In Australia, we are subjected to frequent government campaigns encouraging us to buy local and keep the dollars in Australia. It’s a great message, but to my mind has always been undone by these dinky little tags that dangle off every conceivable product that has some (often fleeting) connection to Australia – the graphic design of the logo hasn’t changed since the 80’s, and rightfully deserves to be stapled to the arms of an acre’s worth of Jenny Kee jumpers… in a parallel universe… far far away.
The logo alone has been enough to make my wardrobe proudly Chinese-made.
My xenophilia (no, not the alien type) has had to take a back seat since my SL inception, however, as the quality of Australian designs in SL are wonderful, and worthy of nationalistic pride. For outfits 2 and 3 in the ‘Not Buying Anything 100’, I mashed up two all-Aussie outfits without spending a cent.
Quite well known (to me) Aussies in my inventory are Truth Hawks, Stephanie Misfit, Dakota Buck and Siddean Munro (I keep them in a jar of Vegemite in my objects folder). Even before I knew their origins, I’d loved their work. Stephanie’s skins are some of my favourites, Truth’s hair is dominating my skull (and his clothes are pretty flash too), Dakota’s old venture, Savvy? is still being worn and blogged about (it’s SL-vintage, you know!) and the prolific Siddean is a skin/shoe/clothing making machine who’s shoes look like foot heaven to me.
I also learnt in my research the Aemilia Case from Philotic Energy, Eyva Matova from Bebe and Kaysha Sion from WRONG were from the land down under and so into my mix up they went. Kaysha’s stockings in particular have been a stalwart in my inventory, and I was stocked to be able to include them into the outfits. I’ve also recently had the pleasure of meeting fellow Aussie, Evangeline Miles from Evie’s Closet, on Plurk. I’ve long heard of Evie’s Closet but have somehow managed to never tp over – it will be first cab off the rank once the challenge is over!
Because the dinky seems to have been hard-wired into me by those awful little propaganda tags, I couldn’t help but raid my brush folder and pepper the sky with stars, cos that’s what these kids are.
But truthfully, with as little cynicism as an Australian can muster, it makes me proud to have bought Australian.
My last few SL purchases (before my self imposed shopping embargo) were full of joy – I discovered Kraftica and BLAND, I finally went shopping for Gala Phoenix skins (it’s ♥ baby!), I was really excited by products from Pink Outfitters and KessKreations and I got foxy new Ottico glasses… (please imagine dancing banana here). It’s been so long since I’ve had time to play dress ups and get snapping, but these purchases DEMANDED my attention.
Gala Phoenix continues to offer one of the greatest skin deals in SL – 8 skins for $5000L (which is in effect 16 skins, as she offers a plain and freckled version for each make up). While she was helping me with my order (I are smart but can’t count), I asked Gala which was her favourite make-up. She immediately sent me Sari (above) and as I slipped her on I experienced a most profound narcissism – it was quite unseemly but most satisfying – and haven’t budged from Gala’s skins since.
I told Gala I’d blog an outfit based on this skin, and the outfit I created was cute (and took ages – you don’t want to pay homage to a designer’s skill with any old junk), but when it came time to take pictures, all I could do was focus on the face and those beautiful, shiny, luscious lips (here comes that narcissism again!), and I’m almost annoyed that I left on my great new Ottico glasses, because you can’t make out the sheeny, pinky eyeshadow as well as it deserves. I’ve worn Gala’s skins throughout this post, andn with La Sylphide’s Erin range, I have found a new standard in skins. I am well pleased.
I don’t remember the series of TP’s I took that landed me in BLAND, but I felt like an explorer sighting unchartered land – “I say, chaps, haven’t seen this one on the blogs yet! Could we have tapped a vein of unhyped merchandising?! Pip pip, man, pass me the Pimms! We’ve some reviewing to do!!” (Turns out SCD got there first, but my enthusiasm didn’t wane). Chav Paderborn & Rachel Breaker create bold, bright and exuberant pieces that aren’t 100% refined as yet, but are brimming with originality and fun. I peg them as people of interest, and intend to keep an eye on them from this point onwards (that sounds creepy and ominous, doesn’t it?).
