AVENUE ultimate style Magazine issue 55 / April 2013
Photographer Eve Kezan Outfit: Rock n Roll Circus 2 @ MWFW by Faster Pussycat.
pring is finally here, and as nature’s colors imbue our world with its life and vivacity, it certainly has flourished in my own. Anyone who knows me well knows that my wardrobe is filled with lots of black - not that it represents a morbid sense of style, but I have always found black the ubiquitous color that is classically cool and spot-on. Just before Spring came, I was challenged to inject some colors in my wardrobe and little by little, I have been braving the relatively unknown and surprised myself with all sorts of colors - even pink! So, the moral of the story here is to always stay open to new experiences and never say never.
This month’s fashion theme is aptly themed Neo-Romantic which is one of my favourite real life fashion trends this season. As the theme suggests, it is about a new or renewed romance this Spring with fluorishes of old coupled with new lines, forms and textures. We hope that the various directions that our stylists have whipped up with this theme will bring you a new romance with fashion and inspire you to try new things with what you wear… and even with what you may do. So, let’s spring forth into the season of new romance, with tippy toes that dance amongst fresh blooms as swirls of colors, fresh and light, sweep us up into a joyful revelry and spirit of embracing the new.
Rusch Raymaker Publisher
Photographer Julie Hastings
pril is upon us already, and the season is abloom with color and the romance of spring. We at AVENUE Magazine are happy to showcase of for you some of the newest Spring fashion and most vivid seasonal styles in our April pages, as we present our take on Neo-Romantic fashion and more. But first, sit back and read all about the subject of our cover story, Anjelika Rexen and *AR* Furniture. Rexen is a whirlwind of energetic creativity and a cutting edge talent in the creation of furniture and more for families and children of the grid. Bringing fairytales to life, Rexen instills a special kind of magic reminiscent of the true joys of childhood, and AVENUE’s story about her is not to be missed. Stepping back into fashion, AVENUE highlights Kallisto Destiny, designer and proprietor of DRIFT, and Jill-of-all-tradesextraordinaire. We hope our readers will enjoy sitting down to get to know Kallisto Destiny as much as we have and that everyone will take a trip to DRIFT to see the colorful Spring creations in the shop for the new season. With soft colors, light seasonal fabrics, and delicate textures, our team of skilled stylists come together in April to show you their colors. Check out the fashion pages as Absinthe, Anna, Miaa and Winter present you with spring romance, AVENUE style. Always on top of current events in fashion,
AVENUE brings you a behindthe-scenes peek at the upcoming Menswear Fashion Week as we introduce you to the woman at the helm of this spectacular annual event, Lexie Jansma. You will also read about a new charity event for the Sightsavers organization, and see why designers and various fashion agencies will be coming together to support this very worthy cause. In Lifestyle this month, feast your eyes on the talented handiwork of Tobias Convair and Daphne Klossovsky, the designers of Handverk. With everything from creative and whimsical architectural design to unique and timeless accessories for your avatar, these masterminds are a force to be reckoned with and are definitely here to stay. Take a stroll to the Pixel Pot Restaurant, and don’t forget to stop for an evening at the hottest new club to hit the grid, zenshi’s zenzibar. Lastly, but not least, AVENUE takes you on a delightful journey where you will get a taste of “The Enduring Style of Tuscany.” This is but a small sneak peek of what AVENUE Magazine has in store for you in this April issue. We are pleased to present you with all of this and more, from our family to yours, and we wish you a colorful and joyful Spring.
Xandrah Sciavo Editor in Chief
20 Cover Story
Fashion 20 38 52 64 78 90 110 122 132 142 152 162
Cover Story AR Furniture Couture Clash Buongiorno Principessa! Featured Designer Drift Trendspotting My Secret Garden miStyle Geometries and Accents The Details Just Breath, Just believe Edge of Style Mahalin Look of the Month Looks Blogspot Let go AVENUE Models Style Up Pastel Dream Fashion Agenda MWFW For the Love of SightSavers Magazine cover Featuring AR Furniture Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
172 180 190 204 214 224 236
Lifestyle Feature 242 Handverk 252 Roleplay Ancient Alexandria 264 Landscape & Gardens Tuscany Architecture & Interiors Elegant Geometry Live Entertainment zenzibar Hotspots Of Pixel Pots and Coffee Perspectives And you are done
Arts Feature Visions of Future Feature Artist Bamboo Barnes Performing Arts SkyDance
Models Ewan Crumb & Estela Serenity
AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: Zenshi East 62.118.26 For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases, join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers Press releases to: firstname.lastname@example.org Ad queries: email@example.com Advertising and vendor requests: Absinthe Montenegro, Amazon Silverweb, Kerasia Hexicola, Leezah Kaddour, Xandrah Sciavo
Staff & Contributors Publisher Rusch Raymaker Editor in Chief Xandrah Sciavo Creative Director Leah McCullough Fashion Editor Anna Sapphire Lifestyle Editor Umberto Giano Vice-President of Marketing Amazon Silverweb Marketing Manager Absinthe Montenegro Marketing Executives Amita Yorcliffe, Kerasia Hexicola, Leezah Kaddour, Pablo Starsmith, Yeriak Couturier
Writers Carter Giacobini, Casja Lilliehook, Huckleberry Hax, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Louise McWinnie, Prisilla Avro, Quan Lavender, Spruce Canning, Umberto Giano, Xi Zane, Ziki Questi Stylists Absinthe Montenegro, Anna Sapphire, Boe Cortes, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Diconay Boa, Eira Juliesse, Gabe Bookmite, Hikaru Enimo, Jax Aster, Leah McCullough, Miaa Rebane, Neva Crystall, Winter Jefferson Photographers Absinthe Montenegro, Annough Lykin, Citta Wiskee, Eira Juliesse, Eve Kazan, Leah McCullough, Natasja Schumann, Neva Crystall, Piedra Lubitsch, Zazie Graphic Designers Absinthe Montenegro Grant Valeska Contributor Nariko Okawa
Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Piedra Lubitsch “So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” J.M. Barrie
f you want to understand the appeal of living as a child in Second Life®, just spend an hour at *AR* Furniture and More. When you arrive, you have the option of exploring different departments. You really should start at the playground. After you jump on your second merry-goround ride, giddy from spinning and from recess memories, you will get an inkling of the magic of childhood rediscovered. Then try out the monkey bars or the slide. Try them all. Then try to resist the pull of childhood.
Anjelika Rexen is the creative spirit bringing childhood to life for SL® residents. With playground equipment, clothing, skins, avatars and furniture, her store is a gateway to Never Never Land. “Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.” J.M. Barrie Furniture is the mainstay of *AR* Furniture, and there are so many choices to recreate a Never Never Land. Rexen finds her inspiration everywhere, from the cultural influences in magazines, film and music to phrases caught in conversations to the stuff of dreams. For her, “a single idea can become a whole room, a special space.” Special spaces are where she is making dreams come true. Children can play and sleep in the wild west, in outer space, in fairyland, in the jungle or many more themed rooms that bring dreams to life. Among her newest releases, Mia is a classically elegant child’s room, Little Gentleman has an amazing car/bed combo that should drive many adventurous dreams, and then there is an outdoor play jungle for roasting marshmallows and beating on drums that even has sound effects. The trouble with *AR* Furniture is that there is so much to delight, that you will struggle to choose just one. Fortunately in SL®, a child can have five bedrooms or even more.
The real magic of her furniture, though, is not just their beautiful design and construction, but the lifelike and natural animations that bring them to life and animate the dreams of the families who choose them. From loving parent and child animations to the gloriously free games and playtime animations for the children, everything recalls a childhood full of love and happiness. “You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.” J.M. Barrie It seems appropriate that Rexen changed her own childhood bedroom a lot, playing with colors, textures and decor. She recalls, “My first memory is a pink room. I had when i was about eight. The walls were pale pink, one wall was filled with a closet and the other wall with big windows. The curtains were darker pink, The bedroom furniture has simple lines in natural color wood and the bedding was in pink and blue, very like as my Imperial Princess fabrics.” The Imperial Princess is not the only place Rexen brought real life into her work. One house she built was completely inspired by her grandparents’ house. She made a skybox that was identical to an apartment she lived in down to the layout and decor. As she explained, “there are many things in my real life that inspire me to
create in SL®.” So far, her SL® designs have not migrated into her real life, but she’s sure they will someday. Designing furniture is always a challenge. An avatar can move their sliders from one extreme to the other and everywhere in between and fitting poses and animations and properly sizing furniture for the wide variety of avatars is difficult. That difficulty is multiplied when working with child-sized avatars. For Rexen, though, it is not just about fitting their size, but also fitting their style. “Of all the delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real. That is why there are night-lights. ” J.M. Barrie Rexen describes her style as eclectic. She imagines her customers while designing, trying to visualize many different people using her pieces so she can make them with many different options so people can find the right room for their own style and needs. For her, the greatest challenge is being satisfied with the end result. She will tinker and change and modify and alter and even put work aside unreleased until she is satisfied.
She only releases spaces she would live in. “I need to feel in love with the room or feel myself part of it before I can share it with my clients.” Rexen joined SL® in 2007 after hearing about it on the news. She did not become an active resident until 2008. She mostly spent her time exploring. In 2010, she started building houses and entered the children’s subculture in SL®. She opened *AR* in November 2010 and her building has become her main interest. As she explains, “I do love building things and decoration has been my passion for a very long time. Creating things for kids is really amazing. It opens you a huge spectrum of possibilities for creating new and original things.” “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie Like many subcultures in SL®, the world of children and families struggles for acceptance and respect. Some people unfairly associate this subculture with the illegal exploitation of children, not realizing that this subculture is about allowing adults to relive the play and actions of childhood while the other is about forcing children into performing the actions of aduthood. This unfortunate calumny often leads to disrespect and oppressive treatment. Rexen wishes that people who are not
involved in families or the world of SL® children treat them with respect and courtesy. We may have all witnessed this ourselves, the comments in open chat in a store that children should be left at home, or should be seen and not heard. Rexen has had people refuse to do business with her because she is a child avatar. Others have told her they will only talk with her parents. As she explained, “The reason why we choose to be kids is something very personal and very different in each of us. Being a kid doesn’t mean necessarily that you are an immature person.” She wishes that everyone would follow one simple rule, “Respect everyone no matter what size, age, color, or culture they have.” Readers have much to look forward to from Rexen and *AR* Furniture. She is bubbling over with ideas, so many that she wishes she had 72 hours in the day to craft them all. She’s also bubbling with love for her customers. “I want them to know they are my reason to exist in SL. I am devoted to them and I want them been satisfied with the products from *AR*. I would like to invite them to be part of *AR* Group members for discounts and exclusive gifts. I want to thank to all the people that have supported me all this time. All of you are in my heart.” AR Furniture & More http://arfurnitureandmore. blogspot.mx
Bongiorno Principessa! Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Leah McCullough
s this issue of AVENUE Magazine makes its way to the presses, fashion weeks around the globe close the doors to their Autumn/Winter 2013-2014.
