In the East

Vlinder Reitveld has to be a very interesting woman. If you read her profile, you find that she is currently “Hunkered down in Bangkok and staying out of the warzone til Thailand gets its act together.  Next stop, Delhi in June.. maybe Turkey after that.” As she travels, she teaches women in these countries about technology entrepreneurship. She says her main source of income comes from making clothing in SL. She uploads her work, sets it for sale, and helps her SL customers out as she finds internet cafes. Wow. If nothing else, this should prove not every person in SL is a fat guy sitting at the computer in his parent’s basement.

Modesty

Vlinder clearly catches inspiration on her travels, this from India with the choli and dupatta. With its magnificent texture based on Northern Indian artistry (called “Zari,” according to a friend of mine), her combination of sculpties, prims and system pieces creates a beautiful outfit befitting a woman of grace and gives us a peek at the wonders she sees on her travels.

Modesty

Vlinder takes it a little farther by offering add-ons to the basic Ghagra Choli so one can exhibit more modesty with portions of the Modesty Add-on (which includes a veil, which I decided to forego), as I do above, or show more skin, as I do below with her Arabia Add-on (purely an outfit of imagination). She offers this set of ensembles in 6 colors. I wear with a pair of great shoes from moon Ling, which are called “naagra,” according to my expert authority.

Modesty

I struggled because I wanted to wear a beautiful, darker-toned skin that had a hair base. I finally found Mallory Cowen’s Tasha in Nougat in my inventory, and it fit the bill perfectly. With the exotically shadowed eyes, the glowing skin tone, and the perfect wisps of hair from the hair base, this skin suited both the modest and the less modest looks perfectly.

In the East

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

Hair: !lamb. Bang Bang Bob – Ink by Lamb Bellic for lamb.

Skin: LAQ ~ Tasha2 – 04 [Nougat] Glow skin (hairbase) by Mallory Cowen for Laqroki

Outfit: Eila Ghagra Choli by Vlinder Reitveld for Vlintuition *

Earrings: *Primagine* Maja Gold Earrings by Trixie Bumbo for Primagine

Shoes: ::: MOON ::: 1001 Nights Slippers Cocoa by moon Ling for :::MOON::: *

Rise, Gentle Moon, Rise

I had to show another set of items I picked up at the RFL Clothing Fair and the Melt exhibition, combined to make a very interesting look.

Rise, Gentle Moon, Rise

Aradhana Voight has made a beautiful gold dress to benefit RFL as well as being sponsor of the absolutely gorgeous New Delhi sim built by Grace Loudon. With its amazingly shimmering gold textures (making gold look like this in SL is no easy feat) and beautiful silhouette, this Indian-inspired gown is magnificent and sleek for any occasion. Aradhana cleverly adds a feathery optional waist skirt that can also be worn as a separate piece so you can wear the top with pants.

Rise, Gentle Moon, Rise

I show it with this amazing skin from Juliette Westerburg for the Melt exhibition. Again, having the artists combine efforts based on a common theme was a great exercise for all of those who participated. Some, like Juliette really answered the call, in this case using her great skills in texturing to create magical and fantastic skins. I like seeing her go from her “everyday girl” fashions to this more artistic and fanciful skin. It shows the girl has some chops and can think outside that same old box. The hair is a crazy cool piece I bought at Hair Fair last year made by Miranda Milestone. I had never had the opportunity to use until now. It needed an equally cool look to make it all make sense.

Rise, Gentle Moon, Rise

Goodnight, Moon:

Hair: [MC] Moon – gold by Miranda Milestone for Milestone Creations

Skin: -tb- Arctic Ice (blonde brows) by Julliette Westerburg for Tres Blah available at Melt: An Installation on Thin Ice

Dress: :Mashooka: RFL 2010: Isha gown by Aradhana Voight for Mashooka available on the New Delhi sim at the RFL Clothing Fair

Book Signing

I got an IM the other day from my friend Mitch Wagner, the host of Copper Robot, a weekly interview show in SL that goes out to the web and is later podcast. Mitch asked if I had ever read Jonathan Lethem. I thought he wanted to chat about books. I had read Jonathan Lethem before—Motherless Brooklyn a long time ago and then articles in Harper’s Magazine (the RL one).