When I wandered into Kraftica for the first time, I was baffled that I’d never heard of the brand before – the shop design is great, the metallic textures are amazing and the line is designed with real skill and prim-manship. My jewelry folder is positively bulging with all of the purchases I absolutely had to have, and this is the first time (in either world) where gold jewelry has appealed to me. I take my hat off to Anuitka Barthelmess, and this is one of the rare occasions where I counsel absolute and unfettered fangirlieness – GO! BUY!
Speaking of jewelers with flair, Kesseret Steeplechase’s very refined selection of jewelry is expanding (very rapidly) to include a full clothing range that’s hand-drawn, with dramatic shading and featuring a really pretty colour palate. I’m wearing her pearl necklace and bracelet above, and the lustre of the pearls is just perfect, with a lovely creamy colour that offsets the skin tone I’ve chosen from Gala’s range.
My favourite dress maker, Evelyn Edelman from Big Booty Big Money, has a new main store at Floyd and handful of new releases that continue in her whimsical and distinctive style. The Twilit Grotto dress, above, features a contrasting petticoat (which you can’t see) that perfectly colour matches with my Savvy? bustier (I’m yet to discover an outfit that isn’t improved with those bustiers). I think if I were ever to use any SL clothes as templates for RL designs, BBBM would be my starting off point.
Pink Outfitters creator, London Dailey, is building an empire. Her recent sim purchase, OnRez store and her very sleek and well organised website suggests a mastermind with a with a strategy to win SL (if not SL, then the hearts and wallets of the fashionable) and she’s doing so with a good range of casual wear, accessories and skins. I’m wearing the Pink Outfitters signature colour tank and hoodie (that I’ve been wearing off and on since Halloween) with a (modified) Tres Blah shirt and Canimal pants. This pink punk style is just WIN to me – edgy but sweet, strong but not aggressive, and it’s capped off by a slightly edgier than normal Truth hair and Turnstyle earrings.
I don’t usually sleep on the job, but I’m getting my rest in now because I’ve set myself a challenge – I want to blog 100 outfits without spending a cent.
I was inspired by Ketsy’s post to make the most of the inventory I already have and to save some $ along the way. I would suggest this as a blogger challenge, but I don’t want designers to go broke, and only a lunatic would attempt 100 outfits when their post count is a measly 48… I’ll probably still be blogging this when we’re happily entrenched in our third lives.
I’ve been busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger of late. Running two businesses, spending time with my family, Plurking (bad Plurk’s stealing all your good blog posts – you know that right?) and actually hanging wallpaper (with two arms not one, thankfully) has drained me outright.
Trust me to wander the grid looking for spooky haunted houses (the one over at Grim Babies was great fun) only to nap through all the fun. Well, at least I think it was fun – my host there in the background left some wicked bite marks on me while I snoozed, so I’m assuming it was fun for her. Hope she took pictures!
Though I haven’t been participating much in the ol’SL™, I have been thinking about a few things, and I wanted your opinion…
A quick run down on my thoughts:
* I love the Halloween costume collaborations that Torrid, Starley, Kari and Haver have recently put out, and I’d love to see more joint efforts from other designers that aren’t necessarily holiday-theme based. It seems to refresh their work and I think their offerings are stronger (if that’s possible) for their common theme and goal.
* Creative store designs = love. I think this stemmed from the Grim Babies haunted house, where everything was for sale and the shopping experience was entirely immersive, providing a great contrast to the Armidi-cloned shop layout that everyone now seems to favour. I feel like I want MORE from my designers than just good clothes. How much fun is shopping at Kurotsubaki, for instance?
* I included CSRs but to be honest I’ve never needed one. How do you use them? Do we need more?
