Alma

Alma

Alma, she’s a waitress in her parent’s restaurant in Jamaica, Iowa. Called “Nacho’s,” it would seem it advertised what it sells but it was truly named after her father, Ignacio, whom they called “Nacho” for short. Her parents opened the restaurant after they moved to Iowa, and she was born in Des Moines and raised in Jamaica.

This is what Alma wants you to know: yes, she is a US Citizen and no, she doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish. She says “warsh” instead of “wash” just like every other person in Guthrie County. The tacos her dad makes for the farmers? He uses Taco Bell seasoning he buys in bulk. The tortillas are made in a factory in Des Moines from true blue Iowan wheat and corn. Her parents—Ignacio and Rosita Flores—moved here from Texas, where they were both born.

When she was a little girl, Alma wanted straight thick blonde hair and blue eyes just like her friend, Justine, which much closer to being a real princess than she was with her kinky brown hair and brown skin. Until she went away to school at the University of Iowa, she didn’t even put a name to her difference but now she knows what she is—Chicana. And her dream is to leave Iowa someday and find out what that really means. For now she helps Rosita and Ignacio with Nacho’s, serving up tacos and burritos to hungry farmers and laughing with them when they ask for her green card.

Alma

This was Alma’s Cinco de Mayo outfit this year—a short top and colorful skirt, which was perfect on unusually warm May evening. (By the way.. Cinco de Mayo? Totally American. Sells a lot of tacos.) Her top, from Mala Oh, features and orange bodice and sleeves with ties, making it look very light and comfortable. Her skirt is a colorful ethnic piece she got in Iowa City, made by Trill Zapatero to benefit Afghan women. (Visit Trill’s store in world to find out more and see a virtual Afghanistan. All proceeds from sales go to the “Revolutionary Association of the Woman of Afghanistan” (RAWA).) Her shoes are also from Trill, however I was able to fit them OVER Siddean Munro’s bare feet by using the “add” feature available in V2 and Firestorm. No longer do you need to wear system feet because of multiple attachment.

Alma

Alma is made possible by the artistry of Anzhela Karsin. I have been fascinated with this set of skins and their opportunity for making beautiful women of color in world. This time I wore the skin over my own shape and Alma was born. My hair is a beautiful kinky masterpiece from Keri Clip.

Alma

“No Statue of Liberty ever greeted our arrival in this country…we did not, in fact, come to the United States at all. The United States came to us.” ~ Luis Valdez

Hair: [Detour] Torrid – Brown – Hair by Keri Clip for [Detour]

Skin: Rhianna with eyes ultra smokey by Anzhela Karsin for Angel Rock Skins *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Bronze (M) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Top: .:A&M:. Boho Chic Mini Top – Orange-Red – Culture Shock’11 by Mala Oh for .:A&M:. *

Skirt: BoHo HoBo-Banjara long skirt 2 by Trill Zapatero for BoHo HoBo

Belt: *::UM::* Stone change_Belt by Umeko Shan for *::Ume Mode::* (no longer available)

Earrings: [ glow ] Studio – Folk Green Drop Earrings by Jocelyn Anatine for [ glow ]

Feet: SLink Jolie Pied Barefeet Low by Siddean Munro for SLink

Shoes: BoHo HoBo Sandals by Trill Zapatero for BoHo HoBo

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

Intrigue

I am a little stir crazy, a bit restless.

Intrigue

I decided to dress it up. I put on these sexy flowy pants from monica Outlander, a slinky top, just out from Sysy Chapman (who does these sexy little separates so well), a pretty necklace and earrings that get some glamour treatment from Quinlan Quimby and some killer heels from Viktoria Brandenburg.

Intrigue

But the story is really about the skin and the hair. First, the hair—from MrSigmund Fride, this hair is quite dramatic (intentionally so). I wanted big and I got big. And then the skin, from sachi Vixen. You know I don’t think sachi envisioned it this way but it works. The subtle make up, almost glimmering under this big pile of hair, is perfect for this look. It’s already so over-the-top, the makeup doesn’t need to be so.

