Monday, April 30, 2007

Project Open Letter

I just logged out of Second Life because for the second time in as many days, I was unable to get dressed. Not change clothing - I did the quick change magic poof thing where you switch out what you have on for what's in a folder in your inventory. Except all that happened is everything I had on went away and to rez, and there I stand all nekkid.

Not that nekkid doesn't have its place, but all I was doing was hiding out to sort inventory and if I can't do that or leave to go do something else because I'm all undressed, there was no point in sticking around.

Which leads me to this. Project Open Letter is a polite outlining of the sorts of problems that have become so frequent as to be debilitating for SL users and a request that these please take preference over any further upgrades. Yes, it's something everyone complains about, and maybe the Lindens will pay no more attention to it than they have to these same complaints so far. But as they close down one avenue to speak with them directly after another, what else can you do?

We love SL. We don't want to leave. But when you're reduced to standing around naked unable to do a single thing, you have to do something and hope someone is listening. If there is no satisfactory acknowledgement of this, maybe it will be time (time when I can't do anything else because my clothes won't rez and teleport is broken again) to rethink the monetary investment I put into this. It's bad enough when gridlock happens in First Life...paying for in Second Life is starting to not make much sense.

If you feel so moved, add your name. Each of us represents someone who puts money into Linden's coffers. If there are enough of us, maybe we'll match the complaint power of the corporations they're courting now.

(And on that note - I'd love to see some of them signing this - but I'm guessing they're so separated from our server and database that these things don't affect them. But they should sign anywhere - without us, they have no customer eyes here, and hence no purpose.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

What I'm wearing... 4/27

I had one of those moments yesterday, where I wonder why I never see something in SL that ought to be there, and then playing around to see if I can do it. In this particular case, it was 80's style Dynasty shoulder pads. Remember those? Sure, we all hate them now, but anyone who was around then wore the heck out of them. Big oversized shirts, skin-tight leggings or cigarette-leg jeans, high heels and lots of bright jewelry. Strong make-up and hair that was either huge and wild or androgynous and assymetrical and gel'd to within an inch of its life.

So, I pieced together a few items to try to get there.

The jeans are on the underwear layer (designed to be worn with boots, but they work fine as cigarette leg jeans, too) - not the pale acid wash I remember so well, but close in effect, these are Desert Moon Clothier's "Zealot" design. They're photosourced, with nice detail, fading that looks natural and good wrinkles around the upper thigh, as if they've been worn lovingly for some time. All that's missing to recreate 'the look' are the little zippers around the ankles so you could squeeze your feet past the tight opening at the bottom.

The jewelry is another set from Lassiter & Ennui (I do love them so much) - I bought the Rydra set with an eye to using it in ancient ROMA, but it's got that big bright and bold look so popular during the 80s. The set comes with a necklace and set of earrings, in either gold or silver, with a number of stone options. I couldn't decide, so I went with the rainbow set, which is set with different colored stones arranged in a rainbow spectrum.

The shoes are by Solange! and are her Legacy Stilletto's in black and gold. Walking into Solange's is a dangerous stunt for me, because almost everything there is irresistable to me. It's also the brand most likely to get me compliments from strangers. I thought the decadent over-the-top lushness of these shoes worked well. Anything by X3D would have done well, too, should you be more inclined to wear pumps.

The belt is part of a set in my inventory that involves a peacock formal dress and sadly has no designer information with it whatsoever. If you recognize it, give me a shout out. The bright gold sets off the gold in the jewelry and necklace and keeps that high contrast of gold and purple going.

Now the shirt... like I said, this started out as a bit of wondering whether or not shoulder pads were even possible, so I quickly whipped up a system shirt, textured it with something bright and jeweltoned, and created a pair of prim shoulder pads textured in the same color. Then, a system skirt to provide the cinched waist look, and ta da! I have my starting point. I'm going to try creating a few of these with actual planned textures and see how it goes. But even as a test shirt, this looked nice enough that we went out dancing in it and I haven't taken it off yet today. (Fair warning, there are certain positions that happen when dancing that make the prims look momentarily wonky. But no more so than most prims, and they actually add a bit of that Joan Collins strut when walking that keeps making me grin when I see it.) I'm telling myself this version is velour, but I'd like to do a few satin and shiny shirts and maybe a jacket if I can pull if of. So if you like this, stay tuned!

