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JANUARY 2011

Osakki


AVENUE | Publisher's note

Rusch Raymaker Photo by Ozz Larson

Rusch Raymaker Publisher & Editor in Chief AVENUE


W

elcome to another exciting New Year ahead with AVENUE! There is an air of optimism in the air with the start of each new year and I hope this carries you through the months ahead filled with inspiration for an even fuller Second Life速 filled with joyful and exhilarating experiences and achievements. My deepest wish is that you will find or forge a new journey for yourself and go beyond what you regard as limits and realize your fullest potential. Looking back over the past year and even from the first time I came into SL, I realized how much SL has impacted my real life. I found true love here moved to the United States last year so we could be together. Inspired by the amazing work created here at AVENUE Magazine with my team and countless contributors and designers, I decided to further my studies and am now pursuing a degree in Digital Arts Design here. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined pursuing a degree in my 40s which would be the springboard to a new future career and enhance my work here in SL. Returning back to school has been an indescribably amazing experience... challenging my self-fathomed limits, assimilating new skills and experiences, and watching myself grow and evolve. And I owe this all in great part to being in SL. So I guess what I am trying to say, is our future, our journey has a destiny of its own. One never knows where it may lead. But I promise you that it will be an adventure that can only be fulfilled by you tuning in to your passions, desires and dreams. May you move forward in 2011 with knowing that anything is possible and nothing is impossible. Carpe diem.


AVENUE | Editor's note

Isadora Fiddlesticks Photo by Ozz Larson

Isadora Fiddlesticks Managing Editor AVENUE


W

e here at AVENUE Magazine hope that you all had a great holiday and may the year ahead bring you lots of joy and excitement ahead! The virtual world has been such a great place to feature the past year, with its share of ups and downs, celebrations and tragedies, and us residents rolled along with it with the hope that this coming year will be better. Personally I am feeling more positive about the state of Second Life now that we have a new CEO that will help SL reach new heights. Anyway, regardless of who our CEO is, it is US RESIDENTS that make the experience of Second Life remarkable and unique. Our passion to create, discover, and socialize in this platform makes it for what it is. We here at AVENUE Magazine realize that, and thus we make it a point to feature what makes this virtual world of ours go ‘round the way it does. From fashion to arts, from entertainment to business and non-profits, we have had our share the past year in featuring those, sometimes featuring stuff that has never been featured before in any other magazine. We aspire to continue on featuring those rare, undiscovered gems of wonder in order to further enhance your experience with Second Life. As another year comes before us, we commit to evolve in not just giving you top features and visuals, but to increase our commitment to truly be able to find unique experiences to feature and for you to try them out. Here’s to 2011 and to unique experiences!


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32 Cover Story Kaysha Piers

Trendspotting

AVENUE Magazine January 2011 cover Featuring Kaysha Piers Designer & Owner of Osakki Photographer Strawberry Singh Digital Retouching Kaysha Piers


Contents

132

Club of the Month Black Label

GOLden Shopping

44 Fashion Spread EGOISME 58 Fashion Icon Harper Beresford 68 Couture Look 2011 Amazon Silverweb 88 Featured Designer Mami Jewell 96 AVENUE Homme 108 Fashion Agenda EGOSIME 118 Fashion Agenda My Precious Finale Show

140 150 164 176 180 192 208

Model of the Month Jennaa Loire Architecture & More Alee Luik Interesting Sims Sports & Recreation Business Feature Pop Art Lab Media Mojo Sean Krueger (Hugity) Arts Feature Kamille Kamala

200


Magazine : issue 28

VENU

Publisher | Editor-in-Chief Assistant Publisher

Rusch Raymaker Jesika Contepomi

General Manager

Sensuous Soulstar

Managing Editor

Isadora Fiddlesticks

Fashion Editor Marketing Director Senior Marketing Executive Marketing Executives

Creative Director | Photo Editor Copy Editor | Production Manager Designers

Vixie Rayna Jesika Contepomi Livia Mastroianni Tandra Parx Blaze Petrov Beyonce Aurotharius Paola Tauber Tandra Parx Paola Tauber Jesika Contepomi Kaysha Piers Rusch Raymaker Khea Karas


Sensuous Soulstar Thalia Jie Imani Enzo Spruce Canning Jesika Contepomi Augusta Carver Lulu Jameson Thalia Jie Boe Cortes Jesika Contepomi Natasja Schumann Blaz Halfpint Tillie Ariantho Diconay Boa blackliquid Tokyoska Ozz Larson Annough Lykin Mischa Cuttita Strawberry Singh July Raymaker Di Hoorenbeek

Senior Writers

AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates Couture AVENUE, AVENUE Models & Academy, and AVENUE Marketing & PR. Online issues can be found at: issuu.com/avenue

Stylists AVENUE Magazine blog: avenuemagazine.blogspot.com

Photographers

AVENUE Inc website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: AVENUE at GOL [45, 153, 22] For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers

Contributors

************************************* Press releases to: editorial@avenuesl.com Ad queries: ads@avenuesl.com For inworld queries on advertising and vendor requests please contact one of the following: Jesika Contepomi Livia Mastroianni Tandra Parx Blaze Petrov


AVENUE l Cover Story

Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Strawberry Singh

Osakki Designer

KAYSHA P Breathing New Life into the Fashion World


PIERS


K

aysha Piers is a name you need to know, and know it very well. Piers is the newest storm to hit the fashion community, and she’s taking out everything in her path. Her designs breathe new life into the world of couture, bringing in never before seen textures, contrasts of colors, and sleek designs that accentuate women of all shapes and sizes. With an eye for the latest and greatest styles and a skilled hand to match, Piers has managed to make an astounding imprint in the fashion world in just a few, short months. This month, AVENUE gives you the exclusive on the newest member of the fashion elite as she shares her passion for designing with the virtual world. A “Photoshop junkie” since the age of fifteen, Piers is no stranger to creating textures and designs that make you do a double take. With a real life background in art and design, she goes beyond just designing fashion, and instead creates art. A product of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Piers was surrounded by fashion in both lives, and could not help but to dive in head first into the world of fashion. “I’ve always been involved in fashion, Second Life® just helped me express it on a new canvas” says Piers. Getting her start in a different virtual community, IMVU, over three years ago, Piers began honing her design skills, and with her introduction to SL® over two years ago, she brought over her designing talent, fashion prowess, and technical knowledge and hasn’t looked back since. After creating her first dress for a writer at Vain Magazine for a showcase of Maitreya footwear, Piers knew that fashion was her calling. “After I finished making it, I felt like a new door of opportunity was opened for me. Funny enough, it was a dress that transitioned itself

into the first Osakki store after the rebrand.” Her brand, Osakki, is as unique and creative as the name itself. Born from her love of Japan and the Asian community, while the name doesn’t have a particular meaning, Piers explains that it can be anything you want it to be, which is part of the beauty of the name itself. “It’s not categorized; it doesn’t have a label, which is what my brand mission is. It applies to all people and hopes to bring fashion to everyone. I think it’s pretty cool that people can interpret it differently, and walk away with different views, and hopefully they can see a little bit of me in what they wear.” And a little bit of her is definitely what you get in every design. With a goal of unpredictability, and showcasing the unexpected, you never know what you will get with the next release of goodies from Piers. Gathering inspiration from everything, including fashion from her own closet, worldwide fashion shows, minute details in life, or even her feelings during the day, Piers translates the beauty she finds around her into everyday couture for the modern woman. “I adore couture clothing, but I like couture to be wearable at the same time. I think any woman can attest to wanting to be comfortable while looking chic. Sometimes couture clothing can be overwhelming; here, I hope to achieve a nice medium without feeling overdressed, and it can be completely possible. If anything, I hope to achieve a new genre.” And what exactly does the ever-talented Piers even consider worthy of the title fashion? “I think it’s truly important to find your own voice. So many individuals find themselves following each other, but if you can take the risks and evolve


as a fashion leader, then that is what can be seen over the ‘trends’. My definition of fashion would have to be, just being yourself. Unfortunately there are so many people out there that aren’t themselves, simply because of their surroundings; being who you are will speak volumes.”

“ BEING WHO YOU

ARE WILL SPEAK VOLUMES. ”


Piers speaks loud and clear as she talks a bit about her surroundings and her experience as a designer of color in the fashion community: “Being a designer of color, I have found it a bit tough sometimes just to get a little further ahead. There have been some hurdles that I have found, such as the fact that some people felt I was being too stereotypical as a black woman, and that I should be like everyone else. For a long time, I wanted to leave SL just for that reason alone. I was also told by some that I shouldn’t have models of color because I was showcasing too urban of a brand, etc. It was insane. But then again, I think any designer on SL has the same common hurdles to deal with, just getting out there is tough for anyone. In retrospect, it was a long, hard time before I got somewhere, and was doing something I love. Just like the fashion market in RL, SL is a whole animal in itself.” With will, determination, and incredibly tough skin, Piers has managed to rise above her critics and launch a successful brand that can be found not only on some of the fashion community’s most elite, but also on the newcomers to SL just getting their first taste of fashion.

I really want to get into the different facets of SL, such as hair, hopefully a menswear line, and even makeup and skins. I also have a goal of at least having 2 fashion shows: one conducted by me and one in collaboration with an agency; something out of the box and something memorable.” And that shouldn’t be a problem for Piers as her designs have proven to be nothing short of memorable.

With so much already accomplished in such a short time, Piers is still looking ahead and planning to do even more in the fashion world. She’s currently working on a new collection that will be a continuation of her current New Era Collection,with more of a focus on military favorites and dark couture, adding in a splash of vibrant color patterns; a perfect transition in the Spring season. 2011 should see a lot more of Piers and Osakki as she gives a little preview of her plans for the year: “I would really like to see Osakki evolve into a brand with many faces, and of course expansion.

Make sure to stop by Osakki to grab the latest in fashion forward couture at LE LOOK SOUTH [170.73.30].

Leaving you with her parting words, the best way to wrap up a brief glimpse into the mind of this newly anointed fashion genius, Piers reemphasized her earlier point of being true to oneself: “The best advice I can give is to just be yourself, even if you are just here in Second Life. I find that being yourself will speak volumes more than pretending to be someone else, or just pretending to like something when on the other side of the computer screen you are loathing it. Do what makes you happy, and be happy, because that’s all we have in this life. If you are a designer, blogger, fashionista, builder, anything... just keep pushing as hard as you can, and keep it positive! Things have a way of fixing themselves.” A

You can also find out more about Osakki on Kaysha’s blog at http://osakki.wordpress.com/.

