Issuu on Google+

Couture AVENUE Look 2011

n.38 11.2011


Styled & Photographed by Cade Nansen


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Publisher’s note

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t’s the way of the world both real and virtual, that evolution be the natural progression of things. Without change, things stagnate which is why after four years we choose to continue to evolve time and time again. Reinvention is key to any success but it is with calculated measures and planning that yields positive fruits of efforts. Reinvention can take many forms and it doesn’t always mean an overhaul to make things better. It’s the little things that add up. As promised, we have spruced up on how AVENUE looks and feels in your hands as you read it inworld or online. As one of the early adopters of minimalist

design for layouts in SL, we hope you pick up your monthly issue of AVENUE with greater visual delight alongside compelling editorial created by our team of talented staff and contributors. As we strive to broaden your horizons in Second Life in every possible facet of our virtual journey together…be it staying ahead fashionably; luxuriating in refined architecture and interiors; or exploring new places, faces and talents; may we continue to reinvent ourselves and evolve into something greater always. On that note, I am also pleased to inform you at press time that

we have been nominated by residents for Favorite Magazine of the Year in the Avi Choice Awards. What a wonderful privilege and on behalf of all of us at AVENUE…a big thank you! Your votes at http:// slchristmasexpo.wordpress. com/avi-choice-awards/ will be precious and remind us of keeping up with the excellence. Cheers!

Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher & Editor in Chief AVENUE


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Editor’s note

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t is so exciting to be a part of something monumental. Every milestone, every anniversary, they all just warm your heart. And while it may be the big anniversary for AVENUE Models (and somewhat of an anniversary for all of AVENUE Inc.) all of us here at AVENUE feel a sense of pride and celebratory appreciation at such a huge accomplishment as the 4th Anniversary of AVENUE Models. There are few things that last that long in Second Life®, and businesses are usually the first thing to go. To know that AVENUE has not only stood the test of time, but has surpassed the bar and raised it to an almost impossible height, as well as grown to become the “it” agency in the world of modeling gives all of us here at AVENUE Magazine a better understanding and love for the brand that we all call our home. And it is in honor of the immense talent and beauty that AVENUE Models brings, that we

open this issue with one of our hottest cover stories yet, and one that’s closest to home: our first ever winners of Couture AVENUE Look. This year saw some amazing talent, some of the most creative ensembles, and definitely some of the most dedicated contestants that entered time and time again, and it is a testament to just how abundant that talent was that not one, but two winners were crowned this year. Continue turning the pages to read more about the contest and how these two superb stylists were able to rise above the rest and let their skills shine through. But this issue is not all about AVENUE; we still give you access and information on the hottest fashion, arts, entertainment and businesses in SL®. This month, read on to find out more about Tricky Boucher and his legendary store, Belleza Skins, a brand that also knows what it means to stand the test of time. Mr. Second Life himself,

Umberto Giano introduces you to yet another hidden gem in the world of interiors, DIGS, a brand that thrives on inspiration and class. Male fashion style expert Boe Cortes opens up this month, and gets daring with “Flight of Feathers” for the men. Men, will you be bold enough to add a little feather and fur to your wardrobe? Turn the page to find out how you can add a little something extra to your look, and still maintain that masculine charm as only Boe knows how to style it. As always, we will continue to bring you the latest, only the greatest, and the finest content Second Life has to offer. Happy reading!

Sensuous Soulstar

Sensous Soulstar Managing Editor AVENUE


Styled by Jesika Contepomi Photographed by Cade Nansen


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Cover Story Couture AVENUE Look 2011

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Featured Designer Bellezza

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Fashion Agenda AVENUE 4 Anniversary th


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Contents

Fashion 34 44 52 60 72 84 100 114 128 146 156 166

Cover Story Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Fashion Icon Nardya Rousselot Trendspotting Featured Designer Bellezza Featured Designer BaObA Fun with Fashion Edge of Style Blogspot Asia Rae Fashion Feature Gizza Model of the month BlackLiquid Tokyoska My Precious Queen Contest Fashion Agenda AVENUE 4th Anniversary Lifestyle

182 196 204 210 218

Interiors DIGS Sports & Recreation Combat Evolution Perspectives Business Feature SmartBots Club of the month Club Graffiti

AVENUE Magazine November 2011 cover Featuring Winners of Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Diconay Boa & Harsh Sharktooth featuring fashion designs by sYs Photographer Cade Nansen

Arts 224 238 246

Media Mojo Chat Noir Studios Arts Feature Thothica Walkway Gallery Inspirations

n.38 11.2011


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Staff

Publisher Assistant Publisher

Jesika Contepomi

Editor in Chief

Sensuous Soulstar

Fashion Editor

Vixie Rayna

Creative Director | Photo Editor

Paola Tauber

Marketing Director

Jesika Contepomi

Senior Marketing Executive

Livia Mastroianni

Marketing Executives

Emlies Xeltentat Xandrah Sciavo Tandra Parx Blaze Petrov

Designer

n.38 11.2011

Rusch Raymaker

Paola Tauber


Augusta Carver Huckleberry Hax Sensuous Soulstar ShaiLi Alex Spruce Canning Umberto Giano Strawberry Singh Vixie Rayna Xandrah Sciavo

Senior Writers

Boe Cortes Brie Wonder Lulu Jameson Seashell Denc Strawberry Singh Vixie Rayna

Stylists

Annough Lykin blackLiquid Tokyoska Blaz Halfpint Brie Wonder Cade Nansen Diconay Boa Kallisto Destiny Lulu Jameson Miaa Rebane Nala Kurka Natasja Schumann Ozz Larsson Paola Tauber Strawberry Singh Tillie Ariantho Asia Rae

AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates Couture AVENUE, AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue 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 Press releases to: editorial@avenuesl.com Ad queries: ads@avenuesl.com

Contributors

Advertising and vendor requests: Jesika Contepomi Livia Mastroianni Xandrah Sciavo Emlies Xeltentat Tandra Parx Blaze Petrov


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Cover Story

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he AVENUE runway came to life with p as contestants from all over the grid com of Couture AVENUE by entering the month, contest hopefuls submitted photograph from designs from some of Second LifeŽ’s m AVENUE district, such as Amarelo Manga, AZU and Stylissimo. From the pool of entries, sever invited to strut their stuff on the live AVENUE chose the lucky finalist to win that round. The c finalists from 2011 returned to the runway in and ingenuity, each finalist presenting two creati contest came to a close, not one, but two luck Couture AVENUE. Please join AVENUE as we charismatic winners, Diconay Boa and Harsch S

ictory

sYs Ange

the 2011


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sYs My Lord

plenty of fierce competition during the last year mpeted for the opportunity to become the face Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Contest. Each h entries displaying their stunning styles created most talented designers housed in the Couture UL, Baiastice, GizzA, LeLutka, Nicky Ree, sYs, ral contestants were selected each month and runway where the audience and judges’ panel competition reached a climax in October as the what was a spectacular show of amazing style ive and unique looks to wow the crowd. As the ky winners were chosen to be the new faces of celebrate the selection of our two talented and Sharktooth.

in vogue

1 Faces of Couture AVENUE

Written by Xandrah Sciavo Photography by Annough Lykin


Xandrah Sciavo: Hello, Diconay! Congratulations are in order for becoming the face of Couture AVENUE! You worked hard to develop two very unique looks in order to secure this prestigious win. What was your inspiration when you were considering what to style for the finale? Diconay Boa: A good model must be able to create styles considering the different types of agencies. To style for AVENUE is totally different than to style for other agencies. We have to be able to look at ourselves and say: “This is totally AVENUE.” So, I would say AVENUE itself was my inspiration!

Westwod! She’s different; she’s eccentric, provocative and irreverent. She creates clothes with political reasons, social critiques and erotic themes using a lot of red, black and other strong vivid colors. She has the ability to mix the young culture with the traditionalism, but always with a lot of intelligence and cohesiveness. The movement is always very important in her creations as well.

XS: I know that we all find different things that inspire us in our work. When you are working on creating the unique styles that you are known for, from what other areas do you draw your ideas? DB: Music is my fuel for everything! I couldn’t live without music; my world wouldn’t be the same. Real life fashion inspires me. Every single art expression, every single fashion show. I’m passionate for life! That’s what inspires me mostly to create styles and as a model.

XS: You have been wellestablished as a model for some time now. Would you elaborate a bit about your experiences and career as it is today? DB: For now, I am pretty happy just as a model, but I was the fashion director at Evane Models Agency before the fusion with Solo Due Project, and I was academy executive at Mimmi Boa Modeling Academy. I had many goals I wanted to reach and my real life wasn’t easy at the time, so I decided to leave those positions. I can’t deny I miss the work backstage! I currently work with AVENUE Models Agency, Passion Models Agency, SW&MB Productions, OGlam, V Models Management, Allure Inc., SoloEvane, Elegancia, Noir, and D’ior.

