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Make It Work



make_it_work_roland2, originally uploaded by roland_zepp.

Xenobia Foxclaw over on Xen’s Pen pointed out this monthly contest from Models’ Workshop and Tres Beau. The game involves a box o’ parts. The objective is for everybody to start with the same box and come up with two outfits using at least two of the items from the box and then adding to it.

In the first round, you make an outfit and submit a picture. The best pictures get tapped to do a runway show with that first outfit and the second. The catch is that the second outfit needs to use the leftover items from the box. This sounded like a heck of a lot of fun to me, so …

The box for this month included a pair of jeans with prim cuffs and a short sleeved white shirt with henley neckline with an optional prim collar. There are layers for each.

I thought the shirt and jeans had a particularly bohemian look to them and I added a pair of JCS Oslo boots and the jacket from SF Designs Autumn Set. The beret is actually a freebie women’s hat from Tesla (Danielle) that I sized and colored to match the jacket. The look was *really brown* until I added a splash of color with :sey’s Afghan scarf in red. I added Role’s Recon glasses to give it a bit of an intellectual look and I’m really pleased with the way it came out.

I shot the photo on location at Bogarts Jazz Club, using the Bugatti they have parked at the curb for a suitably European setting.

Yes – this could be a lot of fun.

MW 3.10 pants and shirt
JCS – Oslo boots
Tesla – Danielle hat
Role – Recon glasses
sf designs – Autumn Set (jacket)
:sey – Afghan scarf
mustang – knotted leather bracelet

Belleza- Mathieu 6 SK

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Clothing Fair 2010



Clothing Fair 2010, originally uploaded by Nevar Lobo.

It’s coming.

Barely two weeks away.

It’s gonna be bigger than last year.

I can hardly wait!

Master of the Mansion

Tonight’s contest was “Styling Playboy Bunny” up to about an hour before the actual event, when it got changed to “Playboy/Playboy Bunny.” I had already chosen the outfit for the night based on Playboy Bunny, so I was able to keep it and not have to scramble at the last minute.

hefner2

We’d done this theme before, and there was really only one choice then. Changing the theme to “Playboy” in the generic but keeping “Playboy Bunny” created many more problems but I avoided them by just re-visiting my earlier impression of the only buck hare in the hutch — Hugh Hefner.

The outfit is basically the same — Smoking Jacket from Oak Outdoor Outfitters, and Black Dress Slacks from AlphaMale. On my feet I wore a pair of Kung Fu slippers. They had the right texture and color.

My body has evolved some since then but the big changes were in hair — MADesigns, Brad — and skin. I changed from the LeLutka Pale to a Belleza Johan. I liked the facial features better for this. It didn’t really have the same kind of pale he-only-comes-out-at-night look that Hefner seems to have, but it had a bit of the smile around the eyes.

For accessories, I went with a simple pair of glasses in an aviator style he sometimes wore and a pipe. I had to make a bunny logo for the smoking jacket, but it was easy enough to add.

Results
I’m not sure if it was a mercy vote after the fiasco on Monday, or if I actually earned it, but I got third place.

hefner_august_3rd_place

I’ll take it. And I appreciate the effort to try to make the themes at least appear fair.

What Would I Do Differently?

The problem with making this “Playboy/Playboy Bunny” is that there are a lot of ways to style “playboy” that do not involve Hefner or the brand. There is no way to style “playboy bunny” without involving the brand, so from a judge’s standpoint, the theme sets up an unfortunate dichotomy. There’s no way that a man could go onto that stage dressed as James Bond, for example. It’s certainly true that he’s probably the archetype for playboys — it was his cover afterall — but when coupled with the Bunny, it’s just not in the same thing. It would, and should, be voted down as “not in theme.” While on the surface this theme makes it possible for men to enter, being able to place in it, is really restricting men to “Who can be the best Hef” …

Which is where I come up against it. Trying to redo Hefner a third (or fourth, or fifth) time without some very serious rethinking, perhaps about what time of his life or point in his career, there’s nothing really *different* a man can do with this theme.

