Text and Photos by ROCKY VALLEJO
When I was asked if I'd consider doing an article on men's fashion in Second Life my first thought was, "What Would JJ say?"
JJ Drinkwater, that dashing, daring man-about-sim who always dresses at his 19th century best, would most likely laugh and refrain from an expostulatory remonstration of his friend, Rocky, but eagerly await the next issue of Rez Libris smiling ear to ear whilst reading of boot care, felt hat cleaning techniques and how to bend over in tight blue jeans without bringing special meaning the that SL top 40 song, "Moon Over Info Island."
So, without further ado... What every redneck male librarian in SL considers to be the height of haute couture. (Haute couture, by the by, is French for clothes that you don't buy at Walmart. Yep... we're going uptown to Target!).
I decided with this article to concentrate on one area of clothing near and dear to the hearts of most men, t-shirts. Besides the boots and hats, Rocky Vallejo is known for his t-shirts. I have enough in my inventory to wear one a day for at least a year.
For the well rounded, virtual renaissance man a t-shirt isn't just a piece of clothing. it's a statement. Whether it's his favorite sports team logo or the words, "Six Pack Abs," over a picture of a six pack of Coors beer, a man's t-shirt can be a travelling billboard letting the world know what matters most to him. A stain here and a rip there add to the "patina" giving character to the shirt marking it "MINE."
T-shirts extend far beyond the SL "standards" we see everywhere: team names, rock bands, product labels and prepubescent profanities. SL is rich with inventive t-shirt designs and statements. It's good to get out there and find other styles, graphics and/or verbiage that further indicate the extent of one's tastes, beliefs, humor or chutzpah.
The SL Search Engine is a good place to start. Go to the ALL search tab, limit your search to "places" and away you go!
One big problem in finding t-shirts in the search engine is the term, t-shirt, itself. One needs to consider the various spellings of the word: tshirts, teeshirts, tee shirts, t-shirts and the variations on a theme... tank tops, tank tops, A-shirts, tall-T, etc. Put in the different spellings and terms, singular and plural, and see what you can find. You can also broaden your search by just using the word, shirt.
Also to be considered are styles, genres, economics and messages: Tie dye, grunge, scoop neck, Celtic, western, German, neko, untucked, v-neck, etc. Got a hero or antihero? Put his/her name in along with t-shirt: Elvis, Guevara, Obama, Mickey Mouse, etc. Add any of these terms or others in the search engine along with shirt and see what you get.
Are you low on Lindens or would just like to see how many free t-shirts you can collect? Try a t-shirt search with one of these words: free, freebie, freebies. Also keep your eyes open as you travel through SL. Most every major organization, club, bar, store, library and institution in SL has at least one free t-shirt they give away at their site. Flickr also has a site: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sl-galaxy_blog_freebies/ you can look through here for free shirts and get shop names and search for them on SL.
Cars, bars and "what-you-are" can be searched for as well: Just add t-shirt to a search for: mustang, ford, hard rock, biker, librarian, cowboy, etc. Are genres your interest? Try mystery, science fiction and fantasy with t-shirt. Seasonal t-shirts abound: Christmas, Halloween and Independence Day. Add to this National t-shirts with flags or patriotic messages, military service, or t-shirts pertaining to books, motion pictures or television shows.
Shirts with messages are my favorite. They're not as easy to find and if you're trying to avoid the verbally profane they can be downright difficult. You can search for: funny t-shirt or put in a term or general subject term that might bring up shirts centering around a topic.
I have a few places in SL where I like to look for or just look at t-shirts. I'm not associated with any of these shops nor do I get any compensation for mentioning them! Also, as a warning, I'm not real fond of obscenities on my clothing or flagrant sexual references. Many stores in SL have shirts that would make your granny turn over in her grave... or sit up and slap you if you wore them! But often, among the thorns, you can find a rose... a gem of a shirt that says just what you want it to or has a really cool graphic. Don't be intimidated by a collection of shirts full of the profane if that's not your thing. Look patiently around and you may find something that's to your taste.
Feck T-shirts and More (Some gems here)
Warning Signs (A cool assortment of t-shirts with various traffic warning signs on them from around the world. Sounds dumb but take a look)
The Purple Pickle (A wide assortment at 50 Lindens each)
Shirt Shop at Mega Store (A nice assortment also going
for 50 Lindens each)
Pixelless Tees (Heavy on the profane but some good PG ones... 25 Lindens each)
Whatchama Call It? (Irreverent... a mix of the crude and the sublime... t-shirts go for as little as 10 Lindens each. My favorite place to look for t-shirts in SL)
The best course, if you have the talent or a talented friend with photoshop or gimp, is to make your own t-shirts. Here a
re a few web links to sites that teach basic virtual tailoring skills:
Making Custom Clothing in SL
Part 1 on YouTube Part 2 on YouTube
Clothing Tutorials on SL wiki
One last point: One of the biggest complaints I hear from women about men in SL.... "They wear the same clothes every day!" Rotate your clothing. A different shirt worn each time you go into Second Life is a positive statement about yourself. Even if your avatar is merely a "tool" for teaching or research change his outward appearance now and then. Keep in mind that Second Life is a graphic presentation and that that presentation extends not only to collections, displays and presentations but to yourself as well. Have fun with your clothes and make others smile.
