Category Archives: Fashion Events

Oh, Simone!

Eclectic Visions had their inaugural show Sunday. There were some scheduling issues which postponed the opening from Saturday to Sunday, but all told, it seemed to be a success. The show itself was a modest foray for a new ideal in fashion shows. Most fashion shows have models parading onto the stage, with an announcer who may describe the outfit, but the process is very structured and intended to mimic – at least in spirit – what happens on the runways in Milan, Paris, and New York. In those shows, the designer has creative control of the show in every aspect from model choice to music to stage. In SL that level of control is seldom afforded to the designers.

At Eclectic Visions, the staff researched how the designer — in this show, Simone Stern of Simone! and Style Starts Here — wanted to see her clothing displayed. Simone had very specific stipulations which the staff at EV tried very hard to follow. More over, our goal was not to “show the clothes” but the “sell the clothes.” It does nothing for a designer to have a bunch of people look at clothes they’ll never buy. The goal of EV’s show was to provide a channel between designer and buyer by giving potential buyers the opportunity to see more than just a static picture on the wall.

Several things set this show apart from other shows that I’ve attended. One was that the models came down off the stage and circulated through the audience, talking to the visitors and answering questions about the outfits. It became less a “fashion show” and more a “garden party” as conversations about the outfits involved the designer, the models, and the guests. The stage and seating layouts provided two separate areas for the models to work. As each pair of models brought out an outfit, they’d separate and each visit with half the audience before swapping sides so that each area had as much as two or three minutes with every outfit. Each model used that time to talk to the guests, promote the outfit, and answer any questions the guests may have had.

Originally the show was going to be a “Ladies Only” show, but at the last minute, Simone added an outfit for me to wear and I got to participate as well.

simone_casual

These two separates are the Casual Striped Shirt and Baggy Jeans – both from Simone’s casual and sports clothing line – Style Starts Here. Both of these items come in multiple layers and are available in multiple colors. The shirt comes with jacket, shirt, undershirt, pants and underpants layers so that you can wear it tucked or un-tucked and even under a jacket if you want. At 125L, this is a huge bargain. The jeans come in pants and underwear layers as well as a collection of colors including black, red, tan, gray, and brown as well as blue. Again, at 150L this is a wonderful value. I really like these jeans and shirt.

I had a chance to look around Style Starts Here and while the menswear section is a lot smaller than the ladieswear, it’s very well provisioned with shirts, slacks, jeans, and other stylish casual and sports clothes. While I was there I found a couple of pieces that I wanted and got a very snazzy pair of “Russian Jeans” and a “Print Shirt” to go with it. Again, both items came with multiple layers and were available in multple colors at exceptionally reasonable prices. For Mix-and-Match people like me, having access to the multiple layers means I’ve got a lot of new shirts and jeans to wear with my collection of jackets.

After the show, the models came out from back stage and held an impromptu party with the guests which lasted for a couple of hours as we tried out various toys and gizmoes, and talked about fashion, modeling, and building. All told, we had a ball and we sold some clothing. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Thank you, Simone!

Outfit
Shirt: Style Starts Here – Casual Striped Shirt – blue (125L for 5 layers)
Pants: Style Starts Here – Baggy Jeans – blue (150L for 2 layers)

Shoes: BeReal – Fabric Sneakerz
Hair: MADesigns – Akami – brown
Skin: LeLutka – Absolute – pale
Eyes: MADesigns – Abyss – Atlantic Sea

Eclectic Visions

Suzanne Xeltentat is my new boss. Since the grand opening is Saturday at 4pm, I think it’s safe to say that.

I’m pleased and honored to have been chosen as one of two model trainers who will work with the staff at Eclectic Visions to create an alternative venue for models of all shapes, sizes, and experience levels. I’m looking forward to this new opportunity and I’m excited about the possibilities that it offers in terms of showing the work of talented designers from around the grid. I’m particularly excited by the emphasis being placed on men’s fashion and the opportunities that might open up for a lot of guys on the grid.

Mark your calendars for the grand opening show for a wonderful new venue. Saturday, Sept 19, 4pm SLT. Come see Simone! in a whole new way.