A


AVENUE | Fashion Spread

egoisme Photography by Natasja Schumann

AVENUE Models Haakon SCHUMANN Jarl SODERSTROM Salvo WAYDELICH


//Outfit EGOISME 70 Days


//Outfit EGOISME Metropolitan Safari Zebra


//Outfit EGOISME Metropolitan Safari Giraffe


//Pant EGOISME Haute Couture Tiger //Shirt EGOISME Haute Couture Zebra


//Outfit EGOISME Prejudice Fryr


//Outfit EGOISME Prejudice Ame Vain Wolf A


AVENUE l Fashion Icon

harp


Written by: Sensuous Soulstar Photography by: Annough Lykin

per beresford Redefining the Representation of Self


“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well”. Quoting these inspirational words by Vivienne Westwood, Harper Beresford tells us that this very quote embodies what she intends to do with fashion in Second Life®. While these would normally be the final words in an article, they were so moving and so appropriate for this particular Fashion Icon that the only place they belonged was at the beginning. Harper Beresford has given a new sophistication, a refreshing breath of sanity, and a skillful eye to the world of fashion. Her candid blog not only displays some of the trendiest looks around, but also takes time to cater to the readers a bit, providing visitors with not only eye candy, but a bit of brain food as well. Join AVENUE as we take a moment to try to get inside the mind of this scholarly blogger for just a moment. Sensuous Soulstar: As is tradition, I want to first congratulate you on being selected as AVENUE’s Fashion Icon, and more importantly, congratulations on being the first icon of the year! Now let’s just dive right into things, tell me about your background in fashion in SL®. How long have you been involved with fashion? Harper Beresford: I have been interested in fashion in SL since the first day I logged in. I was so intrigued by the idea of being able to change my avatar’s look. I took my first photo the first day I was here in April 2007, and I still have it! S.S.: Now along with all of your other duties, you’re also the Business Manager for House of RFyre and RP Couture. How did you get involved with these positions, and give me a brief overview

of what it is that you do in your positions. H.B.: I started working for Raven Pennyfeather of House of RFyre in July 2007, when she contacted Dirk Talamasca to help find someone reliable to help her while she would be out caring for her partner after an operation. He contacted me. I will never forget the day I got an email from him asking if I would like to work for RFyre. I was so happy. In retrospect, I was right to be happy. My friendship with Raven has been more wonderful than I could have ever anticipated. She has been an incredible working partner and soul sister. At this point, it’s “’til death do us part” for our friendship. As for my duties, they are pretty in-depth. Raven makes all final decisions, but they are with considered input from me. In a sense we are business partners. I write most of the promotions for RFyre, establish and write our operating procedures, do most of the building at RFyre (yes, I am secretly a builder), do some photography and modeling, and provide some customer service. That we are still working together after three and a half years is a testament to the integrity and affection of both of us. This is not a game for either of us--Raven derives her living from SL. She is my true friend in RL, so her success is important to me. That is always on my mind. S.S.: Alright, we keep tossing around the word “fashion,” but what is it? How do you define “fashion” and not just the latest trends, but truly iconic fashion? H.B.: My definition of what fashion is in SL is a very complex one and is much more based on my notions about the “meta” of the metaverse than about actual clothing. Entire theses


could be written about the representation of self and the contribution of purchasable elements to help with that representation. I have explored some ideas about that in my blog--most recently a somewhat clumsy blog about the male gaze. (I write my blogs the day before--literally. I don’t give myself a lot of time to rewrite so the blog is not always as articulate as I would like.) I would like to come back to that subject again. S.S.: Well since you’ve brought it up, let’s get a little into your blog. Tell me about how you got your start in the blogosphere, what made you decide to start in the first place, and more importantly, what do you credit to the success of your blog? H.B.: A couple years before a friend had encouraged me to start a blog so I could start writing again--I was considering reapplying to grad school to finish a PhD I had started years earlier but my writing was rusty. I started my opinion blog, “Harper’s Bizarre,” which had some success, but that sort of writing (and the drama inherent in expressing an opinion about SL) was too hard to sustain on a daily basis for me. Then Callie Cline asked me to be one of the officers for the fashion bloggers group in SL. I started contributing to the group, suggesting what was necessary for a fashion blog even though I didn’t have one myself. I decided I had no business telling anyone else what needed to be done or helping lead a group of fashion bloggers without experiencing the business of blogging up close and personal. One day I asked a couple members how to set up Wordpress, and I started out. I set for myself the goal of doing one blog a day, which I have done for the most part. 

In doing so, I experienced a lot of the same concerns the members of the group had--the difficult politics of getting on feeds, the ethics of reviewing items in an honest manner without compromising a relationship with a designer or the audience, the expense in time and money of doing it day after day (yeah, all that stuff is NOT free to me), the business of keeping the blog going when RL things become important. That was a year and a half ago, and it’s worked well for me. Every day I am forced to write something-anything--about a subject I often find hard to write about--virtual fashion. Some days it’s like pulling teeth and some days it appears on the screen like a gift. It’s been personally very rewarding and a testament to myself of what I can do. My readership has grown steadily and my checks on alexa.com show me that I have become more widely read that many popular SL fashion blogs, which is certainly a nice thing to see. My own blog’s success comes from plugging away at the darn thing for over a year, pushing to get new readers, following a specific set of guidelines day after day so my readers know what they will be getting, and representing the work I show with a positive but critical eye. I am truly grateful to the people who put their time and skills into making content for SL. It’s a wonderfully rich world because of their visions. S.S.: Now that is definitely blogging success. And speaking of success, you’ve had quite a successful photography career as well, and you’ve got quite an impressive vita. Tell me a bit about that; how did you start in the world of photography, and will you be continuing


with it, or have you turned to a new focus? H.B.: I started in photography when I had taken some photos of Scope Cleaver projects that Scope liked. I had gotten a state of the art laptop (at the time) and could take some pretty darn good screen shots in SL. The folks who published my photos are people I was intellectually engaged with as well. It wasn’t a matter of their saying, “Oh, you take pretty pictures.” My work with Mario Gerosa, for example, was part of a friendship and intellectual collaboration. He published my photos in Architectural Digest in Italy as well as quoting me in the article. Later he and I published an academic paper together. My art show in Berlin included a real life trip to Berlin to meet the person purchasing my work and an opening to show it (that was beyond what I could have dreamt, to say the least).  I no longer do that sort of photography. I don’t have the time and there are many skilled photographers in SL. S.S.: Well now that you’re done with photography, what should we expect next from you? You’re already a staple in the fashion community, so are there any other areas that you plan to expand into? H.B.: Next up is being co-lead with Delora Starbrook for the Fashion for Life, the new iteration of the RFL Clothing Fair. When Nevar Lobo and Amethyst Starosin stepped down, they graciously handed the reins to Delora and me. We are going to be following the very successful old model and adding some new things to the mix

to make shopping and donating to the American Cancer Society even more enjoyable and easy for everyone. I am also working on a project with FashCon right now that should radically change how things are done with their group. Additionally, I hope to lead the SL8B next year under Courtney Linden again if I am asked. My experience with that event was a very positive one (even though they laid off half our Linden helpers the week before and M missed his morning speech for us to find out the next day he had stepped down). S.S.: Wow, well as always we want to thank you for taking the time out for this interview. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and we definitely will be tuning into your blog to check out the latest in fashion news. H.B.:

Thank

you

for

the

opportunity.

For more information, and to keep up with the latest in fashion news, you can follow Harper’s blog at http:// http://slfashionpassion.wordpress.com/. A


AVENUE l Couture Look


COUTURE AVENUE LOOK 2011

Amazon Silverweb DECEMBER FINALIST Written by Jesika Contepomi Photographed by Annough Lykin


The Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Contest has become “the” styling contest of the year. Different from other contests this challenge demands not only stellar modeling runway experience, stage presence and the ability to capture the perfect photo, but the capacity to combine these all together with an imaginative unique style. With impeccable designers such as Nicky Ree, Baiastice, Chantkare, LeLutka, Miamai, AZUL, Cheerno and Stylissimo one would think it easy, but it’s no small feat to style together three designers to an end result of fabulousness. December was an exceptional challenge and this month’s finalist Amazon Silverweb truly inspired the audience with her creative styling and overall stage presence. Amazon has given AVENUE Magazine and myself a special look into the lady behind this amazing look. Jesika Contepomi: Amazon this month’s contest has again raised the bar, everyone was immaculately styled and in the end you came out on top. Can you tell us what inspired you to compete in the Couture AVENUE Look Contest initially? Amazon Silverweb: I’ve always known that I wanted to be part of AVENUE, in one way or another, the Couture Look Contest was brought to my attention by a friend, I immediatley knew that this was the right thing for me! It combined all the great things I love about not only Modeling, but Second Life®! Being creative is a huge part of who I am, and being able to do it as part of a contest for AVENUE, was just the icing on the cake!

J.C.: I know AVENUE having closed membership is hard, so it’s truly a challenge of how to get noticed. Let’s back up for a moment and tell us how and when you got your start in modeling? A.S.: I started modeling back in June, It’s been a whirlwind, everything has moved so fast! I knew when I started SL® I wanted to be a model, but I didn’t really understand how, or have the means to make my dreams reality, I was a social butterfly for the majority of my time in-world, just enjoying what the grid has to offer! In June 2010, I enquired about taking classes, I joke that I’m like a sponge because of the amount of academies I have took, I like to soak up as much Information as possible, and from there just took each step as they came, making friends, working hard... oh and a lot of shopping along the way! J.C.: Shopping is our model crack, so to speak. Through your modeling journey, the hard-work, ups and downs of rejections and competitions, and or course the shopping...what has been your most memorable experience? A.S.: I have so many, these past few months have probably been my best, I’ve gained so much from them, I completed my last two academies, I’ve made new friends, and had a blast, and of course becoming a finalist is a huge memorable experience, I was completely shell shocked, I really did not expect to win! J.C.: Amazon not only did you win but you brought a special part of yourself to this competition.


