Exclusive to NWN, Iris Ophelia's ongoing showcase of all things stylish in SL
It’s summer on one hemisphere of the planet, and whether you're enjoying it, or shivering on the colder side, a tropical vacation in the metaverse may be in order. Why not head for a digital destination where the sun, the sand, and the swimwear are as consistently hot as the real deal? And after all, real world fashion designers are starting to take tips from SL's finest fashionistas. So the bikinis you see on the shores of Second Life this Summer may very well influence what's worn on real life beaches next year.
A few notes before diving right in: it’s about as hard to find bikinis in SL as it is to find dance clubs. That is, they're ubiquitous. So this installment of Ophelia's gaze, I chose the items which stood out from the crowd for one reason or another, and present them here with extra flair*. The stunning location of all these pictures, by the way, is Bora Bora Isles, one of my favorite sandy retreats.
Antonia Marat’s store, artilleri, is just plain fun. Her designs are fun, her sim is fun, and Antonia herself is literally a ball of sunshine. She specializes in all things rockabilly, but also has a fair amount of her store set aside for beach couture (not to mention that she shares her sim with Sand Shack Surf Co., another good place to look for swimwear). Shown is the Sandy bikini, a bandeau top with simple bikini bottoms that comes in a variety of colours. It’s not the wildest thing on the walls of artilleri, but sometimes the simplest suit is the best.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Aden Breyer of Aden; Skin by Starley Thereian for Last Call; Bikini by Antonia Marat of artilleri]
Dragontat Zagato’s a designer of many faces. Supplimenting his main line, DMC, is his underwear store, Brief Encounter. This store sells men’s underwear exclusively, and Dragontat has been busy revamping this line for release in the very near future. I was so desperate for swimbriefs for men that weren’t too cheeky to show, I grabbed a pair of BE briefs. One thing lead to another and Dragontat has merged his classic brief designs with the severely neglected men’s swimwear market. Siris (my charming male avatar) is wearing the GI design.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Stumbelina Ophelia of Cake; Skin by Funk Schnook of FNKY!; Swimbriefs by Dragontat Zagato of Brief Encounter]
Moire Georgette is relatively new to the SL designing game, but she made a big splash with her store, Bossa Nova, when she released the Copacabana bikini as well as a matching dress. Why? Clean design, original look, options and variety included, and both the bikini and the dress are free. Normally when someone releases a freebie I’m inclined to scrutinize it particularly hard, to answer the question of why it’s a freebie rather than a full-priced item (other than the joy of sharing, of course). The only real flaws I can find in this bikini are slight errors in the straps and a little of what fashionista’s call “crotch-bleed”. Hold your knee-jerk reaction if you’re unfamiliar with this term and allow me to explain... The SL avatar has certain areas that stretch whatever textures are applied to them, including under the arm as well as where the inner thigh meets the pelvis. This is why many swimsuits and underpants tend to taper to a very fine point, in the hopes of avoiding these smear zones... Which can lead to a whole other problem with certain anatomically correct skins that are a little less timid about c these areas. The crotch-bleed on this bikini is barely noticeable, and was not even noticeable enough to affect the above picture, so don’t let it deter you from seeking out this fabulous freebie.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Lost Thereian of Naughty; Rose by Siyu Suen of Illusions; Skin by Kara Eagle of Karamia; Bikini by Moire Georgette of Bossa Nova]
Canimal Zephyr’s Puyupuyu bikinis are a couple steps away from the majority of her line, but no less well done. They come in a variety of styles with about a dozen colourful pattern options at her store, Canimal. They’re a great balance of quality and creativity. What more can I say?
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Elikapeka Tiramisu of ETD; Skin by Gala Phoenix of Empyrean Emporium; Bikini by Canimal Zephyr of Canimal]
Shai Delacroix’s Floral Brocade Maillot is a classy design with Shai’s typical lush texturing. This onepiece comes with a prim skirt that transforms it into a sweet strapless dress. Shai launched a full spring/summer mini-store between her women and men’s stores at Casa Del Shai headquarters in Deco. Here you’ll find these charming maillots as well as sleek bikinis and wrap dresses, as well as (drumroll please)....
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Queue Marlowe of Analog Dog; Skin by Stumbelina Ophelia of Cake; Necklace by Miriel Enfield of Miriel; Swimsuit by Shai Delacroix of Casa Del Shai]
Men’s swim trunks. The Samar Swim Shorts are more of a cross between swim briefs and trunks, fairly snug and high on the leg with a drawstring waist, and just as well-textured as the maillot. As a sidenote, for boys out there looking for longer and looser swim shorts, try searching for Namiko.