Shocked!

The finals for the Maverick Designs “Best Look” Contest were this afternoon. I’ve been looking forward to them all month. I wrote up my look and why I picked previously and also dissected the shape on in comparison to my own normal shape, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it here. In case you’ve forgotten, this was the look:

The field was very large for women with over 20 contestants, and while the men’s field wasn’t quite so large, the competition there was fierce. The region had serious challenges dealing with the load placed on it, but it didn’t actually crash. It made it very difficult to do simple things, like walk, but the 30 odd contestants all did their best.

I’ll cut to the chase, in case you haven’t guessed by now. I won the first place for men’s look. I’d like thank Ivy Maverick and the other judges for the hard work and dedication it took to actually watch all the contestants struggling with the lag, and then grade them. It was a long contest, spanning close to three hours, but it was a great deal of fun – and I confess that I have really been inspired by this foray into shape design.

I’m looking forward to perhaps working with Maverick in the future to create new looks and even new designs.

Congratulazioni, Molto Sete

In one of those “ain’t it a small grid” days, I found out through a back channel that one of my modeling cronies and her partner were opening up a new sim today and kicking off with a massive day of fashion aboard the Steam Ship Serenade with three shows back to back to back. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the first two, but before I talk about that, you really need to see the amazing build that is Molto Sete and the Steam Ship Serenade.

The build itself is a cruise ship anchored in the lagoon of a pair of islands. The setting is idyllic and the place is crammed with things to do – like shopping, surfing, fishing, and even a romantic overlook.

The ship itself is a great build as well.

On the top deck is a fabulous pool that’s got floats, pose balls, and lots of places to sit out and enjoy the sun and company.

And if you really like it, there are staterooms for rent so you can live there. I’m not sure how many of them there are, but at 450L a week for 100prims it’s a pretty nice deal.

I didn’t discover everything that was aboard, but I did manage to find the theatre.

And, then, of course, no model could build a ship without having a runway.

It was this runway that attracted my attention this morning. At 9am, Ghost Trefoil and the Serenade Supermodels put on a great display of SF Designs current line. From the Performance Suit modeled delightfully by a pair of models through dresses and tuxes, costumes and casual, the models did a great job for a large crowd that included Swaffette herself in the audience. At noon, one of the only “men only” shows I’ve ever seen went off, apparently without a hitch. Ghost did a wonderful job of calling a show of Sartoria’s men’s wear that included several pieces that I’d never seen before. The final cardigan, modeled very nicely by Apollo Call, was matched with a nice ensemble of jeans and sneakers that put the sweater in perfect context. The audience wasn’t as large for this noon show, but they were very enthusiastic and in a surprise appearance traveller Bade showed up at the back of the venue.

I managed to snag a couple of pictures, but with a bad connection, they didn’t come out very well.

For me, it was a great day getting to meet swaffette Firefly and traveller Bade in the same day, in the same venue. I’ve long admired both of these designers’ work and to get to actually meet them in the avatar, that was something.

Unfortunately, real life kept me off the grid for the 2pm showcase of new designers but I have no doubt that the show went off marvelously, showing off the work of Alair Cortes of Pocket Mirrors, LadyCatherine Fairey designer from Butterfly EffectZ, and AprilR1 Braveheart of The Rose Collection (TRC) — names that might well become as famous as SF Designs and Sartoria. Ghost Trefoil has demonstrated a rare ability to collect skilled and talented people around her and I expect that shows aboard the Serenade will become hugely popular events in the future.

Congratulations to Captains Ghost Trefoil and Rush Parkin on a Grand Opening to remember.

Walk of Fame Finale

The gowns are off and the ties loosened. A grueling almost five hour marathon session has come to an end.

In the end, the event itself was a bit anticlimatic. We had the normal problems with changing clothes in heavy lag. Some didn’t rez. Some didn’t look right. Mouths got warped, smiles were turned on for no reason. Normal, heavy lag circumstances.