* I have mixed feelings about designer superstores, a la Muism, Armidi, The Abyss … on one hand, if the designers are really so good at designing, why not try a hand at everything? On the other hand, people specialise for a reason, right? But on the other hand, convenient one-stop-shops are cool. On the other hand, dressing head to toe in a designer and MAJOR LAG = boo.
* Limited edition releases turn me on in the biggest way, especially when they aren’t priced exclusively for shipping magnates and oil barons. My budget’s been a little pinched of late, but I got so excited when Charlotte Morellet blogged about the orphaned skins that had no home after being ordered from SodaSkins.com – $399 for a unique skin, whenever she chose to put one out. Rare, unique and great value? Hubba hubba!
* I fear I’m going to be a little on my own with wanting more hand-drawn and less photosourced. Yes, I know it looks real, but does that make it better?
* It’s a been a gripe for a long time – insipid posts praising and fawning over less than good designs and articulations of designs. Though many blog only what they like, the singular lack of critique (not bitchiness, mind – others cover that department well enough) is a poor state of affairs – healthy and constructive criticism can surely improve everyone’s lot, no?
* Tuli’s launch of the Journey sim struck me as the best and most creative way yet to harness SL™’s capabilities to showcase new releases: “Instead of the typical runway show, the models of Second Look Studio will be displaying clothing from the participating shops for the duration of the event. See the models on display, pick up a style card, and visit the shops. The sim is beautiful, bring your camera!”… GENIUS! Actually, not really genius, more common sense than trying to recreate a pseudo runway where you hope less then 20 people show for the sake of photos.
A bit of a ramble from me, but I’d really like to hear your comments.
Also… I have a great selection of stuff to blog soon, from KessKreations, Pink Outfitters, SLink and YumYum. Pray the wallpaper stays up, and I should be back soon. Stay tuned!
I occasionally (read: daily) check my blog stats to see if I’ve won the internet yet. I especially like to look at the search engine terms, as they’re a good indicator of what you, the reader/unintentional blog stumbler, are interested in. They can also be a source of hilarity – Y Me had a monthly post to commemorate the bizarre terms that landed people on the Y Me site, and those posts almost overshadowed the journalism with their sound bites of absurdity.
Today, my blog was clicked on (in fact, I’d say more likely touched) by a fellow who had a simple, yet important question: do girls like boys with nose rings? Yes, anonymous cyber-guest, the answer is yes. At least if you’re talking to me.
I’ve been paying scant attention to the feed of late – I think the summer/winter hiatus is to blame, and I’ve found I’ll only slow my manic scrolling if the pictures are pretty or if something looks scandalous… cos I’m deep like that. One design that did get my attention was the Sweetest Goodbye Schoolgirl (and boy) ensemble, that did the rounds a few months ago. I thought the quality of the sculpties and the sharpness of the ensemble’s styling earned them a visit.
Much like my visit to Aoharu sometime ago, I was thrilled to find a well-stocked and thriving store with a bevy of items that covered men and women’s clothes, hair, accessories and skins. There are a range of styles offered, from semi-traditional Korean National dress to booty shorts, metallic jackets to his-‘n-hers matching t-shirts. Sweetest Goodbye’s prices are reasonable and lots of layers are offered, which is a boon for us obsessive mix and matchers.
I thought, for a change, I’d venture outside of my photographic comfort zone (otherwise known as the Photosphere), I’d lose the facelight and I’d go on location. I chose The Wastelands for a few reasons – there was a huge variety of objects with built in poses (some of which required lightning reflexes to capture a specific pose – both a challenge and a bit of fun), playing with the environment settings made a desolate landscape look positively frightening, and the location seemed to suit my eclectic styling of Sweetest Goodbye’s offerings.
Great quality, some interesting cuts and design styles and lots of layers make me one happy shopper – make sure you say hello to the Sweetest Goodbye.