Last Updated on Sunday, 01 November 2009 04:32
by HYACINTH CORTES
Photos by VERDE OTAARED
This month we're looking at costumes. Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, and more festivities are coming up when our dress style takes a change and fall is a most appropriate time to venture out on shopping excursions to explore Second Life costumes. Second Life can be a huge costume party every day so we could shop for costumes endlessly. In our October costume review we are taking a look at a small selection of shops with nice quality costumes at reasonable prices and for any occasion from Halloween to the next costume party.
Grim Bros main store in Clematis is a massive, dark, and atmospheric warehouse worth a trip just to see the weird objects set around the shop. The gigantic eyeball follows avatars who approach and the unusual gadgets can be purchased or tested. Walls are filled to the ceiling with unique costume selections. Clothes, shoes, gadgets and accessories are available for men, women or unisex, in a mix of styles from pretty dresses with just a touch of oddness, to dark or creatively weird full avatars. Cutea Benelli, designer and proprietor of Grim Bros, designs styles that are gothic, Victorian, steampunk, cyberpunk, post-apocalytic, mechanical, and some odd and twisted -- all are quirky and interesting. The design work on the clothing is very detailed, with many well-made pieces composing most outfits. The gadgets are also meticulously detailed, for example, the lightening bolt attachable spine has wires and operable gears. The steam punk shoes have gears that move and emit puffs of steam. The dresses have an appeal for librarians and book lovers - a favorite outfit for librarians could be the Education Poetry gown. This masterpiece dress has a long gown with book accents, a bodice with fabric covered in printed text, and a hat stacked high with books. It's truly an eye-catching set, although with so many pieces to rez, perhaps not well suited to a crowded party. The Petite Voodouette dress is also a complete outfit, including shoes, in elegant black with great detailed bows on the flouncy skirt and complete with an optional feather collar (pictured above). Gothic and Victorian dresses in all colors are suitable for everyday wear in the Victorian sims or for costume parties. In addition to clothing, there are some full avatars, for example, one is a mechanical bunny made of rusted metal. These costumes are so unique it's a treat to browse the store. A Gifting Gorilla provides midnight madness gifts of costumes, shoes and accessories when the board is touched. An orange, full length "Proper Pumpkin" gown for halloween is in a gift box at Grim Bros now and also on XStreetsl [https://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&file=item&ItemID=1760826]. Grim Bros prices are low, especially for the excellent quality and multitude of pieces in the outfits. Shoes are priced (~$L250) reasonably given the number of decorations and parts on the detailed shoes.
Grim Bros Costumes
Top Left, Bottom Right - miss education poetry dress; Top Right - Cutea Benelli; Bottom Left - aye aye pirate wench
Cutea's smaller shop, Low Prim and Grim, is another shop well worth a trip. It's dedicated to Halloween and spooky, "grim" materials. The shop sells furniture, couches, bookcases, skulls, torches. Need a critter emitter for cockroaches or spiders? Low Prim and Grim has one as well as coffins, graveyards, strange laboratories, skeletons, ghosts, and witches' caldrons. There is also a selection of spooky zombie costumes.
Halloween Special at Low Prim and Grim
Rag Dollz is has become a favorite shop of mine this month. Rag Dollz, by Emedea Morgenstern, is a smaller shop with both women's and men's outfits. Complete outfits for couples can also be purchased together, the Dust Devil Duo His & Her's Steampunk Western Set has all pieces for the suits including shoes for $L350. Many complete individual male or female sets are around $L199. The styles are primarily goth, Victorian, steampunk or western with some nice tartan, lolita, pirate and gypsy dresses or biker outfits available also. The fabric design is detailed, outfits are attractive and prices are excellent for the quality. A free halloween dress, the Raggedy Ann Orange Steampunk Dress Set, is available in the shop.
Raggedy Ann Orange Steampunk Dress from Rag Dollz
Casey's Creations, Casey Burrito owner and creator, is an all purpose costume shop. Casey's has princess, vampire, pirate, burlesque, ghosts, zombies, witch dresses, suits, and costumes of all kinds. The mix of styles and time periods offers a wide range, the saloon wear even shares a shop display corner with disco outfits. A large store with two floors, there is a teleport board to find specific styles
. Full avatars at Casey's Creations even include a milk carton.