Mitch told me that Copper Robot will be having Jonathan Lethem as its guest and would I like to meet Jonathan in world and show him a few things in SL. Well you know, I nearly fell out of my chair. Of course! What was my NEXT question? “OMG, Mitch, what will I wear?!?”

Book Signing

I opted to wear the safe bet—pretty, sexy, and some of the best fashion in SL—Zaara Kohime and Onyx LeShelle. I donned an older dress from Zaara that has stood the test of time with its beautiful textures and brilliant belt decoration.

Book Signing

I accessorized with Zaara jewelry, beautifully textured, matching the dress (of course). I wanted to have that soft jangle of bangles shifting and moving as I gesture and talk. (Now you get the secret of bangles ;))

Book Signing

Finally, sexy and artistic heels from Onxy LeShelle. I have shown these before but I can’t help myself. It all goes so well.

(And yes, I gave him a brief tour of SL. He was impressed and very gracious and easy going. A very nice man. I think you will love hearing him speak.)

Book Signing

Come hear the Copper Robot ask Jonathan Lethem about Pincus Tooth, Sunday, January 17 at 6 pm slt at Seaside Theater!

Hair: Maitreya Bo – Copper by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Skin: []::Tuli::[] Bella (fair/br) F.Y.L.O. copper by Tuli Asturias for Tuli *

Dress: Zaara : Calangute *chocolate* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Earrings: Zaara : Sarayi hoops *color* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Bangles: Zaara : Indra painted stacked bangles by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Shoes: Maitreya Gold – Salience Brown by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Tandoori and Naan

I get a craving once in a while for a really good piece of naan—hot out of the oven, golden with brown freckles, soft and flavorful, buttery and chewy. And I want to eat it with a spicy tandoori and a cool tangy raita. The beautiful post-processing that my friend Ikon Innovia did for this photo reminds me of that craving.

Tandoori and Naan

This outfit also reminds me of that craving. Zaara Kohime has brought in elements of Indian and the West to create beautiful fusion clothing in SL. Using the motifs of beautiful Indian fabrics and making them the essential elements in her clothing, Zaara has rocketed to the top of the design world in SL.

Tandoori and Naan

Consider the satiny texture in the skirt, the deep rich color, the clever use of the system pieces to portray a belt and a bow at the collar, the excellently built skirt (Zaara builds a skirt and then builds the texture to fit the prims on the skirt—she doesn’t just slap a texture on—she makes the prims and textures work for her).

Tandoori and Naan

Then consider the jewelry. Zaara made the hair jewelry, earrings and bracelet I wear. She combines absolutely gorgeous textures with great prim building and wonderfully imaginative fashion that any female would look wonderful in.

I accompany it with pieces by Onyx LeShelle. I have already given my two cents about the shoes. Let me speak quickly about the hair. This style, while not extravagant, is simply beautiful. The textures are exquisite and the style speaks to most women nowadays with its casually pinned up ponytail. The hair frames the face and makes one think that if it were let down, it would be thick and gorgeous. That’s a lot to convey in a few prims and sculpties. But Onyx LeShelle has cornered the market on elegant and evocative in SL, top to bottom.

Tandoori and Naan

Dreams of India:

Hair: Maitreya Aisha II (jewelry fit) – Autumn by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Skin: []::Tuli::[] Bella (fair/br) F.Y.L.O. copper by Tuli Asturias for Tuli *

Top: Zaara : Kavi top *charcoal* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Skirt: Zaara : Larin Skirt *copper-rust* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Hair jewelry: Zaara : Nizam Jhoomar+Tikka (head jewel)  *white* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Earrings: ZC : Anaya Onyx Earrings by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Bracelet: Zaara : Vyomini chained bracelet *onyx* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Shoes: Maitreya Gold – Salience Brown by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Coriander and Nutmeg

One of my favorite Indian spices is Garam Masala. A mix of spices which varies by recipe and by region in India, it is always blended in a manner in which one spice never predominates.

