Wednesday, July 30, 2014
One of my favorite stories of my young adulthood was written by Marie- Jeanne L'heritier during the late Baroque period - one of the periods covered by Genre right now - an era of sumptuous clothing among the courtiers and witty salons within which much was discussed - building up to the crescendo before the reign of terror in the late 1700s. It's the story of a careful, wise princess who navigates a number of troubling attempts at disrupting her honor, her safety, and her life at the hand of a single, vindictive man. I sometimes wish for her poise and clarity; being a fairy tale, the princess is one step ahead all along the way, and it's part of what I really love about the story. Finette is wise without being cruel - though her Fairy Godmother more than makes up for that lack of cruelty. Much as I love Finette, I fear I have far more in common with her sister, Nonchalant, than the estimable Discreet Princess.
My gown is a gorgeous release from The Library with the long bodice and wide skirts characteristic of this era. The gold is pretty consistent, but the colors vary - I chose blue but there's a whole range of rich, dark shades available. It's rigged in an interesting manner, bending slightly with my legs, but not too much - I'm not quite sure how she pulled it off, but it's a very neat effect. A gown this impressive needs an equally impressive hairstyle, and I got that and more with this astonishing confection from Bliensen + MaiTai, complete with roses and lace on one side. There are tiny curls all along the browline, and corkscrew curls for over the ears - my one wish was that they be linked separately, so I could move them around my enormous ears, but honestly the rest is so gorgeous I don't think anyone will notice my magic curls. I tucked in under the roses a lovely brooch from Eclectica set in a diamond pattern, which color changes on touch.
Every princess, Discreet or not, needs a slew of accessories. My lips are slightly pouty and decorated with shiny sheen from La Petite Morte, a perfect cupid's bow. There are a wide variety of shades available, but I went with rose red. I added on a lovely set of pearls from Lost Junction with a bow at the back of the neck. I particularly like the findings on the back of the neck - it's such a unique and delicate touch - and it comes in three shades: cream, pink, and white. You can also get it with large symbols in gemstones across the front, but I fell in love with the simple triple strand. Finally, perfect for flirting behind is my gorgeous pink and blue fan from The Muses. It's a gorgeous combo of ivory peacock feathers and gold embossed base, and there's one for each hand. I love the curve of the peacock feathers - two rows of them arching delicately out to the sides.
Monday, July 28, 2014
I'm going through old folders, trying to catch up and clear things out a little. This gorgeous gown from Peqe is one such casualty of time - or rather the lack of - but I'm so glad I fished it out of the depths. I really love the side slits over the legs, and the arm detailing - with the color high around the neck in front and back - makes it truly an elegant gown with a unique silhouette.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Recently I've run across a new set of criteria for comparing and contrasting moralities, called the Moral Foundations. As of yet, they've identified five, possibly six, axis that seem to show up in a lot of different cultures. The five which are fairly solid in their system are: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation, and the sixth new one is liberty/oppression - which was pealed off from fairness and offers a counterpoint to authority and loyalty. One of the fun things about the related Your Morals website is that you can participate in a variety of studies, getting a picture of your own moral compass and where you stand relative to other people. It's very US-Centric, and very focused on the Democrat/Liberal and Republican/Conservative divide, where the political party is assumed to have a 1:1 correlation to the ideology. It is also weirdly divorced from tangible things, and there's a presumption of monotheism/atheism and a use of some dog whistles which gave me pause. For example, the term "unnatural" was used, as was "chastity", and the 'religious' question referenced God. I had to struggle with my knee-jerk responses to those terms, as they've been used a lot by people whose politics are different than mine, but they have native meanings beyond those dog whistles.
I also found myself struck by the ideas of sanctity, which could have a Christo-centric meaning, but which has religious meaning for myself as well - and also intersects with one of my basic moral axioms, which is of beauty. I am simultaneously intrigued and skeptical about this identification of axioms, and despite the claims of universality, I find the focus on US-Centric politics troubling. I've had some fun taking other tests to see how I play out in comparison to "liberals" and "conservatives" and it's been interesting to see where I leave both of them behind, and where I split the mean between them.I'm still turning the terms chosen and the various implications of the researcher through my head; while he talks a lot about how Liberals tend to not value loyalty, for example, I have found that Liberals don't value loyalty until you aren't being loyal to them; likewise, while there is a lauded and vocal disrespect for authority among many liberals, the backlash if one critiques one of their authorities can be harsh. They don't seem to have much in place currently to test for implicit values as opposed to explicit ones, and I'm not convinced the two are the same; either that, or implicit values can distort explicit ones rather severely.