Barerose, located in Tokyo, is a long time SL favorite for many people. Owner and designer June Dion is a prolific creator who won the Resident Choice Award for Favorite Fashion Designer. The variety, quality and prices of the Bare Rose creations are amazing. From Elvis costumes to latex mini maids, mermaids and fairies and full avatars - Barerose has just about everything. The only downside to shopping at Barerose is that the shop is so crowded and lag is often bad, it's hard see everything available. The shop is not well organized so if you are looking for particular style, it'll take some time to find it in the sprawling displays. The quality of the clothing is very good, designs are unique, and there are many complete sets, accessories and shoes for men as well as women. Best of all, the prices are great for the quality -- full outfits are often less than $L150. Barerose just released a jack-o-lantern complete avatar, just in time for the season.
Bare Rose at the deck
Additional costume shops include RFyre for elegant gothic wear for men and women. The store has a large selection of gorgeous goth outfits, period costumes, roman togas and more by well-known designer Raven Pennyfeather. There are currently three special October outfits, very appropriate for Halloween, available at RFyre for 199L each.
Grendel's Children has a huge collection of full avatars. The avatars are a wide selection of animals, humans, humoids, and non-humans of all kinds and very reasonably priced.
Fall and halloween hunts will begin in October, offering many chances to explore new shops and pick up some free Halloween clothing and paraphernalia. The Second Life Halloween Hunt should be a good one running the entire month of October. The Jack O Turkey Hunt starts mid October and offers a chance to pick up some fall and Thanksgiving treats.
Photo by Hyasinth Tiramisu
by HYACINTH CORTES
Clothing design in Second Life is one of the virtual world’s creative delights and the designers behind the many shops and looks are intriguing and inspiring. Where do they get their ideas? How did they get into the fashion business? Are they fashion designers or artists in real life as well as in Second Life? In a recent interview chat with Hyasynth Tiramisu, the creator and avatar behind Silent Sparrow, she told me about her designs, her inspiration, and how she has come to create her unique look and style. Hyasynth has many dedicated followers from all around the grid, and her unique fashions are worn by both male and female avatars.
Hyasynth Tiramisu is the sole designer behind Silent Sparrow clothing and shops and she also does all the sales, marketing, shop design and models all of the clothes. Her style might not be exactly "librarian" daily wear in real life for everyone, but in Second Life it’s a real treat to wear arty clothes. Fashion as art in second life has direct links to real life creativity, especially when the creator hand designs original fabrics, styles and looks as Hyasynth Tiramisu has been doing since joining SL in 2005. She wasn't finding the clothes she wanted to wear back in 2005 so she decided to make her own. Her fashions are her own unique blend of Victorian, steampunk, fantasy, goth and casual - a look that Hyasynth admits is "eclectic" and she likes it that way. The outfits are completely hand drawn with intricate textures and richly detailed fabrics. They're a lot of fun and appeal to a variety loyal fans who appreciate the creativity that characterizes her designs. Eclectic is certainly an apt description since her most recent outfits include pajamas covered with animals - including bunnies, rats, bats, and yes, birds. Right after the pajamas, she released a set called "Helena", a "vintage gothic-inspired swim suit", followed a week later by the "Severin" suit, a "byronesque gothic suit of black velvet and brocade" that works equally well for girls and guys.
Her personality comes through in the playful, eccentric, and creative designs. Hyasynth says that most of her clothes have a story. The ideas for the outfits, dresses and suits come from her imagination, not from fashion pictures or real life designs so each one is different and unique. She says she loves victorian and steampunk and the imagery and details of the period and genre often appear in her outifts. A book lover and reader, she's a fan of The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, and her dresses could fit well in the neo-victorian setting.
Hyasynth's 4th Rez Day Party. Photo by Verde Otaared
Silent Sparrow has a group that currently numbers more than 4000 members. The parties for members are just as eclectic as the members and the costumes. Last month Hyasynth celebrated her fourth rez day with a party for her group with the costume theme of birthday massacre where guests were to wear Silent Sparrow gear with a layer of blood in celebration of the day. The music was fun and as different as the costumes. Silent Sparrow has group-only lucky chairs so group members get a chance for frequent presents of the unique designs.
Hyasynth chose her name as a play on words from a blend of the hyacinth flower and the word synthesizer coming from her musical background. She's also an animal lover and clearly fond of avians, with birds appearing frequently in her designs.
Hyasynth collaborates with designer friends and we can look forward to a special collaboration between Hyasynth Tiramisu and her designer friend Calico Ingamann for a Halloween costume that will coordinate Hyasynth's outfits and Calico's hair. Last year's Halloween collaboration produced unique looks to take an avatar all the way through winter in SL – or summer, fall and spring.