Nutmeg and Coriander

I am reminded of it because of the fashions of Aradhana Voight. Aradhana is Indio-European—a lady who grew up in Europe in an Indian family, speaking the same language as her classmates but coming from a distinctively different racial and cultural background. The clothing she makes in SL shows that blending of east and west, as it were. She combines elements of sarees with more traditional European or American styles.

Nutmeg and Coriander

Take this evening dress from Aradhana. She visited the bazaars of the market to find the fabric for this dress with its golden patterns and sheer sensuous folds. However, she also cut the skirt up the thigh, added a distinctively Western bow to the hip and a decidedly sexy cut.

Nutmeg and Coriander

I have included Aradhana’s exquisite jewelry with this outfit. Aradhana’s textures contribute to the designs, providing the color and intricacy the jewelry needs. Add to that the pure pleasure of the jewelry. Oftentimes when I wear a necklace, earrings seem redundant or it seems excessive. With this jewelry, there is never too much—each piece is designed with a separate shape but following a similar motif, so piling it on adds layers of complexity rather than overabundance. This is harder to achieve than the average consumer realizes.

I compliment this ensemble with a luscious skin from Monicuzza Babenco and hair from Alexiander Biedermann. (I modified the front curl and pushed it in to let the head jewels show.) Finally, a most luscious pair of Onxy LeShelle’s shoes complete this look, making me sexy from top to bottom.

Nutmeg and Coriander

Garam Masala:

Hair: #AB# Rocio charcoal hair by Aleixandre Biedermann (slightly modified) for Biedermanns Q Hair

Skin: *YS&YS* Adriana Lust 04 Fall EB Dark Hairbase by Monicuzza Babenco for YS & YS*

Dress: :Mashooka: Hope gown {metalred} by Aradhana Voight for Mashooka Designs*

Jewelry: :Mashooka: Aradhana Jewels {gold} by Aradhana Voight for Mashooka Designs*

Shoes: Maitreya Gold – Esprit Wine by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

Celebrate the Festival of Lights

This weekend was significant for many in the world—it was Diwali, the festival of lights. While the original story given to the holiday varies among people–some say Rama came home after a long journey, some say Mahavira reached nirvana, and some say the sixth Guru was released and came home from imprisonment–Diwali is ultimately a time of great joy and celebration among many people in the Eastern hemisphere, and now the Western.

Diwali ultimately is about the victory of inner goodness over evil and lights are lit as a metaphor for the inner light. Seeing rows of candles lit up at a celebration, you realize how each inner light from a person comes to a beautiful overall glow. It’s a powerful metaphor wherein knowledge overcomes ignorance, beauty overcomes ugliness, and love overcomes hate.

Happy Diwali!

So it’s in keeping with the beauty of this holiday that I wear this sumptuous creation from maizon Rayna. A real life fashion designer, maizon brings her Italian fashion sensibilities to her work in SL. She explained to me that her men’s collection in SL replicates her RL collection.

I spotted this sari in her store and bought it after seeing her wear it. The prims are perfectly placed, from the hair piece on top to the jewels around the hips to the ankle bracelets. With its textures, both photosourced and photoshopped, the top and skirts are perfectly done, not a pixel out of place.

Happy Diwali!

To match the outfit, I chose to wear Nany Merlin’s skin and this gorgeous hair from Queue Marlowe.

Happy Diwali!

Happy Diwali. May your light shine!

Hair: emma black by Queue Marlowe for Analog Dog

Skin: Indian_M2 by Nany Merlin for Unique Megastore

Dress: INDIA by maizon Rayna for Terra D’Ombra