There's a girl named Tiffany who blogs about real fashion that's Offbeat & Inspired, and when she published this post of how she dressed last New Year's Eve, I asked her what this mega-stylish ensemble would look like in Second Life, if she could show me the translation. Because, you see, in Second Life, Tiffany is an avatar named Emma Gilmour (and sometimes Elie Spot), and Emma is the co-creator of a successful SL fashion brand named Mon Tissu that's a favorite of NWN readers. And so Emma/Tiffany did, and she and her avatar look like this:
"I actually only started a RL blog about 5 months ago," Tiffany told me, "so I haven't had the chance to take the real life styles I blog about to SL yet, but my RL style has always strongly influenced my SL style." Naturally I wanted to know more -- about how she discovered SL, how she became a SL designer, and much more still -- and she told me that too, read on, read on:
How she discovered Second Life:
"I come from a family of gamers who were really into World of Warcraft back in 2006. They got me into it with a free 30 day trial.. so when my trial ended, I was Googling for free versions (which I quickly found out don't exist), when I saw an ad for Second Life. It reminded me of The Sims and since I was a little Sims-obsessed, I downloaded the client and logged in to explore. My goal right away was to dress my avatar the way I do in real life, but I was having a hard time finding my style. Most of the stuff was club-wear. After a few days I found out all the content was user-created (most importantly, the clothing) which led to a new-found obsession and the birth of Sand Shack Surf Co. -- my first SL clothing store!"
How she became an SL fashion designer:
"At first I was only making clothing so I could dress myself. After a few days of wandering sandboxes, I may or may not have fallen into a bad crowd. They told me it was a good idea to sell my clothing directly from my inventory. They gave me a lot of 'free stuff' in neon-colored boxes with hover text -- unfortunately I was too new to recognize the copy-botting. Well, I promptly got caught illegally selling out of my virtual trench coat at a sandbox one day, and was asked to leave. I went to another sandbox where a kind soul advised me to set up shop in an actual store space. They didn't mention I had to pay rent so I found a store space and rezzed my boxes, which were returned to me 30 minutes later.
"After a while, I got tired of setting up shop every day and was contacted by the owner of the building who told me it was rude to rez my vendors in someone else's store. Thus my first lessons in the purpose of auto-return and the need to pay for my own store space. I was racking up newb offenses left and right. I finally rented my own spot (legally), and was taken under the wing of Ashlin Leandros who owned Mixers Boutique (shoe store) and she taught me the ins and outs of running a store in SL. Shortly after, I met Callie Cline who helped me learn how to make clothing and Antonia Marat (own of Artilleri) who became my very close friend and generously offered me a larger store space where Surf Co. sat for about 4 years."
What inspires the look and style of her avatar:
"I came to SL wanting to dress up like the real me. I never really tried to make my avatar look like myself (other than the clothing) because I see SL as a place to experiment and play. I've tried different body types, different hair colors, different skin colors, different nationalities -- all of it has been so much fun. At times I would try to make my avatar look like me, but it's not really a goal of mine. It's just fun to play that way sometimes."
What she says to people who assume SLers are all unattractive in real life, and not, say, like Tiffany too:
"I've met gorgeous people all over SL. Beautiful inside and out. If people are ignorant enough to make a comment like that about people who play Second Life, it's clear they've never spent much time there. I tell them that just like any job or hobby, SL consists of people from all walks of life gathering to do something they enjoy. Who has any right to judge or look down on that? I've met so many talented artists, musicians, athletes, teachers, students, designers, photographers, programmers -- the list goes on. SL is bursting at the seams with talent, so unfortunately for those passing judgement on us, they are the ones missing out."
The clothes styles Emma is wearing:
- Top - Mon Tissu
- Skirt - Mon Tissu
- Tights - Mon Tissu
- Necklaces - Maxi Gossamer
- Boots - J's
The clothes styles Tiffany is wearing:
- Dress - Altar'd State (by Black Sheep)
- Tights - Express
- Necklaces - JewelMint
- Boots - Frye