In contrast to my heavy, thoughtful thoughts - my outfit today is all sorbet pastels. The whole look was inspired by this ANE miniskirt in an astonishing combination of pastels. It was available in other, less splooshy collections of colors, but I went right for the closest to rainbow I could find and never looked back. The design is very simple and edged such that it takes light very well, offering up a bright or dark line as the situation suggests. I also quite liked the slit in the back, which offered up interesting shadows depending on my leg position. The hair, a free gift at the Hair Faire from Exile, was simply perfect with the colors. I love how each color is stripy and blends with the others while remaining distinct. My shoes, a new release at My Attic from Has Been, were another handy find - with each section tintable, I could get the sorbet feel that had been set by my hair and dress only this time in layers of soft color.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
After a very long hiatus, Dilly Dolls is back with awesome stripy shoes from the depths of her inventory. They're completely cute, with offset stripes across the nose of the shoe. I also like the curve of the heel -with the flair out at the bottom for support. There are solid colored ones at her marketplace for sale, but you can actually pick up these at Freestyle for absolutely free. Yes, you read that right - free.
The pretty jewelry on my ankles - and also around my wrists, upper arms, and neck - are a torc set from Sublime Shroud Kreations that are color change on touch. They're simple but elegant - check out the gems on the open edge.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
There are five days left before The Secret Affair leaves us forever - on the 29th - and if you haven't been by, I highly recommend it. I ended up falling into adoration with a new store called Pixicat, which put together this really unique and sexy dress and these amazing Baroque shoes. The dress is a combination of corset-style and colorblock with intricate patterns overlaying the colorblocked panels. I love the weavework of the corsetry between the panels; if you look closely, you'll see that the ribbon slotted through lies perfectly, curving over and under the edges of the pattern smoothly and realistically. I also love it's subdued sexiness; the bodice is covering enough, but the additional ribbon along the top edge gives it a dangerous edge it wouldn't otherwise have. I also love the length - many would be tempted to make this kind of a dress a miniskirt, but the knee length balances out classy and sexy perfectly. The shoes, on the other hand, are simply a blast. Waves of curls reminiscent of a heavy picture frame support a high SLink heel held on with thick straps. The straps themselves are color changeable through a HUD; the heels are available in white, black, and a variety of metals. I indulged in this white pair as a way to keep my entire look white, but balanced it with black straps which I also echoed in the bracers from The Annex; strappy, dark, and bold.
The Annex bracers come with a lovely veiled hairband with large, creamy flowers on it. I bought the set for the veil - it's mesh, with large pearls sewn into the mesh, and the flowers are luxurious and lovely over the top of the head. Since I was trying to walk a sexy and elegant line, this additional bit of concealment is perfection. I tucked the veiling over another wonderful hairstyle from Discord Designs (available at Hair Faire), with braids tied back in a loose chignon. I'm showing off one of the lighter blonds here, but it's available in a variety of colors. In contrast with many of her other braids, this one has a curling, almost spiral pattern across the skill which I simply adore; I have an abiding love of the more complicated braid patterns developed by black, Caribbean, and African cultures. Discord Designs' styles are particularly perfect for close-held hairbands and crowns, offering a stylish base for your best princesses. My necklace is also from The Secret Affair, a deceptively simple curve from 22769. From a distance it appears like a thick chain necklace, but up close you can see the overlaid leafs in a gentle ombre from dark gray to a blinding blue-white. I really love how distance makes such a difference with how this particular piece of jewelry looks - that's an additional layer to a complicated look. It is a single piece, though; something I appreciated when I made it a little thicker to fit around my neck perfectly.
I ended up at the RFL Track for pictures; every year they do a number of amazing sims along the edges, and this year one of them was from Fallen Gods' creator Alia Baroque. Growth and Decay is a gorgeous NeoClassical landscape with bridges and rivers on either side.
Monday, July 21, 2014
The Empire waistline owes a lot of its simplicity to Neoclassical styles and popularity, and is loosely based off of the chiton of the Greeks which was belted under the bust for women. It was developed primarily in France, and also ushered in an era of short, often curly hair, thin ribbons to hold up the hair, and additional garments like shawls for the purpose of warmth and to offer some cover for bare arms and throats. In England, the style was popularized by Emma, Lady Hamilton even though England and France were at war, and heralded an era of Neoclassical influence which would continue until Queen Victoria took the throne. Austen is firmly seated in the middle of all of this, where serious topics were skimmed over with a narrow margin of pleasure-seeking and Empire building. In between the careful maneuvering of her novels, hints of the horrors which lay beyond the drawing room can be seen, and very few families are untouched by war and strife. Out of this era strolls this evening dress from Junbug tucked under a military-style pelisse. It's available in a variety of shades, though I picked up the pale pick for 50L Friday, along with the texture-matching shoes fit for the SLink high feet. With a fine lace fischu, I could walk along any street in absolute comfort and style as well - the color combination and length are charming, and it moves well. The coat is also available separately, and would be very fine over a variety of empire gowns.
