With all the talk of Second Life's 10th birthday, I can't help but think about everything that's changed over the past ten years... Especially when it comes to virtual fashion. There have been so many developments that turned SL fashion on its head over and over again, shaping it into what it is today. Flexi prims, tattoo layers, even prim hair... Just thinking about them all (and the kinds of things that used to be considered to absolute height of virtual style) is enough to boggle the mind. We've come pretty far, folks.
So strap yourself into my ultra-chic time machine and let's take a trip back to revisit some of the most influential innovations in the history of Second Life style. oh, and just a heads up: There's loads of absolutely cringe-worthy oldschool Iris Ophelia after the jump, so don't say I didn't warn you!
10. Materials Project (2013)
Considering that the new viewer only went live yesterday, it's still far too early to say for sure just how influential the Materials Project will be. I'm willing to bet that if I was making this list a year or so in the future, I'd be pushing Materials much closer to the top of this list. Just take a look at the picture above, a gorgeous comparison by Damien Fate of the difference that Materials can make. I feel quite confident when I say that SL Materials will usher in a wave of even more realistic looking fashions and designs in Second Life, we just need to give it a few months to take root.
9. Flexi prims (2006)
Flexi fashion was some of the first virtual fashion I ever wrote about, just a few months after joining SL. I ambitiously put every shred of flexi I could find after it was first released into a monster of an article. It might be difficult now that rigidly modeled sculpties and mesh have all but overwritten the impact flexis had at the time, but the idea of a skirt that moved, hair that flowed, tails that could swish without awkward clockwork animation behind it -- even the massive ballgowns (at the peak of their popularity) went from stiffly starched to fluid and flowing. It felt absolutely gamechanging at the time, even though the bleeding edge of SL fashion has long since abandoned the flexi prim.
8. Tattoo Layers (2010)
Though it took a little while for people outside of the tattoo community to see the value in the tattoo layer that was added with the debut of Viewer 2, they've since become an absolute staple of SL fashion, especially when it comes to women's skins. Because it's the only layer other than the skin layer that covers the face, makeup has become the dominant use for these layers, though it's also not uncommon to see them used for enhancements like freckles, moles, cleavage, and even underclothing. The tattoo layer has made skins and SL fashion in general much more versatile and flexible, and in a lot of ways helped turn the consumer's avatar from an essentially finished work back into a canvas to be experimented with.