Vintage Grace

I am breaking another rule of my many (unwritten) blogging rules. I have always been reluctant to blog Raven Pennyfeather’s work because I work for her and she’s a dear friend of mine. I felt there was some sort of conflict in doing so, but I have been convinced otherwise as long as I give the following disclaimer: Raven is one of my best friends and I love her dearly. She is the reason I am still here in SL, plugging away, pursuing fashion, dressing up every day. If I walk away from SL, she will still be with me. Our friendship is the proof that SL is more RL than many people like to acknowledge.

Vintage Grace

That being said, I am blogging this beautiful new dress from Raven because she truly has outdone herself. The system top is absolutely exquisite, with the feathered décolletage, the tweed pattern running through it, and the three-quarter length sleeves punctuated by satin cuffs. A tortured prim collar surrounds the neck like a piece of constructed fluffery with a well-chosen sculpty belt around the waist. A dramatic (but not overdone) feather hat tops the ensemble. The system skirt is tight and sexy with a brilliant pleated flexi attached, and Raven’s characteristic textured stockings complete the outfit. This truly is high fashion—unique, artistic, designed well. It shows how Raven continues to push herself artistically and technically.

Vintage Grace

I was originally (brilliantly) photographed in this outfit for the ad by SC Tracy, using styling from Raven. I have restyled it in a different vintage fashion for these photos using this amazing hair from Betty Doyle. (I remember coming into SL and wanting to pursue the vintage look—Marleen Vaughn was doing some brilliant stuff but she was the only one until Betty Doyle came along. Betty IS vintage in SL.) A skin from Lorac Farella with decadently lined eyes and a full ripe red glossy lip and beauty mark complete the look.

Vintage Grace

With elegance and grace:

Hair: Ingenue ~ Lamour ~ Cinnamon by Betty Doyle for Ingenue

Skin: Pulse Skin – Honey/Oh My!-Radiance blk  brows by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins *

Dress: ! RP Couture Fury Womens Black by Raven Pennyfeather for RP Couture *

Shoes: Maitreya Verve Pumps – Black by Onyx LeShelle for Maitreya

The Living Tableau

Today’s blog is not about an outfit but about an idea about showing fashion in SL. On Saturday, RFyre staged a fashion show of different style, one that didn’t rely on models walking down a catwalk but relied on models being interactive characters in what we called a “living tableau.” We wanted to show Raven Pennyfeather’s fashions to their best advantage, and as a team, we were able to execute a very successful show.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo and Invitation by SC Tracy

Our living tableau was based on a story I cooked up about a vampire named Aleksandr and his family, gathered from around the globe from many time periods for a serious meeting of the minds and fangs. The premise is they were gathered and our visitors were invited to have an audience with Aleksandr with the Family looking on. It was based on my devouring the Twilight book series and watching too much True Blood.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Viscount Menatep as Aleksandr.

Viscount Menatep built the set based on a photo he had found, with feedback from SC Tracy and me. Viscount built most of it in two nights with tweaks later. Let met tell you, Viscount is not just a gorgeous, sexy model; he is one heck of a builder. (You can see more of his work at Avant Garde. He IS for hire.)

RFyre Tableau Show

The tableau sans models, built by Viscount Menatep.

SC Tracy did the portraits based on my idea about having portraits arrayed around the room as sales panels. He assembled the portraits in Photoshop after he had photographed each one of the models. He and his partner, fairie palen, framed the pieces after fairie made the beautiful frames in Maya. He was meticulous about each portrait, matching it to the character description I had written for each character with Lum Lumley’s help (which you may have seen on the feeds—we sent them out for several days in preparation for the show). SC is a RL graphic artist who works in fashion, so his input was invaluable. He definitely contributed to the whole vision as he does to many things for RFyre now.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. SC Tracy as Stefan.

The concept of a “static show” started with Shenlei Flesheart, who has been doing such shows at the Fashion Research Institute in which I have modeled. She has staged shows with static models for a time now. In fact, even her runway shows include a poseball one rides down the runway so the model doesn’t have to worry about lag. Shen’s perspective, and she’s right, is that allowing people to come and go to view the items rather than having to sit through an entire show, is much more convenient. I agree.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Magz Maddox as Isabel and Vasha Martinek as Maribel.

We decided to up the ante by having the show be interactive. RFyre has a huge following in the RP community, so it would stand to reason that a lot of our customers would like to come “play.” Our models, as well, enjoyed playing quite a bit. We flung bon mots back and forth. And we engaged our visitors. They came and had a full interactive experience—not just sitting and complaining in IM about the clothes and the model falling off the runway and the lag. (Well perhaps they did IM about the clothes and the lag, though I saw little lag, but I think we kept them pretty busy.)

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Dex Minotaur as Theo.

Because we did this ourselves, we did not have to rely on a modeling agency to assemble experienced models for this show because we didn’t have to put the models through the rigors of fighting lag (which is really, very important for catwalk models—the best are very experienced in this). We were able to start on time because even if one model was missing, the whole show wasn’t held up (and in fact, when our models crashed, they simply logged back in and took their stand again). We also didn’t have to rely on an agency to find a sim, assemble a catwalk, write scripts, etc. Our models were styled as we and they pleased.

Additionally for the show, instead of fiddling around with poses and AOs, the models simply posed on pose stands that were loaded with several static poses, and they each had a HUD they could use to control the stands, switching from pose to pose as they pleased. I loaded the stands with poses I owned—they had to bring nothing.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Sabein Streeter as Celeste.

This all took considerable organizing and discussion, of course. Raven assured we had a working timetable in a spreadsheet we shared among each other and kept us all to task, checking in with us frequently. Izabellea Catteneo, our assistant at RFyre, released notices to many RP groups and kept tabs on the sim.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Avrele Guisse as Adeline.

We were privileged to have some pretty gorgeous folks there—Viscount Menatep, one of the sexiest male models in SL; Dex Minotaur, my favorite cowboy and a great model himself; SC Tracy, Director of Advertising for RFyre and hunk; the ever helpful Ruin Quan and his mate, raethe Rhiadra; Valeries Muircastle, my beautiful friend from Germany; Sky Everett, who needs no introduction; the deadly sexy Nigel Riel, who carried the RP portion of the show; Sabein Streeter, fashionista extraordinaire; Vasha Martinek, the ingenious organizer of the Twisted Hunt and a great DJ; magz Maddox, one of our treasured Luminaries; Breezy Carver, owner of Piermont Landing at New Babbage; Avrele Guisse, designer for the Avrele line; and oh yeah, Raven and me.

RFyre Tableau Show

Photo by SC Tracy. Valeries Muircastle as Carmen.

The tableau is still up for a few days. You can go to Isle RFyre and duck in the door next to the tp entrance point. And the portraits are still set for selling the outfits ;)