DJ meka Chaffe was on hand to keep the stream going and to read the texts from each model aloud. It was a lot for one person to do, but she did a yeoman effort to keep up with it. She does have a great voice and I’ll confess I’m a fan of her music picks. She has stuff I don’t hear everywhere.

The various components of the event were largely uneventful, and that’s really what one might want, I suspect. Having made up my mind that I’d be somewhere in the bottom tier, I went through the event giving it my best shot, but largely satisfied with my lot. The other models are amazing. I probably didn’t tell them that enough while we were working together, but they are. Coming in last against a field like that is no shame.

And oddly, enough, I didn’t.

When the dust settled, I was given a very respectible 4th place finish. I’m not sure why, frankly. It was a good look, and I was pleased with the final application materials. My three outfits worked as well as I could have hoped and I practiced to be able to hit the mark on that very long catwalk where the finale took place. I went in with the idea that, I might not win it, but it wasn’t going to be because I didn’t do the best I could. I was happy with my performance. The usual “What Would I Do Differently?” section isn’t going to be on this one, because I did exactly what I thought I needed to.

Oh, The Question: “As the only male model, what’s your strategy for winning this competition?”

My answer – weak in hindsight: “Work as hard as I can to try to do twice as good as any other model, and then throw myself on the mercy of the judges because this field is unbeatable.”

I’m not twice as good. I’m not half as good, I suspect. One of the realities of novice thinking is that novices always overestimate their knowledge and skill because their frame of reference is skewed to what they know — and they don’t know what they don’t know.

I have no illusions. In this game, I’m a novice.

The Results

8th: Angelsmiles Seetan
7th: Xenobia Foxclaw
6th: Arica Kaestner (Ms Photogenic)
5th: Arialee Miles
4th: Roland Zepp
3rd: Georgia Quicksand
2nd: Haidyn Inglewood
1st: Jillian Convair

So, I made it into the top half. I have no idea how or why. The dice rolled and I must have made a saving throw for charisma or something. It was a nice surprise.

I’m going to leave this post at that. I wrote what I wanted to about the experience yesterday, before the event, and tonight I’m tired.

I will close with a thank you to the judges for their effort, and another thank you to The Organizers. I’ve been critical — sometimes very critical — but they do an amazing job at running this enterprise. With multiple pageants, regular contests, periodic special events, they do an amazing job of keeping all the balls in the air, and a level of engagement in their community.

So, thank you to Anrol Anthony and Steve101 McCollough. Whatever else I may write about my experiences there, I will freely confess that I learned a lot in my time there and I applaud you for your energy and enthusiasm for doing what you do.

End of the Road

Tomorrow marks the end of the road on my Walk of Fame. It’s been — at turns — fun, frustrating, maddening, and anger inducing. There were some highs in there when the contest outfits worked perfectly and the judge du jour scored it. And there were a lot of lows when the seemingly random nature of the outcomes became overwhelming.

If I’m honest in looking back over the last four months, on balance, I’d say it was worth it. I met a lot of very nice people. I learned a lot about the way some people view fashion and the people who model it. I learned a lot about myself as well.

Looking back at the blog, this is the way I looked on my second competition.

Crowe from Primoptica

This was after working on skin and shape, and while I was still thinking I’d be able to be a model without going broke. I was so naive.

My look has gotten a lot more sophisticated since the beginning of March.

roland_head_shot3

And my photography skills have improved a lot as well.

In the contest tomorrow, three judges will rate me against seven gorgeous and talented women, most of whom have a lot more experience at this than I do. I’ll be judged in three outfits across four dimensions, and in the end the organizers will pick the people they want to win. That’s not a critique. It’s a simple statement of fact. I got a notecard with that information in it. I’m sure they’ll probably take the judges’ scores into consideration, because being a judge is a gawd-awful thankless task and they’re owed at least that much consideration, but the bottom line is that the organizers reserve the right to assign the top ten — or eight in our case — prizes solely at their own discretion.

Ok. I’d rather have known that going in than coming out, but I kinda suspected it all along and if that’s what the game is, then that’s the game. I got no beef.

