SL Flickr Streams of the Day: Cool, Contemporary Fashion With Diverse Avatars

Second Life African American fashion avatar

Second Life fashion blogs tend to reflect the real life demographic background of the bloggers, which is a major reason why the avatar fashion models tend to be white and the fashions tend to be more aspirational and fantastic, rather than street-level. Here's a couple Flickr streams that do great job depicting multi-ethnic avatars in contemporary styles -- the kind I see every day here in Silverlake, Los Angeles (with the facial hair to boot!)-- beautifully presented with great use of filters and dynamic lighting.

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Second Life Fashion Bloggers Are Scrambling to Show off LeLutka's Upcoming Release (and I Can See Why)

Nana Minuet LeLutka Aria
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Over the past few days Second Life fashion bloggers have been scrambling to show off the new line of mesh heads that LeLutka will be releasing on April first. Aria, Ever and Leda (as the three available faces are called) have a high fashion look with fairly compressed features and expressions ranging from soft to stern. Apparently these mesh heads are all designed to work only in tandem with mesh bodies, which means that for a lot of us they'll be off the table for now. For others they're all the more appealing, seeming to guarantee an even more seamlessly augmented avatar.

So far no blogger has captured the expressions and elegance of each of these upcoming faces quite as well as Nana Minuet, who put together a post highlighting the upcoming release yesterday. Her shot of Aria, shown above, is easily my favorite of the lot. It's so bright and clean that you could almost expect to find it in a magazine with a perfume sample or some ad copy streaming down the side, rambling about jojoba or CC creams. And that's not a slight against her work. Her pics are vivid and polished, and easily picked out from a crowd.

You can visit Nana's blog to check out the rest in the set, though she doesn't have much to say about any of the heads in question. For that Strawberry Singh's blog post about Aria, Ever and Leda should be your next stop. As for reviews, well, so far most of the bloggers are sticking to the technical details. Expect stronger opinions to emerge after release.

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Watch it This Weekend: Virtual Fashion Designer Maylee Oh Works Her 3D Modelling Magic on Twitch

Mayleemouse Twitch
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

In spite of streaming service Twitch.tv's relative hostility towards Second Life, they do still seem okay hosting developers and artists who are streaming their process while they work on game-related assets. I hope that never changes, because I love the idea of going to the same site to watch people making games (and things for games) as I do to watch people play them. For the time being there are still plenty of Second Life content creators using Twitch to share their creation process too, including designer Maylee Oh -- and she's been particularly busy there this week.

Maylee, who runs the adorable virtual fashion brand The Secret Store, has been streaming the process of modelling her latest design with particular voracity over the past few days. Through her Twitch archives, you can watch her manipulate basic shapes into a beautifully gathered top like magic. Complicated, incredibly technical magic. In the later streams she experiments with some more complex tools and techniques, so if you're a 3D modelling beginner you may want to avoid skipping straight to the end.

The downside to watching Maylee's archives instead of catching her live is that some sections of the video are muted because of the music she was listening to at the time. Then of course there's the fact that Twitch archives have a very limited life span, so you'd be wise to watch them while you can.

You can check out Maylee Oh on Twitch here.

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Give Yourself a Very Unique Makeover With Avatars from Second Life Fashion Brand Tesla

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

Tesla Spray Avatar

Virtual fashion designer Tesla Miles has been having a bit of fun with her brand lately. Though she's most well known for creating high-quality mesh clothing and shoes, she's also been producing a series of rather offbeat avatars including a "Thing" style hand that walks on its first two digits, an anthropomorphic pile of poop and her most recent creation, the spray can avatar shown here.

According to Tesla, the spray can avatar works with your existing animations and as demonstrated in the video it shoots a fine particle mist on command. Additionally, if you have the artistic skills to make or otherwise acquire a replacement label, you can slap it directly over the one included for a touch of personalization.

You can pick up the spray can for a rather reasonable L$149 on the Second Life Marketplace, and browse Tesla's full (and cartoonishly NSFW) shop for plenty more unique alternatives to your everyday avatar. She also offers more than a few freebies there, including this itty bitty duck av in time for Easter.

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Find Your Niche: The Absolute Best Advice for Second Life Fashion Bloggers

Sub-niches-of-second-life-fashion-blogs
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Canary Beck has posted a very interesting piece over on the [SL] Blogger Support site about the importance of blogging within a niche, particularly when it comes to Second Life fashion. As its name implies, [SL] Blogger Support is a group designed to help Second Life bloggers support each other with inspiration, knowledge and resources to make virtual world blogging a little easier. While there's a wealth of helpful info on their site, Canary's piece is an absolute must-read for anyone starting to dip their toes into blogging. Really, it will make your life so much easier.

But there's one thing that Canary left out. One more reason why finding the right niche for your blog is crucial. 

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It's Easier Than Ever to Commission a Distinctive Avatar Portrait from Popular SL Artist Nylon Pinkney

Nylon Pinkney Commissions
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you haven't been waiting for a chance to get your portrait painted by Nylon Pinkney, then you probably haven't been paying attention to this offbeat Second Life designer's artistic output (which I cover fairly regularly here on NWN). Then again, maybe you're as big a fan of her work as I am and you've just been trying to work up the nerve to shoot her an IM or an email. In that case, I've got some very good news for you.

