The N’dali

The N'Dali

“The N’dali of the temperate forests and hills of Southern Peninsula of Melanasia are an independent tribe of traders and craftspeople. They are most noted for their fine metalwork and technology in working with exotic creature skins and feathers such as those of the phoenix and dragon. Their people are homogenous with genetic markers such as pale fine caucasian skin, thick dark black hair and most amazingly, golden eyes, which appear ubiquitously through the N’dali people but are known as a rare recessive gene across other populations.

The N'Dali

“As the culture is matrifocal, women enjoy a great degree of independence and power. Free of the pressures of typical patriarchal societies, both women and men flourish as leaders, artisans, nurturers and tradespeople. Some occupations weigh heavier towards one sex or the other but both sexes enjoy the opportunity to choose their vocation. Parenthood is shared, with all children taught the concept of n’dalia, or fidelity to social oneness and community. The people are, overall, very insular and communicate very reluctantly with others except in trade. It could be said that their cultural ethos is ‘G’sip a g’ringen’ or ‘Words are power.’

“As seen in Figures 1 and 2, the N’dali women’s garb is made entirely by local artisans. First, the top and skirt are sewn from treated dragonskin, which is created from a process of steps that range from the original hunt of dragons by specialized warriors to the butchering of dragons and curing of dragonskin by skilled craftspeople. The dragonskin is surprisingly light but flexible and protective—it can withstand high temperatures and resists puncturing. The collars and belt of their garments are fashioned by artisans trained via apprenticeship and are created by commission, showing the marks of their owners’ family seals-—in this case, the image of a goddess akin to Callisto on the belt.

The N'Dali

“Figure 3 shows us the face of a N’gali woman. With fine beautiful features, the N’dali’s caucasian skin is surprisingly resistant to the elements and heat. The skin provides for N’dali women a convenient canvas for personal expression. While the facial tattoos of many women accentuate their golden eyes and provide pure decoration, the tattoos on their arms tell metaphorical tales of very personal narratives and relationships (in the case of this woman, an homage to the master craftswoman who taught her dragonskin hunting and curing). The hair is arranged in a complex construction of loops and curls, reaching ever higher heights as wearers try to outdo each other to the astonishment and subsequent duplication of their peers. It could never be said a N’dali woman is not vain.”

The N'Dali

Excerpted from “Between the Dragon and Phoenix: the N’dali of Melanasia” by anthropologist Birgit Fredriksson-Denison.

Cultural artifacts provided by:

Hair: MrS – Hazardous –  Medium by MrSigmund Fride for MrS

Skin: :GP: Petal [Dark] Summer-Pebble 1 by Gala Phoenix for Curio *

Makeup: Adam n Eve Eye Tattoo Dragon Queen Gold by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Gold (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Outfit: Adam n Eve Clothes – Dragonskin – Purple by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *

Earrings: p.c; Oxidized Silver Hoop by Cora Lu for Paper Couture (modified)

Tattoos: AITUI TATTOO – Fire Fish Sleeves ::airbrushed:: by Jesseaitui Petion for AITUI

Shoes: ::: MOON ::: 1001 Nights Slippers COCOA by Moon Ling for ::: MOON :::

Champagne

Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient Champagne.”  ~ Dorothy Parker

Champagne

Champagne—a heady, sparkling, rare—not unlike a romantic evening with a new someone special. This evening gown from Mami Jewell is the ideal dress for such an evening with its elegant lace bodice and smooth silk skirt. Mami makes the dress even more special with huge blossoming roses slung below the hips and trimmed with black lace. The dress moves gloriously.

Champagne

Someone whose taste I respect suggested I wear a light blonde hair with this dress. I chose Onyx LeShelle’s platinum blonde in an updo, which is striking with the dress and against Monicuzza Babenco’s lovely preview skin for Sole. My almost-retro jewelry is an older set from Cora Lu.