In many ways I really am the poser I’ve complained about — having bought my way into the pageant by dint of knowing how many lindens to plunk down on my picture at what times. In all honesty, while I can walk the walk, talk the talk, and actually know what I’m talking about in the process, I’m not really a model. I’m just a guy who likes to write about fashion and wanted to see what a pageant was like from the inside.

Well, I saw. I wrote.

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be in the “also ran” category tomorrow. If I place higher than 6th in an 8 person pageant against 7 gorgeous and talented women, it’ll be a miracle. I’m already pretty sure — since the organizer announced that she’s already selected “Miss Photogenic,” I’m probably not even gonna get the consolation prize. Ah, well. Somebody needs to be on the bottom rung, and it’s pretty clear I’ve been penciled into that slot before the show even begins. Anything above last place is gravy.

Whatever the outcome, I’ll always remember my time with this group and I’m taking away some valuable lessons in fashion and in modeling.

I think for my next challenge, maybe I’ll see if I can be a writer for a fashion magazine. Or maybe become a male model for real. Who knows.

As Scarlett said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Creative Finale

In addition to the swimsuit and the formal, the Hollywood Walk of Fame Pageant has a “creative outfit” competition. In this segment, the models have to find some outfit that means something to them and, presumably, demonstrates something of what we’ve learned about style, fashion, and execution.

The subject matter is wide open so I chose a genre that has long interested me but which I have not had much opportunity to explore yet – Steampunk.
steampunk_adventurer_018b

In Second Life one’s dreams take flight – and sometimes that flight is by airship. The Steampunk genre has a firm foot hold in the metaverse with numerous regions dedicated to it and a plethora of talented builders, designers, and scripters working to create a virtual world of steam and cog, leather and brass. With that in mind, I wanted to create the Steampunk Adventurer for the event this afternoon and I started with one of the premier artificers — Drack Diesel.

My outfit is based on several pieces from Drack’s Arcavim line starting with the highly detailed Sky Sailor boots in black. They’re perfectly designed for working around the airship and feature many color change parts. The Nautical Trousers carry a delightful chart-like texture and set the tone for the rest of the outfit. On
top, I layered Drack’s Noble Shirt and Tie in forest green and gold under the Noble’s Vest in slate and covered it with the sumptuously textured Noble’s Jacket.

No self-respecting adventurer can head off into the unknown without some equipment. My belt compass and steampunk Explorer’s watch are from Grunge Depot and I fell in love with the richly detailed — if totally non-functional — instruments.

As important as instruments are hat and goggles. Leaving on an adventure sans chapeau is unthinkable and goggles are required equipment when working on balky airship engines. The typical Steampunk hat-of-choice is the venerable top hat and, while useful for storing one’s lunch and an odd candle or two, the topper is just not my style. After failing to find just the right acoutrement, I resorted to a bit of artifice myself and crafted this hat and goggles in the best steampunk tradition. The wide brim keeps the sun off my neck and out of my eyes, while the googles provide both protection from the drying winds aloft and a certain level of magnification when adjusted properly.

The shape is my own but the skin is LeLutka’s Absolute in a suntan tone. Uncle Web Studio’s Ilias hair in a coffee color holds my hat up. The gloves and ear stud are items I made to fill in where I needed something.

I better get moving. I left the dirigible double parked.

Stuff
Boots: Arcavim – Sky Sailor (black)
Pants: Arcavim – Nautical Trousers (black)
Shirt/Tie: Arcavim – Noble Shirt (green and gold)
Vest: Arcavim – Noble Vest (black)
Coat: Arcavim – Noble Coat (black)
Compass and Watch: Grunge Depot
Hat and Goggles: Roland Zepp

Hair: UW.st Hibiki Coffee
Eyes: E’s Gleaming Forest Green
Skin: LeLutka Absolute Tan

Finale Formal Wear

The finale for the Hollywood Walk of Fame Pageant is Sunday at 3pm and I’ve got my outfits lined up.



formal_roland7, originally uploaded by roland_zepp.

