Saturday, September 20, 2014


Image Description: Woman in a green, purple, and black dress standing in front of a fountain.

Every now and then I take a left turn in Second Life and am reminded of a place I knew nothing about - in this case the Penumbra Fashion Week, part of a vast and sprawling empire of modeling, pageants, and fashion shows which dot the grid. It seems like usually a modelling school will have associated pageants and events which draw clothing stores and bring them both publicity and sales. In this case, there appear to be a few different events and a sales area out front, with models taking pictures and publishing them on FLickr. The clothing adheres available adheres much more closely to offline fashions, and the outre end of that, replete with odd pleats, puffy bits, and layers where one wouldn't expect them. It's also strikingly difficult to find a landmark to the sim, though I was able to find information about a number of events at their website, in addition to some stills from fashion walks. The vast number of models in Second Life are eight heads tall or more, a sliver of the population offline but readily available with a judicious use of sliders. I find the whole phenomena of fashion shows in a virtual environment completely fascinating, though it's but rarely that I find myself intersecting with it.

Image Description: Close up of feet wearing pale green espadrilles in shadow.

The interesting thing is that unlike offline - where the clothing wouldn't be available to the average person, both because it's shaped for a stark minority of body types and due to cost - here anyone with a few Linden can pick things up, and most of them will modify themselves easily for my much shorter, much rounder form. My Second Life shape is equally unusual, being a nearly perfect hourglass, but it's a different unusual shape from the tall and thin model ideal, and a different size again from the wide hipped set which is also inspired by modelling, but by the alternative, thigh gap standard of thinness. Second Life is a sort of perfect place to express physical cultural values, and so it's unsurprising that paleness, smooth hair, thinness, and various markers of class or money predominate. Unlike offline they are in the majority, however, which shifts the balance of power and leads people to seek social clout in a wide variety of ways rendered all the more transparent by how malleable they are. One of these is the Fashion Show, using the right gestures at the right times, having the right shape and accessories, and typing out the appropriate language to combine humility and gratitude to impress the judges. Another is the Blog, typing out words of analysis and snapping pictures, hoping people will pay attention.

Image Description: Torso shot of a woman in a green, purple, and black dress with her hands up. Devil and Angel Monsters are on either side of her head.

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Cassie
Pets: Breno, Alot of good and evil (Arcade)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Cosmetics: Mock, Bella Vetro Gloss
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & Feet
Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Deco
Bracelets: Bokeh, O.D Bangles

 Clothing: Bomshie, Devaki (Penumbra)
Shoes: Duh!, Green Dotty Espadrilles

Pose: Exposeur

Location: Selidor
Light Settings: Phototools, Dream Book Light 02
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

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