What do you find makes your style so unique? A.S.: Being asked to describe my look is one of the hardest questions. My style and look changes with my emotions, from happy to sad, to angry to bad! It’s been a journey so far to find that style, of who I am as a person, I am constantly polishing and refining my style, as for unique, there is only one Amazon Silverweb, So I try to stay true to heart and just be myself, let my personality influence how I dress, team it with items I know I like. Although it helps when there are so many amazing items out there to help! J.C.: Yes the fabulous designs are truly at the core of what a model can become. So from June until now, through your many experiences what advice would give to someone interested in this contest and putting together their look? A.S.: Have Fun! Enjoy each item you put on, style, and experiment till you find that thing that makes your mouth drop open, you’ll know when you’ve found it, because you feel comfortable being you. In other words.. shop a lot!! J.C.: Amazon thank you so much for your time, congratulations again, in closing I’d like to ask where do you see yourself in a year? A.S.: In a year, I hope to be the face of AVENUE Couture, having a complete blast with modeling, and Second Life in general, still finding that passion in what I do.

Are YOU the next face of Couture AVENUE? To learn how you can be a finalist for Couture Look 2011 and be featured in AVENUE Magazine, stop by the AVENUE office and pickup an application. Join the AVENUE Magazine Readers Group for regular updates, important dates and finalist announcements. Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Application LM AVENUE at GOL [173.96.22] AVENUE Website http://avenuesl.com A


AVENUE | Trendspotting

red A


ALERT Styled and Modeled by July Raymaker Photography by Di Hoorenbeek


/Dress Kyoot /Belt Maiiki /Leggings House of Fox /Headscarf House of Fox /Shoes Lelutka /Glasses DeLa


/Outfit Crazy /Bolero SG Fashion /Shoes Lelutka /Hair Boon /Nails & Rings Mandala


/Dress Vita’s Boudoir /Hair Lelutka


/Dress Gumi’s Bad Box /Ankle boots Baiastice /Hair Boon /Nails & rings Mandala

A


Success by Design

AVENUE |Featured Designer

Written by Imani Enzo Photography by Ozz Larsson

W

e are all born with gifts but many often forget that will and determination are necessary components if they expect to achieve any level of success. It is not enough to have a dream, you must also have faith in yourself and you must work hard to make that dream come true. Simply put, every accomplishment starts with an attempt to try as well as a willingness to try over and over again if necessary. No one knows this better than our featured designer, Mami Jewell. Three years ago, Mami came to Second Life® with one objective. She wanted to create

despite the fact that she had no RL fashion design experience and knew nothing about using Photoshop. Fortunately, Mami was not about to let those technicalities stop her. Instead, she decided that failure was not an option and set out to learn how to design. Her hard work quickly paid off, and soon she found herself working as a designer of women’s clothing at Edo Tone’s popular fashion house, Styles of Edo. Under his tutelage, Mami grew into her own as a designer, demonstrating that she had a gift for creating exquisite dresses and gowns that made women look and feel beautiful. In less than six months, Mami felt that she was


ready to go out on her own and she did. The result of her effort and determination is AZUL, one of the top places to shop for women’s formalwear in SL®. Her delicate and highly detailed styles are chic, feminine, romantic, and perfect for any woman. Mami Jewell is truly a remarkable lady who deserves all of the success she has enjoyed. Here is your chance to learn more about her. Imani Enzo: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. If you don’t mind, let’s begin with you telling us about your accomplishments and aspirations. Mami Jewell: I am very excited that we’ve just celebrated the second anniversary of the AZUL brand and in that time, I have enjoyed a good amount of success. For example, AZUL was selected as the best place for female formal wear in VAIN INC.’s 2010 Reader’s Choice Poll. My aspirations are simple; I would like to continue creating wonderful dresses and making women feel special in them. IE: How would you describe your design style? Also, describe the type of woman you create fashions for. MJ: I would describe my design style as elegant, sexy, and classy. As for the brand, I don’t have a particular woman in mind when I create. I prefer designing simple, yet gorgeous designs that all women can enjoy. IE: How did you go about establishing your brand in SL? Where do you draw your inspiration for your gowns? MJ: I got my start by making items I wanted to

wear. However, under the guidance of Edo Tone I shifted my focus to ladies’ formal wear and just worked hard to get better at it. I have never had a special strategy to market AZUL, I just do my best to create quality products that people want to purchase. As for the other question, I tend to visualize what I’d like for a gown to look like in my head before creating it. In other words, my brain is the template for my designs. IE: What do you consider to be your most amazing gown? MJ: I would have to say that it is Milonga, a gown I released in August 2008. It was a big hit with customers and it remains one of my top selling designs. IE: What are your views on the SL fashion industry? MJ: I think it is clearly the biggest industry in SL and that it gives huge vigor to this virtual world. I am quite lucky to be a part of an industry that is a source of enjoyment for so many residents. IE: Tell me about your team, supporters, and friends in SL. How do they contribute to your success as a designer? MJ: I am quite fortunate to have great people in my corner. I have an amazing manager, Poohta Bailey who basically handles customer service inquiries and business offering contracts. She also often serves as my translator since she is fluent in English and Japanese. I also receive a lot of support from Ruriko Bracken, my official model and blogger. She has awesome skills that I trust completely. Tania Tebaldi, Miss AZUL is beautiful inside and out. She makes my designs


look even more beautiful than I hope for when creating them. Of course, there is Edo Tone, my phenomenal mentor and teacher. Finally, I am fortunate enough to have made friends like Amutey DeCuir, Kay Fairey, Asalt Eames, and Chrissy Ambrose who I can talk to about anything. IE: What’s the most rewarding thing about running your own SL business? What’s your biggest headache? MJ: The most rewarding part of my job is being able to create items from images in my head and being able to support myself in RL with what I earn in SL. Using English and thinking in terms of time difference gives me headaches (laughs). IE: What is it that sets you and the AZUL brand apart from other designers and business? MJ: AZUL is all me and my creations are like my daughter. I am very serious about my designs and I work very hard to ensure that my brand remains relevant. I don’t do this for fun; it is very much a huge part of my life. IE: What qualities should a great designer possess? Who are some of your favorite SL designers? MJ: I would say that a great designer is one who is diligent, earnest for study, and never takes or copies the ideas of others. My favorite SL designers are Amutey DeCuir and Sissy Pessoa. IE: How long does it take you to create a design? How long after you finish it does it take you to put it out for sale? MJ: It takes me anywhere from a few hours to

a few months to complete a design depending on the complexity and what I have going on in RL. Once I’ve finished it, I sometimes wait a few weeks to put a new design out for sale because I like to wear it for a bit to get a feel for it. IE: Do you have plans to run the Miss AZUL contest again in 2011? MJ: The contest was quite popular! We had almost 300 entries and the winner was given an opportunity to compete for the Miss Virtual World Crown last month. I am grateful for and wish to thank all of those who worked hard to ensure the success of the Miss AZUL 2010 Competition. We will definitely do it again in 2011. IE: What advice would you offer potential contestants? MJ: Miss AZUL has a huge amount of responsibility in that she serves as the face of the brand and must represent it wherever she goes. That being said, I am looking for someone who truly loves AZUL, who can truly handle the responsibility, and who demonstrates inner beauty as well as outer beauty. Second Life has an abundance of talented people who fail to achieve success because they are not willing to invest the time and energy required to do so. Fortunately, for us Mami Jewell chose not to be one of them. Her tenacity and overwhelming desire has not only brought her extraordinary success as a fashion designer; it has enabled her to build one of the most popular brands on the grid. A


Naturellem


ment

AVENUE | Homme

Stylist | Photography | Model A Lulu Jameson


/Skin + Hairbase PXL Daniel Blonde /Shirt Sartoria S083 Vintage Olive /Jacket Sweetest Goodbye 4 Minute /Pants MEOW Two Colour Jeans /Shoes Kookie Armarda Boot /Necklace Alchemy Immortalis Ami Amet /Gloves GD Cashmere Gloves


/Skin DNA Axel /Hair Bryce Kenny Natural Blondes /Shirt SAIKIN Henley /Jacket Meriken Co Rhett Black Jacket /Pants CHANTKARE CKD JEANS /Shoes TRUTH Iggy Shoes /Flora Illusions Hedera


/Skin CheerNo Brent /Hair iruco Hair09M /Shirt RONSEM Crash Knit /Jacket AMERIE Pea Coat /Pants AOHARU 2 Way Pants White /Shoes hoorenbeek Allen Butterflies CheerNo Butterfly Winter


/Skin Belleza Shawn /Hair TonkTastic Ushanka /Top Zanzo Aspen Knitted Hoodie /Jacket JP dsg Broadly Pants v2 /Shoes Gos Docs v2 /In mouth BP Sprig 3 | iwaki /Chipmunk Wynx’s Chipmunk A


AVENUE | Fashion Agenda

Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Annough Lykin

“...with a little bit of presumption, we aim for excellence.”


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ith the challenge of living up to the theme of the “protagonists of luxury,” on December 11, 2010, the label Egoisme presented its new Men’s Collection to the fashion community, with the assistance of the AVENUE Homme Models, hosted by Livia Mastroianni, with music provided by Seashell Dench. As expected, the newest menswear collection from Egoisme not only surpassed the challenge of bringing its theme to life, but again raised the bar in men’s fashion just that much higher. Derived from the Greek word “prōtagōnistēs,” a protagonist is the central or primary figure in a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative’s plot revolve. There could not have been a more appropriate term used to characterize this collection. Ramses Meredith, the creative mind behind the brand, has created a menswear line around which all others must revolve around. Gone are the days where men could get away with the basic t-shirt and jeans, or even the casual black suit. Meredith has evolved the world of men’s fashion with his latest collection, and no longer will women be the only head-turners in the room.