Intrigue

Written while listening to Aum a Go Go by Kammerflimmer Kollektief

Hair: MrS – Venice hair by MrSigmund Fride for ***TUTY’S & MrSIGMUND** CREATIONS

Skin: Adam n Eve Skin – Bianca t3 – Baby with ae bianca manicure baby by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *

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

Top: SYSY’s Ruffle tank black by Sysy Chapman for Sysy’s *

Pants: Miamai_Azanea Black by monica Outlander for Miamai *

Necklace: TOSL *Chandelier* Necklace v1.1 Purple Haze by Quinlan Quimby for TOSL

Earrings: TOSL *Chandelier* Earrings v1.1 Purple Haze by Quinlan Quimby for TOSL

Shoes: VvB ShoeBox-HEDONIC-Black Shoes V3 by Viktoria Brandenburg for VvB

Everything in Its Right Place

The thing about Eshi’s work is she makes it look so easy and you kind of say, “Oh yeah. That makes sense.” (Even if it looks funky, which it usually does.) Kind of reminds me of a song where someone sings “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.” It’s crazy yet it all works.

Everything in Its Right Place

Eshi passed this to me a couple weeks ago. She sends photos and then passes folders. I usually throw them right on wherever I am standing but at the time I think I was on treet.tv or something and couldn’t. She passed me this lovely outfit, which includes a system top with glimmering jewels and sexy striped pants. She crafted a beautiful belt, choker, and head piece which echo the jewels in the top. And she weighed it all with handless gloves.

Everything in Its Right Place

I show the outfit with one of Eshi’s hairs because it fits so well with the headpiece. I chose this kind of overbloomed make up from rebeca Dembo. I would not wear this for every day wear, but its boldness suits Eshi’s ensemble. I chose boots from Fashionboi Landar that I purchased a few weeks ago. I am having a hard time finding his store (not listed in his profile or in search), so if it can be found again, I recommend these boots.

Everything in Its Right Place

“What, what is that you try to say?” ~ “Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead

Hair: CROWN hair (ash blonde) by Eshi Otawara for Eshi Otawara *

Skin: Christina  Sun Pale by rebeca Dembo for CandyDoll *

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

Ensemble: Black Gems Are Forever by Eshi Otawara for Eshi Otawara *

Boots: HouseofFox – [AngynessHeels – Black] by Fashionboi Landar for House of Fox

In the Deep Dark Sea

The Fantasy Faire will be coming to a close April 25. If you have not visited, I urge you to splurge a little on the other side of life in SL—a life of role playing and mermaids, fairies and tinies. It’s well worth the expense to expand your horizons.

In the Deep Dark Sea

The first night I walked the Mer Market at the Faire, I came upon a most glorious creature floating and flipping around in an amazingly… well, shrimp-like mermaid outfit. Pyewicket Tiger was the creator of his own beautiful mermaid ensemble, and I *had* to have one. I chose a mystical sea unicorn, which is unisex and fits me very well (though I admit it removed the beard). I purchased a skin in his underwater cavern to match and make what you see here.

In the Deep Dark Sea

Also available at the Faire are the AOs and poses and dances. I set into motion dances by yuuki Solo to snap some of these shots. Swirling around in graceful pirouettes and swirls, fins fluttering in radiant color in the cool deep sea is mesmerizing and relaxing to watch. I purchased Sala Snook’s brilliant Mermaid AO and watched myself tread water and swim from store to store, slipping through the water like a nymph.

In the Deep Dark Sea

“for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea”
~ e. e. cummings

Skin: Glitter Skin Blue by Pyewicket Tiger for Pyewicket’s Myths at the Mer Market sim

Ensemble: Sea Unicorn by Pye Lt Blue by Pyewicket Tiger for Pyewicket’s Myths at the Mer Market sim

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

Dances: +yb mer Dance2f and +yb mer Dance9 and by yuuki Solo for .:Yo bailo:. at the Mer Market sim

Animation Override: :KH: Mermaid AO by Sala Snook for :KAMI-HITOE: at the Mer Market sim

Nano

I am still reading William Gibson. I know I should be finished by now, but I have been reading other things, doing other things, being other things. This look reminded me of the book, especially the discussion about nanotechnology. This whole look could easily be nano-created. Follow along with me as I spin up this future fantasy…

Fluff

Take the nano-created suit from LeeZu Baxter. With its microfiber fashionability, this suit provides years of biohazard protection and durability against the elements. Covered from head to toe (except fingertips to insure small motor control), this skin-tight suit of environmentally comfortable nano-material includes well sculpted shoulder pads and elbow pads (in case you stumble while being chased through the apocalyptic bridge community and might skin your elbows—and it looks cool).

