Monthly Archives: May 2009

Guys on the Grid

At last! A hunt for men!

I’ve been playing at treasure hunts for the last few weeks and one thing I’ve learned is that hunts are for women. Sure, I’ve gotten a few decent items – some jeans, the odd belt, and a lot of shirts – but for every “guy gift” there’s five or more that are dresses, heals, hairs, and jewelry that just don’t suit my build.

Starting June 1, that will change as the “Make Him Over Hunt” begins. The men will finally get a chance at an honest-to-grid hunt featuring over 100 of SL’s best-known and best-kept-secret men’s shops.

The hunt web site has already been set up and the list of participants is gratifyingly long.

Gentlemen, this is the one we’ve been waiting for. If you’re new to the idea of “men’s fashion” or always wondered why you needed more than one pair of jeans, here’s your chance to build your wardrobe and support some of these great designers.

Hat tip to Ryan Darragh over on Men’s Second Style for the information.

Some of the gifts are already showing up in blogs (see Yves Firlan’s Doing Time post on Fashion Freebies for Men for a sample.

Starting Monday, watch for my semi-regular reports from the trail as I track down the treasures and show you what I’ve found.

This is gonna be more fun than a truffle hog in a oak forest. I can hardly wait.

Hot Summer Night

One of the long standing problems with these contests is the number of themes that are “women only.” Tonight’s theme of “Lingerie” falls into that category. By definition, lingerie is “women’s underwear and night clothes.” Every definition refers specifically to women’s clothing. With that in mind, there was really nothing I could do here to place. It didn’t stop me from competing, though.

lingerie contest

The key to lingerie is mystery. Good lingerie hints without telling all and teases while provoking a visceral response. As with all fashion, the challenge is in the presentation. For tonight’s Lingerie theme, I chose a simple and elegant pair of Chinese silk pajama pants from XTC. They’re cut low on the top to tease and tantalize. I chose the BoHo sandals from Shiny Things for my feet because they’d be easy to kick off.

To compliment the outfit, I chose to accessorize with :sey’s necklace “edokin+shinkoukaihou” and a simple ruby stud in my left ear. The tan is from Belleza and the hair is UncleWebs.

I went with the “night clothes” definition although it was a toss up between that and the AlphaMale Silk Boxers.

The Results
Predictably, the winners were women and rightly so, since they were – strictly speaking – in theme and I was not. Frustrating but expected.

What Would I Do Differently?
With that theme, there wasn’t really much I could do except go for the “camp factor” and cross dress in ladies underwear.

I could have gone the underwear route with the AlphaMale Silk Boxers, but it still wouldn’t have been “lingerie” as such.

Stuff
Pants: XTC – China Silk Pajama Pants – Black
Sandals: ShinyThings – BoHo Sandals
Necklace: :sey – edokin+shinkoukaihou

Hair: unclewebs – hibici
Skin: belleza – Thomas Tan

Kung Fu-ey

Last night’s contest was “Styling Kung Fu.” There were a lot of possibilities and I wish I’d had more time to pursue them. Unfortunately RL has been rather invasive in the last week with the Memorial Day Holiday here in the States and all.

In spite of that, I put together a quick Kung Fu uniform:
kung fu

I was really taken by this simple silk uniform. Kung fu isn’t one of the ‘belted’ arts like karate so this simple frogged top and pants set worked very well. I particularly liked the color. In order to get a more oriental look, I picked a straight hair from UncleWebs and replaced my green eyes with some brown ones. That wasn’t really much of a “styling” so I added an oriental style bow to the end of the routine. I wanted to avoid the more elaborate “kung fu fighting” routines. I’ve been burned too often on having too much performance and not enough modeling.

The Results

Two votes.

The judge picked some very good and elaborate stylings. I have no quibble over this one. I was scrambling at the last minute, not terribly well prepared, and a long way from being anything approaching creative in this outfit.

What Would I Do Differently?

The archetype for this is David Carradine as Kwai Cheng Caine in the 60s tv show “Kung Fu.” If I’d had a bit more time to think about that, I would have gone after that look with a brown fedora, some dusty clothing, and a shoulder bag.

The silk suit was nice, but rather plain. I might have dressed it up by taking off the shirt and put on some dragon/phoenix tattoos.

Stuff
Outfit: Musashi-Do – Blue Tiger Chinese Kung Fu Uniform
Shoes: Idai Diquai – Kung Fu Slippers

Skin: Belleza – Thomas Tan
Hair: Uncle Webs Studio – Reed (mesh black)
Eyes: E’s Gleeming Dark Brown

Memorial Day

The contest for Memorial Day was “Styling Military” and while I wasn’t terribly sure how to approach this, it seemed like the best approach was “straight-on.”

pfc_roland_zepp

The uniform is Service A uniform for a US Marine Corp Private First Class. I purposely did not pick an officer or dress uniform because I wanted to honor the common soldier. Bunny Kilby at Kilby Military has a good collection of uniforms and, while they’re not perfect, they are pretty darn good.