With so much emphasis on variety, color, and boldness in women’s fashion, Meredith had an incredibly tough standard to meet using only the male AVENUE models to bring together a show that not only had to captivate his audience, but one that highlighted the very best qualities in a man. Meredith easily rose to the occasion. Starting with the very risqué, Meredith wasted no time in grabbing the audience’s attention. Baring almost all of the male body, yet managing to splice in a few modern elements, it was clear that Meredith understood just where technology meets fashion. The outfits were evocative and fresh, completely oozing male sensuality. And while the modern elements were there, it seems Meredith was ingeniously able to interplay elements of the past as well. This was especially evident in pieces such as Mechanica, Fryr’s Gift and Ame Vain Lion, gorean couture outfits, another incredibly difficult feat to pull off, which Meredith handled almost effortlessly. The spectrum of colors and fabrics was astounding. From the outfits gracing the catwalk on each model, it appeared as if Meredith was not afraid to use any color on his palette, and from the looks of it, it appears he just may


have. From silks to classic sweaters, the range of creativity was never lacking. Meredith brought out a renewed sense of sexiness for men, straying away from the boring t-shirt and jeans phase and opening up new avenues for men. Even the basic casual jacket and jeans look of Jeans Deco and Groove jacket had a little extra flare that made it stand out just a little more from the everyday look we’ve become accustomed to. There was no shortage of prints to appease even the pickiest woman’s taste, including zebra and tiger print. With each outfit, the confidence and comfort with his designs and skills definitely shone through and each outfit seemed to tease more and more. With this latest collection, Meredith pressed beyond the boundaries and somehow managed to find the perfect blend of sexy, bold, and masculine, a very fine line to tread. Not to give all of the credit to the outfits, the additional Egoisme products displayed on each model further showed the impeccable quality that the label is known for. Each outfit was matched with an Egoisme skin that especially highlighted the outfit’s qualities and matched

so seamlessly that the entire look came across as flawless. Each hairstyle assisted perfectly in each outfit’s theme, and of course the accessories were pulled off with the utmost professional touch. Somehow the entire look of each model from head to toe was so meticulous and so perfectly complementary that it became hard to focus on just the collection being presented. It’s unclear what inspired Meredith, but whatever his inspiration, the end result was amazing. The total package of skin, outfit, hair and accessories culminated into one of the sexiest lines of menswear out there. Meredith summed up the breathtaking show with the following visionary quote describing the goal behind his creations: “Maybe, with a little bit of presumption, we aim for excellence. We want to create the most distinctive dress, something unique, one that is able to be the accessory for the strong and self-confident man. And we do that through the never ending search for ideas, shapes, fabrics, colors. All of this is the way to create the little magic thing that Fashion is.”


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AVENUE Homme Models included in the show: Mickael Greybeard Todd Anton Soulful Dreamscape Scryer Zirgar Mikey Batriani Phillip Dollinger Rod Insippo Brendon Heron Didier Rascon Winter Jefferson

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My Precious Queen 2011 Xandrah Sciavo


AVENUE | Fashion Agenda

beauty Befitting a

Queen

Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Jesika Contepomi

Since the start of Second Life速, modeling has been a fierce competition between creative and fashion savvy avatars. For models and people interested in the modeling world, contests are a great way to learn, gain experience, and insight from. One of the most recognized and well known fashion contests in SL速 is the My Precious Queen Contest sponsored by the My Precious Fashion House. Agnes Finney, the designer behind the My Precious brand has been creating beautiful eye catching pieces for women in SL for nearly 3 years. Her My

Precious Queen Contest has been ongoing for 12 months, and finally came to an end this past December at the AVENUE sim at GOL. After much fanfare, excitement, and rounds of styling, 12 finalists were narrowed down to 3 lovely women; Genevieve Kamala, first runnerup, Cieleste Magic who was second runner-up, and the one lucky lady who was crowned the new My Precious Queen 2011, Xandrah Sciavo. The three lovely ladies shared some important memories and tips they picked up during the


MY Precious Queen Contest. Augusta Carver: What has been the most memorable moment during the My Precious Contest? Genevieve Kamala: The most memorable two moments were when I realized that I had created two successful outfits, when my name was called as one of the finalists; I was so emotional that it took a while to move my avatar. When I was called among the top 3, I just could not believe it and again it took me a few seconds to move forward. I have really enjoyed this contest, since I have chosen not to participate in many contests, so far I have always reached the final in each of them, and this is a great achievement for me. AC: What has been an important lesson that you have taken away from this whole experience? GK: Poise and endurance! It takes a lot of calm and straight thinking, as well as a huge dose of creativity and out of the box thinking. At My Precious, professionalism is highly respected and expected of us all and this is one of the reasons why I applied as model last summer, I am happy to say that I learn something at every show that makes me a better model. AC: Do you have any tips for anyone entering future My Precious contests? GK: Observe the styling at My Precious shows, not to imitate it, but to be inspired and then follow your own taste. My Precious is a very elegant and classic brand, I love to represent

it in shows, and if a model doesn’t feel close to the vision of a designer it will be a struggle to wear these creations. Augusta Carver: What do you find to be an important thing to know regarding styling? Cieleste Magic: I believe that you should style by what you feel suits you better rather than just wearing what seems to be popular or what you see on someone else because that is how you mold your own style and flair. AC: Do you have any tips for anyone entering future My Precious contests? CM: My tip would be to melt your visions into the designs and style until you feel your outfit is a work of art. Then, even if you are turned down, you would feel more positive knowing you did your best and can look forward to improving the next time. Also, to remember that styling is a form of expressing yourself and not anyone else. AC: How does it feel to be chosen 2nd runnerup for the My Precious Queen Contest? CM: I feel honored to be chosen and accomplished that I had gotten so far. Looking back at my first pictures entering the contest, I feel proud of my improvement and the position I reached. The whole competition was a great learning experience for me and I thank everyone who was involved for the wonderful opportunity. Augusta Carver: What has been the most


My Precious Queen 2011 (1st runner-up) Genevieve Kamala


My Precious Queen 2011 (2nd runner-up) Cieleste Magic


memorable moment during the My Precious Queen Contest? Xandrah Sciavo: The My Precious Queen contest has been an extremely valuable and exciting experience for me, and I have been gifted with so many wonderful memories that it is difficult to pick just one that stands out the most. Every milestone I reached - being chosen as a monthly princess, the subsequent selection as a semi-finalist, and being chosen as My Precious Queen 2011 - were all very special moments for me, full of delight and surprise. The night I was selected as the winner may be the most memorable of all because the outcome was completely unexpected. Every single woman on the stage was talented, beautiful, and well-spoken, and the My Precious fashion house would have been served well if any one of them had been chosen. The final result was a tremendous accomplishment for me, and I was both humbled and overjoyed. AC: What has been an important lesson that you have taken away from this whole experience? XS: When I entered this contest, I did not enter with winning a title in mind. As a matter of fact, in the very beginning, I had no idea what the contest was going to entail and even if I’d had a crystal ball, I would have been surprised to learn that a completely new model who had never submitted a photo to a contest before would ever even reach the semi-finals. I think one lesson to learn from this is that trying something is always worthwhile, because if you take that very first step, great things can come your way. The great things may not be winning,

but they most likely will include learning and even meeting some pretty incredible people along the path. Another piece that I think worth mentioning is that the only expectations I had were that I would do my best, consider this as a part of my learning journey, and would have a good time. I think my first contest experience was such a good one not because I won, but because the expectations I had were actually focused on something other than winning. Contest judging is left to others, so at the end of the day, you have little control over the final selection, but what you do have control over is what you choose to take from the experience. I did not know at the time that this would be a lesson I would take with me from this experience, but it is certainly something I’ll carry along in the future. AC: What do you find to be an important thing to know regarding styling? XS: Back in the summer, I was fortunate to be part of a class given by a well-known supermodel and magazine executive who spoke about beginning every styling exercise with an end-result in mind. She talked about her planning process and how every item she chooses relates to the theme or result she wishes to portray. I think that knowing where you are going is a very helpful tip to remember. In addition, I would advise others to be creative and take the less obvious route when styling. Creative elements will make others remember you if they are used well and make sense. AC: Do you have any tips for anyone entering future My Precious contests?


XS: I think one thing to keep in mind when entering this contest or even any other contest is to get to know the designer’s brand. Study the fashion house, the vendors, and the advertisements and even attend some shows if possible so that you can get an idea of what sort of feeling or atmosphere the designer attempts to convey with their creations. Attempt to implement the same sort of mood with the photographs you submit. Also, it bears repeating that it is important to keep in mind the creativity factor. Creative styling that compliments the mood will likely set you apart from others and give you the edge to get to the next level of the competition. AC: How does it feel to be chosen winner and what do you hope to accomplish during your reign? XS: Being chosen as the winner of the contest is a huge honor for me. It took a few days for reality to set in, because I could hardly believe it was happening! As for my time as My Precious Queen 2011, I am going to be busy! The queen’s blog is the newest project and is one I will be working on regularly in which I’ll be highlighting new releases, favorites both new and old, and other aspects of my journey. This is something new that has been added, and I am very excited about it! I will also be attending all My Precious events and am looking forward to all of my upcoming activities as a representative for the fashion house. I want to add that in addition to My Precious offering some of the most exquisite gowns on the entire grid, the My Precious family is a professional, fun, and overall fabulous group of people to


(l to r) My Precious Finalists Enchanteddreams Bebb, Federica Galtier, Imani Enzo


(l to r) My Precious Finalists Jamee Sandalwood, Natasja Schumann, Ladykath Avon


(l to r) My Precious Finalists Pure Nikoladis, Jade Spectre, Mely Gibbs


work with. This is going to be an amazing adventure, and I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity! All three of these women have made it incredibly far and did a wonderful job showcasing their talent for styling. They are great examples of poise, beauty, and creativity. With hard work and determination any aspiring model and fashion lover can go far in these competitions. The new rounds for The My Precious Queen Contest 2011 kicked off in January so there is plenty of time to enter. You can visit the My Precious Mainstore for more information regarding the Queen contest for 2011. A


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AVENUE | GOLden Shopping

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ully

HED B elts are no longer the every day assessory, they’re a staple and even sometimes the inspiration to a great outfit. This month allow me to take you into GOLden Shopping, part of the GOL community, from the eyes of this playful addition with “Colorfully Cinched”. GOLden Shopping is the perfect place to discover your own personal style. As soon as you arrive you’ll find brands such as Aoharu, Anexx, Narcotix, 2xtreme, BAX Coen Designs, Akeyo, LostAngel Industries, Boom, C.Smit, Alphamale & Blacklace, Insanya, So Many Styles, Oh Studio, AMG Boudoir, Sr3d Poses, Dezno, PACADI, Tres Beau, BOA Creations, Elymode, Je Suis, No.7 and Kiliebe. After seeing the newest designer releases for this colorful winter season I had no problem finding this months waist hugging inspiration, “the belt”. Written, Styled & Photographed by Jesika Contepomi

Find your own style with this array of creative designers. Visit GOLden Shopping today on GOL 5!


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Oh Studio

//Corset Oh Studio My Skeletal Waspie //Bracelets Oh! Studio My Bangle Prado


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BOOM

//Dress BOOM Tamed Anya’s Orange


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Tres Beau

//Outfit Tres Beau Vested


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Insanya

//Boots Insanya Obey


O...................................................................................... Pacadi

//Hair Pacadi Katy Hair //Belt Pacadi Mairey Leather Belt


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Je Suis

//Necklace Je Suis Isis Collar

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AVENUE l Model of the Month

MODEL OF THE MONTH

Written by: Augusta Carver Photography by: Diconay Boa

jennaa loire


In a world where modeling is fiercely competitive and challenging, AVENUE’s Model of the Month Jennaa Loire always finds a way to stay one step ahead of the competition. From modeling to blogging and more, Jennaa is doing it all with style. We had the opportunity to sit down and chat about her Second Life® experiences.