Boots: Hawkin boots by Ison, blouse: NeoRomantic blouse by Fish Strawberry, blazer: Sleek blazer by Leverocci, pants: Skirt pants fit by CheerNo, earrings: F.J. Magnific earrings by A&Ana.
But just because fashion is always one step ahead, it doesn’t mean that we should forget to focus on the season we’re on. That’s right, Spring. And with this season comes flowers, birds, lighter fabrics, shorter cuts, etc. It is a blossoming of delicate outfits here, there, everywhere. Pretty soon everyone will be wearing short sleeves and summer dresses. Why is this important? Because this article is about a man who found the best connection between the minimalist aesthetic and elegance. Emporio, Privé, Prêt-a-porter... regardless of the collection, it is through the simple lines, exquisite fabrics and “from here to the moon” inspired colours that Giorgio Armani elevates the ordinary woman to a chic princess. The Armani Spring/Summer 2013 collection revealed a plethora of flowy, delicate, light fabrics in colours that range from pearl white to dark blue, including black. Aquatic (pearls, waves, ripples) and night sky (stars, planets) inspired patterns with a pantone that is predominantly grey, blue, black and white. This is a collection - smartly named Kaleidoscope that reveals a mysterious side to a delicate and romantic princess that is ready for any occasion, day or night. In terms of cuts, Armani does not fall far from the Spring/Summer 2013 trend tree, and keeps to the ankle cut pant, both tight or loose, and to the minimalistic, simpleline waist jackets. However, the attention falls on the choice a few
Top 1: Simple long shirt by Aoharu, top 2: Draped sleeveless top by Ison, pants: Loose Fit Trousers by Ryvolter, hair: Natalia by LaViere, shoes: Saddle shoes by Tres Blah, bag: Pandora Duffle by Ison.
other designers also made, though not all: recycling the skirt over pants look â&#x20AC;&#x201C; long, flowy skirts with embellishments, tunics, or dresses over the pants, and these paired up with either flat sandals, simple strap stilettos or oxford shoes, which is a recurring trend from last year. As for accessories, jewellery choices are minimal, putting some emphasis on a discrete headpiece matching the outfit in colour and sometimes pattern, too, and somewhat discrete bags. The bottom line is this: for this season, Armani is teaching us a valuable lesson in layering, as it becomes evident that pairing up all those shimmery same-colourdifferent-tone pieces can only be done this way. This is definitely a collection for the mysterious princess mentioned earlier - for the modern day princess who wants to be noticed without being too much. Typical Armani, making the average woman feel like royalty with one single gesture: zzzzzzip!
Sweater: Off Shoulder Boucle Sweater by Gisaci, hair: Clementine by Wasabi Pills, cardigan: Cascade Cardigan by Belgravia, pants: Hetty by Ingenue, earrings: F.J. Blue Square Earring by A&Ana.
Bodysuit: Bodysuit by Coco, shoes: Saturday Moccasins by Surf Couture, blouse: Polly Tucked blouse by Teefy, shorts: Tailored shorts by Color me HOF, head band: Fran Vinyl bow by LaGyo, hair: Inverted by LeLutka, bag: Glossy Leather Handbag Hand Belyi by Leverocci.
B.A.N.A.N.A.S Writer Xi Zane Photographer Eira Juliesse
allisto Destiny is a whirlwind. Within the first few moments of speaking with Kallisto Destiny, the owner of DRIFT, one can already tell how funny, witty, and fashion-obsessed she is. It’s refreshing, to say the least. Meeting someone who not only knows her way around the fashion industry past the most famous names, but who also walks the path in both virtual and concrete worlds, would inspire anyone to step up their game. And as if she couldn’t get any cooler, she likes a good Molly Ringwald movie, swears by Rachel Zoe, and loves the film, “September Issue” (Side note: If you haven’t seen “September Issue,” you are denying yourself a glimpse of fashion world perfection). So, if you haven’t been introduced to the corky creator, I invite you to see the world as viewed by Kallisto Destiny.
AVENUE: What attracted to you Second Life®? Kallisto Destiny: The fashion, but of course... AV: You’ve been playing Second Life® for a very long time. What keeps you logging in? KD: My primary passion in Second Life® has been digital photography. As for what keeps me logging in, that would be the creative juices which inspire at any given moment. AV: Do have a job or a hobby that directly influences your ability to design in SL®? KD: No, not really. I have always loved taking pictures in my normal everyday life and on weekends, walking around fashion district areas in my city and strolling through hip and trendy little boutiques off the beaten path. Living in a popular city that is a huge college town, as well, lends itself to a melting pot of all styles and inspirations. AV: When did you start designing in SL®? What inspired you to start designing? KD: August 2012. I felt a bit bored, uninspired, and I have always wondered how the creators did what they did. I decided to investigate and try it out, and it challenged me so much that I keep on doing more.
AV: Were you interested in fashion before you started designing? KD: I’m a fashion freak in real life; I follow a lot of real life blogs, designers, stylists, TV shows (e.g. Project Runway, The Rachel Zoe Project)… I was heavily inspired by the docu-movie, “The September Issue,” which shows one month of getting an issue of VOGUE out to print. For me, that was an amazing movie to watch and see what goes into such a huge publication like VOGUE. In Second Life®, I am a part-time blogger/photographer (or micro-blogger as some refer to it). I pretty much blog or do a picture when I am inspired and have an idea in my hand or have fallen in love with a certain design from a creator. This can also come from my own personal real life fashion or something I see in real life that I want to try to mirror and emulate in Second Life®. AV: What was your reaction to your first finished product? Did it come out how you pictured? Looking back now, does it make you proud of your growth? Does it stand the test of time? KD: I thought it sucked, and I think I may have even shed a few tears. I definitely trashed it in the virtual recycle bin and went back and tried it again. I think it could have stood the test of time as I started with a simple and classic dress. Looking back as I am being interviewed right now, I think of how far I have come, and I am
surprised I am still challenged with each and every new item I touch. AV: What is your favorite piece out of your most recent creations? Why do you love it so much? KD: I would have to choose my DRIFT City Pants. I was inspired by a pair of tailored slacks I have in my real life. I think the City Pants combine several things that I think make them a closet staple. It’s a tailored classic style. The low waist design works well with all lengths of tops, vests and jackets, and the pants also feature a variety of 48 different texture colors in a simple to use HUD. AV: Which piece gave you the hardest time to complete? Why? How did you overcome the challenge? KD: Ironically, the City Pants. I spent quite a while drawing seams and painting shading and lighting and deciding on texturing and colors. After many, many hours of getting them to an almost completed state, my Photoshop crashed and the PSD file was corrupted. Needless to say, I had to start over from scratch and rework the texturing and colors from scratch the next day. That wasn’t a fun time. AV: You are a great photographer! Not every great photographer is a great designer, and vice versa. How do these skills translate into creating apparel?
KD: Firstly, thank you for saying that. I definitely think my knowledge of the Adobe applications have been a large part of what has enabled me to continue to grow my brand and continually improve my skills and the quality of what I release. My biggest asset is my graphic tablet; I could not do what I do without it. The precision it provides in drawing and detailing is wonderful. AV: You blog! What makes the perfect garment to blog? Do you keep this in mind when you create clothing? KD: Oh, that’s a tough question. My blogger mentality is basically, blog what I want and create an image that represents how the overall styling of the image inspired me and evoked a certain mood. 99.4% of the time I put a creative spin on my blog images, meaning I try to tell a story or convey a mood from my styling. As for what I create for my store, I have the perspective of doing what I like in the moment. I have a million things going on in my head, and I have a notebook I write everything in when an idea or image comes to mind. I love all types of fashion and genres. This, for me, provides a mix for what I do in Second Life®. I have started to develop the approach to produce fashion that I like and will appeal to the everyday woman, but that which will also have the possibility of being transformed into a more high fashion ensemble.
AV: What is fashion supposed to do? KD: Fashion is something that I feel should challenge you, inspire you and, most importantly, make you feel good. AV: If you could sum up DRIFT in one word, what would it be? KD: Bananas... If you, too, are Bananas, make a trip to DRIFT.
My Secret Garden by Anna Sapphire
Hair: Fairy flowers by Boudoir, bodysuit: Savannah by Vogue, petals on chest: Tiffany by Solidea Folies, arms decor: Mother by Solidea Folies.
Hair: Icecream by SyDs, headpiece: Savage Jonquille by LaGyo, blouse: Lucy by GField, shorts: Summer by Ricielli, necklace: I love myself by LaGyo, bracelet: Cleo by Donna Flora, leg piece: Harness by Shi, shoes: Flats by Whatever.
"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore
Hair: Love after war by Vanity, corset: Eau de Boudoir by Boudoir, pants: Natalia by Kunglers, headband: Flower crown by Lazybones, shoes: Ariane by Ingenue.
Hair: Lillian by LeLutka, dress: Isabella by LaGyo, flowers crown: Flowerchild by Vicarious Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wildthings, sandals: Thong by Coco, bracelet: Concho by Graph, rope: Organic by A&M.
Misty Dreams by Miaa Rebane
Skin: Hope by theSkinnery, hair: Ashbury by Analog Dog, blouse: Neo Romantic by Fishy Strawberry, sunglasses: Bozena by LaGyo.
Skin: Roza by Glam Affair, hair: Boon, blouse: Ribbon belt top by Whippet & Buck, skirt: Grace by Ladies Who Lunch, jewelry: Ananya by Maxi Gossamer.
Skin: Hope by theSkinnery, hair: Boon, blouse: Elyse wrapped tucked tank by Teefy, skirt: Estelle Fluffy Skirt by Teefy, jewelry: Vintage Clock Necklace by League, hair accessory: Queen of Roses Silk Emotion by Glam Affair.