Nano

The hair, also nano-created and a marvel of lightness and biodegradability, is the brainchild of Serenite Stransky. Purely white, a color rarely seen in this polluted and scavenged environment, this hair will make you glow. Implanted through a revolutionary cosmetic surgery, this hair is exchangeable with other hairstyles so you can swap out as needed—all of them biodegradable. Wear it once, throw it out.

Nano

Boots are vintage McQueen, made by Megg Demina for this environment. With their kitschy hardware, they are actually worth quite a bit on the black market because of the hardware and the rubber soles, which can be reused in a number of applications having nothing to do with footwear.

Nano

Future tense:

Hair: [!SyDS! Hair] Bizzare by Serenite Stransky for !SyDS!

Skin: harper-LionSkins by Lion Jonesford for LionSkins (custom)

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

Outfit: [LeeZu!] NOiR Bon Voyage by LeeZu Baxter for LeeZu!

Collar:!.M – Heavy Thorn Collar by Liao Manga (no longer available)

Boots: McQueen Goth Boots by Megg Demina for Chapeau tres Mignon

Jacked In

Ooo! I just watched my first episode of Caprica (do not spoil it for me!) and now I am squirming with the pleasure of this great science fiction series ahead of me, especially since I just finished Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood.

There is a whacky discussion going on in my head right now, based on an article by James Fallows in this month’s Atlantic about How America Can Rise Again. It has to do with this notion of apocalypse or rather, how Americans face the current times and the future with a feeling that we are in decline.

I think a lot of the same malaise imbues SL, (and I am not talking about RP sims like City of Lost Angels or Midian) in the forums, the blogs, and the general chat. The Mentors are gone, the Homesteads are messed up, people are closing malls and businesses… yadda yadda yadda.

But Fallows has it right in his article, and I argue the same. “One look at the comforts and abundance of American life—even during a recession, even with all the people who are suffering or left out—can make it seem silly to ask about anything except the secrets of the country’s success,” he argues. “The typical American I see in an office building or shopping mall, stout or slim, gives off countless unconscious signs—hair, skin, teeth, height—of having grown up in a society of taken-for-granted sanitation, vaccination, ample protein, and overall public health.”

I can point to the same thing in SL: higher concurrencies, better stability, more beautiful and far reaching content than we have ever had before. Even the newbies look tons better (come on now—hardly anyone runs around with that freaky helmet hair anymore). SL is pretty damn good. Fallows’ final argument is that American history has a unique tradition of “cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths.” We are on the brink in this country, and I think SL is in line too. (And I apologize to all my readers from other countries—I would like to hear your thoughts too.)

This crazy opener leads into today’s look, a combo of high tech, future, and fantasy. Actually, it is all about being jacked in.

Jacked In

The content in SL is better than ever. Let’s agree on that. I show this amazing “kimono” from Selos Dae as evidence. From the amazingly sculpties, combining a fur with a full leg to the truly unique sleeves, upended and lined with fur, to the great streaming ties. It’s just a very funky and cool outfit.

Jacked In

I said this blog was all about the hair, however, and really it is (and not about the weird thoughts going on in my head). This amazing cyberhair made by lat Oh made my day. Not only is it shaped well, textured amazingly, and tremendously imaginative, but it is also scripted with a HUD so you can change color of the metal, the little round “lights” on the back, and the ends of the wicks AND you can control their glow.

Jacked In

My favorite part of the hair was the USB port on the earphone!! Oh imagine that, being able to jack right in to your computer. (It’s all coming clear now, isn’t it.. Caprica.. the future of the SL.. get it? OK, probably not, but trust me, it all has to do with this little USB port.)

I wear a futuristic skin from Mea Carnell who has a line of pretty groovy goth and futuristic women’s skins. And these little eyelashes from Keri Clip are my favorite because they have a little white dot on the bottom. Something about those dots is so charming.