J.L.: That is one way to look at it LOL... there are so many new and amazing models coming up though I can’t wait for the next twelve months. A.C.: Did you always know you wanted to model?

Augusta Carver: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.

J.L.: Well to be completely honest fashion, photography and even art have always been passions for me. So it seemed only natural to get involved in these fields in SL.

Jennaa Loire: Oh my pleasure thanks so much for asking me!

A.C.: Is that why you joined SL, to get into the fashion world?

A.C.: Congrats for being the model of the Month with AVENUE!

J.L.: I stumbled across SL by accident honestly .... but as soon as I found my feet I headed straight for the shops LOL.

J.L.: Awww thank you... still in shock... are you sure you have the right person? LOL.

A.C.: LOL. It sounds like I have met yet another shopaholic.

A.C.: LOL, yes I am pretty sure I do. A.C.: So how long have you been with AVENUE?

J.L.: Hahahah… I think deep down we are all shopaholic’s…anyone who says they aren’t is in denial.

J.L.: Oh goodness about a year and a half now. When I was asked to join AVENUE it was one of the best days I have had on SL to be honest.

A.C.: It is one activity that I think is the most fun in SL and RL...at least to me.

A.C.: Have you been modeling in SL for that length of time as well?

J.L.: Oh exactly if I could get my shoe closet into SL…my inventory would burst LOL.

J.L.: You are going to make me feel old here LOL... I have been modeling in SL for over two and a half years now.

A.C.: Do you have a top 6 for your favorite stores?

A.C.: Wow that is very neat. Don’t feel old LOL, it just means you are experienced.

J.L.: Oh for sure…I would have to say LeeZu!, CHANTKARE, Evie’s Closet, House Of Fox, Paper


Couture, and ooo… it’s so hard to pick a last one… LaGyo. But I love finding little unknown stores as well... there are some real treasures to be found out there. I literally have a list that I write stores I love down on and make sure I go and visit them once a week... see if they have anything new or anything I have missed. A.C.: So aside from modeling and shopping. What else do you like to do in Second Life? J.L.: Well my other great passion on here is Home & Garden. So I started a group called the SL House & Garden Group. The purpose of this group is to give a focused place for furniture, home and landscape lovers to hear about new releases, sales, and specials from the creators in Second Life. We have regular photo contests, group activities and we recently had the first annual SL House & Garden Awards which was a lot of fun. A.C.: You are a blogger as well? J.L.: Yep, I blog for oh goodness 5 different blogs now and write for 3 magazines as well. A.C.: Goodness, how do you keep track of everything? J.L.: Coffee is my best friend LOL. For me it’s really a matter of being well organized and planning things well ahead of time. AC: Yes, being organized can make a big difference. JL: It really does but coffee is key LOL.

A.C.: So Jennaa, what inspires you in your world? What keeps you going? J.L.: Oh goodness there are so many things that inspire me. It can be anything from my best friend Imani Enzo showing me an amazing outfit she has put together or a photo that a photographer has taken or even listening to music. Sometimes it can be just a compliment from someone that can keep you going or some random IM from someone saying they liked my blog this week. It really comes from anywhere and anything. I try to find the silver lining in everything. A.C.: As a model, what do you think is an important trait to have? J.L.: I know that may seem a little harsh.... but to me the models who work hard and put in that extra effort is ten times the model than someone who just rocks up and expects everything to fall into their lap. Integrity – making sure to always be honest, not concerning yourself with what other people are doing and always putting in your best effort. A.C.: What has been your most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a model? J.L.: Not being influenced by everyone else’s opinions. This can be the kind of industry where everyone has strong opinions. It is difficult not to listen to them sometimes and again staying true to yourself. Personal achievement and success; when I receive some recognition for walking well or styling of an outfit, it’s always nice. I have to say it’s always rewarding to walk in show and walk well.


A.C.: Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in working in the fashion world of SL? J.L.: Oh for sure... don’t expect too much at once, work hard and stay true to yourself. Being true to herself, experimenting with fashion, and keeping a good connection of friends around her is what keeps Jenna going. With a love for modeling, shopping, decorating, writing and blogging, she keeps a very active SL life, but knows how to balance everything out and have fun in the process. Jennaa is a good example of a hardworking and down to earth model and I look forward to seeing more of her on the runway. A


AVENUE |Architecture & More


Architecture

Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Blaz Halfpint

True

The Beauty of


W

hen it comes to search for a new home, there is a lot to choose from in Second Life®. From Tropical to Modern and everything in between, finding something you like might take a bit of time. A great place to help in the search is Horizontes. Alee Luik, designer of Horizontes creates both furniture and different style homes to suit many tastes. I had the opportunity to talk to him about his work in SL®. Augusta Carver: How did you first hear about SL? Alee Luik: I first heard about SL from a friend. She is a DJ in real life and was amazed by its potential on live music broadcasting. She showed me that SL could do everything that websites dedicated to broadcasting live DJ sets do but with a big plus: allowing an extraordinary level of interactivity with the listeners. Unfortunately after a few months she left and I kept exploring it alone. AC: How long have you been building in SL? AL: I have been building for almost 2 years now. Since I already knew how to deal with real life 3d programs like 3DS Max it wasn’t too hard for me to find out how to do it in SL. In fact it was more a matter of learning about SL limitations and tricks. AC: Why did you choose to be an SL Builder? AL: Architecture is a passion I have had for a long time in real life. Though I came in-world because of music, it was natural for me to begin wanting to explore SL possibilities on building.

I started for fun making and decorating my own place. When I finished I simply couldn’t help myself and I started another building. AC: For those who don’t know, what items do you sell at Horizontes? AL: I sell houses, animated furniture and bath tubs, decks, landscaping stuff (plants, rocks), lighting, and soon after tons of requests the club and stage that are situated at Horizontes will be for sale too. AC: How do you find inspiration for the items that you build? AL: I’m totally inspired by contemporary architecture. That’s what makes my eyes shine! Modernist architects like Le Corbusier, Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the amazing Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer are my guiding lights. Their work is amazing! AC: How would you describe the style of your store? AL: Actually it doesn’t look like a store and that is the point of it! It wasn’t made to look like one! In my opinion there is nothing uglier than a prefab house or furniture shop that just has everything there exposed side by side on a big flat sim. But the way my store appears, still causes some funny situations. I once had a customer coming in and asking me if I knew where the shop was at! Some others did ask if the houses were for renting! I made the sim that way so it could look natural and be a place for giving inspiration to my customers about how to landscape and make their own place look beautiful. All furniture is also exposed


inside the houses, again to give customers cool ideas of decoration. Another point I had in mind was making the act of coming and having a look at my creations not just a shopping scene. You can come, walk around and relax while choosing what you like, because the environment is pleasant and beautiful. There is a huge stage and club with only true live musicians and DJ’s performing from time to time and also an art gallery inside the club. So it’s a bit more than just a boring store. Yesterday just after logging in I was able to see a couple relaxing and cuddling on one of my garden benches and that is gratifying because I did reach my objective there. AC: What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to building? AL: I think it is quality and being faithful to your style. I won’t build other ones besides contemporary cause that is not me. I do this for love and I won’t make something just because it sells. Another important point for me is to gather as many features I can and give my customers the most complete product so they won’t have to buy other things for filling their needs when it comes to having a cool home in SL. For example: right now all my house buyers get for free a high quality landscaping pack so they won’t have to go around spending more money with plants, rocks, etc… for having their beautiful corner in SL. AC: What do you find most challenging about building? AL: SL restrictions. I’m used to abuse of lighting

and shadowing effects in 3DMax Studio. In SL there is a limit for that cause you can’t have one different big texture for each face of each prim on a big building like a house, otherwise it would take too long to render. In my opinion it is also important not to abuse use of sculpties, because the rendering delay of them is really annoying. It is not fun to wait a lot for your house turning from little balls to something you can recognize. I just use them for shapes. You can’t get and won’t look good with regular prims. Baking textures outside of SL and bringing them in is also challenging because there is not a totally automated interaction between SL and most 3D programs. SL primitives are also different from the ones they originally have. Only recently have some people developed a way to allow a Mental Ray texture baking in 3DMax Studio followed by the preparation of their importing to SL. AC: What is your favorite thing about building? AL: The big fun I have while doing it! ...and also knowing that some people will have their dream life in them. That keeps me going. AC: Besides building, what do you like in SL? AL: I used to enjoy live music events and clubs, but the big spreading of non-live DJs and the penalization of the complex art of mixing, made me forget a bit about it. What I still enjoy in SL besides building is meeting new people from all over the world and watching the way they express themselves through their avatar look. AC: What sets Horizontes apart from other SL stores?


AL: The fact that it doesn’t look like a shop and the fact that we worry about giving the most complete all in one product. The houses come with integrated control that have a complete security system for land, radar for detecting people approaching, access control system for choosing who can come in and operate the house, privacy system, blinds, curtains, light system, menu driven fireplace, high quality garden and also a free landscaping pack. Some models also have a Jacuzzi with animations and cuddling benches. For those who do not like to decorate we also sell fully furnished versions. And you just pay one regular house price for all that! Oh... all the houses are MOD because I stand for the right of my customers to give their personal touch to their places. Selling no mod houses is a crime in my point of view! And no fear of modifying! If you made a mess all you have to do is to rez it again! AC: Any words of advice for people who are interested in building or having their own store? AL: One of SL’s most fun sides is building and creating! Even if you don’t want to do it professionally or think you can’t do... just try it! Even if it’s just modifying the stuff you have, giving them your face and own touch. Just try it! For those who want to have their own store…take it slow and never forget to have fun! Having SL as a second working life can be stressful. It’s a competitive and cruel world just like RL.


AC: Can you tell us what we can look forward to seeing from Horizontes in the future? AL: Well, I will keep following my original plan that is to make a full environment where my customers can have anything they like on it, be them in or outside the houses. Looking forward in SL means having to mention the upcoming world opening to meshes. It’s hard to know in which level it will come and how SL will handle that. It will be a HUGE step for making things in world look more real and improve building quality BUT it will bring also a massive turnaround on SL market (specially to some specific businesses) and for sure will be the sentence of death for most of those who don’t know how to handle 3D designing programs. The future is knocking on SL’s door and the whole building destiny depends on how it will open to that. For sure Horizontes wants any changes that come for good and quality improving reasons. We will be there for sure!