XS: You mentioned real life fashion as an inspiration. Who are the real life designers you really admire? DB: I am crazy for Vivienne

XS: You have many other experiences, as well, that provide additional ties for you to the fashion world. What are some of the other activities you enjoy?

DB: I couldn’t live without photography in SL®, and that’s something I do frequently outside of modeling. All my photography work has an emotional connotation, a meaning, and a dramatic charge! Another activity I do is to dedicate myself to my poses store, CORPUS. Unfortunately, I don’t release each week, or even once in two weeks due my real life limited time, but CORPUS is my pride. It’s my main project, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I do blog sometimes as well, for blogs such as MAD Image and a one year old project that started with a team of two (myself and Seashell Dench) called CLOSET DISCLOSURE™ (http://www. closetdisclousre.com). I like to explore and be creative; it’s always a good way and a great achievement to keep my SL active!

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Diconay Boa

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sYs Carmen


sYs Stardust

Harsch Sharktooth

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Xandrah Sciavo: Harsch, congratulations are in order for what was an excellent accomplishment: being chosen as the face of Couture AVENUE during the recent Couture AVENUE Look 2011 Finale! What was it that made you decide to enter the contest this past summer? Harsch Sharktooth: I consider Couture AVENUE Look as a very challenging styling contest and just wanted to try out to see how far I would make it. Another reason was that I always wanted to be part of AVENUE models so I saw my chance to get invited if I win. I’m very happy it worked out that way.

HS: This past spring I was nominated for the BOSL best male model award. I will admit I was really surprised by the nomination. But I will say one of my biggest successes has been winning the Couture AVENUE Look contest.

XS: You have been an established model for some time now. What work do you currently do in the fashion industry? HS: At the moment I work primarily as a runway and print model. In the last year and a half since I started, I joined quite a lot of agencies, but recently I focus more on a few but well established ones as I value their professional way of organizing and working. Agencies I’m currently with are BLVD, Passion, SoloEvane, Allure, Inc., and of course now AVENUE, which I am particularly happy about.

XS: On the topic of style, Harsch, you are not the first to have said that success is partially attributed to the degree of one’s unique quality when it comes to look and style. If advising a new model, what would you advise them when it comes to the development of their own style? HS: A unique style is nothing that you can find overnight. It needs to evolve over time by constantly trying out new things. You feel it when you look in the mirror and see you have created something unexpected and unique, and then you can really feel that style is becoming a part of you.

XS: Since being immersed in the fashion industry, what do you consider to be your greatest achievements?

XS: What do you attribute to how one finds success in the industry? HS: I believe that the basis for being successful is hard work. But you also need self confidence to create a unique style and live it. Some will love your style, some will hate it, but that is what makes you outstanding and irreplaceable.

XS: You have been the stylist of many creative looks, and I

know that you are not afraid to combine unusual items or even female items in your styling endeavors, coming up with some real showstoppers! How do you describe the vibe of your own style? HS: My personal style is very avant-garde. We male models often face the problem that there are not enough high quality designs, especially avant-garde creations in SL. To combat this problem, a lot of times I combine female designs with men’s pieces to create a completely unique new look. I love the color black and rarely mix it with other colors, and I love anything with feathers, fringe and fur! I find if sparsely used, it gives the overall look an extravagant flair. XS: Do you have any particular predictions about the future of SL fashion? Where do you see the coming months and years to possibly be taking the industry? HS: I’m very curious where mesh will lead us to. Designers just started with it and some of the outcomes are already really amazing. I see a lot of potential for avant-garde and for extravagant designs that incorporate extreme sculpties. They will no longer only look good on a static picture, but will now look stunning when you strut down the catwalk.


Diconay Boa and Harsch Sharktooth have experienced many great achievements, indeed, and all of those combine into respective careers that they can absolutely be proud of. We thank them both for sharing themselves with us and all of the AVENUE Inc. family is proud, as well, to have them representing us for the coming year as the faces of Couture AVENUE! We are eager to see what the future brings with Diconay and Harsch as a part of it.

sYs Vysion


sYs Raven

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Fashion Icon

Chic

from head to toe

Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Miaa Rebane

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hey say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. If that is true then for this girl, clothes and shoes are a close second. I have to admit that I have not always been a shoe girl in real life or in my Second LifeŽ, but they are inching their way into my heart, heel by heel. For that I am thankful because there are some amazingly gorgeous shoes out there, and when I put them on my feet, I feel sexy from head to toe. Nardya Rousselot of the famous NX-Nardcotix brand creates beautiful high quality shoes as well as one-of-a-kind clothing.


Nardya’s creative sense of style and attention to detail has caught the eye of many fashion devotees time and time again. Starting her SL® journey through the recommendation of a friend, Nardya began exploring this virtual world to see what it had to offer her. She shares her first experiences with building. “My very first build was a replica of a cathedral in Venice. I played with pretty much anything and everything except scripts. I tried making furniture, houses, and shoes of all things (Laughs). Later on, I started making tattoos for friends and you know how that goes, people started suggesting I sell them, so I opened a tiny tattoo store. Then I tried my hand at clothing. I still wanted to make shoes though, so I kind of played with that on my own before I launched my first pairs in the winter of ‘09. There has been lots of ups and downs with real life, moving sims, and moving in real life also, but I never stopped creating, now that mesh is here, the possibilities are endless!” Launching her clothing line first in January 2009, Nardya has been creating edgy and classic designs that would tempt just about anyone. “I try to create everything that I make versatile and wearable with pretty much anything you can think of,” she shares. Finding an outfit that is original and that can impress at

the same time might be a bit difficult at times, but with all of the different styles and pieces available at Nardcotix, that task becomes easier. Running a business has its advantages and disadvantages, but even through all of the challenges I would imagine that the rewards outweigh whatever hindrances occur, such as the pleasure of seeing someone pass by you wearing one of your creations or a customer simply mentioning how much he/she loves the work you do. For Nardya, what she likes the most about running her own store is: “Creating and probably when people recognize your work and them liking it is one of the best rewards.” When she’s not coming up with new designs, she says she just likes to spend good quality time with her family by watching television or just hanging out. “We obviously have our differences and sometimes feel like strangling each other like all families do. (Laughs) But I would definitely say that family is big time important in my life.” And when she is not spending time with her family like a lot of residents in SL, she likes to shop at some of her favorite stores such as LAQ, Coco, Secret Store, Miamai, LeLutka, Elikatira, Icing, GF, Donna Flora, Zaara, and many more.

Not just an ordinary fashion designer, Nardya Rousselot has proven that she is an extraordinarily talented fashion designer in-world. She has pushed her artistic skills in order to create hats, clothing, and of course shoes that stir the imagination. Her great eye for detail and perfectionist manner helps to translate her ideas into reality. With a strong work ethic and passion for creating, Nardya wields her creativity masterfully in order to turn her ideas into original and bold designs that people would love to own. In wrapping things up, Nardya shares something everyone should know: “I always try to give the best quality possible to my customers. My motto is: if I wouldn’t buy it I won’t sell it. I also try my best to give the best customer service possible. Many times I am not able to do so, but I do try. And I would like to say thank you so much for all your support!” There are many styles and colors to choose from at NXNardcotix. If you are one that likes several options, then you will love what you see. Nardya’s beautiful collections are awaiting you. You can visit the Nardcotix blog at http://nardcotixsl. wordpress.com. And make sure to stop by the NX-Nardcotix Mainstore at Reek 157.85.24.

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Trendspotting

Written, Styled, Modeled & Photographed by Brie Wonder


dress: Nylon Outfitters | Cherry Blossom dress tights: mon tissu | Favorite Wool tights shoes: Shiny Things | Kelsey pumps necklace: Atelier AM | Flashy necklace ring: Paper Couture | Arrow Head cocktail ring earrings: Paper Couture | Antique Filigree ring hair: Arata Shouten | Hair 046 skin: LAQ | Lovisa Milky makeup: Cheap Makeup | Cheekbone Contouring & Miss Priss Lipstick


jacket: mon tissu | Wool Blend jacket skirt: mon tissu | Highland skirt socks: En Svale shoes: mon tissu | Sloane pumps necklace: Paper Couture | Diamond Collar rings: Paper Couture hair: Arata Shouten | Hair 031 skin: LAQ | Lovisa Milky makeup: Cheap Makeup | Cheekbone Contouring & Miss Priss Lipstick


top: Vive9 | Dakota Tied Up tee skirt: PaperBag | Knit skirt tights: mon tissu | Favorite Wool Tights shoes: mon tissu | Sloane Pumps jewelry: Paper Couture | Encrusted Emerald set hair: LeLutka | Mourray & booN | Shaved hairbase skin: LAQ | Lovisa Milky makeup: Cheap Makeup | Cheekbone Contouring & Miss Priss Lipstick

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Featured Designer

man The

behind

Belleza’s success


Written by ShaiLi Alex Photography by Kallisto Destiny

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elleza means beauty in Spanish and it so accurately reflects the work of Tricky Boucher and his store, Belleza Skins. With over 36,000 group members currently, Belleza Skins is one of the most successful stores in Second Life®, and a good reason is because all of their skins are amazingly realistic and people love it. “Wonderful creations come in every collection, and their skins are fantastic,” says Honey Endrizzi, one of those 36,000 fans of Belleza.