Skin: Hope by theSkinnery, hair: Boon, top: Trikaya Braziere by Zaara, shorts: Malibu Highwaisted by Little Bones, sunglasses: Bozena by LaGyo, coat: Jasia by Diram.
"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore
Skin: Anais by Glance, hair: Tracy by Calico, blouse: Bloody Mary by Vanguard, skirt: Lorette by The Sea Hole.
just breathe just believe by Absinthe (sinontherocks)
Hair: RHN435 by booN, hat: Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crown by BOOM, sunglasses: Alcane by sYs, shirt: Neo-Romantic blouse by Fishy Strawberry, lingerie: Flirty lingerie by Drift, ring 1: Camelia ring by Donna Flora, ring 2: Tuci ring by BenS Beauty, clutch: knuckle duster by Chic Zafari, knee pads: Alcane by sYs, shoes: Vogue boots by sYs.
Hair: Electra by Lelutka, sunglasses: Alcane by sYs, rose shoulder piece & skirt: Pink Roses by Vita's Boudoir, top: 3D rose sweater by The Secret Store, skirt: Pencil skirt by Mimikri, butterflies: Insect Collection by Ladies Who Lunch.
Hat: Celeste headpiece by Solidea Folies, dress: Ophelia by Les petite details, necklace: Poly by Mandala, butterflies: Sooo spring dress by Vita's Boudoir, collar: Part of Narcissus short dress by Tram.
Hair: Miu by D!va, sunglasses: Rave sounglasses by sYs, bracelets: bracelets: Polly by Mandala, belt: Vintage kingyo by tomoto, skirt: Burana by Baiastice, bugs: Insect Collection by Ladies Who Lunch.
Hair: Mayumi3 by D!va, dress: Fleurie by Ariskea, shawl: Aviary dress by Ladies Who Lunch, sunglasses: Rave sounglasses by sYs, petals: Falling petals by Vita's Boudoir, bugs: Insect Collection by Ladies Who Lunch.
Hat: Isabella headpiece by Lagyo, Top: Pouf by Solidea Folies, skirt: Shabby chic sweatheart by NO, knee pads: Alcane by sYs, shoes: Shiki by Maitreya, purse: Tiny satchel by The Secret Store.
Hair: SGK120 by booN, antlers: Spring deer headpiece by Lagyo, sunglasses: Rave Sounglasses by sYs, collar: Part of Narcissus short dress by Tram, shirt: Oversized top by Ison, ring: Mother's pearl ring by Lagyo, necklace: Glass flower by Paper Couture, boots, armrun: Amrum by Alb Joy.
Edge of Style
by Winter Jefferson
Hat: And With Bees In Her Breath by Split Pea, hair: Plenty by Magika, skin: Marilyn by Tableau Vivant, shirt: Carter by Image Factory, gloves: Soft Leather Gloves by Mentine, pants: ChuChu Chinos by KJIm, shoes: Floral Slip It On by Heritage 91.
Scarf: Tea Roses Bow Scarf by Yummy, vest: Fur Bolero by Maxi Gossamer, shirt: Mesh Basic Shirt by Hoorenbeek, ring: Lemon Macaron by Leap Of Faith, pants: Sunshine Manchesters by Boom, shoes: Pink Girl Slip Ons by Niz Creation.
Hat: Leaf Bug Rare by Ladies Who Lunch, freckles: Natural Beauty by Pink Acid, jacket: White Mesh Suit by Hoorenbeek, shirt: Isis by Zaara, pants: Capri Shorts by CheerNo, shoes: Leather Deck Shoes by Duh, deco flowers: Orchids by Ikebana.
Look of the Month
Look of the Month
Vikeejeah Xevion Hair: Kora by Iconic, skin: Devine by Elysium, makeup: Alice Lipstick by Damned, glasses: Glamazon by Chic Zafari, necklace: Weave by SYL, top: Small Tank by Sabotage, bodysuit: Petra by Illimatic, leggings: Sheer Colorblock by SYL, clutch: Soft Clutch by Leverocci, rings: Knuckle Duster by Fanatik, shoes: Shiki by Maitreya.
Annan Adored Pants: Skinny printed by Tram, shirt: Cable Knit by Tram, cardigan: J.I by Tram, headpiece: Angelie by LaGyo, hair: Vibrato by LeLutka, skin: Ava by Belleza, backpack: Floral by Tableau Vivant.
Ocean Blackthorne Skin: Hunter II by The body co, hair: Gosling by Burley, outfit: Rico by Vero Modero, glasses: Neon by HOC Industries, earring left: Achilleus pierce by Gabriel, earring right: Dagger by Fusion, ring left: Hibernation by Kosh, ring right: Foy Porter by AlchemyImmortalis, pocket watch: Gold Imperial by Docâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.
Vixie Rayna Hair: Caylee by Iconic, skin: Spacecat by Kooqla, makeup: Ninja by Nuuna, insects: insects by Ladies Who Lunch.
Letting Go by Nariko Okawa - http://narikookawa.blogspot.it/
Dress: Oversized Top by ISON, shoes: Prestige Suede Boots by BAX, hair: Girl44 by Dura, ring: Tea for One ring by Krystal.
Coat: Trench Coat by GizzA, hat: Federa Hat by GizzA, shoes: Foxy Boots by BAX, pantyhose: Soft Shine Pantyhose by BAX, hair: Emo07 by Dura, ring: Jadore ring by BSD Design Studio, bag: Fashion Designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bag by BSD Design Studio.
Coat: Mesh Trenchcoat by Hoorenbeek, pants: Viktor Blue Jeans by Legal Insanity, hair 1: MC Buzzcut Hairbase by Lanevo, hair 2: Boy41 by Dura, skin: Adam Skin by Nivaro, shoes: Ray Ray by Hoorenbeek.
Ring: Joy Engagement Ring by Chop Zuey, earrings: Tres Fleurs Earrings by Chop Zuey, hair: Nadine 2 by Truth, Dress: Henna Fragrant Dress by GizzA.
Pastel Dream Photographer Citta Wiskee
Eira Juliesse Hair: Tiffany by Vanity, earrings: Mabe pearl pieace by Crystal Line, bracelets: Mother Of Pearl by Shi, necklace: Grandma medallion roses by Glow Studio, hair Accessories: Bluebells Butterfly and Luna Moth by Ladies Who Lunch, veil: birdcage by Boon, cage: Frida Rose by Paper Couture, gown: Gilda Gown by Gizza, jacket: Porter Jean Jacket by Mon Tissu, shoes: Eclectic by BSD Design.
JosiahLee Baxter Hair: Reeder by Aibeat, glasses: Sebastian by Entente, jacket : Pinstripe Blazer by JLB Apparel, pants: Carribean Holiday Slacks by Shiki, bag: Much Crazy GSP by Tea Time, necklace: Caramu and Cheerno, shoes: Gacha Loafers by Nerd P.
Nayomi Gartner Hair: Canto by LeLutka, necklace: Tripple Chain by Glow Studio, shoes: Carla Pumps by House Of Fox, make up: Deja Lipgloss by Pink Acid, blouse: Narmi by Pichi, glasses: Birdy by Glow Studio, leggins: Flowery by Peqe, headpiece: Ceramic Flower by Pididdle.
Tania Tebaldi Sweater: 3D Rose by The Secret Store, skirt: Maxi by Tres Blah, flats: Arden by Teefy, headpiece: Cristiana by Donna Flora, jewelry: Maria by Donna Flora.
menswear: take 4! Writer Xi Xane Photographer Anna Sapphire
et’s be frank; men don’t get a lot of runway time. The fashion industry is aimed at things women love to buy and things straight men love to see their women wearing. The reality is that men’s wear is a lucrative and exciting part of our fashion community. The men’s wear designers have less to work with but are asked to come up with creations equally as fashionable and progressive as their counterparts.
For four years, Lexie Jansma and her team has celebrated these hard working designers in Men’s Wear Fashion Week. The village of shops featuring unique and fashion forward designs for men, and the theatrical productions on stage during this celebration have been, and still are, awe-inspiring. Recently, AVENUE had the chance to interview Jansma about the evolution of men’s wear, why men’s wear is so underrated, and the upside of theatrical shows to spotlight what otherwise is missed.
Creations, Flow, Cashmere & Keane, Countdown, EVOLVE, G&D The Italian Store, Dynasty, Zibska, Vengeful Threads, Zakar, ZOOM, Cutshore, (red) Sands, An@rchy Ink, Feel, Hoorenbeek, and so many more. Then we have many of our faithful designers who are with us again each year: Akeyo, Gabriel, Gizza Creations, Faster Pussycat/Velvet Elvis, E-Clipse Designs, Shiki, Zanzo, Razorblade Jacket, Dura, Adjunct, Redgrave, Belleza, Vitamen, Havok, Akeruka, [sYs], and Birth.
AVENUE: How did Menswear Fashion Week get started?
AV: Your stages are so theatrical! Who comes up with the stage planning? How does varying the stage design influence the show?
