Coco Chanel has been quoted as saying, “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
In honor of April Fools’ Day, tonight’s contest is “Styling the Opposite Sex.” It would be easy to do the vulgar, the camp. The easy course would have been to put a blocky body in taffeta and pearls, a bearded skin over a flowing gown. But Coco had the right of it and this contest is about fashion first and the challenge is finding the line between conversion and impersonation, between faux and fashion.
The challenge is to style the opposite sex, which means that just going out and getting a female avi isn’t really going to cut it. On the other hand, while the women in the competition can easily wear men’s clothing, I soon discovered that male size zero feet are too big for women’s size zero shoes. Also, if I were going to wear women’s clothing, I should be able to add padding in appropriate places and use make up to style my face and I approached it from a basis that I think Coco might have appreciated.
“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.” –Coco Chanel
The basic body is actually my own, with the “female” button flipped to keep my face and basic shape, but re-proportioned into what SL would consider my female shape. I made only minor modifications to reduce breast size and shape. The skin is a dollarbie from A Taste of Candy.
Because I wanted to channel Chanel in this effort, I knew I wanted some kind of dress and style that would have been appropriate to the 40s — something that Coco Chanel would have approved of, if not worn herself. The cloche hat was a freebie from Tesla called “Kerry” that I modified to give a taller crown and re-textured to give a richer black. I grayed the hatband and gave it a bit of shine to more closely resemble ribbon and to provide some contrast. The platinum hair is “Disturbia – Glow” (with the glow turned off) by Sheltered Heart and I got that in a treasure hunt at the new Bewitched Hair/House of Heart store over the weekend. The close cut and style fit perfectly with the 40s feel I wanted.
The gown is Discord’s JEN-DOU by Orange Meili and I got it in a Lucky Chair. I liked the nouveau pattern in the texture and the flapper feeling to the cut. Under it, I added a lace bodice from a freebie I picked up at WAvE – Love Dress Black by Miraiwave Iwish. The extra edge of lace covered what a more modern style would have left exposed. I bought the 20Den Black Seamed Stockings from No.9 Nylons but the shoes were another Lucky Chair win. They’re “Jane” heels in black from Tesla.
But what’s an outfit without accessories? The clutch purse came from “Redesigns” by Monyo Kararan and the pearls are the Tahitian Pearl Set from Body Politik. Following Coco’s advice I took off the last item accessory I added and removed the bracelet.
The only other problem – and the most expensive part of the outfit – was the pose-set. The walk was easily accomplished with a freebie SL Stiletto Walk but the poses were another matter. It’s one thing to dress like a woman, but I really needed to model like a woman. A half price sale at KS Creations, a few dollarbie poses from Strike a Pose, and a single full price pose from Matreiya gave me enough poses for a good routine with the gown. [Disclaimer: Yes, I needed to shift a couple of skirt prims so that my leg wouldn’t stick through.]
Disappointing but predictable. Men in dresses aren’t generally regarded well.
At least I got my two votes.
What would I do differently?
Bought a better skin. Annie 1 is a nice skin for what it is. It has good shading on the collarbones and a pleasant make-up, but it lacks the definition one would get from a Redgrave, or a Soul Skin.
Hat: Kerry – Tesla
Dress: JEN-DOU – Discord
Stockings: 20den Black Lace – No.9 Nylon
Shoes: Jane (night) – Tesla
Clutch: (MN) Clutch A01 [p-black] – redesigns
Pearls: Tahitian Pearl Set (white) – The Body Poliltik
Skin: Annie 1 – A Taste of Candy
Hair: Disturbia – Glow – House of Heart
Eyes: Dark Blue (Group Gift) – MADesigns