Before Tricky Boucher started creating skins in SL®, he was working on paint schemes for Nascar Sim racing and Factor cars, and crossing over from cars to the human body was probably the most difficult challenge, and it took him a great deal of time to learn how to work with the human form. “When I started making skins, I didn’t necessarily have a goal of creating a brand or business. I like challenge and found that making skins here is a good one. The goals I create for myself aren’t that difficult, in my opinion; I set them so I can reach them easily and then move onto the next one once I’ve accomplished what I set out to do,” says Boucher. To understand a bit about his success, there are some things you should know. As Boucher explains: “A lot of it was luck. There are things I think that might have helped Belleza become so successful though, it might be easier answering that. First, I think it had a lot to do with timing, when I released my first male skin the male market hardly existed, and I had something different from everything else that was out there. Also, right from the beginning I had my own style and that really helped to establish Belleza; I think you can pretty easily identify my skins. You know, in 2008, it was much easier to advertise and to reach out to the general Second


Life users, and I think that was key in getting the Belleza brand so well-known.” Boucher works alone on his skins, but he also has a great team who help with other aspects of the business, and, as he says, without them he wouldn’t be where he is now. In speaking of his team, Boucher lists them as: “My accountant and my true inspiration Emanuelle Bury, Shyla Diggs who works as my shape maker and stylist, my photographer Zoe Demar who comes up with wonderful product and advertisement images for Belleza and my manager Felicity Blumenthal who deals with everyone when I am working. They all do wonderful work for me and I am never able to thank them enough!” For the moment, he is currently working on a final female skin release and then will be taking a short break, as he is moving in his first life. Once settled, Boucher says that he will analyze the current situation with SL and see where he goes from there. Belleza does not have a specific style. Boucher relates that his goal is a hybrid one, as he is trying to create more realistic skins that will appeal to more customers. He also feels that his success has not changed anything: “I’m still very much the same person as


I was before. I always want to improve with each new release, and still find I am anxious as hell when it comes time for it. So no, nothing changed really. I actually see more changes in my real life than in Second Life. I have been able to learn a lot from my experiences here, and it has helped me to grow as a person”. Finally, when asked what we can expect from his work, Boucher shares the following: “My hope is that my customers know the time and hard work that goes into each of my releases. That I pride myself on the details in my skins, and I will not release anything unless I believe it is the best I can do at the time. As I can’t always please everyone, I do my best to reach, and please as many people as possible.” And that is why so many people love Belleza. To add more realism and beauty to your Second Life, visit Belleza 129.62.26.


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Featured Designer


BaObA

Written, Styled and Modeled by Vixie Rayna Photography by Brie Wonder

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exquisitely

ne stop in Petalos Clary’s BaObA hat boutique and you may think that you have died and gone to millinery heaven. The entire shop is filled with the most deliciously decadent designs one can imagine. For any serious fashionista, the urge to spend bucket loads of Lindens™ will be irresistible and you will leave poor but deliriously happy! One cannot pick just a single hat. You arrive and in that moment you are completely awed by the wonder before you. The color range is impressive, from elegant white to bold blues and everything in between. There is a style for every taste, from simple chic to over-the-top drama. Hats really are a must-have accessory, and a hat from BaObA is a status symbol upon your head. For the latest releases stop by the blog at http://baobaworld. blogspot.com.


hat: BaObA | La Boda hair: Donna Flora | JENNA v2 skin: R.icielli | EOS pale_LB eyes: MADesigns | NATURE lashes: [LeLutka] | 2011 long jacket: LeeZu! | Sissy Cardigan skirt: Kyoot | Antiqued Autumn tights: LeeZu! | Maria earring: [MAGIC NOOK] | Baroque ring: Donna Flora | DARIA gloves: LaGyo | Zarema shoes: lassitude & ennui | Doll

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Fun with Fashion

Asian inflfLuence Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Vixie Rayna

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pice up your fall with fashions from the Orient. This month’s Fun with Fashion is all about Asian influence, and the stunning Japan Kansai sim is the perfect backdrop to the styles. Take your own journey using obi belts, modern shapes, and Asian patterns.


Joy Lapierre, known for her amazing work at Euphoria, has launched a new brand, SHI. The line is modern with a twist, utilizing clean lines and unique accessories. The entire collection was received with an astounding response during its launch at Modavia Fashion Week. Each outfit made a statement, but Chinoi stands out with the off the shoulder kimono style blouse with obi sash.


hair: booN | MKTO12 hairbase: [LeLutka] skin: R.icielli | EOS eyes: MADesigns | NATURE lashes: [LeLutka] | 2011 long outfit: SHI | Chinoi earrings: bellballs/PIDIDDLE | Fringed Cuff gloves: LaGyo | Zarema ring: Donna Flora | Daria shoes: NX-Nardcotix | Shana Fusion


Make a statement in the rich red tone of the R.icielli jumpsuit and military jacket; nuanced shades of red look chic and fashion forward. The EOS skinline from the same brand is an ode to any vogue girl with its soft finish and subtle yet striking cheekbones. Your feet will die of happiness in the special edition origami textured Shana shoes from NX-Nardcotix. The hammered red toe plate gives a bit of an edge to the standard pump.

hair: booN | MKTO12 hairbase: [LeLutka] skin: R.icielli | EOS coat: R.icielli | GABRIELA military jumpsuit: R.icielli | TETIS earrings: LaGyo | Eques nails: je suis/na誰ve | V2 Basic ring: Kunglers Extra | Lotus shoes: NX-Nardcotix | Shana Origami Special Edition


hair: booN | MKTO12 hairbase: [LeLutka] skin: R.icielli | EOS eyes: MADesigns | NATURE lashes: [LeLutka] | 2011 long fur coat: Osakki | RAINA legging: Osakki | LAI earrings: PIDIDDLE | Ivory Claw nails: je suis/na誰ve | V2 Basic clutch: House of Hucci | Knuckle shoes: SHI | Sanguine All poses from Manifeste.

Bring warmth to your journey with the desert fox coat from Osakki over geometric embossed leggings. Kaysha Piers found her niche with her latest collection. Bold statement jackets and geometric shapes graced the runway this season. If you love unique, the new Sanguine stacked booties from Shi will be a must-have addition to your shoe collection. This fashion forward look keeps you warm and stylish as brisk nights approach. Take your own international adventure in fashion. Runways around the world inspire us to create our own interpretations of style. Jump online and browse the collections to find your own inspirations to make each look your own. Until next month... remember: Fashion is FUN!


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2011 we got it covered.

Join AVENUE Magazine. Proud to be your favored Second Life速 publication since 2008. Sit back and enjoy. www.avenuesl.com | www.issuu.com/avenue


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Edge of Style

Flight of feathers Written, Styled, Modeled & Photographed by Boe Cortes

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t’s been over a year since I last played with couture styles for AVENUE, so you can imagine the excitement when I started shopping around. Second LifeŽ male fashion has certainly come a long way in creative styles and concepts with designers such as Ladies Who Lunch, Tableau Vivant, Gizza and the incredible couture hair styles from MADesign. Whilst these styles may conjure up strange looks in real life, in Second Life you could be mistaken as being part of an exhibition on a sim. So whether you prefer feather over fur, or vice versa, why not find what makes you fly?