Tonight, the judge was not looking for best representation of a Playboy Bunny, or even the most stylish use of the Playboy logo. That’s not to take anything away from the other winners. The judge interpreted the theme in a way that made us the top three. Another judge another night might be looking for something different. A great deal of the judging is dependent on the judge’s understanding of what the theme represents and how they interpret that understanding. I’m glad they picked me, but I have no idea why. Without knowing why, it’s terribly difficult to assess what might be more effective in a contest of such limited scope.

So, what would I do different? Chalk it up to just another theme I can’t compete in and skip it.

Stuff
Skin: Belleza : Johan (sk)
Hair: MADesigns : Brad
Eyes: Bower Bird : Chestnut

Top: Oak Outdoor Outfitters : Smoking Jacket
Pants: AlphaMale : Dress Pants (black)
Slippers:

Glasses: primOptic : Crowe
Pipe: Roland Zepp

Not Tonight

There was a contest tonight. I participated.

Normally in this space I would talk about what I did, why I did it, how it worked out, and what I’d do differently. Along the way I’d say where the goods came from, how they worked, what I thought about it.

Unfortunately the experience this evening was so egregiously unpleasant — from the flippant comments suggesting gang rape from one of the models backstage, to the organizer not even taking my name down to participate except as an after thought, and then the awards presented for best “Styling Provocative Gown” — that I’m afraid I can’t be particularly objective in my commentary.

In the classic movie “Bambi,” Thumper is called on the carpet by his mother for speaking ill of someone and she asks him what his father had told him. He replied:

“If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothin’ at all.”

So that’s what I’ll say.

UPDATE: I have corrected the text above to reflect the reality more accurately. I would further like to add my thanks to those who have offered their ongoing support and sympathy for an unfortunate situation. I do have a lot of very adamant supporters in the model corps. I am blessed in that regard.

South Beach

The styling contest tonight was “cut off jeans.” This wasn’t my favorite contest last time, but I’ve been keeping my eyes open over the last couple of weeks and I spotted this outfit at Mimi’s Choice for Gentlemen’s store.



cutoff_august, originally uploaded by roland_zepp.

I went back and took my own advice about this event from the last time around and I added a few things — like “have an idea to build the style around.” In this case it was inspired by this light an breezy tropical look from SF Designs – the bleached cutoffs and toulon linen shirt. My first thought was “Riviera” but the bold open styling made me shift to a trendier and perhaps more bohemian Miami’s “South Beach.”

From that mental picture it was a short trip to Maverick Design’s Disorder Shape (slightly modded for upper lip and hands), Belleza’s Dark Tan Mathieu 6 skin, and a cropped mop from UW.st, Hibiki in Coffee. I tossed on a pair of BoHo sandals from Shiny Things and my favorite primOptic Crowe glasses set just a bit opaque. A kitschy necklace of hardware parts – Goth1c0’s Covent necklace, and a single earstud set to ruby red.

The outfit was really the inspiration and after that the rest fell into place.

The Results
A very surprising second place finish:
cutoff_august_2nd_place

It was a small field and the judge had his hands full.

What Would I Do Differently?

I need to invest in another pair of sandals.

My accessories list is very limited. That needs to change. The Covent necklace from Goth1c0 was from a recent hunt, I need more accessories.

Poses, poses, poses. This has been my mantra lately. I’ve started stealing women’s poses to try to get some variation in my routines.

Stuff
Outfit: SF Designs – Bleached cutoffs and toulon linen shirt
Shoes: Shiny Things – BoHo sandals (brown)
Necklace: Goth1c0 – Covent
Ear ring: Roland Zepp – Color Change Ear Stud
Glasses: primOptica – Crowe

Shape: Maverick Design – Disorder
Skin: Belleza – Mathieu 6 (dark tan)
Hair: UW.st – Hibiki (coffee)
Eyes: Maverick Design – Intense light blue

On the AVENUE

This week has been a whirlwind of activity because I got a new job on Monday. In addition to my periodic ramblings here, you’ll be able to find my by-line in AVENUE Magazine starting in the August edition. This week has been hectic as the final deadlines have come (and gone) and the final articles are being put together for a two-edition month — the normal August edition along with an SLCC special edition that will be printed on … what’s that stuff? books used to be made out of it? Oh ya. Paper.

So, thanks to all the people who helped me get the position, and to Rusch Raymaker for giving me a chance.

I’m looking forward to a deadline that’s measured in days, not hours, because I think we’re gonna have some fun here.

