pulling it over a prim skirt. The skirt, a sculpty, is overblown and gorgeous, evoking the stiffness of taffeta. The textures, especially the “burnt” edges, are luscious.

I show this dress with a very bold and gorgeous skin from Torie Senne. The red red lips pop and work with a sort of interesting frisson with the yellow eyeshadow. That shadow pushes me past a mere vintage look to something else, something I hope more edgy as the folks at Tableau and Paper Couture would have it.

Vintage Postcard

Vintage couture:

Hair: Kin-Nova-[black] by Kin Keiko for Kin

Skin: [Bebae] Fabia > Cinna: 05 by Torie Senne for Bebae *

Dress: p.c; Black Floral SuitGown by Ava Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: HOC – Chunky Stiletto Pumps by Guu Nishi for HOC Industries

Supreme Elegance

I pulled out one of my favorite dresses today, a dress from Paper Couture. It reminds me of true elegance, high fashion—the kind that Richard Avedon photographed in the 50s and 60s. I saw his exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (and treated myself to the catalog), and I couldn’t help but see some of that high fashion in this dress.

Supreme Elegance

Ava Lu’s dress for Paper Couture came out with a number of others last fall. Paper Couture releases in an interesting fashion—they follow fashion seasons. This dress was from Fall 2008—a collection based on birds. They even made bird masks and beautiful artistic photos for the release. Truly high fashion.

Supreme Elegance

This dress has a unique shape with its sculpty skirt underlain with netting and its strategically placed prims off the sides and back. It’s not your run of the mill empire waist dress and it works with its regal scarf. The texture is sumptuous, rich and heavy with embroidery. This is not a dress for every woman in SL.

Supreme Elegance

Paper Couture is not for every woman in general. They take chances with their fashion, using avatars as an opportunity to try out their fashion ideas and innovating with prims, sculpties, and textures. Sometimes they hit it (Cecilia, Folora Gown, Cardinal Entrance are a few I really love) and sometimes they miss (Turtle Dove.. oh dear), but they do it grandly. And they do it without arrogant pricing. Their outfits are 250-300L so you can own the whole collection for a pittance, and toss what doesn’t work for you. You can find their past collections available on XStreetSL. There are some real gems there.

Supreme Elegance

I accented the outfit with tasteful earrings from Cora Lu, offered in this Spring’s collection. ETD’s elegant Anisa (also one of my favorites) tops the ensemble with Saki Galiazzo’s sophisticated Alina slingbacks finishing the outfit.

Supreme Elegance

En vogue:

Hair: ETD Anisa – Elika’s Brown by Elikapeka Tiramisu for Elika Tiramisu Design (ETD)

Skin: Pulse Skin-Valeries T: Wheat/Desire by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins

Dress: p.c; Sequin Finch by Ava Lu for Paper Couture

Earrings: P.C.; Moonlight Stud by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: SKGShoes – Alina Slingback Pumps – Chocolate by Saki Galiazzo for SKGShoes