Lexie Jansma: Menswear Fashion Week has been around for four years. It got its beginning shortly after I finished another event, Latex Fetishwear Fashion Week. I wanted to work with another area of fashion that did not see a lot of exposure. Menswear was always really interesting to me. My partner at the time was just starting his menswear line, and I felt that this was something that would interest us both. AVENUE: How many designers do you have any given year? LJ: We typically range between 60-80 designers an event. It really varies. This year we are really lucky to have a number of new designers on board that I am really excited about showcasing in the upcoming fashion week including Cartauld’s, Caffeine Wear, Costa
LJ: I am typically the mastermind behind many runways, but the three builders on staff that I work with closely are Locked Semaphore, Lorelei Maggs, and Rix Spyker. Then, we also bring in extra builders to work with. We typically all collaborate together and decide directions and theme based on designer feedback. For the individual designer shows we really try to tailor the runway to the feel of the collection being presented. For the group shows we try to group like designers together so that we can create runways that fit over riding themes like couture, urban, evening wear, or whatever it maybe that the group of designers is known for. Then we take all this and put our own theatrical twist on the runway. Sometimes the runways are pretty
straight-forward, simple runways. Other times, they are theatrical extravaganzas with magical twists. AV: There is a bit of a debate between doing fashion theatre (shows with tons of bells whistles and scenery) and a straight-forward show that follows a simple runway guideline. What are the pros and cons of Fashion Theatre, or at least adding a bit of theatrics to your shows? LJ: You know, I have heard this debate since I began doing fashion shows. What I really think is that SL® is not real life. In real life you do not have to deal with things like five minute lag spots where a model cannot move, and there is nothing on the runway. You don’t have to deal with models crashing and other things like that. You can keep a runway show in real life moving, and so there is constantly something on the stage to be viewed. I think theatrics, interesting and unique builds and other things can give something for the audience to enjoy while they are waiting for that five minute lag fest to be overcome. I, however, think that theatrics for the sake of theatrics is not always smart. There has to be a reason for a set to transition or change. If you are going to use animated textures, then try in some manner to preload them when people enter in the sim so that the transition time for the effect is instantaneous or nearly so. Last year, we did a runway that had lightning and run
effects. They were there the entire time but hidden behind a wall. At the appropriate time we dropped the wall and the thunder and rain effect was revealed. The transition was perfect as it had already loaded, and it ran for the rest of the show perfectly. There are shows you go to and there is grey stuff falling from the sky and you’re like, “What is this? I don’t get it!” and it takes you out of the show. It is a risk you run. It is the same with dancing in a fashion show, which is generally not something I will do. When it is all together and all in sync it looks AMAZING. I have rarely seen it done well. Usually one or two models are out of sync, not everyone is on their mark, or any other myriad of problems. It just looks messy, and that is when theatricality comes back to bite you in the rear. AV: What has been your favorite show to put on thus far and why? LJ: My favorite show to put on... the horror... they are all my babies! I can’t pick just one! Some of my favorites were The 7 Deadly Sins one we did at Latex Fetishwear Fashion Week. I wish I had photos of it; seven separate sets all connected each one based on a different sin. It is one of my alltime favorites, set-wise. Another one was the show we did for Graves during the Month of Fetish at which were demons in latex and leather set in an old abandoned church. It was an amazing show,
and the set was well-built. The show styling was really on point, and it just really came together. Another of my favorites, I have to say, was last year at MWFW 2012 - the Escher Runway - which was a formalwear show. The models were dressed to the nines, and the set had the models walking upside down, along the wall, in and out of different doors. It was just a really well thought out show that I enjoyed. There was The Men’s 24 Film Noir show - that was really a fun show. This year there are a few shows that have potential to become a new favorite! AV: How do you feel men’s wear in second life has evolved? LM: Slowly, but it has come leaps and bounds from what it used to be. When I look back, I am shocked by the way we used to look, and we thought we were so hot. It is also very limited when you think about it (pants or shorts, shirts, jackets, and shoes). The beauty of Second Life® is we do not have to be limited, and menswear can be so many things. There is no one right thing and designers need to realize there are markets for everyone here, from fem boy to macho man. They all want to dress well and look good. AV: Why is it so important to make sure the guys get some spotlight in our female dominated industry? LJ: Men shop, too. They spend lindens, and they deserve great
fashion. You hear all the time that guys do not have enough options, or as many options, as women do, and it is true. They are a viable customer base that designers need to tap into. On a side note, what woman does not like to invade her guy’s closet for his favorite shirt, jacket, or vest? I love dressing in menswear from time to time. AVENUE would like to thank Lexie Jansma for taking the time to speak with us and share her insights about men’s fashion and her upcoming event, Menswear Fashion Week. Look for a special Menswear Fashion Week supplement to be published this month, also from AVENUE, where you will get a sneak peek of the wonderful fashion for men making a debut on the runway this month!
For the Love of
Visions of Hope Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Leah McCullough
he SightSavers charity fundraiser will open on May 11th with fashion shows on opening weekend and will also feature a fashion fair extending until June 11th.This is a very special charity event because it addresses one of the many neglected diseases that afflict people in far, forgotten places of the globe. Trachoma is an easily prevented and easily treated condition that affects millions of people, blinding many of them, simply through lack of resources and neglect. You can redress that neglect.
Altruism is normal. Evolutionary biologists have documented altruism in many species, even in vampire bats. So it is no wonder that Second Life® is rife with charitable events that altruistically seek to raise money to help cure diseases, feed the hungry and rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters. However, humans are very much like other animals in that our altruism is strongest in what you might call our kin-selection group. Charity begins close to home. It is not that people do not care. Most people simply do not know. There are no Movie-of-the-Week films featuring an ethereal heroine being saved from trachoma by a virile doctor while viewers’ hearts go pitter-pat. Instead, there are merely hard-slogging doctors and volunteers doing the unglamorous and undramatic work of improving hygiene, clearing rubbish and dispensing antibiotics. It is the personal connection that inspired Kim Rongyu to establish the SightSavers chapter in SL®. She is a biologist in her first life and has worked and traveled in Africa and has seen the damage of trachoma first hand. “Living in Uganda where I worked as a science teacher, I used to travel quite regularly to Northern Uganda, mainly to explore. I used to visit one particular town on the northern bank of the Nile where there was a thriving village market. It was there that I became aware of trachoma.
While travelling around, I became aware of the number of people who had eye conditions caused by this. Many of them were children. As this area is very rural, people lived alongside their animals, as they must have done for thousands of years, unwittingly providing the perfect conditions to spread the disease. As they lived in largely communal huts, they were crowded together, the proximity of their cattle and poor sanitation provided perfect conditions for flies to breed.” Researching the disease, Rongyu discovered that it can be prevented by hand and face washing which sounds so simple when you live where every home has running water. Teaching hygiene, establishing wells and cleaning up areas where the flies can breed is key to prevention. It can also be treated for less than a dollar’s worth of antibiotics. Five dollars would pay for the operation needed to save the sight of someone with an advanced stage of trachoma. Such small investments can make all the difference. In her research, Rongyu found SightSavers, an organization that has been working to eradicate trachoma since 1952, and that is where SightSavers in SL® enters the story. Rongyu sought volunteers to work with her to find a way to raise awareness of this rampant and utterly preventable illness and raise funds to support SightSavers’ critical mission. She got authorization from the SightSavers organization to raise
funds for them in SL® and started looking for help to organize this event. In typical SL® fashion, creators and event planners and volunteers rushed to help and the response was overwhelming, launching this fabulous one month shopping event with runway shows on April 20th and 21st. Designers are donating 100% of the proceeds from their sales to the SightSavers charity. Shena Neox, one of the volunteers on the organizing committee explained her reason for working so hard to organize this event. “Unfortunately, it is not a well-known illness, because it is not an illness that affects richer countries. As we well know, sometimes it is hard for people to understand the conditions in poor countries and how hard it can be to have clean water for good hygiene.” Neox provided many details about the event. While yellow is the official event color, designers were given complete freedom to make anything they wished. Like Rongyu, Neox is appalled that 6 in 1000 people in Africa are infected by a completely preventable condition, and she is inspired by how easily their vision could be saved, if only there were enough resources to bring to bear. SightSavers’ goal is to eliminate trachoma by 2020. They have their work cut out for them, but you can help. It may seem as if going to one
more event really cannot make a difference or may appear futile for a few of your lindens to be tossed at a disease that affects millions. SightSavers hopes that you won’t think of it that way. Think of it like this. If you buy one dress for 300 lindens, that provides enough antibiotics to save the eyesight of one person. If you buy four dresses, that is approximately enough for a sightsaving surgery. That is not futile. For that individual receiving the treatment, it is the very opposite of futile. As Neox expressed so well, “What is so simple for us, is everything for them in their lives.”
SightSavers in SL Organizing Committee Kim Rongyu - Charity CEO Serene Faith Starline Igeria Anna Sapphire Wicca Merlin Shena Neox
SightSavers: http://www.sightsavers.org SightSavers in SL website: http://sightsavers.wordpress.com SL Group : SL SightSavers
HANDverk: Ar tisans Rising Writer Carter Giacobini Photographer Citta Wiskee
andverk has expanded their space into one of the most beautifully crafted modern style shops on the grid. Incorporating both urban warehouse design and a posh luxury feel, they have truly matured into a design house that is soon to be an institution in Second Life速. The creators and owners of Handverk are Tobias Convair and Daphne Klossovsky, and they offer us an amazing shopping experience. Convair creates beautifully detailed furnishings and prefabs that exhibit his mastery of modern design, while Klossovsky dreams into existence accessories for both men and women that are both beautifully elegant and out of the ordinary.
The new store that Convair has built is a testament to his real life architectural passion. The warehouse design that he brings in-world is something that you might find in any trendy area of a city, but with uniqueness that is strictly Handverk. Small splashes of color mix with an open and airy feeling to help make your trip to Handverk feel more like a stop downtown rather than a typical store. Each and every piece of this new store was masterfully created by Convair himself. After taking in the build itself, you will want to quickly start gazing upon the creations that this couple brings to SL®. With a total of six years of building experience between them, this incredibly talented couple has taken on two very different segments of the market in the most beautiful and unusual ways. Let’s begin with Klossovsky’s artistic accessories and shoes. While looking online, she takes bits and pieces of real life designs for her handbags and clutches and fuses these elements together to create some of the most stunning pieces this writer has ever seen. “I kind of hate seeing the same thing done a million and one times, but I can see why it happens. I try to bring something different to the table when I can,” Klossovsky explains. “I’ll look for other bags online for ideas, then start building from memory the aspects that kind of stick out.” This approach to design ensures that all of her pieces are completely original in both form and function.