Finale Swimwear

It’s going to be difficult to stand on a stage with a bunch of hotties wearing next to nothing and try to stand out. I know where I’d be looking and it’s not at the dude on the end.

swimsuit_roland

In choosing an outfit for the swimwear competition, the key element for me was picking a suit with style. In this part of the competition, my goal was in finding the single perfect pair of trunks and with this pair of Swirls in blue from AlphaMale, I think I found them. They have just the right amount of pattern, a rich color, and excellent shading while the tie string detailing gives that little extra texture to the trunks.

The tattoo is Atui’s Vintage Hawaiian tattoo in faded ink. This classic Pacific Island tattoo with the wahinis and palm tree patterns complements the swirls on the suit and conjures up visions of black sand beaches and balmy breezes.

To round out the swimwear look I chose a great pair of Role Optic’s Recon sunglasses to protect my eyes from glare and a pair of BoHo Sandals from Shiny Things to protect my feet from sharp shells, pointed rocks, and hot sand.

I’ve kept accessories to a minimum with a few simple pieces of jewelry — a single sapphire ear stud, the MRM Shark Tooth Surfer necklace and a knotted leather bracelet from Mustang Trading Post. The three pieces are subtle, low key, and enhance the presentation of the suit without distracting from it.

For this outfit, I’m wearing my own shape, Belleza’s Thomas skin in tan, and E’s Gleaming Forest Green eyes.

Stuff
AlphaMale: Swirls blue
Shiny Things: BoHo Sandals
MRM: Shark necklace
Mustang Trading Post: Knotted Leather Bracelet
Glasses: Role – Recon
Atui: Vintage Hawaiian Tattoo (faded)

Hair: UW.st – Hibiki (coffee)
Skin: Belleza Thomas Tan
Eyes: E’s Gleaming Forest Green

Sophisticated Lady

Last night’s contest was posted as “Styling Sophisticated Lady” and I was planning on giving it a pass. I’m not going to try to be a sophisticated lady. There’s only so much I can do in drag to be sophisticated.

At the last minute, the organizers changed it to “Styling Sophistication” which left the door open for me to participate, but left no time to actually prepare.

I didn’t let that stop me.

sophisticated

The word “sophisticated” comes from the same root as “sophism” which is an admittedly false argument presented in an elaborate manner as if it were true in order to fool the unwary – or illogical. So, when we act sophisticated we’re actually trying to fool people into thinking we’re something we’re not. It’s generally accepted as somebody who is worldly wise, the opposite of naive. I found this definition to be fitting as the event wore on.

The tuxedo, for men, is considered the epitome of sophistication. As the only suit in the world designed to make even a haired ape look presentable, it certainly fills the bill by clothing the male form in a complicated argument that fools people into thinking the wearer has some level of savoir faire. I have several outfits that are considerably more sophisticated than a tux, but the problem is in convincing the judge that it’s really sophisticated and not just weird. That task, I did not feel up to.

So the AlphaMale Casual Tux – one of my favorite suits – came out of inventory and paraded on the stage last night. I added JCS shoes and a nice MADesigns hair – something a little more James Bondy than my normal mop top. It looked pretty good and as an outfit – tuxedo without a tie or cummerbund – substituting a choker for the bow tie, it was certainly sophisticated enough.

The Results
Except it wasn’t.

The judge – and please understand when I say this – was a newbie. Not like, somebody who dressed like a newb — altho he did. Not somebody who acted like a newb. I didn’t get close enough to find out. But the rezdate on the avi was June 7, 2009. He got to be the judge by buying enough votes in the weekend boost-your-vote event to earn the right to sit in the judge’s seat.

My only hope is that it’s really somebody’s alt who actually does have some understanding of what it takes to be a model. His personal style – and his choices – were inscrutable. He sure looked like a newb. And while it’s not unusual for a judge to make picks I don’t agree with, I can sometimes see the logic behind the choices.

Last night? Not so much.

What Would I Do Differently?

I could have actually gone with a more sophisticated look, less elegant but more worldly. I have a couple of nice suits that I could have worn with some very stylish shirts and — perhaps — a pair of tartan chucks.

I could have gone more mainstream with a classic tux from Edo or SF Designs.