[Shown in Picture: Hair and Skin by Lost Thereian of Naughty; Shorts by Shai Delacroix of Casa Del Shai]
A little less orthodox is the swimwear released by Devyn Grimm of Chaospire. The very aptly named Naiad swimsuit follows Chaospire’s normal high-fantasy styling. Atypical, unconventional, and exquisite are a few words to describe this suit, but with great detail often comes a great price tag. Most of Devyn’s stunning releases are not for the faint of heart or light of balance. They are, however, worth every single L$.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Selena Gateaux of Goldie Locks; Fins by Flea Bussy of grendel’s Children; Skin by Portia Sin of Sin Skins; Swimsuit by Devyn Grimm of Chaospire]
Kenzie Craven was one of the first designers I every reviewed, over a year ago for the Metaverse Messenger, and as such I’ve followed her development in SL fashion quite closely. Her former brand, Lixz, has been reborn as Kenzie, and one of her more recent releases has been the Damsel swimsuits, which feature pastel polka dots in a half dozen shades, as well as seams running along the front. The suit has a classic look would be a great look on any indie-styled girl.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Stumbelina Ophelia of Cake; Skin by Starley Thereian of Celestial Studios; Necklace by Pearlie Pedro of Miam Miam; Swimsuit by Kenzie Craven of Kenzie]
More than a year old but still one of my all-time favourites is Nylon Pinkney’s Sequin Bellydancer outfit. Let’s be 100% clear, this outfit is not photorealistic. Not even close. And that’s entirely the point. If you dislike the painterly styles of Nylon’s store, Nylon Outfitters, or its neighbours like Fashionably Dead, you won’t like this outfit. You also won’t know what you’re missing. Nylon’s paid incredible detail to how light should refract off every individual sequin and disk. This style of clothing is best worn with a drawn-look skin, like Nylon’s own, or the one shown from Lovey’s Boutique.
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Helyanwe Vindaloo of Deviant Kitties; Skin by Lovey Darling of Lovey’s Boutique; Bikini by Nylon Pinkney of Nylon Outfitters]
I wandered over to my friend Moppie while she was shopping. My avatar hadn’t loaded for her as she proudly showed me her favourite bikini. The bikini in question was the exact same one I was wearing, and the exact same one shown above. Dirt cheap, a wide array of colours, and choices between layer styles (if you’re after the elusive tankini, these would be the suits for you) make these definitely worthy of favouritism, nevermind that they’re the work of acclaimed SL designers Nephilaine Protagonist and Torrid Midnight. You’ll find them inconspicuously placed in vendors conveniently located near the pool in the Nakama anime-themed sim, as well as at the Iki store where they sell their ther collaborative designs (Thanks to Torrid for the correction).
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Hayate Ewing of H2L; Skin by Starley Thereian for Last Call; Bikini by Nephilaine Protagonist for Nakama]
11 photos? Can it be? Since I covered two swimsuits by the same designer, I decided to slip in a bonus suit, and this is one heck of a bonus. This is the Relay For Life Floral Stripe Saturn Swimsuit by Jonquille Noir of Little Rebel. This swimsuit is available in other colour options, but this particular pattern is special. With a jeweled pink ribbon pin on the chest, this design is a limited edition release to raise funds for the Second Life Relay for Life (SLRFL). Jonquille has other RFL charity swimsuit designs available, and so does the first designer mentioned, Antonia Marat, who did a collaboration with Emma Gilmour of Sand Shack Surf Co. to help raise L$ for this important cause. A unique designs and good karma all wrapped up with a bow, how could summer be more perfect?
[Shown in Picture: Hair by Six Kennedy of Gurl 6; Skin by sachi Vixen of Adam’n’Eve; Earrings by Launa Fauna of LF Fashions; Swimsuit by Jonquille Noir of Little Rebel]
*You may notice that my screenshots have been Photoshopped. Where applicable I’ve added a reflection in the water, as well as added slight separations to the toes, and I’ve treated every shot to a little bit more light and brilliance to reflect the summery atmosphere better. This also has the effect of changing colors ever so slightly, so be sure to double-check the vendors if you plan to buy any of these items based on the coloring alone.