With quality designs that are affordable and stylish, Horizontes is the perfect choice. Alee Luik is dedicated to providing the most appealing and realistic architecture and furniture in Second Life for customers who love to decorate and those who are unsure. Visit Horizontes in-world to see more of what Alee A Luik has to offer.


AVENUE |Interesting Sims

Mysterious E

nglish philosopher Alfred North Whiteheard once proclaimed: “Art flourishes where there is a sense of nothing having been done before, of complete freedom to experiment; but when caution comes in you get repetition, and repetition is the death of art.” For artists, one of the greatest aspects of the virtual platform is the freedom and ability to experiment, to explore the potential for limitless

creativity, and the canvas to be able to bring their most imaginative pieces to life. Three artists in Second Life® take full advantage of this canvas, and have created one of the biggest canvases for their ever-changing artwork. Anley Piers, Cherry Manga and Elfe Imako, the masterminds behind the Mysterious Wave sim, take a moment to share their genius with AVENUE as they give us the surreal truth behind their creative sim.


Exploring the Surreal in

Wave Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Ozz Larsson


Sensuous Soulstar: I have to ask, why the name Mysterious Wave? It sounds so mystifying, yet the name draws you in. So, what’s the back-story with the name? Cherry Manga: We wanted the word “wave” to show the connection between the three of us. Mysterious Wave illustrates the will of our three minds to make surreal stuff and to spread our ideas. Elfe Imako: We all have different styles and they are not always realistic. We like to imagine things, and we like to share our builds with others, and to show others’ works as well. Anley Piers: Mysterious describes our builds; everyone is free to see them in their own way; to translate what they represent. And this was the basis on which we terraformed our sim. It forms a question mark. SS: With that being said, how would you classify your sim? I was thinking it was more like an outdoor museum, but it seems it’s a little more abstract than that. EI: It’s more experimental than anything; we just have fun building what we have in mind and sharing it. It’s creative. We also expose other people’s works, and invite some artists for concerts and so on. We really wanted to share our creations, but also other’s as well. CM: It is a place to dream. Visiting this place is like walking/flying in a surreal world that is always changing. The art is here ephemeral, since we change the sculptures often. AP: We really wanted to show mainly our constructions.

CM: Without having to stay in reality, SL® tools let us make things we couldn’t experience in real life, so we enjoy making weird things. SS: Speaking of which, how many other artists are on the sim right now? EI: None at the moment, but the next one will be here Saturday. We alternate between concerts and expositions. AP: We showcase designers temporarily; about every 15 days we change the exhibitors. It just depends on the creators. For the builds, we show other artists one by one because of the prim issue. EI: Because it’s a low prim sim. CM: Right now there’s only our creations but we will welcome a French artist on Saturday. We had Artistide Despres’ work for example. EI: And Loup Erin. SS: Now you said that you change out about every 15 days for other artists’ work, but what about your creations? Do you change them out as well, and if so, how often? EI: Well it depends on our creativity at the moment. AP: We change pretty regularly. As a new piece is created, we remove an old one. CM: Some sculptures have been here from the beginning, and others for several days. EI: We don’t fix a set time for creating. We cannot be creative every day, but there are 3 of us, so there are always ideas from at least one of us. CM: We also make celebrations skyboxes, such as a Christmas one in the sky.


SS: How long have each of you been building in SL? AP: A little over a year for me. CM: Since 2007. EI: I came to SL because I saw that we could create here, so almost from the beginning for me. SS: When and what made you decide to open a sim together for your work? AP: We each had our own sims, but lost them this summer. We knew each other before, and decided to reunite after that. EI: With the costs of maintaining our own sims, we each lost them. But we knew each other prior to that. We appreciated each of our different styles and our different personalities. CM: We thought that sharing the costs and sharing our ideas would be a great experience, and we’re very satisfied right now. SS: So, how do you decide which pieces go on the sim? Are you each allotted a certain number of prims, or do you rotate who gets to release new pieces? AP: We each get a number of prims that we build upon. We also reserve a certain number for exhibitors. EI: We try to have some equality. But it depends on our creativity. I travel a lot in RL, so I don’t create as much. CM: We try to share prims, but sometimes one of us has more or less than the prim limit, but things just work out naturally. Actually, I’m the prim killer. (Laughs)


SS: Finally, what is your goal for the sim? What would you like to accomplish this time around? AP: To keep it! EI: Yes, we’d like to keep it this time around. It’s not a true commercial sim, so it’s difficult to keep up with the costs. We survive on donations and sales of some of our creations. We love when someone says to us that they love it here, such as a few minutes ago, a guy said that we’d awaken in him things that he didn’t know he had in his heart. CM: I like when visitors are intrigued or just happy to see something unusual. I want to offer a dream to visitors, and I think that Elfe and Anley want the same. That kind of comment is worth more than a million Linden dollars. AP: Visitors make the sim survive by their feelings and show of support for our work, especially through donations and purchases. The day when people no longer follow our work, is the day that we die with the sim. Such powerful words from such dedicated artists. To see the amazing works of these three talented artists, to purchase their works, or just to donate to the Mysterious Wave sim, please visit the sim at: Zone [219.124.22]. A


The

One of th


AVENUE | Sports & Recreation

e White Archers

he Last White Knights of Second Life Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Natasja Schumann

T

he legendary Confucius once said: “Archery enshrines the principles of human relationships. The archer perfects his form within himself. If his form is perfect, yet when he releases he misses, there is no point in resenting those who have done better than him. The fault lies nowhere but within himself.” While there are numerous sports and activities in Second Life®, few are so rooted in history as the sport of archery. Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow. It takes great talent, focus and dedication to master this art, a combination rarely found

found in most, but once mastered, an invaluable skill. It is for this reason that the White Archers are such an elite group amongst its peers. The White Archers is one of three military groups formed by Bee Dumpling and Colton Dreschler under the banner of the “White Knights,” and is under the command of Talon Lionheart. According to Lionheart, the White Archers were formed as a result of a hole that Dumpling and Dreschler saw in the existing fabric of SL® Fantasy and Medieval groups as there were no groups focused on character and sportsmanship, rather than an ability to “win.” With this hole in mind, the two


set out to create a home for those that upheld the ideals of knighthood and charity while still having fun. While the White Archers are one of three military groups, there are no set ranks within the group, other than the group leaders as of yet, as they prefer to let the leaders emerge over time by demonstrating their ability to organize and mentor others. They train two nights a week, with one night of drill and squad-sized battles, and the other night spent with other groups to gain “real world” combat experience. There are tournaments planned for the near future to emphasize team concepts, tactics and skills specific to archers. Membership into the White Archers is a selective process, representative of the elite status that members hold. New members must be invited to join or recommended by someone in the group. They go through a period of training, with an arsenal of weapons provided directly from Dreschler and the White Armory. New members are evaluated to see if they embody the characteristics of a true knight,

and after a thorough interview process, are awarded a uniform specially designed by Dumpling at a public ceremony. One of the most amazing aspects of the White Archers is that with the amount of time and money that goes into the weapons, the training and the uniforms, new members are not required to pay anything, and are only required to positively represent the values that the White Archers stand for. When asked about the goal for the White Archers, Lionheart honorably replied: “The goal for all who come to train with us is to participate in a well funded, well supported, well led group whose focus is fun and camaraderie. Our goal is to be recognized as a group that can be counted on to play fair, have fun and represent the things in life larger than us.” Built upon a foundation of charity and integrity, this is a group that embodies the characteristics that most of SL has long forgotten. They truly are a dying breed: the Last of the White Knights. To find out more information about the White Archers, please contact Talon Lionheart. A


AVENUE | Business Feature

More

ThaN Just pop Music

art lab

Written by Sensuous Soulstar Photography by Annough Lykin


P

op Art Lab has been a Second LifeŽ staple since 2008. It’s innovative concept has brought new life to music inside of the virtual universe. More than just streaming music, Pop Art Lab offers a diverse array of art, contests, venues, machinima and more to its visitors. With new music added every few days, including well known artists as well as some lesser known ones, there is never a dull moment with this fully-immersive media experience. In the midst of many on-going projects, as well preparing projects for the upcoming year, Founder and CEO of Pop Art Lab, Claus Uriza, takes a moment to talk with AVENUE about how he took his real life passion and turned it into a Second Life media powerhouse.


"Never go into a static mode, keep changing and challenging the platform...”

Sensuous Soulstar: I’ve got to say, this is probably one of the most innovative sims I’ve ever encountered in Second Life. What led you to open a sim strictly dedicated to promoting music and artists here? Claus Uriza: I’ve always been dedicated to music. I’ve worked with music in real life as a music editor for 12 years, been selling old collectable vinyl albums for 10 years, edited music books, DJing, hunting new releases since I was a boy, and so on. Pop Art Lab is just an extension of all these activities. SS: There are so many aspects to Pop Art Lab (“PAL”). Give a little overview of all the things that you do, including the events, the streaming, the art exhibition and so on, so that our readers will know just how much PAL has to offer.

CU: First of all, we can’t really be filed into most of what you see in Second Life. You could call it a library or simply a news channel adopting new music. Then combine it with activities like concerts, events, art, machinima etc. Unlike many places we do not care much about traffic, but we care about giving visitors quality and a space to come and do their thing. At events we set a maximum of 60 avatars on one sim and, again, care more about quality instead of ruining the common experience by mass open chat advertising, dysfunctional live screens and lag. By doing this, we challenge the overall 3D environments and how people adopt these impressions. On a daily basis we are first and foremost a music sim where we rotate about 10-15 new albums a week, streaming full length via 4 streams running 24/7. Our focus is mostly in genres like Electronica, Indie, Pop and R&B/ Hip Hop. Then we have lots of cool spots to hang out, film or just explore. We always have some projects going on pushing the platform. They can be machinima contests, TV shows or art and music related. We also work with the university and museum communities. We are quite diverse and love to combine a wide range of communities and services.


SS: Now PAL has been around since 2008. What do you credit to the success of the company and its ability to last in a virtual environment where most businesses have very short life spans? CU: Our team and partners. Our model has always been research-based, hence the “lab” in the title. Step-by-step, we find out what works and keep making new improvements and inspirations. Never go into a static mode, keep changing and challenging the platform, and stay flexible for sudden changes. SS: Since you mentioned that “lab” part of the name, let me ask, why the name Pop Art Lab? Is it a reference to something or stands for something in real life?