I could have played it for laughs and gone as Coco Chanel again. It’s hard to argue with the sophistication of Coco. Although perhaps not when played in drag.

Anyway, I got my two votes, and I saw a practical demonstration of why the judging in these contests is amusing, but largely, a crap shoot. It’s an important lesson to take away. Learning how to model by basing one’s actions on feedback from a random set of judges — all of whom have different styles, differing aesthetics, and different levels of expertise. Some of the feedback might be good. Some of it is undoubtedly bad. Some of it you just need to take with a grain of salt and check it against your own sense of style.

Stuff
suit: AlphMale Casual Tux Black
shoes: JSC – Sebastian Black
necklace: Sable Rose – Walkabout Choker Silver

Hair: MADesigns Bernard (TB tinted darker)
Eyes: E’s Gleaming Forest Green
Skin: LeLutka Absolute Tan

He’s Got Legs!

With apologies to ZZ Top, tonight’s contest was “Great Legs” and the difficulty for me is, once more, this is a woman’s field. Guy’s legs are knobby, hairy, and generally kept fishbelly white under long pants. At least, my legs. So, trying to do this theme took a lot of mental re-alignment on my part.

In order to show off a great pair of legs, the skin has to define key elements such as front and back of the knee and – for guys – a well sculpted thigh. I chose LeLutka’s Absolute because it has great definition without looking cartoonish.

I picked a beach boy look by adding Uncle Webs “Angel Shine” Reed, my favorite Shiny Things Bo-Ho Sandals, a pair of ache lowcut swim trunks, and a straw colored tee shirt from Moonshine.The body oil is from Nyokos.

To accessorize, I added my Crowe glasses from primOpic, the Walkabout Men’s Choker from Sable Rose Jewelry, M.R.M.’s Surf Bracelet, my own ruby stud earring, and a knotted leather bracelet from the Mustang Trading Post resized to fit my ankle.

The Result

Very confusing. Not that I expected to place. This was a contest for women, one of several in the next few days that will be impossible for me to place in.

But confusing because the winners had perhaps the least well defined legs in a rather large field. Obviously my definition of “great legs” and the judge’s definition varied on the definition of definition.

Perhaps the answer lies in a statement made by one of the organizers after the winners were announced. “FYI for great looking leggs 100 and having a great leggs as a model no muscles on the leggs”

I must remember that for the final that’s coming up.

What Would I Do Differently?

The challenge here is to frame and feature the leg in whatever look I come up with. To my mind that means showing lots of leg and keeping it simple and elegant.

Still, I could have:
– Added a tattoo
– Changed out footwear to something like a horenbeek trainer, or a pair of chucks

Apparently learning what the criteria for judging might be would be good, too.

Stuff

skin: LeLutka – Absolute (Tan)
hair: UWS – Reed (Angel Shine)

Tee: Moonshine – Straw
Trunks: Ache – Low cut swimwear
Sandals: Shiny Things – BoHo

Necklace: Sable Rose – Walkabout Choker (sand)
Bracelet: MRM – Surf Bracelet
Anklet: Mustang Trading Post – Knotted Leather Bracelet (resized for my ankle)

Nyoko’s Body Oil

Helen Keller Day – June 27th

On the subject of promoting good causes, I got this note from the Virtual Helping Hands people about an upcoming event that promises to be interesting.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
— Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer and Activist

“Helen Keller Day in Second Life” is a 24-hour PDT event on Saturday, June 27, in Second Life.com (SL) on the four Ye Olde Supporte Faire sims with vendors, employers, presentations, and fun for all.

If you’re not aware of the VHH, they are an umbrella group with units working on various aspects of accessibility on the Grid.

I’ve seen a list of the events planned and it’s a pretty ambitious schedule for a single day’s effort. The fashion tie-in here is that Style Enabled Modeling Agency is trying to organize a fashion show to showcase the work done by models who may be visually impaired, or in wheel chairs, etc. They need designers who would be willing to participate and take advantage of this opportunity to reach a clientele that’s outside the world of the fashionista on the grid.

If you’re interested contact the head of the agency, Polgara Paine, or leave a comment here in the blog and I’ll pass it to her.

Don’t feel like you need to contribute a ton. If all the designers just contributed one outfit to the cause …

I’ll post more on this as I find out more, too.