Onto the bod... the hair I used is a male/unisex style called Brandon Cassanova, and if anyone knows who makes the Brandon hairs, please, please let me know. And designers - if you love your customers you will include notecards with your name (SL doesn't always want to let us know when we peek into Edit mode), a landmark, and the name of your shop in case you move after we've bought the item. I'm begging you - I want to be a repeat customer, really I do. I'm not sure what this style would do on a guy's head - I fear it may turn into that overly-processed, ehem, 80s hair. But on me? Wowie! Yes, I did wear this style in RL, why do you ask?

The skin here deserves attention, too. From Skin Within, it's a modifiable tan called Azora using the Sand makeup. While true 80s would probably be a lot more blue/plum and heavier eye make-up, I just loved the way the gold in the make-up played up the gold necklace and contrasted with the jewel-toned purple of the shirt.

Skin: Azora Tan, Sand, Skin Within
Eyes: SS Eye Series3_9, Second Skin Labs
Hair: Brandon Cassanova, honey blonde, maker unknown
Outfit: Top: mine, not available
Jeans: DMC Zealot Jeans, 'tucked-in' version, Desert Moon Clothiers
Shoes: Legacy Stillettos, Black/Gold, Solange!
Jewelry: Rydra, Gold & Rainbow Necklace & Earring Set, Lassitude & Ennui
Other: Belt: Natalia Basiat, shop unknown

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What I'm wearing...4/26

I feel bad that we've not used this chronicle as fully as we should - and it's not for lack of things to share. We continue to find great places to hang out and we ought to be sharing them with you! Also, Mickey has been learning to script and make furniture, and I play with clothing, making (and tons to learn yet) and buying.

Lots of buying.

So as a jumpstart to getting used to writing here, I've decided to graze through my bulging inventory closet and show off some of the goodies I've purchased - at least one a day. Some will be contemporary, some fetish, but lots will be period clothing because I have a weakness for those.

Today's outfit is Victorian and would be quite at home in Caledon or one of the Old West sims:

This is the Day Dress with Bonnet from Vintage Clothing Reproductions. It comes in a few color options, but the one I bought is in Rich Coral, a lovely deep rose shade that shows off all the details. The shape of the skirt gives the illusion of deep, full gathers that move well when I walk.

The bonnet is very sweet - hats are difficult to do in SL, especially those that don't perch flat on top of the head. The maker tried very hard to make room for the sort of up-do hair style most likely to be worn with this, without making the hat hugely oversized. After a bit of experimentation, I found that the style that worked best for me was Mystikal's Flexi Karol, a rich old-fashioned bun with corkscrew curls. It filled the bonnet without overflowing its boundaries and looks like they were made to go together.

The finishing touches here are Simple Things' Victoria Boot and L&E's Cameo Choker. The boots are favorites of mine - ankle high and don't require two parts but still manage to look right without overlapping my ankles when I move. The brown version goes well with almost anything I pair them with.

The choker is a recent purchase of mine, and I've been wearing it a lot - it can be purchased in a variety of ribbon shades, with each version coming in both silver or gold trim. Ribbon ends dangle below the cameo, and it's a wonderful way to finish off an old-fashioned look without looking like you're wearing too much jewelry.

Skin: Gala Medium - Earth, Empyrean Emporium
Eyes: Luminous Obsidian, Sin Skins
Hair: Flexi Karol (JBrown), Mystikal
Outfit: Day Dress with Bonnet (Rich Coral), Vintage Clothing Reproductions
Shoes: Lady Victoria Boot (Brown), Shiny Things
Jewelry: Cameo Choker, Silver, Lassitude & Ennui