Champagne

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are just around the corner.” ~ Marlene Dietrich

Hair: Maitreya Siri – Platinum by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Skin: *YS & YS* Sole Reborn – EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW  4 TDR with *YS & YS* Sole Reborn LightBrows by Monicuzza Babenco for *YS & YS*

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Pale Clover Green (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: -AZUL- Kathe/Champagne by Mami Jewell for -AZUL-

Jewelry: P.C; Antique Pearl Choker and P.C; Antique Pearl Earrings by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: (Shiny Things) Delphine pumps – sand by Fallingwater Cellardoor for (Shiny Things) *

Golden Treasure

I love putting together a totally fantastical look, one that is monochrome and stylized. There is no deep meaning behind this—just a satisfaction in finding a set of items that represent one of the hardest textures in SL to show–gold—in amazing ways.

Golden Treasure

I start with a swimsuit from monica Outlander’s early summer set of swimsuits and beachwear. The “Prue” is a great set—a bikini top with a thong and a nice little pareo to hide your bum. Monica has the sheen of the material and that bright golden color locked down perfectly. My shoes are great little prim toe shoes from Babette Ultsch that have a great gold texture (she also has a great silver pair).

Golden Treasure

My skin is the newest from Aida Ewing, a sunkissed beauty with a beautiful glow and sheen to the skin and lips and delectable make up. I really like this new set, which is being offered at the Skin and Shape Expo, because it shows a lot more depth and skill. Aida’s improving with each skin she makes and is starting to dominate the skin world. My golden brown hair is a Mirja Mills special color, which I love seeing because it’s so unique in SL. My earrings are grandiose affairs from Cora Lu’s newest line for Paper Couture and my luscious golden eyes are from Ikon Innovia.

Golden Treasure

Not all that blings is gold.

Hair: .:EMO-tions:. * ADORA * /naturals by Mirja Mills for .:EMO-tions:.* (modified)

Skin: -Glam Affair- Layla MedTan – D 02 by aida Ewing for –Glam Affair-, available at the Skin and Shape Expo *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Pale Gold (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Swimsuit: Miamai_Prue Gold by monica Outlander for Miamai *

Earrings: p.c; Studded Gold Circles by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Shoes: *KL* Sandals03g Nadia Inka01 by Babette Ultsch for Kitties Lair

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

The New Yorker

I have never been to New York City. I have been many places—London, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Chicago—but not New York City. It’s amazing. I have several friends who are from there, many more who live there, but I just haven’t made it—not even the airport. But I will some day!

The New Yorker

As I understand, women in New York wear a lot of black (it’s just not a pink kinda town). So I donned this jacket from AvaGardner Kungler, a double jacket—leather over a snakeskin (what luxury!). AvaGardner has done a great job of shaping the jacket with sculpties, making it wearable AND fashionable. The jacket also comes with a single layer for you ladies who don’t want to get too warm but in the fall New York City has its moments of warmth and then it can turn chilly. My jeans are from California’s prettiest girl, Callie Cline, but their blackness makes the outfit so right coast. And a pop of color is provided by Janie Marlowe in the red tank.

The New Yorker

My hair, oh.. my hair.. I was beyond excited when I found out that Elikapeka Tiramisu has brought herself back to life in SL and is selling hair in the new SL Marketplace. I immediately grabbed all I could and I was not disappointed. This updo from Elika comes with her classic styling and perfect textures. Welcome back, Elika. We have MISSED you!

How do women in the city stay so thin and beautiful? Well they walk everywhere. These boots from JB Gazov are heels a woman can walk around the city in (and climb in and out of taxis in). My skin is one of Minnu Palen’s gifts for the lucky LeLook recipients. The flawless makeup is ideal for our New Yorker. And a statement ring makes its case on my finger, this from Cora Lu. I realize I am missing a handbag, which is a VERY important part of being a New York woman. Oh crap! I left it in the last taxi….

The New Yorker

Someday…

Hair: [e] Rumor – Blonde 07 by Elikapeka Tiramisu for elikatira

Skin: LeLutka : LE.LOOK! la femme – Skin – Estelle Dark Brows by Minnu Palen for LeLutka (no longer available)

Jacket: (Kunglers) Soraia – black by AvaGardner Kungler for Kunglers *

Tank: **MIS** Essential Tank – Tomato by Janie Marlowe for Mischief (no longer available)

Jeans: Dark Jeans by caLLie cLine for Callie Cline

Ring: P.C; Black Pearl Ring by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Boots: J’s Ankle Boots Round by JB Gazov for J’s

Twiggy

Lauded for being an icon of the 60s, Twiggy was one of the first supermodels. Naturally thin (the wiki about her says she was 5’6” and 91 pounds), she had a beautiful face with big eyes and the gawky appearance of an adolescent.