Nylon, who brands her RL art under the name Elleinadart, has made it even easier to commission her work. You can drop by her website to check out all the details, including portrait options and pricing, and fill out a form to submit your request on the spot. Even better, you can pay for your glossy digital portrait with either Paypal or L$, depending on which is more convenient.

If you've been out of the loop, in addition to being one of Second Life's most enduring and recognizable designers (not to mention Drew Carey's favorite), Nylon was the subject of a recent episode of mixed-reality mini-documentary series The Drax Files: World Makers. Her work is even gracing the cover of upcoming book Anna the Powerful

If you'd like to commission a portrait of your virtual (or real) self, just head over to Nylon's commission info page and scroll to the bottom to find the request form. Or, if you're stuck on the fence, check out more of her artwork on Tumblr.

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Familiar Faces: Popular Second Life Skin Maker Tuli Asturias Relaunches her Store at Skin Fair 2015

Tuli Asturias Skin Fair 2015
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Skin Fair 2015 is open as of today, and it's a great place to go if you're looking for a new avatar face... Or a new face for your avatar face, what with the proliferation of mesh heads in Second Life fashion and all. Along with most of the usual suspects, it's a pleasant surprise to see designer Tuli Asturias back in the mix as well. After a brief hiatus, it seems like the popular designer is back with new skins and appliers of the same gorgeous quality.

In case you're not familiar, Tuli Asturias was a well established designer in SL for quite some time. While she initially specialized in clothing and accessories, after a few years she made a sharp swerve towards skin, eye, and shape creation. She saw tremendous success in this area because, to be perfectly frank, her skins were absolutely gorgeous. As a long-time customer, it looked like she'd really found her niche. Her skins were elegant, highly-detailed, and worlds away from the oversized red lips, smoky eyes and orange-glo tans that are still a little too common today.

Suffice it to say it's good to see her back.

You can check out what Tuli's offering at Skin Fair 2015 on her Flickr, or grab a map and drop by the event [Teleport link] for yourself. 

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Iris Wants to Know: Where's Your Gacha Budget Going During the Latest Round of The Arcade?

Erratic_0314-1024x1024Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

The first round of The Arcade for 2015 opened its doors last week, and if you're fortunate enough to squeeze your way in through the massive crowds you'll be greeted with just as many unique treasures as ever. In case you need a refresher, The Arcade is one of Second Life's most popular shopping events, where designers stuff their gacha machines with sets of limited items and shoppers pay a pittance for a random chance at any of them. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but most virtual fashion and decor enthusiasts wouldn't miss it for the world.

I'm having a particularly tough time picking out which gacha lineup I like best this time around. Although I'm head-over-heels in love with the Downton-worthy ensemble that you can piece together from Erratic's gacha, a few other sets have caught my eye too. Anc Ltd.'s decor items are downright dreamy for example, while 8f8's Arcade items are like a Barbie's Tuscan Dreamhouse kit (some assembly required).

It's all a little overwhelming. That's why I want to know: Which gacha is at the top of your list for this round of The Arcade? Take a look at everything that's on offer in the official event catalogue, then leave your picks in the comments below!

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Blink and You'll Miss Them: 5 Exclusive Collabor88 Deals to Grab While You Still Can

C88 Feb 2015 Yummy
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

February is a deceptively short month, and that means that right now lost of avid Second Life fashion fans are rushing to make sure they have everything they want from their favorite limited-time events. For me, Collabor88 sits at the top of that list. February's lineup was ridiculously strong, featuring a lot of guest designers and collaboration between many of the regulars. While the event was centered around love and romance (because, you know, February) just about everything there manages to hold up to post-Valentine's day scrutiny.

So if you've yet to make the trip over to C88 yourself this month, here are a few items you won't want to miss:

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Relive Your First L$ Purchase Through These Fascinating Reader Comments

SL MeshJanine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Last week I asked NWN readers when and why you made your first virtual currency purchase in Second Life, and the answers so far have been a trip down memory lane.

Of course these answers have also been an interesting look into the early virtual lives of some infamous SLers. Arwyn Quandry, for example, got her start on the Teen Grid (back when there was a Teen Grid). Because most residents of the TG did have ready access to their own credit cards or Paypal accounts, the Teen Grid economy was wildly different from the Main Grid's. She writes:

I bought my first bunch of $L about a week before I left the Teen Grid. It was a big thing, because I didn't have my own card. I had to ask my dad to borrow his paypal account so I could get $10 worth of lindens. On the TG, that was big money - a nice pair of shoes that would go for 250 to 300 on the main grid went for maybe 100 at the most on the TG. Before that, I would wear freebies or build my own stuff. There was an educational group that gave away lindens for attending their events, so I would always go there.

When I got my ten bucks worth of $L, I bought a few outfits from my favorite designers who I wouldn't see again (at least until they transferred), gifts for some friends, and even my own plane, because why not. It was the coolest feeling being able to shop. After that, I would buy maybe once every two or three months to get a new outfit. These days, I buy a larger amount because I'm supporting a sim, but still keep my expenses fairly low.

Meanwhile, famed Second Life home and interior designer Barnesworth Anubis' first exchange of cash for L$ was so he could snap up a nice plot of land. No surprises there. The most interesting detail in his story, however, is where that cash came from:

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