skin: [Tableau Vivant] | for 4.44.444 hair: MADesigns HAIR | TIA hairbase: MADesigns HAIR | Tintable Hair Base collar: Ladies Who Lunch | IT top2 pants: GizzA | Fusion C H I C Zebra Pants waist: VERO MODERO | Alto Belt shoes: Adjunct | Lace-Up Boot bracelet: Miel | CHUM bracelet


skin: [Tableau Vivant] | for 4.44.444 hair: MADesigns HAIR | FIFI hairbase: MADesigns HAIR | Tintable Hair Base collar: [Tableau Vivant] | FurCollar pants: Ladies Who Lunch | Harem Jersey Pants shoes: hoorenbeek | Mullingar Boots belt: Yorim’s F | Sash Feather Belt necklace: PIDIDDLE | Cervidae Necklace bracelet: BB | Anywhere Henge Cuffs


skin: [Tableau Vivant] | for 4.44.444 hair: MADesigns HAIR | TERA hairbase: MADesigns HAIR | Tintable Hair Base jacket: GizzA | Fusion C H I C Zebra pants: VERO MODERO | Alto Man Pant belt: Ladies Who Lunch | Harem Sash shoes: hoorenbeek | Riding Boots necklace: PIDIDDLE | Ivory Claw Necklace

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Blogspot

outfit: MIA


AMAI | Chod Collection Yama and Dakini skin: Glam Affair | Gio LWL edition

in nomine

Asia Rae Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Asia Rae


outfit: Glam Affair | Ibis skin: Glam Affair | Gio


outfit: AZUL | Naomi skin: Glam Affair | Gio jewelry: Donna Flora | Xenia set


jacket: Gizza | Lordly Jacket pants: Gizza | Fusion Chic Pants hat: LeLutka | Anzhelina skin: Glam Affair | Amelie gloves: Shi Lure


hair: Bliss Hair skin: Glam Affair | Gio eyewear: Crie Style | Sprung necklace: MANDALA | Milky Way Choker


outfit: X | FrouFrou Silk skin: Glam Affair | Mary hair: Maitreya | Dylan jewelry: MANDALA | Kabuki Bracelet, Handring and Nails

You can visit Asia's blog at http://asiaphotostudio.wordpress.com.


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Fashion Feature

Gizza | Velvet Jacket Jacket Upper Gizza | Maxi Skirt Pants Styled, Modeled and Photographed by blackLiquid Tokyoska


Gizza

extravaganza Preview the full Gizza collection at http://issuu.com/avenue/docs/ exclusive-nov11


her: Gizza | Fusion C H I C him: Gizza |Albion Styled and Photographed by blackLiquid Tokyoska Modeled by blackLiquid Tokyoska and Cade Nansen


Gizza | Coat Outfit Male Gizza | Comfy Boots Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Cade Nansen


Gizza | Autumn Gown Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Miaa Rebane


Gizza | Western Outfit Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Boe Cortes


Gizza | BFW Woolen Coat Outfit Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Kallisto Destiny


her: Gizza | Sport Pant and Safari Tank him: Gizza | Sport Pant Male and Suede Shirt Male Styled and Photographed by Brie Wonder Modeled by Brie Wonder and Liam Netizen


Gizza |MonoKini Styled, Modeled and Photographed by Strawberry Singh


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Passion & Style Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Cade Nansen

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lackLiquid Tokyoska has been a force to be reckoned with ever since she started Second Life®. Never one to give up, she has tried her hand at various projects within the SL® fashion community. Her drive and determination to give everything that she does 110% is what keeps her one step ahead and gets her noticed. Her four years spent in this virtual world have given her many memories and experiences as a model and so much more. With so much recognition around the grid, it is no surprise that she is AVENUE’s Model of the Month. I had the chance to speak with her about what her life is like as a model.


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Model of the Month


Augusta Carver: How did you first hear about SL? BlackLiquid Tokyoska: I was introduced to SL by a friend who needed help with a University program, so I tried it out and got her an A+ and ended up loving it from that point onward. AC: Why did you choose to become a model? BT: I had modeled in real life and wanted to find a way to express my creativity in SL. I was looking for a sea change after having been a successful business woman in SL for 2 years prior to commencing modeling in July 2009. AC: How did you hear about AVENUE Modeling Agency? BT: Being familiar with AVENUE Magazine, I soon discovered that AVENUE was one of the Premier Modeling agencies on the Grid. AC: How long have you been with AVENUE? BT: I have been with them since October 2009 when I studied at AVENUE Academy. AC: Tell me about your very first show with AVENUE. BT: My first show with AVENUE was my AVENUE graduation show; I was so nervous and excited because there were so many people in the audience and I was still a very new model.

AC: Are there any goals you have set for yourself in the SL modeling world? BT: Yes I plan on developing myself as an enterprise and evolving the BlackLiquid brand as a supermodel, business, sponsor, creator and entrepreneur. AC: How did you end up working as a photographer with AVENUE and for how long? BT: I was invited to be a photographer for AVENUE by Rusch and Jesika after they’d seen a large body of my work and were impressed by my style, professionalism and quality. I believe I have been an AVENUE photographer since August 2010. AC: What drives you to succeed? BT: My success is due to the fact that I work very hard and learn everything I can. I like to be impressive, to offer a point of interest, a stimulus, to shock, motivate and rearrange people’s thinking. My success is also driven by inner urges to play my “A game” at all times; I love the adrenaline of being on top. AC: Outside of modeling and blogging, what do you like to do? BT: When I occasionally get free time I love to be creative and to spend time with the people I love, and with my Meeroos.


AC: Do you have anyone who inspires you, such as a role model? BT: John Lennon. AC: What has been your biggest challenge in the SL fashion world with regards to modeling? BT: People’s close-minded attitudes, fakeness, and general negativity and jealousy. AC: What is your favorite aspect of modeling? BT: I love all aspects of modeling! AC: If there was one thing in SL you could do beside modeling and photography, what would it be? BT: I would like to try my hand at being a Meeroo auctioneer because it seems like a lot of fun. AC: If you could give one piece of advice to models and aspiring models, what would it be? BT: Be authentic; if you aren’t weird don’t try to be, just be yourself and don’t copy other people. Make sure you understand what you are doing. There is nothing worse

than a model trying to attempt something they don’t fully understand. Do your research and “Know your Script.” Models that succeed are original and interesting in their own right and never clones of someone else or of something cool. AC: Name one thing people might not know about you if you never told them. BT: My best friend passed away on Saturday, October 15, 2011 and he was a little Siamese cat called Luna. BlackLiquid has become wellversed in a multitude of areas during her time in SL. She has shown that with persistence, unique and original style, and a good head on your shoulders, anything can be accomplished. As a model, blogger, photographer, and even business owner, BlackLiquid is sure to keep making a big impression all across the grid. You can find out more about BlackLiquid at her website: http:// blackliquid.tumblr.com.

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My Precious Queen Contest

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Roadto Royalty


Written by Xandrah Sciavo Photography by Natasja Schumann

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ver the last several years, Agnes Finney, the creator of My Precious design house, has established herself as one of the most sought after designers on the grid when it comes to beautifully-made, elegant designs in ladies formalwear and cocktail designs. In 2009, Ms. Finney began the My Precious Queen contest, an opportunity for individuals who embody the ideals of the brand to compete to become the face of My Precious and the royal ambassador for the design house, serving as a representative on the catwalk, in print advertising campaigns, and at other various public

events. My Precious is known for charm, class, and sophistication in design, so the one selected as My Precious Winter Queen this coming December will be chosen because she shares those qualities as well as a flair for unique and refined styling that enhances the beauty of My Precious designs. The current contest round will culminate in the selection of My Precious Winter Queen 2012, a lucky lady who will have quite a journey ahead for her. In addition to the prestigious title, the winner will receive cash prizes, a voucher for AVENUE Models Academy, sponsored gifts and gift cards,

and a photo shoot for AVENUE Magazine. She will also have the opportunity to serve as the hostess of Dare to Dream (http://mypreciousqueen. blogspot.com), a blog in which she will highlight My Precious designs and events from her reign. With October’s selections behind us, there is only one more month left in what has been an amazing and exciting competition. AVENUE Magazine is proud to present the three finalists chosen for the month of October. Read on as we introduce you to Mimosa Nowles, Vivienne Coppola, and Wynter Frostwych.


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Mimosa Nowles

Mimosa Nowles first appeared on the grid two years ago as an aspiring model, having been drawn to Second Life® after viewing virtual media that highlighted the SL® fashion industry. Her interests also expanded to include photography, a hobby that she hopes will turn into an additional career as she ponders the prospect of opening her own photography studio. An outgoing and kind lady always known to lend a helping hand, Mimosa most values the experiences she has shared with the friends, loved ones, and virtual family she has found in-world. She enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the many shopping opportunities scattered all over the grid. Mimosa most enjoys vintage fashion, admiring styles

reminiscent of the 1940s and 1950s. For styling endeavors, she often draws inspiration from silver screen divas such as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn. Favorite My Precious Design: “I have so many, but at the moment, my favorite would be the one I wore for my entry pictures to My Precious Winter Queen 2011, which is Belle in Red.” Thoughts about winning the My Precious Winter Queen crown: “Well, I think that everyone has a chance to win My Precious Queen Winter 2011, but of course there can only be one winner. I think the one girl that stands out and represents the

brand to the best of her ability will sincerely win the title. I think uniqueness, style, and personality play a big part in any contest. But I also think it’s determination that plays a big part to win such an honorary title.” Personal Styling Advice: “The best tip that I can give the readers is to just be yourself and have your own style. Don’t try to copy someone else or be someone else. Just be yourself. When I style an outfit, I always look myself over a million times before I go anywhere. Style and editing are two key factors in creating your own style and to stand out from the rest. Always make sure your hair, lashes, clothing, etc. are prim perfect. Always take great pride in who you are!”