CU: It refers to an old 1960s Los Angeles band called” The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.” There are no further references than that, other than the fact that I’ve always adored their music and their band’s name is outstanding. Our in-world group name is just slightly modified to The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Lab. Pretty long name. I have no idea when it ended up just as Pop Art Lab. It just happened as with most other things I do. Thinking back, it makes sense because Linden Lab is West Coast based and experiment a lot developing our platform. Also I find great inspiration in the Pop Art emergence of Warhol and others in the 60s.


SS: Let’s just focus directly on the music for a second. I’ve read that you change your streams every 2 to 3 days. Why rotate the music out so often and how do you decide which artists/albums to showcase next? Is it strictly based on what you like at the moment, or are there contractual obligations? CU: As part of my real life job, I select and listen to 1000-1500 albums a year. Of course this is a massive load of information, but with the aforementioned music dedication, it’s quite easy for me. I select albums that make sense, and have both a broad and narrow appeal. I call it the NOW sounds of our time. It’s fascinating to open up the doors of music as it reflects movements in modern society. I have a very broad taste in

Black Label is a gorgeous structure that has a relaxed yet luxurious and upscale atmosphere that is perfect for an evening out with friends. The elegant two-story build includes a club bar with plenty of space to dance the night away on the first level and a small arena on the dozens of genres. stream music I don’t like, second level that I isdodedicated to live shows. but again, due to my real life profession, I’ve learned love and judge music I dedicated don’t like. The clubto also boasts aneven amazingly This might sound20abstract but adopting music is staff and about very talented DJs who spin a process where you always get what you give. many genres of music including: hip hop, pop, The 3-day is chosen asand it fitsclub the weekly rock, punk,sequence metal, electronic, music. outputofofthe interesting recordings how much Most club’s patrons speakand Japanese but time I’m ableinvites to put anyone into it by now. are Aion readily who is There interested many interesting is Label. that I to visitfactors, but and have aone great time at one Black have to think about how often people login to SL®, plus into ais flow. are It should betweak noted 4-5 thatgenres Black Label by noWe means a news channel,run andofforthe those want a fast your everyday millthat establishment. overviewitofgives cool,off new music, they get a exclusivity very easy, Instead, a vibe that exudes fast luxury and funbut wayintoa consume it. laid Many actually and subtle and back kind go of out buy thesenot albums. are time in beta and we way. It’s hard to haveWe a good at this place test this these make sure the following platform and is dynamics evident bytothe respectable is set Label and able scale etc. also keep close Black has to managed to We build over theayears.


"Those involved in virtual worlds are building the future of online-based activities.”

eye on new, emerging virtual worlds and our general web presence. There are no contractual obligations so far, and we work with Scandinavian performing rights societies KODA/NCB/Gramex. These agreements reflect our test purposes and are updated regularly. SS: Let’s talk about some of the projects you have going on, or that you’ve had in the past, such as Pop Vox, Art Breaker, and the MMIF Machinima Festival. Give a little background on some of them. CU: Pop Vox is a series of Music TV shows we do in partnership with Treet.TV. Our aim is to help bring in real life musicians and the very best from the SL community. Due to my music profession, I might be a bit spoiled and reserved when it comes to acts that we bring and having the quality where I want it. Therefore, our shows happen when it makes sense. Hopefully we will be able to run monthly shows throughout 2011. A

Art Breaker was a collaboration of creating art and music within inter-reactive installations. We set up a proposal period and ended up with 8 very talented designers showcasing their installations. Then we added an opening event featuring interesting speakers and live music all webcasted via our partners, Treet.TV. MMIF was Chantal Harvey’s annual machinima festival showcasing 42 films during 7 hours. We, Emily Hifeng and I, designed the 4-sim venue. Even Mark Kingdon, ex-CEO of Linden Lab showed up and praised the work. For 2011, we have scheduled equal collaborations and right now I’m busy holding real life meetings with a wide range of local Scandinavian music organizations. The purpose is to use Pop Art Lab as a viable social media channel for their businesses.


SS: Thus far you’ve had great success with your events, and I know you have a pretty wide following, so we’ve got to know, what upcoming events should we look forward to in-world? CU: There’ll be a modified Art Breaker Vol. II, and we’ll set up a Pop Art Lab machinima contest/ event like we did last year. Back then we made it to preserve our previous sim design and it happened to be a massive success, so why not make it annual and modify the concept a little. Finally, we have one more connecting all the dots, which I can’t talk about right now, but all of it will be happening within the next 3-4 months. We’ll also continue hosting Music TV shows, live music events and our recently launched DJ tech club nights entitled “Blackout.”

SS: Are there any people, companies, organizations that you’d like to mention, thank, or give credit to for the continued success of PAL? CU: There are a lot. Treet.TV, Linden Lab, Roskilde University, Nordic Virtual World Network, a long list of friends, creators and most importantly, the team behind Pop Art Lab. Plus companies and relatives who prefer to stay out of the blitz. SS: Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time out to answer AVENUE’s questions. We always like to leave the readers on a positive note, so with that being said, is there anything as far as advice, a life lesson, or even a funny story that you’d care to share with our readers?


CU: Those involved in virtual worlds are building the future of online-based activities. I have kids and want to be involved and influence the emergence of these worlds. I find Second Life particularly strong, as it gives you way more tools to be creative than most other commercial prefab virtual worlds. Let’s be positive and work together towards a free 3D internet. SS: I couldn’t have ended it any better myself. That is always a goal I think most would love to see, a free 3D internet and more positivity. Thank you again for talking with us, and we look forward to seeing the amazing things Pop Art Lab does in 2011 and beyond. To find out more information about Pop Art Lab, you can visit the website at: www.popartlab.com or stop by the sim and enjoy the variety of music at: Pop Art Lab [ 152.164.28 ]

A


2

Man vs Second Life


2

AVENUE |Media Mojo

T Written by: Sensuous Soulstar Photography by: Sean Krueger (Hugity)

The Sequel

he odds of a sequel matching the immense popularity and ratings of its predecessor are slim. Once the bar has been set, most producers find themselves in a slump, trying to match the intensity of the first film, and usually failing miserably, brutally hitting a wall that brings not only shame and ridicule, but also immense criticism and feelings of inadequacy, and finally depression. Well…maybe it’s not that dramatic, but, there is usually a lot of criticism…and some shame is to be expected. However, on those rare occasions where a producer has the talent to bring to life a sequel that can fill the footsteps of the original, much ado must be made about such a incredulous feat.


Enter stage right, a man by the name of Sean Krueger. While rare in Second Life® to be known by your real name versus your avatar’s name, Krueger has made it a point to keep his Second Life persona under wraps. While you may know his work under his moniker “Hugity”, you are probably more familiar with the character he portrays in his films, Adam Steele. For those of you living under a rock, or unceremoniously boycotting Youtube™, Steele is the protagonist in the controversially hilarious Man vs. Second Life, and its successor, Man vs. Second Life 2: The Sequel. Donning our best hunting gear and “noob” repellant, AVENUE made its way through the jungles of Second Life to track down this unknown producer, using only our Youtube knowledge and “noob bait” to capture the elusive one for a moment alone. Join us as we sit, roast a noob a two, and pick the brain of the man behind two of Second Life’s most famous machinimas. Sensuous Soulstar: I have got to say, Man vs. World, the original, was a classic. I didn’t think you could top it, but the Sequel seemed to be just as funny, with even more real world references, especially when hilariously mocking the Vampire community, including references to Twilight and Hot Topic. (While trying to find attire to fit in, Steele emphatically remarks “Twilight loving twats” when referring to Vampires, and after donning his “Team Jacob” apparel, sarcastically states “I’m a regular Hot Topic hoodlum.”) When did you decide it was time to do a sequel, and how hard was that decision for you in the end?

Sean Krueger (Hugity): To be honest, I never thought I’d do a sequel! The first movie had so much unprecedented success on its own that I felt that I would ruin it by making a second part. But people kept telling me to do a sequel; they wanted to see more of Adam Steele. It was around the time I got 100,000 hits on Youtube (about 1 year after the initial release) that I felt like I owed it to the fans to give them more, since they gave me so much support. After throwing some ideas back and forth with my cameraman who helped make the first movie, I wrote a draft script and took off from there. It was a little difficult to get back into the Second Life mind frame, as I had left the world for quite some time, but once I put my director’s cap back on, it was all about movie making... and I was having a blast. SS: Overall, how much time do you estimate that you put into making this film? Did you find it easier this time around after the last film, or was it even tougher trying to match the success of the previous film? SK: Here’s a bit of perspective; the first film was written, shot, edited, and uploaded within 2 weeks. Look how well that one did. The sequel took us a total of 10 months, working on and off. We were so blown away from the success of the first film that we wanted to take extra time to make sure the sequel was just as good, if not better, by pushing the envelope both technically and comically. SS: And that you did! Now I know this is weird to ask for the Sequel, but I do want to give the readers some background on the series. So tell


me, how did you come up with the idea of doing this kind of film? We all tend to think of Second Life in different ways, but this is probably the most hilarious way I’ve ever seen it portrayed, and actually one of the most appropriate since we are kind of thrown into the jungle in a sense when we’re dumped here with no obvious goals. When did it hit you to compare it to the Man vs. Wild series? SK: Well, I’ve always enjoyed the Man vs. Wild series. Something about a single man demonstrating how to survive in the wilderness was intriguing to me. For a while I thought, “what if this idea was to be brought into a video game: one character surviving the varying difficulties one would encounter in a given virtual environment.” At the time, I was playing a lot of Crysis, and originally I wanted to make a story using that engine... I just didn’t have the time. Then while taking a virtual worlds class at college, one of our final project options was to make a machinima piece using Second Life. I quickly realized that the Second Life metaverse, being user-created and user-run, seemed much more mysterious and perilous to a single man struggling for survival than any fictional game I could come up with. Thus, “Man vs. Second Life” was born. SS: I’m curious, how did you decide which groups to pick on when you finally decided on the film? New users, or “noobs,” are such an easy target, did you just feel they were the easiest to capture? And what about the vampires, how do they fit into all of this? SK: I wanted to focus on content that everyone