I pulled my accessories from a variety of current events, leaping around rather like a gazelle - or something equally graceful and unpredictable. From the Hair Faire I have an amazing updo from Ploom. It fits extremely well, and is layered and built very realistically. The bow hair flops slightly as one would expect hair too, and has an amazing softness around the edges. The bangs alternate between being tucked sedately behind the ears, and dangling down in front with a gentle curl, and are layered such that they fall naturally around the face. Like always, Ploom offers up a wide variety or hair shade options - in this case I went with a blond/yellow/pink fade which made the "bow" part of the hair look particularly fun. The bangline of my hair worked beautifully with the pr!tty flowerband I picked up at One Word. It came with a single or double set of flowers, and I really loved both the shape - which reminded me strongly of the foam flowers you can buy in craft stores - and the gentle pastel colors. Finally, my jewelry is a new release at Genre from Eclectica, a glorious baroque set with dangling teal gems. Earrings, rings, and a generous necklace are included, and they offer up a bold statement to balance out my relatively simpler gown. I really like the asymetrical but balanced arrangement - and the fact I was able to echo the jewelry with the cosmetics around my eyes. The flower pattern I echoed through a White Widow design, with large, swirling bronze flowers. The teal I echoed with one of my best and narrowest eyeliners from cheLLe; I love how bright it looks against the bronze and black.
One final note - my gorgeous poses are from !bang, which recently moved to a new store and is having a sale associated with the move. I was able to fill out a lot of my collection there, and I really recommend you check it out soon.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This post is going to be more than a little event heavy. July has had a slew of events and there's no sign of us slowing down any time soon. Fit for a Princess continues until the end of the month, and it has lovely things for anyone seeking a Happily Ever After like this white gown from Kouse's Sanctum, also available in an amazing array of colors besides. It has a gorgeous, hip-length corset with delicate curls upon it. The sleeves have pleasant puffs, and the neckline is a lovely square one; I had a little skin-bleeding through some of the ruffles since I'm a scooch fatter than the average avatar, but otherwise the fit is easy and good, and the included invisible layer works well without leaving any gaps. Each side of the skirt is strongly rigged to the legs, which means in poses where one leg is before the other you end up with a sharp angle, but other than that it moves quite well, and the length is such that you can see the peeping of shoes - or in this case bare feet - under the hem. I truly adore it; in fact, I'm considering adding to my considerable Kousely-Collection with a few more colors. I think the length of the corset is my favorite aspect, as I'm particularly fond of that smooth line over the hips with a flair out below. I'm also still wearing the nail shades from Frogstar on my fingers and toes, this time in a blindingly white shade which works beautifully with the rest of my look. I love how muted the colors are in this particular set, but the white itself is glorious.
My hair is a gloriously twisted updo from Ploom which takes full advantage of Ploom's divine ombre shades. I know I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating that these really add an incredibly punch to Ploom's styles - and you can see why in the gorgeous swirl where the color goes from a pale blond, through pink and green and ending on an eye-smartingly-bright blue. I love the effect of a relatively usual shade becoming suddenly rich and unusual - and in this case it adds a delicious pop of color to balance out darker shades elsewhere in my look. This particular look is one of several available at the Hair Faire, and well worth braving the lag and avatars to find. It fit perfectly, with delicate tendrils along the sides of the face far enough forward to not interfere with my ears; truly perfection held up with pins. Darker shades also come in with this set of color-changing jewelry from Elemental. This is one of the four cool color shades, a lovely rich purple, and the metals are color changing as well through a dizzying array of options, including several combination metals like a gold-tinted silver scale.
Oh My Gacha offers up another dizzying array, this time of gachas. I was completely floored by a sim full from edge to edge with gacha machines, often several from the same store, each with their own offerings. Naminoke is one of my favorite gachas to play, as the prices tend to be on the low side and the offerings are so adorable. In this case, it's sets of colored flowers to cling to several parts of the body - from growing out of the temples to twining around the wrists to clinging to the ankles. At least three different color sets - two shades of purple and a lovely blue - are available, and often they have additional flourishes like silvery strands from the hair or little creatures lurking among the blossoms. Sadly, I didn't end up with a full set of any color, but I have high hopes of running across these in a yard sale and filling out my collections. Finally, the ribbons around my toes are from BooBubbleGum and I was lucky enough to score the rare, which includes this cute charm above the heel. The ribbons themselves are rigged for the SLink high heels, but the charm is editable so that if it lands too far down your foot you can shift it around to fit smoothly. Since I ended up with the rare, I also ended up with a charming HUD to change the colors - including to this pure white shade. I've been wishing for foot ribbons for a long while, and these cheer me immensely.