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Vivienne Coppola

Vivienne Coppola is an outgoing and adventurous lady who has found a wide range of interests and activities that keep her very busy when she is not occupied with her modeling career. Vivienne works as a store model for Miamai and Ezura, and she is represented by several modeling agencies. This student of AVENUE Models Academy and Passions Academy also has a passion for the fun and daring, enjoying activities such as skydiving without a parachute. Vivienne is an avid collector of Burner Engine Works motorcycles, and in addition, she assists with the creation of customized avatars for the purpose of virtual education. One might often find Vivienne socializing with friends, as well, or visiting music venues

to enjoy the vocal talents of any of the various artists entertaining across the grid. Vivienne values the friends she has made from all over the globe, and she says that to find one has so much in common with people thousands of miles away makes one realize that the world is a lot smaller than they may think. Vivienne describes her personal style as feminine and classic, but she likes to mix it up by experimenting with new looks.

real life, but SL gives me the opportunity to do this.”

Favorite My Precious Design: “My favorite design is Vera Floral in Amethyst. I can quite often be a real girly girl, and as a child I always dreamed of wearing a big puffy ball gown to a magical event or ball. To date, I’ve not realized that dream in

Personal Styling Advice: “If you’re going to need to adjust prims on your clothing/ hair or any accessories remember to take a copy first. I can’t remember the amount of times I have forgotten to do this only to have to go and buy another outfit.”

Thoughts about winning the My Precious Winter Queen crown: “I entered the contest because I love to style clothes. I never imagined I might win, and therefore, the very thought of actually being crowned the winner is not something I’ve thought about, but I know it would be a dream come true and an amazing accolade.”


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Wynter Frostwych

Wynter Frostwych is an aspiring model who stepped into the industry after being selected as one of the final four finalists for The White Armory’s 2011 model search. A student at SoloEvane Modeling Academy, this ambitious lady is interested in developing her skills and also has an interest in future work as a stylist or blogger in addition to a career as a model. Wynter is a selfdescribed “kid in a candy shop” when it comes to the SL fashion scene and enjoys the challenges presented by styling when it comes to creating the perfect look to complement a designer’s outfit. In regard to her personal styling taste, Wynter prefers clothing that is classic, elegant, soft, and feminine. Her childhood dreams of becoming a fairy princess or beautiful queen

have had an influence on her style choices today, as she enjoys the beauty of regal gowns and dresses. Wynter has been in-world for the previous two years exploring sims, dancing, shopping, and honing her styling skills. She credits SL for helping her stretch her creativity and for presenting the ongoing challenge of taking risks. Favorite My Precious Design: “This is a really hard question to answer. I think I would have to say her Glamour Gown. I had to have it when I saw it. I was drawn to the gold slim fitting dress. It really accentuates the curves of woman. It is elegant, sleek, feminine, and alluring all at the same time. When I put it on, I feel like a golden goddess.

Thoughts about winning the My Precious Winter Queen crown: “I am thrilled beyond belief to have made it as a finalist for the Winter Queen. Naturally, I think given my name, I am the best candidate to represent MPP as the Winter Queen. (Laughs) But in all sincerity, it is a great honor, win or lose. Should I be selected, I will give my very best to represent the creative talent of Agnes Finney and My Precious.” Personal Styling Advice: “Develop a personal style that best fits you. Some of the best styled avatars on the grid experiment with fashion to create a signature style. They don’t stick to one designer or wear an outfit as it is displayed. They mix and match designs to achieve their look.”


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Fashion Agenda

AVENUE

Models

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celebrates its 4th anniversary in true AVENUE style Written by ShaiLi Alex Photography by Tillie Ariantho

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magine a place where the waters float with clouds, mingle with gears and steel tubes and form a landscape of fantasy, fashion, culture and technology, where sofas fly and you feel limitless. Sounds like a dream right? But it’s not; this is the result of a combination of creativity, boldness and virtual tools that provided a magnificent event on October 30, 2011 at the AVENUE anniversary celebration.


This month AVENUE Models celebrates its 4th anniversary in Second Life® and 3rd Anniversary for AVENUE Magazine. “AVENUE first began as a modeling agency that grew into many things when a year later we established AVENUE Magazine, AVENUE Models Academy and AVENUE Marketing & PR. Couture AVENUE, our latest addition last year, celebrates its first year, and we crown our first Couture Look Models (one male and one female) that will appear on our November cover,” says Rusch Raymaker, CEO of AVENUE Inc., and also the DJ for all of the festivities during the celebration.


When AVENUE first began, there were but a handful of modeling agencies and magazines. Four years ago, AVENUE Models grew from a modest agency with big ambitions to stage fashion show productions that were unprecedented in creativity. From a heaven-themed runway set in the clouds, AVENUE Models has spread its wings and has had a major influence on molding what the fashion industry is today in SL®. “It has been a tremendous journey for AVENUE where we started humbly in a small parcel of land: a studio, an office and a simple runway in the sky. Today, we look back and acknowledge that all the hard work and efforts have established us as one of the leading creative agencies” says Raymaker. AVENUE is, undoubtedly, the best when it comes to creativity, high quality and dedication to the virtual fashion world!


This star-studded event culminated in a show featuring many of the major brands in Second Life, including: AD Creations, Faster Pussycat, Gems & Kisses, Gizza, L+N Signature Designs, Ladies Who Lunch, Solidea Folies and sYs. Inspired by fiction and poetry, the show turned both of these artistic creations into their Steampunk interpretations, in a creative fashion show featuring the outstanding AVENUE models. Raymaker did not fail to mention the importance of sponsors for the great success of the brand. “Everything that AVENUE grew into could not have happened without the support of designers, a variety of businesses, business partners like GOL and Royal Properties in the past, numerous supporters, and even Linden LabŽ.


Each and every one of them has supported us in our creative pursuits and endeavors to add value to the lives of many Second Life residents. From providing jobs to education, entertaining experiences to community building, helping businesses grow and growing new talents, we have networked residents from all walks of life all over the world and provided a platform...a springboard for the betterment of all. We constantly celebrate the possibilities and wonders that Second Life can offer and hope to continue to do so for a very long time. I would also like to thank each and every person that has worked within AVENUE for which none of my vision, and theirs in collaboration, would have come to fruition without their dedication and creativity.�


The big day began with a pre-show with raw and soulful sounds by Buenos Aires’ musicians, Engrama, who always seem to captivate each and every audience with their melodic sounds. Our eyes were then delighted to a show of beautifully decorated, graceful models on the catwalk wearing looks of sophistication, full of great creativity, and that, combined with the landscape, made this a fashion show, the likes of which have never seen before. After enjoying each designer’s artistic interpretation of literary Steampunk, guests stuck around to dance the evening away at another fabulous AVENUE after party with tunes by DJ Rusch. Everything about this event screamed truly amazing, and only in AVENUE fashion.


One thing is clear, for us, the writers, photographers, models, choreographers, readers, and even teachers that love AVENUE and are moved by fashion, this was not just another date in our lives, but it was the assurance that all we do is truly worth it. Congratulations to us all here at AVENUE! Find out more about AVENUE Inc., including AVENUE Models, AVENUE Magazine, and AVENUE Marketing & PR at www.avenuesl.com.


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Interiors

Relaxing with your new

DIGS


Written by Umberto Giano Photography by Brie Wonder

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ooking for a chair? Not just any chair, but one with a nice wingback you can stretch out and relax in while reading. How about a bookcase to go with it? Not just any bookcase, but one with several texture choices and rich sculpted leather-bound volumes and several reading animations. Then don’t settle, and don’t go any further than DIGS.