Results
Two votes. I’m not sure what the judge was looking for but it wasn’t real military. Of the three finalists only one had a legitimate uniform on, and she did a great job with the whole routine. Some of the outfits, I found offensive.

In the interests of disclosure, I must point out that I was a Viet Nam Era veteran. Memorial Day means more than a Monday holiday to me. It’s the day we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and it deserves a bit of respect.

What Would I Do Differently?
I might have been able to find a better uniform.

Stuff
Uniform: Kirby Military – USMC Private First Class
Skin: Absolute – Pale (scalp hair)

It’s a bird! It’s a plane …

The theme du jour last night was Superhero or Comic Character. With all the choices, the challenge was finding something that appealed to me and might likely appeal to the judges. I’m not really a comic book geek — I know several by which I judge my own exposure as laughably un-informed — but I really liked some of the old characters of the DC universe of the 60s.

So I picked one of my all-time fav’s, the Green Lantern:
greenlantern
Dox & Dix have a great selection of superhero costumes and full avatars and I was even able to pick between different versions of Green Lantern to find the one I grew up with, the Hal Jordan, Test Pilot, version.

Just taking the avatar out of the box didn’t seem much like “styling,” though so I put my own shape on and added an Emil pale skin from Redgrave. Unfortunately, that took the mask off because it was part of the skin. Fortunately, I knew where to find a new mask and a quick stop at Illusions gave me the necessary eye wear. The Dox & Dix avatar’s hair was very accurate, but again, I wanted to update it just a bit and added a David 2 in Dark Brown from MADesigns.

The Results
I didn’t place. The competition was quite good and, while I had a ‘Buh?!’ moment when the results were announced, generally I had to agree that the results were mostly understandable.

What Would I Do Differently?
These narrow themes always give me trouble. Where’s the line between “styling” and “mimicry.” Getting an avatar out of the box and wearing it — even lining up poses and walking and all — doesn’t seem much like “styling.” On the other hand, with “superhero” or “comic character” there’s not much opportunity to actually construct the specific costume.

Other characters I might have taken on:

  • Spike Speigel from Cowboy Bepop. There were no anime characters in the competition
  • Dr Horrible. Going for the “super villian” direction and trying for a higher “creativity vote”
  • Archie Andrews. Grab a 50’s retro look from Arteleri and constructing the look from scratch

Ah, well. Two votes closer.

Stuff
Costume: Dox and Dix – Green Lantern, Hal Jordan
Hair: MADesigns – David 2 Dark Brown
SKin: Redgrave – Emil 3 Pale

Bewitched

If you’re like me, when you go to a shop, you just look in the store and seldom actually explore the region. With the Memorial Day Marathon right around the corner, I thought you all should see what else is in this peaceful and scenic region.

The central plaza is dominated with this scripted “Mother Nature” figure. She’s really lovely and will talk with you.

This impressive dragon guards the entry to the store. His head swivels to follow your movement in a most disconcerting way. I’m reminded of the old adage:

Do not interfere in the affairs of dragons
for you are crunchy
and taste good with mustard.

He seems harmless enough, but still…

Speaking of guardians, there’s a Troll Bridge leading to the neighboring region. Complete with Troll. I didn’t find an “exact change” lane or the “troll booth” but this was a nice bit of whimsy.

The region is lovely and rich with things to see and do. For the fishing fans, there’s a fishing hole. I have it on good authority that there’s a custom prize lurking in the depths here. It may not be there much longer, but you never know.

There are eight – count ’em – eight(!) lucky chairs in the central plaza.

There’s a nice beach for those who like to take a little break by the water.

There’s even a secret grotto complete with healing pool.

The region is relaxing and open. There’s plenty of open space with some lovely views, like this river walk.

And even the outlying shops are lovely cottages and crofts, so there’s plenty to shop for and look over.

I didn’t even get into the sculpture garden. There was just too much to take pictures of and my Flickr account is groaning already.

As you start planning for this weekend, be sure to save some time to attend the Memorial Day Marathon and support all the Relay for Life teams who’ll be raising money in support of the Race for the Cure, and take some time while you’re there to support the merchants as well.

rockin_24

Theme: Sports

The theme for the evening was “Sports.” My initial response to this was “team” but then as I thought more about it, I realized that there really are a lot of sports and I had a lot of great sports gear already.

So, the Sport of Kings:

theme: sports

I used a lot of these pieces before in another event, so I went back to see what I should have done differently there.

This time I had some better hair, and a considerably better set of tattoos. I also had a tanned skin this time, which showed off the platinum blond hair very nicely. I left off the glasses and the shirt, but kept my sandals on along with the boardies.