The formal is the final outfit and I wanted to give appropriate recognition to Swaffette Firefly’s SF Designs. I didn’t want to wear a straight off-the-rack suit for something as important as the final, but I also didn’t want to bother a high-profile designer like Swaffette. This Morning Suit started life with a cranberry vest and tie, but it lacked something in terms of formality for me so a fast run to SF Design’s High Society Store at Penryn gave me the severe black tie and vest that I was looking for.

I understand it’s common for women to get designers to custom create a formal gown for them for these events. I suspect there’ll be a few of those on Sunday, but when I actually think about it, when it comes to men’s formal wear, there’s not much “custom” that’s really allowed. Perhaps I’m mistaken on that – as I’ve been about so much else in fashion here – but it seems like women have a lot more leeway.

It would have been interesting to try out one of SF Design’s Celestial’s or perhaps a Hamiltonian Tux, but I picked this one because it felt right to me in terms of formality, elegance, and sophistication.

Outfit
Suit: SF Design – Morning Suit
Shirt/Vest: SF Design – Vest, Shirt, Tie (black)
Gloves: SF Design – white gloves
Shoes: Evocative “Cuban” Ankle Boot (black)
Boutonierre: Essentia Groom Boutonniere Red

Hair: UW.st – Ilias Coffee
Eyes: E’s – Gleeming Forest Green
Skin: LeLutka – Absolute (tan)

Fashion Expo 2009

I’m a derelict! After posting about the Expo starting up this week, my schedule has kept me too busy to visit it. I grabbed a few minutes this morning to find out what I’m missing. Turns out, I’m missing a lot.

We’re off to see the wizard!

fashion_expo_1

The theme for this expo is – as you might be able to tell from the Yellow Brick Road here – the Wizard of Oz. The shops are nicely done and laid out in an accessible pattern.

fashion_expo_3

With four sims worth of shopping, I’m a bit upset that I wasn’t more on the ball. I’m not sure I can even see everything between now and the close of the Expo on Sunday, but I’m sure going to try. The organizers have provided a teleport board that serves as an index to the vendors as well as cutting down on walk/fly time.

fashion_expo_2

With over fifty designers scttered across four regions, the only remaining question is, “Where to begin?”

Make Him Over Hunt 121-151

Wow!

That’s all I can say about it.

Wow!

Today, one last outfit from the end of the hunt. I really liked this outfit called “Made Men” from Toxic Tiger (#143). The jeans are really well done and the shirt/waistcoat combo has some nice cuffs and collar. The Jungle Wear (#136) “Claws” surprised me when I saw them in the folder. I was expecting something a tad more Neko-ish. The monochrome palette on the shoes made them a natural to go with the grey vest.

For accessories, I added the Convent Necklace from Goth1c0 (#140), the ceramic and silver bracelet from Bull and Bear (#132), and the Patchouly Belt from Kosh (#151) – the last item in the hunt. I liked the weight on the Convent Necklace. Sometimes men’s jewelry feels a bit heavy and blocky. This one, while carrying a bit of extra heft, seems to work really well. The bracelet gave me a bit of trouble fitting, until I realized that the texture had some alpha-layer action going on, giving it a sort of pierced look and that my skin was supposed to show through in spots. This item is mod, too, so I was able to shape it bit better to my wrist than a simple round shape would do. And I had to wear the belt. It’s the last item on the list, and worked with this outfit. It’s also very well done. I have trouble wearing belts but this one didn’t require a lot of bit-fiddling to get a good fit.

I won’t add to the bandwidth that the Hunt is generating by adding a lot more pictures and commentary. There are some terrific posts already, including a very comprehensive catalog of finds over at Free Finds for Men and a great set of “highlight” posts over on the Make Him Over Hunt blog.

I will say a heart-felt, “Thank you,” to Tarsis Gausman, Samara Pennell, and all the people who are currently helping to support this great opportunity for some terrific designers of men’s wear to get known.

Guys, if you haven’t had a chance to do the hunt, take a few hours and run through some of the stores. Visit, vote, and support them by buying something if you can. I know I’m putting together an index of my favorites and I’ll be going back to see what I might have missed.

Let ’em know you noticed.