While creating her jewelry, Klossovsky takes a different tact. Her inspiration is both artful and practical. “I used to do a lot of jewelry design in the past, handmade items from beads, metal working, etc. So, my approach to jewelry is a little different. I like to look at different pieces of art, or things like famous furniture designs for inspiration. But, I like to make things that I think I could make with real world materials using a handmade process.” Her jewelry has elements of polished elegance grounded in an “earthy” and real world practicality that adds realism to every ensemble. “Sometimes I like to look at art by Alphonse Mucha because he puts a lot of neat things around his female models that I like to use as patterns in jewelry. Once I was binge watching the Tudors and ended up making a leather and beaded headpiece reminiscent of the different things women wore on their heads.” It’s her shoes, though, that are the most daring. Klossovsky says that she feels like more of a sculpture artist as she brings her vision into SL®. “A lot of my shoes are kind of little sculptural pieces I mess around with and stick on the heels. They tend to be out there,” she mused. During the interview, she wore a pair of the most elegant heels that took designs from real life to a whole new level. “These were actually inspired by a real life shoe, but I went a little literal with the claws and toes. I tend to like
things that are a little bit weird. So, I guess that would be the aspect of my real life style that sneaks into Second Life®.” Both eye-catching and beautiful, any of her shoes or accessories will add that final touch to your ensemble that will set you apart from anyone else with style. As Klossovsky brings her fantasies to life with her line of accessories, Convair brings a more real life approach to his work. A real life architect and designer, his experience is evident in every piece he does. But, don’t expect the same modern pieces you find in every other store. Convair brings fun into every furnishing or prefab he masterfully creates. “I also have a playful side to me. That’s also apparent in what I do. We are in SL®, right? We are here to have fun.” I couldn’t help but cam around and admire his work as he spoke with me. In his collections, you will find classic modern pieces like the Eames-inspired chair with ottoman. But, you will also find his exciting take on the classic furnishings, as well. Convair’s interpretation of the classical chair is made fun by the addition of antlers and his beautiful Japanese bath. Or his wingback chairs that evoke a sense of history, as if they were handed down generations and meticulously maintained over time. But, it’s not just his design sense that makes you fall in love with his products. His poses are both unique and fun, as well. Not satisfied with “the usual”
in this department, either, Convair brings realism to this area of his designs, creating pieces that truly help you live in your home. “I don’t deny that a lot of my pieces are replicas of real life classic modern design. But, I think SL® has long needed an infusion of high design, and I think I have struck a nerve with a lot of consumers out there who respond very favorably and thankfully to my ‘replica’ products,” Convair says. It’s not just his furnishings that set him apart, but his prefabs are beautiful, as well. Convair brings a mixture of both classic and modern aesthetics in this arena, as well. Whether you’re looking for a classic style skybox or an ultra-modern structure, his architectural experience will elevate your living space. “SL® requires that things, especially builds, be distilled down to their essence and simplified in scale and form. I think people respond to a clear style and perceivable form that they can easily digest and use in their second life,” explains Convair. But, if you think that means his creations are drab or boring, you couldn’t be more wrong. In SL®, to be a great designer of modern or classic modern furnishings, you need to bring rich detail to your pieces. Convair portrays his pieces and prefabs with a depth that can only be achieved if by an expert in this field of design.
Whether you’re shopping for accessories for him or her, or looking for those perfect pieces for your home, Handverk is THE place to come to. Set yourself apart from the crowd with elegance and style and gaze upon the artistry that is Handverk! Visit Handverk in SL Grojnowski [79-130-3756]
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.â&#x20AC;? - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2 Writer Prisilla Avro Photographer Eve Kazan
elcome to Ancient Alexandria, where Cleopatra reigns. It is comprised of six sims, which means there is much to explore. Upon arrival, you will find a plethora of information to guide and inspire you. Will you be Greek, Macedonian, Roman, Egyptian, Bedouin, or Nomad? Will you be a part of the Alexandrian Army? A priest or priestess? An aristocrat? A gladiator? The options are many, and limited only by your imagination.
The best way to meet the occupants of Ancient Alexandria and begin your story is to become a part of the “Citizens of Ancient Alexandria” group. Notices are frequently sent about in-character events to partake in, as well as research done by the other members of the group to enhance your ancient Alexandrian role play experience. Out-of-character (OOC) classes on role play are offered, as well, to aid those new to role play as well as those new to the genre. The inspiration for creating Ancient Alexandria in Second Life® came from a real life love of the ancient past. Co-founder Anubiskha Snowbear explains, “My partner, PharaohCleopatra Resident, and myself are both real life pagans, and worship the Kemetic goddesses and gods, as would have been found in real life ancient Alexandria during our represented time. We wanted the experience for the role player to be as real as possible. All of our temples and most of our other structures are based on and inspired by real life designs, and we have a couple of the best builders in SL® working on them. That is a big thing for us... the realism. Something else that inspired us was the romanticism and daily life of people during ancient times. Our role play reflects not only daily life in ancient Alexandria, but also the spiritual side of life.” In reflecting upon the past year in Alexandria, Snowbear shares that one of the biggest highlights
for her has been the people she has met. “Our role players are in my opinion, the best you’ll find in SL®! I mean, this group of gals and guys are super! Many of us have formed close friendships. I really love that.” She goes on to comment about nay-sayers doubting the longevity of Ancient Alexandria. “Nobody thought that we’d be around two or three months! You know how it goes. A sim opens, becomes popular for awhile, the magic wears off, it becomes old and it closes. The difference with Alexandria is that we’ve never lost the magic. That’s very important too.” When asked what she hoped visitors would get out of their visit to Ancient Alexandria, Snowbear replied “I hope that they get a sense of what things were really like during ancient times. I want people to get a sense of what it was like to walk into an Isis temple for the first time, and enter the temple with awe and fascination! Or to walk into the great library, and have them get a sense of just how important education was to the ancient Alexandrians. Or to attend a “Royal Court” meeting, and be in the presence of Cleopatra, and sometimes Marc Antony, to sense the excitement of a chariot race, or a gladiator event.” Snowbear was very enthusiastic about the residents of Ancient Alexandria. “We have a great bunch of people in Alexandria that are always willing to lend a hand. If people come here for the first time and aren’t sure
where to begin, our role players will help them. Another thing I’d like everybody to know is that Alexandria is an ‘all-inclusive’ sim, and while we’re not considered to be an LGBT sim proper, we are still very LGBT supportive, and we welcome everybody here. And we’re always looking for people to join us... newbie, or SL® veteran, I believe we have roles to suit just about anybody.” Ancient Alexandria has been open since February 2012. Snowbear hopes there are many more years ahead for them. Given the welcoming residents and numerous events for visitors to partake in, it would seem very likely that Ancient Alexandria will be around for a while for many to enjoy. AVENUE would like to thank Delta (delta.lacombe), Amunhotep (rikk.silvershade), and Isis High Priestess - Anubiskha (anubiskha. snowbear) for their assistance and warm welcome. Visit: Ancient [100.239.26]
Cottage Mailbox: Green by wh Building Set by Studio Sk
hat next, building set: Rustic Wall kye, road: Dirt Road by Organica.
Landscape & Garden
The Enduring Style of
Writer Umberto Giano Photographer Absinthe Montenegro
evered for its landscapes, wine, traditions, and artistic legacy, Tuscany has been a magnet for writers and artists traveling across Europe for centuries, an essential leg of the 19th century Grand Tour. To this day, throngs of tourists jam its cobbled roads and crowd its medieval piazzas, yearning to experience a way of life stubbornly unchanged by the frenetic quick pace of modernity. A romantic destination featuring some of the most beautiful scenery on this earth, the mere mention of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tuscanyâ&#x20AC;? evokes warm, sepiahued images of rural dirt roads winding through the hilly Italian countryside, golden vineyards and weathered stone farmhouses. Its idyllic pastoral beauty professes a cultivated aesthetic that is unpretentious, yet elegant, with an emphasis on comfort and home. Simple, natural, and rustic, that is the essence of Tuscan style.
One of the finest Second Life® examples of Tuscan style is Felicity Blumenthal’s estate, Vigna Del Mare. As its name implies, Vigna Del Mare is a virtual vineyard by the sea. Blumenthal confesses, “I’ve never been to Italy/Tuscany, and it happens to be the place I most want to visit. I’ve seen some amazing photographs taken of the countryside, and they are truly inspiring. So when I started to think about what I would do with a homestead - and I was certain I wanted it to be something different, as opposed to the everyday tropical island - I immediately started thinking about doing something Tuscan-inspired.” Despite her lack of personal experience with real life counterparts to Vigna Del Mare, Blumenthal has brilliantly conjured the romantic nostalgia of the traditional Italian familyowned vineyard with her estate. A long ancient road worn by time into an uneven and furrowed dirt path leads visitors from the venerable stone entrance through Vigna Del Mare and up a sloping hillside to Blumenthal’s tiled roof villa. Rows of tall inky cypresses border the pathway, mute witnesses to the procession of innumerable seasons which have seemingly transpired under their watch. One’s gaze is drawn from the tranquil hilltop villa ahead to golden vineyards that flank the dirt drive, framed by the roadside cypress trees and backlit by the sun’s warm rays.
Grass: Kidd Grass Green Meadow Red Poppy short wild by KIDD Grass Garden, horses: Bay horses by Sculpty Creations Animals.
Trees: talian Cypress by 3D TREES, vineyard: Spring by TRIDENT.
Plants: Forest Plant from Forest Accessories pack by 3D TR Floor, trees 2: Terebinth by Forest Floor, flowers: Caparra Grass Fill 2 from the Caparra Colonia Pack by Trom by Organica, steppin
REES, trees 1: Italian Cypress by Forest : Lily of the Valley by Organica, grass 1: mpe Loeil, grass 2: Sedge Grass – Green ng stones: Stepping Stones by Organica.
Blumenthal remembers, “Finding the perfect pieces to make this all work was probably the toughest part in the process. There isn’t a huge market for Tuscanstyled landscape elements! I knew the most important thing for me was going to be finding really well-made Italian cypress trees, so that was my initial purchase. I think they are a huge part of the inspiration, and I love how they line the driveway. The vineyards were an amazing find as well. I knew I wanted vineyards that would keep with the theme and give you a hint at an old-world countryside with the hill leading up to the grand estate.” It’s easy to imagine retiring to such an estate, sitting under the ivy-wrapped pergola sipping Nonna’s homemade grappa or perhaps kicked back on the loggia admiring a pair of nearby draft horses grazing in a verdant field dotted with red poppies. Blumenthal gushes, “There are SO many places that I created to sit and enjoy the sim, so I find myself constantly changing where I spend my time. There is a large patio off to the side of the house that has a really beautiful outdoor fireplace, and that is a great place for entertaining. There is also some seating down by the beach that is nice to sit and watch the geese and swans float around.” Like Felicity Blumenthal, Miaa Rebane also wanted a virtual Tuscan retreat in Second Life, so she purchased a custom Italian villa from builder Coralie Bilasimo
and subsequently hired landscape the grounds quarter sim estate, aptly “Ashiyana,” to match the style and mood.
her to of her named villa in
Reflecting on her now completed endeavor, Bilasimo remarks, “The thought of an aged villa, worn and alone, cresting the cliff’s side set my imagination racing. I couldn’t help but to see the gentle roll of the hill along its side, steeped in crumbling terraces of an old vineyard or lemon orchard, or even graced by uneven lines of gnarled olive trees. What I saw was a wild landscape tempered by time, weather, and man, quaint and poetically aged. Bilasimo purposely chose a “muted palette of blue-green foliage and soft purples, white and yellow blooms” for the grounds in keeping with the theme, which includes Mediterranean staples such as olive trees, old knobbly vines, cypresses, cherry trees, and sprays of red poppies and lavender. The rolling hill beside the home features vineyard terraces carved into its soft slope and anchored by low stone walls. Beyond the terraced hillside is a rugged coastline. Bilasimo calls the grounds of Ashiyana a “mix of severity and ungroomed beauty … cypress, brush, and fragile flowers, stubborn against wind, rock and surf. In addition to the natural features, the rounded driveway is transformed into a courtyard with terraced retaining walls
Walls: Rustic Wall Building Set by Studio Skye, stepping stones: Stepping Stones (dark) by Organica, flowers: Flowerfield Red Poppys by CJ Creations.