In 2009, Iris Maskelyne opened a fledgling furniture shop in Second Life®. Applying her knowledge and love of design and art to the task at hand, she taught herself how to create rich textures and sculpt eye-pleasing virtual shapes and forms. “The creating itself seemed, at first, like the biggest challenge, but there is an inherent learning curve with every new medium. Like picking up a pencil or a brush, it takes time and practice to learn how to translate what’s in your mind’s eye and put it down on paper (or prims). Similarly, it takes time to learn the limitations of the medium, though I think Second Life affords designers a lot of freedom in many respects,” she says, describing her early days as a Second Life designer. Iris continued to hone her craft, and eventually, with the encouragement of friends, DIGS was born. When you first step into DIGS, it’s immediately apparent that this is not your average furniture warehouse. The most readily visible difference is the vignettes Iris arranges throughout the store, where her stylish pieces are available as sets or sold separately. The exceptional style and quality of the merchandise strike you. DIGS sells more than furniture - DIGS sells a lifestyle. As your eyes scan the showroom and settle on varying


pieces, the superiority of the merchandise becomes manifest. The textures are well-thought out and beautifully rendered, like in the Langley Side Table in white-wash finish. Very few have achieved a realistic yet elegant whitewash in SLŽ, but DIGS’ subtle whitewash is beautifully subtle and perfectly distressed, revealing glimpses of an aged and grayed wood patina and hand planing which blends so well with the whitewash, it is hard to discern exactly where the finish ends and the rendered wood surface begins. Iris consistently gets her textures right. The woods have just the right amount of visible grain; the painted finishes display the perfect amount of distress. Her metal textures achieve an exquisite luster without being too shiny; even her rattan (as in the drawers under the Milton Sofa) displays just the right amount of woven detail without becoming distracting. By virtue of her textures alone, Iris ranks among the best furniture designers on the grid. Likewise, everything at DIGS is rendered with expertly drawn shading from the contours of the inviting throw folded over the Marlowe Sofa and breaking at the floor to the curves of the Couture Mannequin (available in canvas, tweed, calico and stripes). Nothing is flat; nothing


seems one-dimensional, instead conveying all the richness of depth you’d desire from an accomplished designer. DIGS also offers a wide range of furniture styles from contemporary, traditional, and modern to vintage and shabby chic. The range of styles betrays the educated and artistic eye of its owner. “I take my inspiration from everywhere. As a person I tend to be very aware of my surroundings, sometimes almost to the point of distraction. I’ve been fortunate to live and study in some of England’s most beautiful locations, both urban and rural, so I try to draw from what’s around me as much as possible. Second Life itself continues to swell with creative talent, and the online culture and trends are as much a resource as the real world.” Iris explores her deep admiration for the modern aesthetic in her “Design Icons” series, in which she lovingly reproduced pieces like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair and 20th century master architect Jeanneret’s often copied leather and chrome LC-2 chair and LC-3 sofa (DIGS Grand Confort series). While many versions of these classics exist on the grid, DIGS’ renditions of these iconic pieces raise the bar for those who can only hope to follow. “I have a great deal


of admiration for many of the prolific architects and designers of the 20th Century, several of whom heavily influenced the ‘Design Icons’ series, but the stroke of inspiration can come from almost anything,” Iris notes. Another inspired piece Iris enjoyed making and is quite proud of is the Antiquarian Book Shelf. “I adore all things aged and well-crafted, and I have a particular love for literature. To me, the item evokes a sense of closeness, history and intimacy, not just in the poses but in the design and decoration of this miniature scene,” says Iris. Filled with vintage books and leather bound tomes, vases, candles (that can be lit) and even a moth specimen display, the Antiquarian Book Shelf includes almost 20 top quality animations on an easy to configure menu with a rezzable book prop, chair and rug for leisurely reading seated or sprawled across the rug, alone or with a partner. Likewise, all furniture at DIGS includes top quality animations with an array of poses scripted into each item, providing customers with an amazing range of function and versatility. Iris describes her philosophy, “I’d like people to be able to imagine themselves using it. It’s one thing to appreciate the aesthetics of an item, and quite another to actually live with it.


When a piece of furniture fits well into a room, and a lifestyle, then it’s served its purpose.” With furniture, lighting and decor designed to suit every need imaginable - bedroom, living room, kitchen, bath, outdoor spaces and study - as well as a series of 35 prefabs (residential, commercial and skyboxes) DIGS provides much more than simple chairs and tables. From the wine and cheese served from the Connoisseur’s Cheese Board to the quaint Old World charm of the painted brick Bordelon Cottage, it is clear that DIGS sells a lifestyle that is not only functional, but fun and stylish. For your next exquisitely inspired piece, visit DIGS inworld at Terra Felix 140.129.24.

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Sports & Recreation

The Evolution of Combat Fighting Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Ozz Larsson

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ntering the Combat Evolution sim, I found myself in a city reminiscent of China Town. The tall city buildings, the strings of Chinese lanterns hanging from above…I was impressed. The sim’s theme is Blade Runner. It is obvious that the creator, Abramelin Wolfe, put a lot of work into the look and design of this sim. I was curious from the start about how Combat Evolution actually worked. According to Abramelin Wolfe, “Combat Evolution isn’t really a role play game in the typical sense that a lot of role play games are in Second Life®, and Devils Moon isn’t really a dedicated Role Play Sim (although at one stage that was the intention).” After exploring I was able to speak with Yelca Nirvana, the manager of CE on Devils Moon to find out more about how this fighting sim works.


Augusta Carver: So can you tell me what Combat Evolution is? Yelca Nirvana: It is similar to DCS, GOR, or Samurai’s Island fighting, which are all fighting things...some with shooting, some with weapons, etc. Combat Evolution is kind of like that, only lots better. The animations in CE are simply the best. AC: What makes it the best? YN: It is animations to start for sure. Then it really requests some skill. You need to use both hands to use it. Also is not only that you move to hit on arrows, but you must use HUD for that. Others you usually just activate it and walk around with what you hit as well. It takes practice. There are also 18 different styles to choose from. AC: Are there certain levels you need to go through? YN: Not really to go through, anyone can fight anyone, but here, we do offer training to teach how to use it in the best ways. Each style kind of demands a different tactic of fighting; some are crazy in moving, some are slow, etc., but all HUDs do the same damage. It’s mostly about how good you become at each style, and usually you are better with some and worse with others. (Laughs) AC: So you get the HUD and you go through combat training? YN: Yeps. You buy HUD,


and yes, you should go through training. If you want to, you can train, and if not, it’s your loss. (Laughs) Then we have tournaments, etc. AC: Do you have to do the combat training for a certain amount of time or do people just do what they feel like? YN: Well they can do what they like, but if they do it wrong, they will never be good. AC: Are there instructors or trainers to help a new person out? YN: Yes, there are 6 of us on the sim. We have training tools here on the CE sim that no one else has, and can’t get. Training is not something you have to do. Some buy the HUD just because they like something about it, and never go into a competition or anything. Usually they want to spar with others...so mostly people just spend their time fighting and having fun. AC: And they can explore anywhere on the sim and spar or just hang out and practice? YN: Yes, the sim is open to anyone. I don’t force anyone to use CE only either. The main thing here is CE, but it is not only one. There is paintball and quite a few other things to do and more to come. AC: Do you hold tournaments here every month?


YN: At least once per month, yes. The thing I want is for people have fun with this. Before we didn’t get people who just wanted to have fun, but who came to get money. And that is not really the goal of CE. Yes, you win and you will get prizes, titles, a trophy, etc., but if your goal is to fight for only that, then you maybe¬¬¬ should try something else too. AC: Is there anything you would like to tell people who are thinking of trying CE? YN: Just that it is simply the best fighting invention in SL®, with lots of options. It’s not only CE damage it detects, you can set it on SL damage, you can set it on push, and you can even use it as an AO. Yelca says that more new and exciting things will be coming to the Combat Evolution sim so that players can have even more fun. “There will also be a monster’s park on the sim. You can fight them with CE and do quests.” Whether you are a first timer or regular when it comes to fighting sims, I think you will find something you will like about CE. It is a fun experience to try alone or with friends. Visit their sim to join in on the fun at Devils Moon 98.102.254. Take a look at their website for news on upcoming events and more information at http://www. combatevolution.com.

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Perspectives


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text ive

ong Written by Huckleberry Hax Photography by Annough Lykin

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ovember marks the five year mark for me in Second Life®, although it wasn’t as Huckleberry Hax that I first entered the metaverse. That avatar – born, as it happens, as a work avoidance strategy to the task of writing a fifty thousand word novel in one month (National Novel Writing Month, or ‘NaNoWriMo,’ will be well in swing by the time you read this; either I’ll be on the way to adding another hastily written book to my collection or exploring some other new virtual world) – is long ago retired. Needless to say, the metaverse was a different place back in those days. The thing you rezzed into broadly looked like a human being insofar as it had all the limbs in the right place, but that was about as far as the comparison was valid. Clothes looked like they’d been spray-painted on by a novice graffiti artist (who was drunk). Hair looked like discoloured modelling clay. And so on.