Twiggy

I show my version of Twiggy in a retired dress from Cora Lu. With it’s empire waistline and ballooning skirt, it is one the few in SL that so well exemplifies this retro shape. What makes the dress even better are the exaggerated roses at the shoulder and great textured red tights.

Twiggy

I constructed the whole look around a skin from Julliette Westerburg, which is being featured at the Designers United 19. With its dark heavy makeup and painted on eyelashes (similar to Twiggy’s famous make up), I thought it was a perfect match. I modified my shape quite radically (of course) to create this look—making my eyes much larger, pushing them together, changing the shape of the head and the nose, and making my eyes quite a bit larger. And of course, I made the body very thin and without breasts or hips (though you can’t see it under the dress).

Twiggy

It’s not what you’d call a figure, is it? ~ Twiggy

Hair: Kin-Cricket-[Sand] by Kin Keiko for Kin

Skin: -tb- {Pale} Space Mod – Light Winged Brows by Julliette Westerburg for tres blah, featured at DU19

Eyelashes: Detour – Klee Dot Lashes by Keri Clip for Detour

Shape: Made by me :) (With Eshi’s help)

Dress: P.C; Red Baby Roses by Cora Lu for Paper Couture (but not available)

Shoes: *GF* Square-toe Shoes “Sophie” -grape- by Cerberus Noel for G Field

The Woman with the Accent

Ever meet a woman of indeterminate origin? You know who I mean.. one who has an accent that you can’t quite place, a look and manner that is so eclectic you can’t say, oh, she’s from Boston or Buenos Aires or Berlin or Bangkok. All you know is she is not from your own small town.

The Woman with the Accent

She’s really nice, friendly, interesting when you meet her at your cousin’s boss’ wife’s cocktail party. She will tell you a story about where she got her lace top, this one being from Sissy Pessoa. “I found it in this very interesting boutique in Milan,” she’ll tell you. “And the woman there—what an artist! She sewed each button herself!” You’ll hear the perfect way she says “Milan” and inspect the top, which is indeed made of the finest black Italian lace, and conclude she has to be Italian.

She catches you checking out her skirt and leggings, and she explains she got them in Japan from this great designer, cocoro Lemon. “There is something so marvelous about feathers,” she laughs as she pushes around the food on her plate with her chopsticks, picking up the sushi appetizer with such skill, you would swear she was Japanese.

The Woman with the Accent

She seems to be eating but none of ever it goes in her mouth or so it seems because her bold red lipstick is never smudged. Then you will compliment her makeup and she’ll tell you all about this great American artist, Lorac Farella, who has created a most unique makeup line that combines a gothic and pale look for the average woman, so she has a darker and more elegant look. And then you think, hm, she has to be from New York.

The Woman with the Accent

She fluffs her flexi ostrich feathered skirt and your eyes travel down to her boots as she sets down her plate still full of food (she *looked* like she was eating but nothing went down). The boots, leather with zippers all over, are also from Japan—the same cocoru Lemon, she explains. “Ah Tokyo!” she smiles. She sets down her empty champagne glass (the second one—she DOES seem to be swallowing that down), scans the crowd looking for the next person to speak to, and gives you a sweet little smile. “Nice meeting you,” she says. “Toodle-loo!”

The Woman with the Accent

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” ~ Virginia Woolf

Hair: *eha~Jean Black by Salut Erin for *eha

Skin: Mystere Skin-Tone 3 /No.12 by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins/RFyre *

Blouse: * Baiastice_Charlotte shirt by Sissy Pessoa for Baiastice

Skirt with leggings: *COCO*_FeatherSkirt by cocoro Lemon for *COCO* *

Scarf: Sonatta Morales*8* Night Scarf by Sonatta Morales for Sonatta Morales

Earrings: p.c.; Black Pearl Drops Earrings by Cora Lu for Paper Couture

Boots: *COCO*_ZipperBootie by cocoro Lemon for *COCO* *