Flowers: Forest Fairy Flowers White by Kizmet Gardens, foliage 1: Planter Foliage A Hot Pink from the Caparra Colonia Pack by Trompe Loeil, foliage 2: Caparra Planter Foliage A Blue from the Caparra Colonia Pack by Trompe Loeil, trees 1: Cherry by Forest Floor, trees 2: Sugar Maple by Botanical, flowers: Lily of the Valley by Organica.
and large planters textured in warm, old world masonry. “I love combining natural features with man-made ones, such as the colossal planters with earth, roots and stone spilling out from them,” Bilasimo explains. “Another simple detail is the untamed vines along the gates to Ashiyana, and the old stone planters sitting atop them. To me, they lend natural beauty to the wall, softening the harshness of masonry in an unruly cascade of green.” And, of course, no Tuscan estate would be complete without a water feature of some kind. Bilasimo created a virtual reproduction of a 17th century stone and iron well as the understated centerpiece of the courtyard. The rolling hills, terraced vineyards, 200-year-old villa overlooking the panoramic view below of curling foamy breakers this is the essence of Tuscan living. It’s a design style defined by rustic natural elements without excessive ornamentation, yet elegantly captivating, an oasis of tranquility with a provincial, natural beauty. The desire for landscapes like Vigna Del Mare and Ashiyana represents our collective longing to return to a simple, more meaningful life. Tuscan-style homes give us an enticing taste of a lifestyle that few of us will ever live, but all of us can dream about. Of course, as Bilasimo notes, here in Second Life, “We HAVE the ability to create what we dream.” And what a dream it is.
Architecture & Interiors
Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Ziki Questi
here is a puzzle that asks you to connect a nine-dot array by drawing four lines through the center of all the dots without lifting your pencil from the paper. People can struggle for hours trying to solve that puzzle, but if they would only “think outside the box,” they could solve it in a heartbeat. Rodrigo Aubin’s commercial architecture business is named 4 Lines. He chose that name, he said, because “all 3D objects are made from lines; four because it is the minimum number of lines to create a figure.” While that may be how the store got its name, it is clear from examining Aubin’s work that he is quite happy outside the box.
Aubin joined Second Life速 after seeing an advertisement. Like many new users, he found it confusing and complicated. In fact, initially he did not like SL速 at all, but thought it seemed unlike anything else he had done, so he decided to give it more time. He soon began to understand its potential when he began building during his second week. Ambitious from the beginning, the first thing he made was a DJ booth which he still keeps. While 4 Lines offers a skybox home, the majority of its offerings are commercial buildings. Commercial architecture in SL速 is particularly challenging because builders must balance so many conflicting needs. On one hand, the store must have ample room to display the merchandise, while on the other; it should not look like a vast warehouse. There is the need to find a scale that works with avatars of Amazonian to petite proportions while maintaining sight lines that work for that kind of variety. There is the requirement to subsume architectural vanity to allow the merchandise and the store branding to shine through. Aubin balances those competing requirements well. He achieves his success with dealing with the challenge of scale in SL速 by creating his structure in 3D software using real world ratios, so he begins with a scalable structure that has the right proportions from the beginning.
In order to make his work easy for customers to customize, he focuses on simplicity. He recognizes that the temptation of adding design elements for purely aesthetic reasons may conflict with his customers need to present their own style. Thus, he focuses on clean lines and a sleek, modern aesthetic. This fits in well with his own preference for modernist minimalism. Like many SL® builders, Aubin struggles with the difficulty of marketing. Fashions are worn to the latest events, the runway shows, the dance clubs and people ask where this or that item was purchased. No one wears their store around the grid. While happy clients generate word-ofmouth connections, Aubin wishes more people could be exposed to his work so that he can continue to follow his dream to “expand a lot and create more. I have a lot of new products to come out to the SL® World,” he adds. His stores have low land impact and a small imprint. They are chic with discreet lighting to highlight the merchandise. The textures are rich in detail and verisimilitude. His builds range from the light and airy Sketched store that brings a touch of romance to the usually austere minimalism to the rich woods and wool carpets of the FL1 store. He also does custom builds and it is certain that those stores will reflect his love of minimalism, simplicity and beautiful textures. Marketplace Visit: Bruin [40.42.2214]
Writer Carter Giacobini Photographer Eve Kazan
ising from the ocean, like a modern palace reclaiming its rightful place as the crown jewel of one of the most well -designed communities in Second Life® is a club called Zenzibar, the centerpiece for a community that was founded by ZzoieeZee. Her inspiration was to create a place where the fashionable residents that call Zenshi home could come to “see and be seen” as they network with each other, enjoying a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
When you teleport to just outside the entrance, you will see a stairway, inviting you inside. As you descend the stairs to the dance floor, you make a grand entrance to a beautifully designed dance floor floating over the water. Your view, as your camera starts to come into focus, is of the ocean. Above you is a masterfully created roof line that gives you both the feeling of an open air venue and a protected space. All of this beautiful architecture conspires with the music of the DJ or live performer, compelling you to forget any stresses of the day as you enjoy this moment of pure bliss that Zenzibar has brought to you. There are few places on the grid where anyone can come and mingle with “the beautiful people.” Zenzibar is not just any club. It’s almost an interactive fashion show at every event. All of the clientele come dressed to the nines, wearing the fashions that they have styled meticulously. Yet, nobody that comes here is aloof or quiet. It’s almost impossible to be shy in this atmosphere of true community and friendship. Whether you are a fashion designer, photographer, top model, or simply a fashionista, you will feel at home here. “The main idea behind Zenshi was to create a ‘community.’ We wanted to make a community where people see each other on a daily basis and actually have fun things to do and look forward to,” ZzoieeZee recalls during a recent conversation. And, so Zenzibar was born. Not just to add yet
another club to a grid overcrowded with music venues, but to become a place for this artfully designed community that so many fashionaddicted people have called home to meet, network and “be seen.” The lifestyle of Zenshi has been elevated even further, allowing everyone (even non-residents) to enjoy that sense of community that we all crave. A large part of Zenzibar’s success can be attributed to the talented DJs who draw a crowd on any given night. One of the most popular DJs is Anubis Darkwatch. This gifted spinner is not just an expert on the turntables. He’s also a master at making everyone that comes feel at home and comfortable. Darkwatch has been dj’ing in SL® since 2004, honing his craft and becoming one of the best DJs I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. He not only takes part in the conversation while masterfully mixing one song into the next, but also talks on the stream between songs. His passion is for fashion (pardon the rhyme). “I very rarely DJ in a ‘club’ atmosphere now; I enjoy doing fashion events and the like,” says Darkwatch. Thankfully, he’s made an exception for Zenzibar. “I moved in here on Zenshi and was just talking to Zzoie. She was having trouble finding DJs to fill in some spots. I figured I would like this cool amalgamation of fashion and ‘club’ scene and figured I wanted to be a part of that,” continued Darkwatch. He’s a true fan of fashion and the wonderful people that make up the fashion
community. It’s obvious the way he styles himself that he knows his fashion and is the perfect addition to the family.
place to relax and meet new down to earth people. (Zenzibar) is just such a relaxed environment. You know, like no drama.”
After talking to the staff of Zenzibar, I was anxious to talk to the people that go to the club. It’s one thing to have the venue owner and staff to tell you their dream for their club, but I wanted to talk to the patrons to see how well they were able to realize their vision. So, I started to randomly instant message the guests that were there the night that I was doing the interviews. There was no shortage of people wanting to shower praise on both the club and the staff. At first, I was a little hesitant because I wanted to be able to hang onto the first impression I had of a place where everyone was welcomed and encouraged to take part in the event. There was a part of me that wanted to remain blithely unaware of any discourse or drama so that I could keep hold of this image of perfection that I had constructed in my mind of Zenzibar. But, my perfect first impression quickly became my permanent impression as I spoke to the clientele.
So, feeling confident in what I had learned thus far, I started talking more and more in the group chat. Most people know that I am not, at all, shy when it comes to talking in group chat. But, I had also a lot of experience going to clubs where people only talk to the cliques that they came with or the “regulars”. But, again, I was pleasantly surprised as people talked to me as if they had known me for years, joking and talking to me as we all discussed an array of topics from personal experiences to current events.
“I love coming to Zenzibar because the entertainment is first rate,” gushes Chevia Johansson. “The crowd is wonderful and fun to be with. I make it a point to be here every weekend. I’m also a resident, though I have other homes, too.” Takagigraves Resident was so straight forward with her response. “The people here are always so friendly and lovely. So, it’s a good
I ended up dancing on someone’s chim. We all danced in unison at the center of the floor, and we were laughing and joking, with not a care in the world. As the night started to come to an end, I wanted the event to keep going. But, luckily, I was able to become a part of the group so I can come back for all of the events, and I encourage all of you to do the same. This is not just a club; it’s not just a live music venue. And, it’s not just a place to network. It’s truly a community of beautiful people – both beautiful inside and out. Please come to Zenzibar. Dress to the nines and prepare yourself for an amazing experience! Events Calendar
Of Pixel Pots and Coffee Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Zazie
any of us are drawn to Second Life速 for the diverse roleplay opportunities and rich social interactions. There are many places that offer a variety of activities which can liven up your SL速. Dating couples always find new ways to interact and make their relationship fresh by going to clubs and dancing. There are clubs offering ballroom dancing or chillout music, and others with themes ranging from beach to fantasy. However, what else can a couple do aside from going from one club to the next? Is there anything else to do other than dance?
