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 ;)

Cinderella for a Day

I am featuring another one of Shenlei Flesheart’s students at Shengri-La. Missy Lavecchia, like many women who enter SL, has fallen in love with the idea of dressing up in a full skirt with twinkling sequins and bows and all the pretty things girls really like, and she envisions this dream with Bella Fantastique.

Missy made this lovely evening gown—MS Midnight—for one of her classes with Shenlei. With it’s full skirt and sparkling detail, Missy captures the fantasy we all have of feeling oh so pretty. Missy ingeniously puts a sparkling overlay on the skirt with scalloped chains of sparkles. What is hard to show in the photo is how fluidly these layers move—it’s actually quite captivating. Missy repeats that sparkle motif along the decollatage and around the low cut back. Her seams are, as one would expect of one of Shen’s students, dead on. For a relative newbie (she first rezzed in March this year), Missy is taking SL by storm.

Cinderella

I styled this dress with a dramatic updo from Sky Everett Designs—the Sovereign, and I piled on the jewels to turn this dress from pretty to royal.

Cinderella

This ensemble is completed with Cinderella’s glass slippers from Melanie Zhao. Thank you, Melanie, for knowing every girl’s secret desire—a glass slipper to leave for her Prince Charming to find.

Cinderella

What to wear before the clock strikes midnight:

Hair (with jewels), Necklace and Earrings: Sky Everett Designs-Sovereign Silver by Sky Everett for Sky Everett Designs

Skin: Pulse Skin – Timeless ll/Makeup 3 by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins

Dress: Bella Fantasique – MS Midnight DB by Missy Lavecchia for Bella Fantastique

Shoes: ~Zhao~ Lovis Cinderella by Melanie Zhao for ~Zhao~ Shoes

New Designers

Shenlei Flesheart, RL CEO of the Fashion Institute of America and apparel designer, has deep involvement in Second Life. Once the owner of Prim and Proper, an in-world historical and vintage fashion store, Shen now owns the Shengri-La family of sims and keeps herself busy building on OpenSim as part of a research collaboration and working on an actual design application for the apparel industry. Shen has also recently published a book about fashion design, available on Amazon.com called Designing Dreams.

Recently, Shen called me over to her sim to introduce me to her students—a trio of ladies who have been taking a multi-week class in Second Life fashion design with Shen based on Shen’s experience. I reviewed their work with interest. Each of the three ladies has a definite vision, and while they were all beginning designers, they showed a lot of promise.

Today, I am featuring the work of one of Shen’s students, Trinity Hartunian. Trinity is not new to Second Life and this shows in her work. She has a fine understanding of system pieces and shading and is developing a strong brand, Category 5, with the tag line “A force to be reckoned with.” Trinity has covered all bases right off the bat with a great website and Flickr page, and offers her designs on XStreetSL.

New Designers

This dress, one of three colors available from Trinity for a mere 25L (!), has well shaped system pieces, PERFECT seams, and a stylish versatility that can take a lady from business to pleasure with just a change of accessories. Worn with a skirt shape, this dress is sexy, classy and low arc (if you need to have that for your system). Yes, you CAN look good without prims if the system pieces are done right.

I dressed the outfit up with accessories from =DeLa*=. These are the most stylish cuffs I have found in SL.

New Designers

I opted to style this dress with as-yet unreleased shoes from HoneyBear Lilliehook, another new designer. HoneyBear’s “Bear Feet Savvy” shoes are another entry into the toe/foot sandal market. With it’s sexy shape and texturing, this shoe at 299L is a steal. The shoe comes with a great HUD that includes colors PRESET to match popular skins such as Laqroki, Redgrave, and Belleza (HoneyBear promises to get Pulse in there soon) and a way to customize using RGB. You can save presets as well. Additionally, the shoes come with 10 nail colors and a resizing script (which I find I need to use always—the shoes are usually too large for my ankles and you see the fatty overlap unless they are resized—ewww). I have seen others using this sandal—it’s a kit a builder can buy. HoneyBear has made it hers with her unique hud.

New Designers

New fashion:

Hair: ETD Davina II – Dirty by Elikapeka Tiramisu for Elika Tiramisu Designs (ETD)

Skin: Pulse Skin-Valeries T: Sienna/Citrus Blk by Lorac Farella for Pulse Skins

Dress: Cat5 -Erika Dress Charcoal by Trinity Hartunian for Category 5

Shoes: HoneyBear-Bear Feet Savvy (Gold) by HoneyBear Lilliehook for HoneyBear’s

Earrings: =DeLa*= Bangle “Bellini” Black by Kuranosuke Kamachi for =DeLa*=

Cuffs: =DeLa*= Bangle “Bellini” Black by Kuranosuke Kamachi for =DeLa*=