The Result

Third place. My third for the month.

Theme: Sports

Given how many contests I’ve missed this merry month of May, three places — even three thirds — is pretty respectable and I’m delighted to have picked up this one tonight.

What Would I Do Differently

Picked a different sport. One that didn’t use a big honking surfboard. Preferably one that I didn’t have to carry anything at all. That board was a very difficult prop to work around when posing.

Skimpier bathing suit. The leg tatts were obscured by the long board trunks. While they lent a certain air of verisimilitude to the costume, they also got in the way of the really dramatic leg tatts.

Stuff
Trunks: Reaction Board Shorts
Sandals: Shiny Things BoHo Sandals
Jewelry: MRM Jewelry
Tattoos: Tiki Tattoo – Upolo

Skin: Belleza Thomas Tan
Hair: MADesigns – Cruz (Platinum Blond)

Tomcattin’ Around

This weekend is another Relay for Life event and it’s shaping up to be a good one. I had a chance to talk with Wiccan Sojourner last week and she gave me this outfit to try out and see what I thought. Let me just point out that I’m not now, nor have I ever been a neko, and I’m not normally what one might call a “tom cat” but this outfit is pretty darn cool

TomCatitude from Bewitched

Everything in this photo is included in the package, except for shape, skin, and eyes. Hair, ears, tail — all of that is included.

The richness of the detail work is amazing. I’ve long appreciated BeWitched styles, attention to detail, and the absolute fearlessness in approaching everything from kitchy costumes to ritual garb, from formal to fetish, from gown to lingerie. Wiccan has done pretty much all of it at one point or another in her long career as a designer in SL.

TomCatitude Belt & Knife This belt and thigh knife are great examples of Wiccan’s mastery of prim accessory and set this piece up to be much more than just another “torn up top and jean” set.

The boots are very nicely detailed with laces and textures as well.
TomCattitude Boots

The outfit even includes the tattoos.
TomCatitude Tattoos

This version is only one of several available — for both men and women — and is one of the newest items at BeWitched. When you’re out at the Relay For Life Memorial Day Marathon, make sure to stop by the store and take a look at this and all the other great outfits you’ll find there.

Memorial Rockin 24 for Relay

Nevar Lobo from the Relay Raiders has slipped me this little tidbit about an event happening next weekend. That’s Memorial Day in the US and the unofficial start of Summer. By next weekend, most of the schools will be out for summer (Did you just hear Alice Cooper in your head?) and we’ll all be looking for fun things to do.
rockin_24

The third year of this event, Bcreative Wilde will beat her record of 25 hours of Djing for Relay . This event will run 26 straight hours With a different team raising funds for two hours time slots. We come together as one to raise money and celebrate the lives of our friends and family member both here in SL and in RL that we have lost to Cancer. Come Join in the Celebration.

The relay teams for this marathon session are: Spirit Chasers, The Charmed Menagerie , Goreans In Relay , The AllStars, Relay Wizards for Spunky , The Cure Chasers , Texas Aggies, Madness Legends, Roma Pro Vita, and Relay Raiders.

The event starts on Friday at 6pm slt on May 22nd and ends at 8pm slt on May 23rd

Sim provided by Wiccan Sojourner of BeWitched Designs and I’ll have more about BeWitched — the sim, the design, and maybe the designer as the week unwinds.

Stay Tuned!

18 Something

Ah, what a fool I can be sometimes. Tonight’s contest was very clearly posted as below.

Wednesday May 13
Event: Styling 1800 century theme
Time: 6pm/slt

Accordingly I dressed in my finest 18th century courtier garb.

18thCentury

This gorgeously executed costume is Sanders Beaumont’s excellent Courtois Chinese Blue from Fleur de Lys and the wig is Sky Everett’s work. I’ve worn this so much in the last four days, I feel like I ought to be offering pomanders to those around me. Or perhaps send it out to be cleaned.

The Result
About half the field thought, as I did, that the contest was for the 18th century. The other half picked 1800’s. Unfortunately, the judge agreed with them.

I got my two votes and I got to parade this great outfit on stage.

What would I do Differently?

Possibly would have been good to get the organizers to clarify the theme. In all honesty, it never occurred to me that the typo was the word “century” and not the “00” in the theme. Looking at it from the current perspective, that theme should have run warning bells and sent up flares.

Given the correct era, picking the right clothes might have been a good idea.

For the 18th century, there were other styles I could have taken. Revolutionary soldier. French peasant storming the Bastille, perhaps. Given that this is a Fashion contest first, I probably would still have gone with the same look because in the 1700s, Court dress was fashion.

Ah, well. Live and learn. The 19th Century dresses were lovely.

Stuff
Outfit: *FDL* Courtois Chinese Blue
Hair: Sky Everett Designs-Cerdwin Rococo
Skin: LeLutka – Absolute Pale