Monday, July 22, 2013

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Monday Flickr Fix: Loony Columbia's Expressive (and Ultra Kawaii) Fashion Snaps

Loony Columbia
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Basic fashion photography is Second Life is not hard. Rigid poses, straightforward outfits, blank faces, all these things are pretty easily accomplished at this point. That's what makes the expressive and hella-cute pics that fill Loony Columbia's Flickr gallery (potentially NSFW) stand out; they're clean and uncluttered, but also incredibly natural-looking. In many cases they're the kind of pictures you'd find on an ulzzang blog, emphasizing natural beauty with a lot of playful poses and expressions alongside a fair amount of twee, hyper-feminine fashions.

Her cuteness, muted color palettes, and outstanding sense of style aside, there's one very specific thing I admire about Loony...

Loony Columbia 2

There's a trend among many smaller skin brands (usually ones helmed by Japanese or Korean designers) to have thinner, more "natural" looking lips, which flies in the face of the slick and overly-plump lips you'll still find on most skins in SL.

This cleaner look is one that I've had a really hard time getting right on my avatar, which makes me appreciate how beautifully Loony manages it. The mouth area on the SL mesh isn't the nicest to work with, but with sliders, expressions, and likely some Photoshop in equal measure, Loony's lips are flawless.

But still, there's one more thing to love about her Flickr; Loony also posts screenshots of games from time to time, including Skyrim (who doesn't love Skyrim?!) and even Kindness Coins, an indie game made for the Pulse-Pounding Heart-Stopping Dating Sim game jam. Kindness Coins was one of my favorite games to come out of the PPHS jam, so how can I not give Loony props for playing it?

Unfortunately Loony doesn't seem to have a blog (though I'd love to see one from her) but you can find all her pics (and even a few videos) on Flickr.

(Hat tip to Anemysk Karu for pointing Loony's work out on Plurk!)

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Timesand has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan andwith pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.

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CronoCloud Creeggan

To me, most of those pics don't stand out, because they DO look "ulzzang" or like every other twee-girly cutesy pose fashion blog out there. Google image search for ulzzang and it looks like an SL blog...but with people.

Perhaps I'm a bit jaded, but I've been seeing pics like that since 2006, though in the old days the skins weren't as good and the current variants look more realistically Japanese or Korean than the old days. Similar shapes too.

But Loony did vary things in the past so it isn't all 12 year old Japanese/Korean girls making V-signs in a hoodie with rabbit ears all the time, and apparently she's running some kind of modded Skyrim that makes her Dovahkin pretty. And she apparently has a Taru-Taru...I mean Lalafell, in Final Fantasy XIV.

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