What hasn’t changed in all that time is the use of text communication. Huck himself was born in the midst of the voice beta period, during which there was a great deal of discussion about this upcoming change to the main grid and how it would affect interaction. Opinions varied, however one view back then was that it would be a rubbish thing and this particular bandwagon was one I readily leapt aboard. To a certain degree, I’ve revised very considerably my views on voice. I use it quite a bit now for such events as poetry open mics, the weekly improvisation event I go to (Predicate, on Wednesdays at 3:30pm SLT; you should go) and my own book readings. I also like to chat in voice to individual friends occasionally. To a certain degree, voice is now something so commonplace in SL® that we don’t really notice or question it any more. But has it – as back then the proponents hoped and the objectors feared – taken over as the primary form of communication in SL? Without doubt, it has not. Text is still the way we mostly introduce ourselves to new people and develop any friendships that result. It’s not until we know someone really well that the possibility of voice becomes discussed – and there are plenty of people who don’t

have the inclination or desire even then. In some respects, it seems a little strange that this should be the case; sure – old hacks like me who were around in those pioneering, pre-voice days might find transitioning to the miracle of speaking a little hard, inflexible Luddites that we are; but what’s the problem for the newbies? After all, it’s not as though speaking to someone with your voice is a particularly hard thing to do - we do it all the time in RL. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to unlearn, so it should be as natural as, well, talking to someone. And Linden put a lot of work into making voice an immersive experience in order to facilitate exactly that – not only do you hear avatars’ voices in the stereo field according to where they’re standing, but their volume decreases the further away they are from you. Just like RL talking. So why hasn’t it caught on? Well, actually, it isn’t just like RL talking at all. For starters, when you’re looking face on at your avatar, the person to your left sounds in your right ear and vice versa. And, as far as volume is concerned, this seems to be far more an outcome of other people’s mic settings and quality than anything to do with their distance from you, resulting in that cheerful flirtation with

eardrum perforation that happens when you turn voice all the way up because the person to your left sounds like they’re whispering in the vague direction of a microphone somewhere in the general vicinity of their zip code and the person on your right then sneezes. And then there’s the dropouts, when somebody tells you something really important (it always happens when they’re telling you something really important) and the key bits are substituted with short periods of silence (or, in some cases, everything you should have just heard, but at two or three times the speed). In the end it’s just too much bother. What’s also missing in the understanding of SL voice implementation is the simple fact that when you’re talking face-to-face with people in RL, it’s not just their voices you’re paying attention to. You’re also attending to all those nonverbals such as their facial expression, the way they’re sitting or standing, who they’re looking at, what they’re doing with their hands as they speak and – a key one here for me – whether they’re keeping an eye on their watch whilst you talk. The absence of all this information is something you can just about get away with in a one-to-one context (hence the success of the telephone), but


it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the more people you add in. Personally, I find group voice conversations a nightmare. There’s nearly always a dominate person or pair, there’s nearly always at least two outof-sync conversations going on at the same time and there’s nearly always someone who’s mic is so quiet that by the time I’ve brought up the voice list and individually turned them up the conversation has somehow moved onto a different topic and my well-constructed, frankly hilarious quip has to be thrown upon the rubbish heap of wasted effort and failed social opportunity. Text communication, on the other hand, is a greatly more laid back affair. Whilst it’s true that the missing non-verbals which can make voice communication harder than expected practically cripple any attempt at serious conversation in text (which is why I do prefer voice for these discussions), much of our talk in SL via this medium is actually quite light-hearted and leisurely, and is largely unaffected by this deficit. Paradoxically, in fact, our conscious awareness of the limitations imposed by text have resulted in both the creation of conventions that get around the absence of nonverbals (such as smiley faces or that RP technique of describing observable behaviours, for

example “Huckleberry Hax walks to the nearest wall and bangs his head against it”) and the allowance of a great deal of leeway in composition, relevance and timing. Along the way, we’ve picked up some entirely new expressions as a result of text’s rule over real-time digital interaction. “LOL” is perhaps the most famous of these, an acronym so useful and distinct as a word in its own right that it finally got an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary this year: “used chiefly in electronic communications... to draw attention to a joke or humorous statement, or to express amusement.” I think we can do better than that. David Mitchell, for example, in his Soapbox broadcast earlier this year defined “LOL” as meaning “I acknowledge that you have made a joke and wish to express my enjoyment of it,” pointing out that the alternatives - “very funny,” “ha ha,” “most amusing” - could all be taken as sarcasm. I’ve even had a go at defining LOL myself a few years ago in my novel, Be Right Back: “LOL – Yes, that was indeed amusing.” I doubt I need to mention the horror expressed by the socalled language pedants at the ‘official’ adoption of such new words into our languages. The point they miss, of course, is that

language is the thing in which we live and it lives its own life right beside us, evolving to meet the needs of the contexts in which it’s used and the people therein using it. Text is, of course, not the possession only of SL, but in SL we have the ability to write about what we’re jointly seeing or hearing – to experience something in words together. As technology improves (see my column last month), this might end up a thing of the past. So be it. But whilst this era is upon us, we can still make it a golden. Speaking of LOL and its associated family of laughter related acronyms, a few weeks ago one of my friends in SL spilled coffee on her keyboard, resulting in the entire bottom row not working. Whilst awaiting the repair date, we had a lot of fun playing the “guess what this is meant to say” game and one of those missing-letterwords ended up making it through to regular subsequent conversation: “LAO” (“LMAO,” but without the M). It’s a great world to live in where one friend can make another laugh through the typing of three letters. I really mean that. In these days of increasingly sumptuous visuals, let’s not forget SL is also still a great big language playground. Most importantly of all – if for no other reason than it won’t always be this way – let’s not forget to play in it.

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Business Feature

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here are a lot of businesses and shops here in Second LifeŽ, and running those said businesses is no easy feat, for the most part. Glaznah Gasser, the man behind SmartBots has realized this and managed to create a way to lessen some of the hassle needed when it comes to running a business. With a plan put together, Glaznah was able to establish SmartBots and offer it to eager residents’ in-world.

Written by Augusta Carver Photography by Blaz Halfpint


Augusta Carver: What is SmartBots? Glaznah Gassner: SmartBots is a tool to manage SL® groups and Second Life bots. We’ve started from the simple inviter, and now provide a wide range of the services: automatic group notices and IMs, rental system integration, various devices (like automatic AntiSpam device). his is one aspect of our business; we provide tools to manage groups and SL bots. Currently we are testing the Bot Programming Language (SBSL) - it will allow business owners to make the smarter and interactive bots without complex programming or maintaining their own bots. AC: How long has SmartBots been in business? GG: The project was launched in January 2009. AC: Can you tell me how you came up with the idea? GG: Well, as you may know, I run Earn2Life project, and we have a large in-world group, more than 20,000 members now, and I was using another product to send direct invitations to our members. That worked for a while, but we were faced with several problems shortly thereafter. In a few words, we’ve launched the service because we need it. We are good at creating nice and handy tools, why don’t we allow other people to use it?

AC: Why do you think it is beneficial for a business owner or non-business owner to purchase one of your Bots? GG: We have products both for small and large businesses. Our prices are still the lowest at the moment; it’s just L$79 per week. It’s very important for small businesses to stay in touch with loyal customers. Our Group Inviter service allows them to gather all of their customers to their SL group. The business is growing, and the customers’ group grows as well. The larger group brings new problems: you need to monitor the chat and automate notifications. Our services “Group Chat” and “Notices” help in doing that; they cost additional L$79, but it’s worth it. Finally, large businesses require the well-decorated and nicely interactive office. This is the moment when that owner should think of personal bots. They provide all of these services, and also make the location come alive. AC: This all sounds like a lot of work; do you run this business alone? GG: No. There are currently about 15 crew members working together. However, I’ve created this business alone. SmartBots was my personal toy - and then it grew up into a serious project. It’s impossible to run it alone now.

AC: What is your favorite aspect of running a business? GG: Thinking of something new, an amazing new idea, and then seeing that customers across the grid love it and use it. Money and revenue are just the helpers to maintain the business. Helping my customers to run their SL business - that’s what I’m working for. AC: Aside from working, what other things do you enjoy doing in-world? GG: I enjoy looking at people who take Second Life seriously, and places developed by such people. You know, some people have the quickand-dirty composed avatar, or ugly in-world home or office. And other residents spend hours tuning up their avatars, they setup locations like if it were their real-life home. I enjoy seeing such people and talking with them. They make Second Life beautiful and add souls to this virtual world. I spend my time in SL mostly working anyway. Last time I visited an in-world club was three months ago... and that was the business visit. AC: Do you have any advice for business or future business owners? GG: Yes. The most important advice is to know that other people take their business very serious. Yes, he may


spend L$500 per month and earn L$800, but this is his/her business. And you always have to respect this - there are no “unimportant” customers and business owners. If you respect your partners and customers, pay attention to their needs, then you will go much farther. AC: If there was anything you would like people to know about SmartBots, what would it be? GG: I would like people to know that we can do anything they want. We love completing custom orders and expanding our services to do more. Seems that’s all. Most of the people who join SmartBots stay our customers forever. We have had a lot of people working with us since beginning of 2009. Glaznah seems to have his eye on what is important and necessary for any SL business to thrive and grow. Using an easy to manage system, SL residents can use their SmartBots to send automatic group notices in-world, manage group chat, act as an SL model bot, and more. With more than two years in business, SmartBots is becoming more and more well known. No doubt Glaznah and his team will keep coming up with ideas to further improve on them in order to help businesses even more.