The creativity in Hyasynth Tiramisu's Silent Sparrow clothing reflects her vivid imagination, fueled by music, art and literature. It's a long way from the imagination to completion, she reports that it can take 45 to 60 hours to finish an outfit with many pieces.
Silent Sparrow Main Store
Last Updated on Monday, 07 September 2009 08:29
By HYACINTH CORTES
Photos by VERDE OTAARED
One of the questions I hear so often at the AVL Reference desk from new residents is "where can I get some clothes?" Of course, it's not just the newbies who want free clothes. Some of us are bargain hunters in any world, any universe, any time or any place. Give us a free dress, invite us to a good hunt, have us slap a midnight magic board and we get a (virtual) smile. I'll even admit to having a bad day in real life turn into a happy occasion when my letter comes up in a lucky chair. Who knew that shopping while spending absolutely no money - dollars or lindens - could be so much fun?!
Welcome to the world of the freebie hunter. There are many sources for free stuff in Second Life. You just have to know where to look, be really lucky, or have more time than lindens. One of the best ways to be in the know about the latest finds is to read the blogs. Two of the most heavily followed blogs are often updated several times a day, depending on what's going on, and by several regular bloggers covering all styles. Fabulously Free in SL tracks free and nearly free clothes in SL. The resident bloggers show their daily treasures and give you a slurl for each item. They blog clothes, hair, skins, shoes, accessories, and occasionally other things like furniture. Fabfree has an inworld group, and they have an inworld headquarter shop where they have some nice quality things to pick up.
A second blog with many devoted followers is SL Free Style. Free Style also has multiple bloggers who post as frequently as their time allows and as they find good things to share, with posts appearing almost every day. They also feature hair, skins, shoes, accessories, in addition to clothes.
Left: Seldom Blue Senations Gown (free), hair from Philotic Energy, previous lucky chair gift, skin is Hope Star from Tuli, current group gift ($250L to join group) Right: Artilleri, Beatha dress (1L), Maitreya pumps (free)
There are so many bloggers doing SL shopping, and so many who feature freebies or cheapies that it would be impossible to list them all. I've listed a sampling of frequently updated blogs that feature nice quality items below. If I've left out your favorite, let me know - I'd love to hear about new sources.
Shops inworld that are full of freebies are also plentiful. Shops that offer exclusively good quality freebies are less abundant. A couple of such shops have consistently good quality items from well known designers. The Gnubie Store is located in Powder Mill. Some well known designers, including Nyte Caligari, Antonia Marat of Artilleri, Hyasynth Tiramisu of Silent Sparrow, and Truth Hawks of Truth have samples of their clothing here. Some are dollarbies, but well worth 1L. Fleur (aka Fifth and Oxford) has free newbie skins. FabFree Headquarters at Car Wash is the inworld site associated with the FabFree bloggers and also offers free skins, hair, and clothes by well-known desigers. Wetherby's has a free dress every day. Join the group to get special offers; it's worth it for some stylish dresses.
Quality free items can be acquired by joining vendor or store groups. The blogs mentioned above and listed at the bottom of the column are very good about noting when something pictured in the blog was a group gift, free or priced. The 25-group limit in SL makes it difficult for us to get everything we see, causing a lot of group juggling, or switching to alts to at least get notifications. The increasing use of the subscribe-Matic to get on lists that don't use up one of our precious 25 groups makes group joining easy. Most group subscribe-o's will let you touch the sign to subscribe, unsubscribe, and to view history. If a group gift has gone out as an attachment to a group notice, the subscribe-o usually allows you to pick it up in the history. If you see something you like, join the group and get the gifts.
Have you ever thought you'd spend an afternoon hunting for watermelons or other even smaller objects scattered over sims in Second Life? One of summer's hunts going from July 18 through August 9 is the Slice of Summer Hunt. Freebie hunters find and buy watermelons at participating stores and claim the (free!) prize inside. Hunts are a great way to discover new shops and meet new friends. A good place to find out about hunts is the blog SL Hunts.
XStreetSL has plenty of freebies so you can shop during your work day without even having to log on to SL. Just go directly to the XStreetSL Freebies or to XStreetSL and try Marketplace, and freebies to begin shopping.
We plan to feature a variety of styles, themes, and designers in future fashion columns. Ideas include shoes, Victorian and period dress, designer interviews and more. If you would like to suggest an idea for a future column or would like to write a feature, please let us know. BlakOpal Lace Front Corset dress
, Xstreet SL, (free), skin is Hope Star from Tuli, current group gift (250L to join group), hair is milli, from the gift freeball from Analog Dog.
Good quality free stuff at these places in SL:
Fabulously Free in SL
SL Free Style
El vestidor de Julieta
Fashion Freebies for Men
SL Good Deals
Freebie Finds in a pixelated universe - Anna Zwiers