Entertainment and Hotspots
The Pixel Pot Restaurant can offer something quaint and relaxing for a change. This charming country-style restaurant feels romantic and relaxing for couples and yet can be a great place for children and families, too. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are just as welcome if your significant other prefers a touch of impulsivity, as long as your visit falls within the restaurant’s hours of 9 am to 9 pm. “People can also come in during non-operating hours and book through a web page form by simply by clicking the laptop up front,” says Molly Kestrel, owner of The Pixel Pot Restaurant. “Couples, families (including kid avatars), and furries are welcome. We don’t discriminate.” The quaint and laid back cottage brags of beautiful views and gardens and was a dream come true for Kestrel, who always wanted to have a country cottage type of establishment. AVENUE sat with Kestrel in the restaurant, where she talked about the history of the restaurant and how it came about. “Back in 2009, I actually helped run another restaurant that my good friend owned at the time. Eventually, it shut down because he didn’t have enough time to log into SL® anymore. After that, he eventually returned to SL® and opened his own hotel where I opened my very first restaurant
(inside his hotel). Yet again, he left SL®... and it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I finally got around to opening yet another restaurant.” She paused for a moment before continuing, “That restaurant was Paradise Beach Restaurant. But still, I didn’t feel like it was 100% me. I dreamed of opening a place like this... like The Pixel Pot,” she explained. Miss Kestrel had planned to open The Pixel Pot for “months and months.” She initially felt doubtful about her dreams becoming a reality, but she said, “I was determined to at least try. Finally, we got it up and running. And here we are today!” she enthused, smiling. Kestrel credits her knowledge about managing a restaurant to her old friend, Cooper. “He taught me everything and gave me his blessing in creating and running my own restaurants,” she explains, then she adds, “This is all me, and I’m finally (for once) very happy with what I’ve done.” The restaurant opened in December of last year and was able to inherit Kestrel’s former customers. She thinks that The Pixel Pot is Paradise Beach rebranded and improved, bringing with it her group’s experience and presence that dates back to 2011. AVENUE asked her if in her early days, she ever thought of becoming a restaurateur in Second Life®, and she laughed as she answered:
“Honestly, no, I never thought I’d have any kind of successful business of my own in SL®. I came to SL® back in 2008, and I never had any intention of ever having a business of my own. When my friend was hiring at his restaurant, I applied simply because I needed the money at the time. I never knew I’d actually fall in love with the hobby of running a restaurant in Second Life®, and I certainly never imagined that down the road I’d have my own.” It certainly looks like fate had something great planned for Molly Kestrel when she came into Second Life®, and she continues to be enthusiastic over her restaurant. She plans to soon offer new dining packages and services and tea parties, as well as more private dining packages for couples. “I would also like to eventually offer custom cakes and other baked goods. Just need to find the time,” she continued with a smile. “Honestly, since opening The Pixel Pot, we haven’t had time for many events at all. We do plan on bringing events back. Our customers have always enjoyed when we have live performers come, so that’s something I hope to do more of in the near future.” Aside from live music, Kestrel would also like to offer events that will “allow for bonding time between couples or family members, such as arts and crafts or family fun days.” She hopes that despite the challenges presented
by real life, she can manage to pursue her dream work in SL®. As AVENUE bid Kestrel goodbye and took a look around the cottage, a man entered the restaurant with his date. She immediately went to work. “Welcome to The Pixel Pot!” she exclaimed with enthusiasm. “Do you plan on dining today, or just passing through?” I could hear her continue the rest of her spiel as I slipped out the door to sit outside by the garden. I could feel Kestrel go about her duties serving the couple inside, her efficient manner completing the ambience of the quaint establishment. The guests enjoyed their coffee and company as Kestrel respectfully paid attention to them a short distance away. After a few minutes, I could hear the tip jar clang and her reply of thanks to the couple who left happy and satisfied after their delightful experience at The Pixel Pot. Visit the Pixel Pot Cafe at Rainbow Island (182, 112, 31)
And you're done Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Leah McCullough
ast month, I examined in passing the Starter, Deluxe and Premium Second Life® ‘Vehicle packs’ available from Amazon, which bundle Linden dollars with up to three featured vehicles, these being a hoverboard, a dune buggy and a sailing boat. Enthusiasts of any of these virtual pursuits will, I hope, forgive me for the somewhat sarcastic treatment of these products I gave. In the interests of transparency, it should be noted that the only one of these things I’ve ever tried is sailing, and that was only the once, and that was with someone I barely knew so that when I got ejected at a sim crossing and my avatar sunk to the bottom of the ocean like so much unwanted cargo I decided to fake my death and swim away, pretending I’d been lost at sea. Shhhh: don’t tell her I’m still alive.
Try as I might, I just can’t get all that enthusiastic about vehicles in SL®. To me, it’s all just a little too suggestive of that old SLmarketing-itself-as-a-video-game thing. I’ve never really been all that bothered by video games – more than ten minutes on pretty much any title and I’m bored by the sameness of it all; if I really wanted to battle my way through hoards of aggressive people, I’d visit my local Poundland. And anyway, isn’t it safe to say that people who actually do measure life enjoyment by time spent playing car racing games on other systems are unlikely to be all that impressed by anything SL® can offer up in the genre? This said, I suppose sailing is as much a social environment as it is a Driving-Something-Around thing, and I’m prepared to accept that my one experience wasn’t broadly representative of the best
that the occupation has to offer. Nonetheless, I still think SL® can do better when it comes to marketing itself with the world’s number one retailer. Here, then, are a few of my suggestions for alternate ‘packs’ to attract newbies and veterans alike. Starter, Deluxe and Premium Cybersex Packs. Be honest, it’s probably the first thing you thought of too, so let’s get it out of the way. And, whatever your views on sex in the metaverse are, anything that contributes to the extinction of the ‘freenis’ (as a physical item, as a concept and as a word) has got to be a good thing. The Starter Pack, then – available in male and female variants, naturally – would come with medium quality genitalia plus a notecard with example emotes. Yes, this is going to encourage cutting and pasting, but let’s be honest here: for anyone who needs to do this it will probably still represent a step up in quality. The Deluxe Pack would feature high quality genitalia plus a sex bed. The Premium Pack would feature the same plus a skybox fitted additionally with a sex-enabled fridge and hat stand. All genitals, incidentally, would contain a nonremovable script that drops a large, horseshoe magnet on the head of the user if ever they should use the letter ‘U’ in place of the word ‘you.’ Starter, Deluxe and Premium BDSM Packs. As above, but including various mechanical apparatus and collars, plus a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (a nice crossover with the more traditional
Amazon product line), just to annoy the purists. The skybox would come with a dungeon. Alternatively, the fridge could be fitted with handcuffs. Film and TV Tie-in Vehicle Pack Range. I’m not abandoning the vehicle pack concept entirely. All Linden Labs has to do is substitute their vehicles with exciting vehicles. The original series Batmobile would be an immediate buy for me. KITT from Knight Rider. Airwolf. The James Bond Lotus Esprit that converts into a submarine. Thunderbirds. But, there’s more. The beauty of SL® is not only that you can have the machines we know and love (the ‘we’ in most cases admittedly being men), but also the places they’re associated with. Linden Labs could commission licensed sim builds and then rent them out by the hour, and the packs would then come with vouchers for time bundled with the vehicles. Batmobile owners, then, could play in the Batcave; Airwolf pilots could rise from that hollowed out mountain; Thunderbirds fans could take off from Tracy Island; KITT motorists could drive their Knight Two Thousand into the back of a big black truck that drives endlessly round and round a bit of desert somewhere. And so on. Personal Shopper voucher pack. If, like me, your ideal shopping trip to buy – say – a suit consists of a no-more-than-five-minutes visit to the Marketplace which involves a quick search on ‘Mesh suit’ and the purchase of anything
that looks halfway to good within the first two pages of results, then you’re probably missing out on many of the more sophisticated designs that SL® has to offer. It never ceases to amaze me the near encyclopaedic knowledge of the latest SL® fashions that many of the people I meet seem to be in possession of (and here – yes – ‘people’ can be read to mean in most cases women); that anyone can tolerate more than thirty seconds of a hair fair is a fact I hold in equal awe to such phenomena as quantum physics and the evolution of the human eye. So why not monetise this expertise by creating an elite team of personal shoppers who can take the newbie/uncaring avatar and guide/force/ruthlessly bully them through a shopping experience that meets their needs? I’m aware, of course, that there are people out there who do already offer this sort of service (my own avatar looked like something out of a black and white gangster movie – unintentionally, I might add; the look I was actually aiming for was ‘intellectual’ – until a very kind friend in 2008 diplomatically answered my enquiry as to what parts of my appearance she thought could be improved on with “all of them”); the difficulty is finding one when you actually need one and then knowing if they’re actually any good. At least one of the so-called experts whose profiles I’ve nosed within the last year was still wearing flexi hair; even I know that anything which disappears into your breasts is no longer considered the cutting edge. I propose, therefore, that
the AVENUE editorial staff set the questions on the entrance exam for people wanting to become personal shoppers. Novelty Weapons Packs. A fond memory of my time attending the weekly Writers’ Circle event on Wednesday evenings at Cookie, then jointly hosted by Jilly Kid and Hastings Bournemouth, is of firing copies of the bible at Hastings with a bible gun that someone had passed to me, and him returning fire with copies of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Possibly, you had to be there. Rarely do we peaceloving SL® residents have a need for metaverse weaponry, but from time to time there comes along a moment when appropriately ironic armament can add just the right amount of situational comedy. Categories of weapon could include ‘Amusing Projectiles That Aren’t Penises’, ‘Griefer Seekers’, ‘Flower Power’ (including the depleted uranium tipped 45 millimetre daisy shooter) and ‘NRA support,’ the latter being there to ease the transition from real to virtual firearms when finally the United States gets real about its batshit insane gun laws. And finally, also on the subject of withdrawal support: Virtual Smoking Pack. In the UK, a debate is starting up over whether or not the smoking of electronic cigarettes should be banned in public places. Should the anti-smoking campaigners find success with their side of this argument, SL® will become one
of the last remaining places for Britishers to do anything that looks vaguely like smoking in front of other people. Linden Labs should capitalise on this whilst it lasts (for, surely, it will not) with a product line of own-brand smokes (I have dibs on the ‘Hax’ brand, mainly because I like the idea of someone ordering “Two packs of Hax” at the cigarette counter), promoted through a campaign of banner and side bar advertisements: “You’re never alone with a Lucky Linden”; that sort of thing. Smoking packs could also come with collectible cards featuring notable residents from the world of SL®, such as artists, builders, photographers, griefers and poets (I’m available for pictures for this last category). They could also include smoke ring HUD attachments which give the customer control over a variety of novelty smoke sculptures to create with their virtual breath and lips. As an additional bonus, cigarette buyers who also own the Premium Cybersex Pack could be given the option to buy a limited edition phallic imagery smoke ring pack that sends a smoke train through a smoke tunnel; perfect, both for suggestive flirtation at parties and for the post-coital shared virtual cigarette. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life®. You can download these for free from www. huckleberryhax.blogspot.com
FUTURE Writer Quan Lavender Photographer JadeYu Fhang
econd Life® is a place to try new things, and in the best case, we develop the bravery to try them in real life, too. Digital and virtual artist JadeYu Fhang uses Second Life® as a platform for her creativity: “SL® is a place where I can express myself as I am and who I want to be. A place of freedom. A place of international exchange, discovery, creativity immense. SL® allowed me to dare to show what I loved to do. I was on the uninhibited creative and I started the challenges that now I’m facing in my life real life. This is now for me a place where I have friends of all kinds and from all backgrounds.”