was familiar with. Everyone was a noob at one point, and we all have dealt with them before. They can be funny, annoying, naive, smartasses, or just plain clueless; they are probably the closest thing to real life you will ever find in Second Life, so they add that extra dimension that the hardcore Second Life, users might be desperately trying to avoid. Seeing them clash makes me smile. I used to hang around one particular welcome area/ info hub, and it always got flooded with vampire groups trying to bite you. I felt that was another group that everyone has dealt with at some time or another, and with the whole Twilight fad happening these days, I had to put my 2 cents in! SS: I love it! Now what about the reactions to your films: have you had any negative reactions to the film? While I think most would find it hilarious, have there been any uptight comments, or even Lindens, that have offered any surprising criticisms? If so, what’s been your reaction to it? SK: Surprisingly, I’ve gotten almost no negative criticism. I did get some criticism that Adam Steele in the sequel was too much of a dark and cold killer. While this may be somewhat true, I explained that he’s spent quite a while in isolation, and he is fighting for his own survival in a strange land. As the real life Bear Grylls would say, “you must put all prejudices aside and do what you must to keep yourself alive.” Story wise, I felt this was the natural progression of Adam’s character. I’ve also had one or two furries bring up the fact that I was stereotyping, suggesting that all of them are sex addicts. The castle in my movie is actually Castle Dark Haven (a furry


sanctuary). Now, while it may be true that not all furries are sex addicts, I came across several pieces of suggestive artwork, and naked furries with laughably large chests and genitals. So, if they are not sex addicts, then I can only conclude that 95% of Second Life users are ;) SS: Now before we wrap up, I’ve got to admit that trying to track you down is a bit of an ordeal, almost as if trying to find the isolated Adam Steele! Now I’m pretty sure you’re not Adam Steele in Second Life. So tell me, do you hide your avatar’s persona because of the attention that your videos get, or do you just enjoy your privacy? Or is there some really mysterious reason that we haven’t quite figured out yet? SK: I’ll bet you even tried searching for Adam Steele to no avail! Well, going back to a previous question, all I use Second Life for is making movies. While I do keep in touch with some friends in the virtual world, I do not spend a lot of time there, and therefore don’t think I’d make a very good friend! Plus, considering my videos have been getting thousands of hits, I would probably get thousands of friend requests... many of them asking to be in my next movie. While I totally appreciate the dedication of all my fans, it’s simply impossible for me to deal with something of that magnitude! SS: Completely understandable, and of course, AVENUE will respect your privacy and not share the inside scoop! But I do want to thank you for coming out of hiding for just a bit to talk with us, and for giving us this opportunity. Now I’m going to ask you the question that I’m sure countless

others already have and probably still ask, but should we expect a trilogy? Will there be any additions to the series? What about any spin-offs? SK: I think it’s safe to say that you haven’t seen the last of Adam Steele. Although I feel with only so much universally familiar content within the virtual world, Man vs. Second Life will most likely end with a third film in a trilogy. Don’t ask when it’s coming out though, no plans are in the works just yet! But I definitely plan to use SL to experiment with other aspects of filmmaking, not necessarily comedy. I’m interested in creating pieces that don’t allude to the fact that you’re actually in SL, it just happens to be the chosen medium for the video. Lots of ideas are always brewing in my head, so who knows what will manifest! After such an amazing interview with such an incredibly talented and humorous man, it only seems appropriate to leave you with one of the most memorable lines, and probably this writer’s favorite line, from Man vs. Second Life 2: The Sequel’s final scene: Welcome Area Resident: “Second Life is not a game! It’s an online social experience.” Vampire at Welcome Area: “Your mama’s an online social experience!” You can find Man vs. Second Life 2: The Sequel at: http://youtu.be/rRn16VJbtVs, as well as the original Man vs. Second Life at: http://youtu.be/ pFS4l5B547s. A


AVENUE | Club of the Month

Finer Things


Black Label Written by Imani Enzo Photography by Rusch Raymaker Event Photos by Black Label Inc Staff


M

usic is an international language. It is perhaps one of the best things to come from the minds, mouths, and hearts of human beings. It is a concept that everyone in the world can relate to and believe in. More importantly, it has the capacity to provide common ground for people from all walks of life as well as the significant power to build and strengthen relationships. At times, it even has the power to restore hope in mankind.

Just about anyone can agree with the notion that music is truly one of life’s greatest and finest gifts. That’s one of the reasons why it is not out of the ordinary to see people from all over the world grooving to the same beat at just about any Second Life® nightclub. At AVENUE Magazine, we enjoy presenting you with great clubs that you can visit and experience great music and great people. Our January 2011 Club of the Month, Black Label, is no exception. In fact, we highly suggest that you add it to your list of places to see in-world.


Music is an international language.

Black Label, owned by Aion Jewell, is a wonderfully luxurious hotspot tucked in the heart of SL Japan. Aion opened the club in July 2007 with the intent to create a small gathering place that would host live events. Three years later the establishment is still going strong. Aion credits Black Label’s staying power to the friendships she has made along the way as well as the trust she has developed with her team. She also says that staying true to her original intent for the club has played a big part in the club’s success.


Black Label is a gorgeous structure that has a relaxed yet luxurious and upscale atmosphere that is perfect for an evening out with friends. The elegant two-story build includes a club bar with plenty of space to dance the night away on the first level and a small arena on the second level that is dedicated to live shows. The club also boasts an amazingly dedicated staff and about 20 very talented DJs who spin many genres of music including: hip hop, pop, rock, punk, metal, electronic, and club music. Most of the club’s patrons speak Japanese but Aion readily invites anyone who is interested to visit and have a great time at Black Label. It should be noted that Black Label is by no means your everyday run of the mill establishment. Instead, it gives off a vibe that exudes exclusivity and luxury but in a subtle and laid back kind of way. It’s hard not to have a good time at this place and this is evident by the respectable following Black Label has managed to build over the years.


Aion tends to shy away from the use of gimmicks and regular events to get people to come out to Black Label. Instead, she demonstrates that Black Label is really something special by simply going along with the general flow of things and respecting the will of the artists and DJs that play her club. In other words, things happen at Black Label when the mood strikes. Nobody plays unless they want to and people show up. Admittedly, this is by no means a conventional approach to running a club, but it works for Aion. It does much more than just work, it also serves as a testament to her love for live music and passion for the arts. Aion Jewell wants her patrons to experience the finer things in life and she knows that great music and good times are often best when they are spontaneous and inspired. Further, she also knows the significance of music in our world and ensures that Black Label presents music only when it is at its best. We congratulate Black Label on its selection as AVENUE Magazine’s Club of the Month and urge you to visit the club.

A


AVENUE |Arts Feature

Word

The Art of the

Spoken Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Annough Lykin

W

hat has the power to make an audience roar with laughter and be stunned into silence, all in the same moment? Poetry! Poetry can invoke so many different types of emotion. They can help release your deepest, inner most thoughts and feels in a positive and therapeutic way. Words have the power to get your mind thinking and uplift your spirits. My experience at the Lyrical CafĂŠ did just that.


Opened since December 2009, the Lyrical Café, owned by Kamille Kamala has been open to artistic individuals who have a hunger for the spoken word. The atmosphere was supportive and intimate, 30 people were seated in the laid back environment with dim lighting and an eagerness to hear what inspiring lyrics awaited them. To members new and old, cheers and claps went around after each recital. Jayed Jewell, who owns her own poetry lounge in SL® called the Flow Poetry Lounge, was the host for the open mic night. She also recited some poetry of her own while combining music, which blended well together. “I believe that music and poetry are mutual inspirations... particularly poetry and jazz, it starts the poetic vibe flowing” says Jayed. From Tearrah Aries who spoke about Hip Hop, to Sabreman Carter who talked about “the Doghouse on Christmas eve”, the collection of recited words varied. Rhapsodii Abbot, who has been writing poetry since the age of 9, recited her poetry at Lyrical for the very first time that night. Her poem, titled “I’m Leaving” received positive support from the crowd and she even lent her vocals to Brian McKnight’s “Still in Love”. “Honestly, it was liberating, I have been trying to voice here for a while. My opportunity came tonight and I was blessed” Rhapsodii said about the experience. After the open mic event, I asked Kamille a few questions regarding the Lyrical Café and poetry.

Augusta Carver: What were your inspirations for opening the Lyrical Cafe? Kamille Kamala: I opened the Lyrical Cafe because I wanted to host a poetry club. I wanted to create a place that allowed the freedom of expression through poetry. This venue was created as an alternative spot for poetry amongst others that are famous in the game such as the Blue Angel’s Poets Dive and the Midnight Poets Retreat along with many others who are just as reputable and notable. To have a place that would become home to many poets who wanted somewhere to read their work and develop their craft amongst fellow artists. AC: What do you find is the best aspect of poetry? KK: I would say poetry has the ability to be very therapeutic. It can cleanse your soul and even help others who may be experiencing something similar. Although it goes without saying that it can be very entertaining. I wanted to talk about how poetry can do more than entertain, how it can enlighten. It can be like a magnifying glass to another’s perspective and once you have seen things from the angle of another it is as if you have gone through it yourself. AC: What inspires you to write? KK: At first I wrote to get some painful thoughts out of my psyche. I wrote to purge my soul and to place mark the highlights of my life. At some point things took a turn and I no longer needed to write about my pain. I no longer needed to journal through poetry; instead I began to


write for the beauty of the words that flowed through me. I began to write to uplift my spirit and those who listened to me. I also started to write more conscious pieces and now they are my staple. AC: Have any advice for fellow writers interested in poetry? KK: My best advice to any upcoming poet is to constantly absorb the work of other poets. AC: Is there anything else you care to share about the Lyrical Cafe? KK: We have just released our first poetry magazine issue called the Lyrical Cafe Review. If you want a copy you can stop by the club we have a kiosk that will deliver a copy to you. We have work from some of Second Life®’s poets who were kind enough to donate their work to us and there are some visual pieces included from the artist Littleone Aries. If you are looking for a poetry club where everyone is family, where everyone is welcome to express themselves even if you have never been on the mic before, come to the Lyrical. We have broken the cherries of many first time readers at the Lyrical and we pride ourselves for doing that. We are true lovers of the art of words and we love the artists as well. This was truly a fun and rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone who has a love of poetry. The Lyrical Café is open Tuesday and Wednesdays at 4 P.M. SLT and Saturdays at 6 P.M. SLT. For more information about the on-goings of the Café visit their website: http:// lyricalcafesl.posterous.com/ A


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AVENUE Magazine January 2011