Jacked In

Don’t fear the cyborg in you:

Hair: MIRROR C14 / Cyber Light (Red) by lat Oh for MIRROR  ::. Cyber Bunker

Skin: Aimesi Skin Drama Silver Face1 by Mea Carnell for Aimesi *

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

Kimono: [][]Trap[][] Ghost Hakama by Selos Dae for [][]Trap[][]

Unbearable Beauty

I have had, in the past few days, the opportunity to feature some beautiful designs. They are great to style, wear and photograph. Perhaps it’s the lightheadedness I get before snow comes (as are anticipating a storm here tonight) or just my sinuses acting up or perhaps that feeling of excitement about the new year, new friendships, new discoveries, but I felt absolutely heady when I photographed today’s feature (and processed this first photograph).

Unbearable Beauty

I just featured LeeZu Baxter’s work—I know. But she passed me her latest dress, and I have been looking at it over and over again, pondering how to show it in its best light. There is so much positive to say about LeeZu’s design—the textures are sumptuous and subtle all at once, the engineering is amazing, the silhouette is graceful and elegant.

Unbearable Beauty

Let me address “engineering,” which is a sort of oil and metal word for something more amazing here. LeeZu shows the sensibilities of good design in making a beautiful piece that is also functional. She has combined flexi prims with several sculpties attached at different points to create a skirt that is, at once, full in its silhouette while not being stiff. This is quite a feat. As we know, sculpties can be very inflexible and too many designers use them to make a picture-perfect item without regard for the mobility of the avatar (I am thinking of skirts from a designer that came out with a new collection this week in particular). Used creatively as LeeZu has done, they can be much more fluid. This isn’t to say I can be running around doing the lime jelly in this dress (though I did go out dancing in this—not ballroom). However, it’s a distinct improvement over lots out there.

Unbearable Beauty

I styled this dress with an absolutely exquisite skin from Kira Ahn. I had not heard about Kira’s designs until her store name was brought up in a chat in the fashion bloggers’ group. Of course, I always feel like I don’t know a quarter of what’s going on, stuck up in my studio or hastily covering holes I have dug in the terrain at RFyre. So you probably all know about her work. Kira’s skins were a revelation. The faces were well-blended and sophisticated. And they vary—she clearly works each face from ground up or almost. This particular skin would look great on many shapes (believe me—I checked it, cycling through many shapes).

Unbearable Beauty

“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.”

~ Albert Camus

Hair: [Detour] Writer – Burgundy – Flexi Hair by Keri Clip for Detour

Skin: [KA] SKINS GS -Lilly- Sunkissed/Dark Eyebrows/Make up 03 by Kira Ahn for KA Designs

Dress: [LeeZu!] Aimee Gown /graybrown by LeeZu Baxter for LeeZu! *

Written while listening to “Her Rotating Head” by the Bachelorettes. (The lyrics are strangely ironic.)

Geometry

I have been holding on to Bax Coen’s new red Prestige boots for a few days. I’d put them on, gaze at them with love and affection, try to find clothes that will equal the boots, and give up.

Geometry

Mr. Musashi called me over and asked me to model one of his dresses one night and he handed another set to me—the “Diamonds on Me” set. After putting on the red version, I realized I had found my dress to suit Bax’s boots. Shiryu hand draws all his textures, meticulously working on them so they flow over the avatar’s mesh as if real fabric.This pattern was especially fabulous.

Geometry

I chose Keri Clip’s ubiquitous Writer hair for this look because it doesn’t look as sleek and tailored as the rest of the outfit. Its hip waves and barely restrained messiness offset the geometry and tightness of Shiryu’s skirt and Bax’s boots.

Geometry

I finished the outfit with a curiously geometric set by Random Calliope. No longer in world much, Random has left a legacy in SL with his fine, hand-made, tiny prim jewelry. This necklace, Tesselations, was one of the best birthday presents I had ever received in SL—given to me by Random himself right before he released the sets. We miss you, Random.

Geometry

Squares, but hardly square:

Hair: [Detour] Writer – Burgundy – Flexi Hair by Keri Clip for Detour

Skin: Pulse Skin-Valeries T: Sienna/Venetian Red by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins

Dress: Diamonds on Me (Chaotic Ruby) by Shiryu Musashi for Musashi-Do

Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet: Tesselations – Deep Ruby by Random Calliope for Worthwhile

Boots: BAX Prestige Boots Red Leather by Bax Coen for Bax Coen Designs