Her beginnings have been the same as those of many avatars. She joined Second Life® through a friend and enjoyed all the things that noobs usually do. In real life, she is not a professional artist, but she draws and paints. She runs a leisure centre in Paris, France, and works with children ranging in age from three to eleven years. Her rich social life, hard work, and personal interests, especially the reading of black series thrillers, don’t allow her to spend too much time in Second Life®. But she wanted to use her time well. She created a new avatar and decided to build affordable avatars for noobs which she sold in a shop. She visited art exhibitions and became more in contact with artists. She received support of friends who believed in her and who encouraged her to create. Her 2D art has changed lately to digital art: “For the moment, I left my brushes to work the digital image. It is an experience, a search, it allows me to work faster and develop my visual skills.” The builds have become more of a frame for her images: “I have no real preference, and I’m not a builder, but building, I would say in my case “assembly” allows me to do installations, to have fun with the space. But as I am not very talented or very patient, my imagination is restrained, and I cannot get to express all the emotions I feel. I’m a painter/ photographer. I have a passion for textures, layout, light.”
She is a humble person. Visitors see that she brilliantly plays with textures, layout and light at her home sim, “DaRk TeArS,” which is actually her second full sim installation: “The first sim has been called “Saturno”. Only very few people have seen it. I made there my first installations and scenarios of my 2D images. I was learning 3D. “Saturno” was quite dark and was about imprisonments. With “DaRk TeArS,” I wanted to do something less dark. But on closer look you will see little hope, but abandonment, isolation, ant things hidden by masks and veils. You see violated, trampled dedication and sadness. This is the continuation of “Saturno”. These two sims are a reflection of my very personal life experiences. The next sim installation is already planned and will be more about a feeling for the future.” In the meantime, JadeYu Fhang has become a well-known and appreciated artist in Second Life®. She has had numerous exhibitions all over the grid. Art India Gallery invited her for combined exhibition of 2D art in a 3D installation. Fhang tells us about her work: “The installation will be a foretaste of my next full sim. It is about mankind facing its end and the idea that progress will create a negative universe of stripped metal and cold deserts of mechanic, in which humans are no longer able to live. It will remain an image of cybernetic humanity. This installation is the vision of a future where there is no future. Nothing very innovative or
original... it is just what I want to do!” Visitors will enjoy the dark beauty of her pessimistic, but sadly so easily possible vision of the human future. The near future of JadeYu Fhang will be much brighter. Besides her plans in Second Life®, there is really good news. She plans to go real life with her artistic work: “For the moment, I don’t want to talk about details, but I have a project in real life for the end of 2013...”
The Visual Language of
Bamboo Barnes Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Bamboo Barnes
hat I like best about Second Life速 is its diversity. People arrive in-world from all walks of life, nationalities and sexual orientations. We residents that choose to come and stay in this virtual world are unique, and SL速 is a place to explore that uniqueness that lies deep inside of ourselves. All too often, it is SL速 that gives us a rare opportunity to assert our creativity and our desire to be one of a kind.
Bamboo Barnes is one such person, I soon found out. Hailing from Japan, this accidental SL® photographer found herself immersed in photography out of boredom. She first started by submitting her work to a contest held by a skin brand called Mojo, and after that, she never stopped. Barnes says that for her, making photographs in SL® and enhancing them in Photoshop is much more fulfilling than “watching TV all day,” revealing that health issues force her to stay at home a lot. Barnes learned of Second Life® through an article and decided to join. She regards SL® as a great place to be creative, sharing that she chose to stay in SL® because she saw that there is more to see and do in-world. Barnes describes that she feels a lot of people go to SL® expecting to find a WoW-like environment full of kills and quests, but explains, “They couldn’t find fun in there, though,” and says that they leave because they don’t understand what Second Life®’s purpose . Before she discovered her gift for photography, she hung out in a blues club where she met her partner, who builds and makes short videos. These days in-world, she prefers to take landscape photos of sims and art installations. She has little confidence with her English, but it is through her pictures where she can play with the camera angles, then through post processing in Photoshop, that she freely and confidently lets herself go. The
end result makes one see a place in SL® differently, more creatively, the way only Barnes can see it. My personal favorite is entitled, “The Letters,” after a poem by Leonard Cohen. I like how she connected the poem to the art, which was taken at Rebecca Bashly’s “The Tower” art installation. This is a portrait of the loneliness and despair of the figure whose back is turned against us. Another personal favorite of her work is her recent photo of Bryn Oh’s Boats on one of the Fashion for Life sims. Barnes is a rising star, but she is too modest to admit it. “See, I don’t have much of a career,” She says laughing. “But I am taking this a bit seriously now.” Later on, she shares that her work is now being showcased in Artists 4 SL, Blue Moon Gallery and ART4YOU. She makes two to four photos a day and likes to keep busy taking pictures. Encouragement from fellow photographer friends also keeps her motivated, as well as meeting with people from around the world, being fascinated by the creativity of the people in SL®, and from the sheer joy of creation itself. Barnes’ inspiration comes straight from the soul, fresh and unfettered, to give those that behold her work a new perspective. As visuals transcend language but communicate through feelings, we all understand Bamboo Barnes as she bares her soul through her pictures.
Follow Bamboo Barnes’ flickr stream to see more of her captivating work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ bamboobarnes
The SkyDance V DC Spensley’s Autobiographical Journey into Artistic Excellence Writer Spruce Canning Photographer Ziki Questi
C Spensley, known in Second Life® as DanCoyote Antonelli, has upped the ante in the performing arts community in SL® with the autobiographical work “SkyDance V”. It is the 5th iteration of the critically acclaimed SkyDance series and features graceful choreography by the ZeroG SkyDancers set to an original score by Josh Zamo.
SkyDance is a virtual performance piece in the science fiction/fantasy genre that describes an all too familiar struggle for many of us – the experience of being bullied and learning how to overcome it. Billed as “a story about an interstellar people whose bliss it is to dance forever in the depths of space,” SkyDance chronicles the conflict between the peaceful starfaring Sufolla and their alter-ego race, the Gopus. The Gopus are, in a word, bullies and represent the externalized dark nature of the Sufolla. The response of the Suffola to this malevolent side of their nature is to anoint a champion to deal with the Gopus, this character is called the Hereau. The Hereau, in the battle, has to assume some of the traits of the Gopus in order to beat it back and lock it in to the recesses of the Psyche. “The champion is a tragic figure who must become more like the bully to defend the rest,” Spensley notes when describing the Hereau. “The Hereau can never again be without guile.” “In some ways, this is like Beowulf, the oldest myth,” Spensley says when describing the inspiration for the SkyDance as well as his own experiences with bullying in-world. “The Sufolla cannot fight, they don’t know how and if they did, they would not be Sufolla anymore.” The underlying message that the Hereau discovered in the battle with the Gopus is that the emotions and aggressive tendencies displayed
are really the dark side of the Sufolla. Spensley remarks, “The Gopus IS the Sufolla only the darker side that they shed long ago.” The purpose of the Hereau in the performance is to calm and subdue the dark side of the Sufolla psyche. “This is why the drive is not to kill but to re-cage, to subdue and calm the Gopus.” When applied to the broader human experience, Spensley explains, “The broader message being ... good and evil are very hard to distinguish on a daily basis … the bad guy you think is so terrible, is one of your own kind, who just bears a burden of negativity.” Before the finale of the last act of the performance, the audience is asked to stand up and fly to the aid of the Sufolla as the Hereau battles the Gopus, in effect the community standing up to the bully and saying “no more”, and relegating the dark side of human nature back into the recesses of our collective psyche. Spensley, drawing on the workof the Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal, encourages the audience to fly and fight the Gopus, using their own agency to finish the tale set before them. “Boal believed, and I am paraphrasing, in the idea of the Aristotelian climax for a fictional piece. For example, if the hero wins in a story, the viewer feels like they have too, and this is a bad thing for the real world. Since if we all feel like we have saved the world and really haven’t, it never gets done,” Spensley comments. “Boal first asked the audience to re-write the play, in their own way and in real time, the next level was to ask the audience to get on the stage and be part of the play and play a part in the drama, Skydance V has this built in.”
Upon asking Spensley who he identified with in the play, he answers: “All of them; I am as flawed as the bully and tragic as the hero and was once as naive as the Sufolla.” As with many of Spensley’s performances, color helps tell the story of the characters and the environment. “Color always holds meaning in emotional terms. In the case of the Sufolla, they are symbolically creatures of incredible intelligence and beauty, and in the case of the Gopus, the red is to make the Gopus visible and singular,” Spensley says before adding, “The Hereau is a mix of Sufolla and something tougher, but not yet Gopus.” When I asked if the Hereau would be compared to a police officer or a soldier, one who faces the evil in humanity every day, Spensley corrected me, “No the Hereau would be considered a vigilante or a concerned citizen defending the weak who doesn’t enjoy or desire the conflict…while the Gopus lives for conflict because it is lonely and angry all the time.” After the performance, I came away with the feeling that I had fought a great battle within my soul to keep some evil that lurks in the psyche at bay. The battle is fought every day and sometimes evil wins and sometimes good wins. When one sees this edition of the SkyDance, one has to answer that question for themselves – will they stand and fight against the bully and the evil it represents, or will they stand idly by and let the bully win? The words of Edmund
Burke can sum up the theme of the performance: â&#x20AC;&#x153;all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.â&#x20AC;? To attend a performance of SkyDance V, IM Unbelievable Destiny and reserve a seat at this one-of-a-kind performing arts event. SkyDance V website And on Facebook