Take a trip to view SmartBots for yourself at their main location at DuoLife 246.82.43. You can also find out more about them by visiting their website at http://www. smartbots2life.com.

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Club of the month

Written by ShaiLi Alex Photography by Blaz Halfpint

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hat do you think about the combination of fashion and music? If it sounds good to you, then you must visit Club Graffiti, an underground rock venue inspired by the 1970s and located in The Village. The Village is modeled after Greenwich Village in New York City, and home to some of the greatest couture boutiques. It also is inspired by one of the most famous clubs in Greenwich Village, CBGBs, Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, a music club formerly at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.


Club Graffiti where fashion and music meet


It is also where the whole punk and hardcore movement of the 1970s began. The club is owned by Mankind Tracer and Kalli Birman. Recently, I was able to sit down and speak with Birman as she shared more about the history of the club, and its place here in Second Life®. ShaiLi Alex: What led to the creation of Club Graffiti here in SL®? Kalli Birman: Club Graffiti was created because my business partner, Mankind Tracer, is originally from New York and has always wanted an underground type club in Second Life. As Mankind is also my best friend, I had to make it happen. SA: And how did this idea come about? KB: The idea arose from Mankind and I sitting around talking about New York and that he had performed at the famous CBGBs. SA: Why is it called Club Graffiti? Whose idea was the name? KB: Well, the club is modeled after CBGBs of NYC; however, we could not use the name CBGBs because it is still a legally owned name in first life, so we wanted a name that really evokes the spirit of New York: Club Graffiti.

SA: Is there a certain crowd that the club is mainly for? KB: The club is really for everyone to enjoy. It is situated on a 1/4 sim in a district we called The Village which was inspired by 1970s Greenwich Village. SA: What are the main attractions of the club? KB: The main attraction of Club Graffiti is the live music. We like to hire the best SL has to offer such as The Follow, Maximillion Kleene, and of course, Mankind performs every Sunday night at 9 p.m. SA: What can we expect from the Club Graffiti? KB: Expect dirty bathrooms, live music, and good times. We want to keep with the spirit of the original CBGBs and that was to have great live music concerts. SA: Do you have any new projects in the works? KB: Our next big project is Mankind Tracer’s PLB V (Peace, Love & Belief) 60 SimMega Concert which is scheduled to be held Nov. 6th, 2011. It is a 2 hour live video concert stream to 60 sims at the same time. This will be the 5th PLB concert Mankind has put on and each year it grows; last year we had 52 sims. SA: To what do you attribute the club’s success?


KB: Well, both Mankind and I have good business heads. We understand the principles of marketing and do our best to get the word out to as many people as possible for every concert. SA: How do you feel about the success of the club? KB: Of course we are both very pleased that people enjoy the club and that we can support other musicians in this way. We have received a lot of great feedback from our visitors and love that we can share this with them. The next time that you’re in the mood for some quality live music and a feel of good old New York, New York, visit Club Graffiti at Good Day Sunshine 185.75.21.

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Media Mojo


e d i s in Chat Noir Studios Written by Sensuous Soulstar

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any are familiar with the work of Second Life® residents Kate Zeminoba and Sergio Querilo, but you may be more familiar with the work of their company, Chat Noir Studios. As the creators of amazing machinimas, Chat Noir Studios has been active in the world of film for a number of years, and blogging about the world of filmmaking on their site, http://chatnoirstudios.blogspot.com, since 2009. While there are a number of awe-inspiring films to their credit, including “Incubus,” “Dream Ride,” and “Death in Venice,” this issue, we focus on their latest machinima appropriately titled “The Gift.”


The gift was written by Zeminoba (also known as Kate Lee), with the music by Querilo (also known as Sherwin Liu) and directed by both. It follows the story of Phil Carey, voiced by Marc Cholette, a corporate lawyer at the height of his career, who also happens to be an aspiring composer in the midst of slowly losing his ability to write music as a result of newly onset physical impairments. While Carey deals with his own personal struggles, he is secretly admired by a lonely young barista named Emily, voiced by Sonya Cross, who struggles with memories from her past as well. However, Carey, oblivious to the adoration of Emily, spends each night sharing his thoughts and speaking with the ghost of his ex-wife, Marie, voiced by Virginia Maddy, yet this one is a twist in its own right. And while these three are the main protagonists in the film, there are other supporting characters that give a new life to the film, such as Emily’s friend and “sister” figure, Zinnie who also works with her at the coffee shop, and who, like any older sister, pushes Emily to find companionship, even if she has to intervene. And while we follow Phil on his journey of dealing with his newfound physical impairments, we see other antagonists and key players that fill in the gaps and provide the viewer with


a new sense of what is really happening, and what key pieces of information that we are missing, such as Phil’s heavily sarcastic boss, Keith Mandelbrot, who seems to continually try to get Phil to put everything aside for his work. There is also Greg, who openly admires Emily, but well, hasn’t quite figured out how to take no as an answer. “The Gift” keeps you on the edge of your seat as the viewer as the recurring themes and perfectly placed thematic images make one wonder whether there will be a joyful or tearful ending. The questions continue to plague you as you continue to watch. Why does Phil continue to stop on the bridge in the midst of traffic? Will Phil ever feel that he has escaped the machine? And while the film does an excellent job of building up the tension and captivating your attention, it is almost as if the big ending is somewhat of a letdown. While it is an unexpected twist, it still leaves many of the questions unanswered. It’s almost as if the writer had written too much of a mystery into the film and couldn’t quite find a way to bring it all together, but instead, just found an easier way to wrap up the biggest loose ends. This film features a stellar cast of voice actors with a wealth of experience and the perfect accompaniment of perfectly


inflected vocals to amazingly stunning visuals. Other actors in the film include: Melanie Greaves (nee Afterthought), Tyre McAllister, Kid Millions, Ricky Grove, and well-known SLelebrity, Lauren Weyland lending their vocal talents to the film. Make sure to stop over to Chat Noir’s Youtube page to watch “The Gift” to see what you think about this mysterious story at http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=5NIZinB5dww&f eature=channel_video_title. And to keep up with the latest works and writings of Chat Noir Studios, visit their blog at http:// chatnoirstudios.blogspot.com.

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Arts Feature


to

A place learn Written by ShaiLi Alex Photography by Brie Wonder

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cience, philosophy, art, good music and interesting people; who doesn’t like all of these things? To make it even better, you can find all of these in one place: Thothica Walkway Gallery sim. Here, many residents that are interested in the arts and sciences meet, discuss, and relax all while listening to good music.


Members of the community sponsor discussions, exhibits, and projects on topics such as philosophy, poetry, psychology, culture, mathematics, economics, music, computer science, education, and life in Second Life®. “Thothica is a place that provides opportunities for people to enjoy the intellectual pleasures, and visual art is among the intellectual pleasures - and it’s one we can offer even if nobody else is on the sim” says Simulat Almendros, one of the great artists of Thothica. The sim is composed of several parts which are among are a big library of in-world books and a walkway gallery, where you can currently see exhibits showing the drawings of Eleanor Medici. “Something happens when I translate my artwork into virtual reality—it is even magical. Maybe it is because in the physical world, the color is dulled by pigments. Maybe it is the scale that can be adjusted to the space, thus making a show sing in harmony and balance. Whatever the reason, seeing my work displayed in Second Life makes my heart leap. It gives the images a dramatic impact I always hope for,” says Medici. They have many scheduled events each week at Thothica, and if you just come and hangout for awhile you will usually find that someone interesting comes by in only a short while. “The

people who like Thothica are well informed people looking for interesting conversation among friendly people. The design idea was a park with ruins. We wanted to provide lots of niches for conversation without having buildings.” says Almendros. Some of our moderated discussions have included: Classical Music (Aelthing Aeon); Digital Ethnographers (Tredi Felisimo); Ethical Dialogue (Sunfire Langer); Evolutionary Psychology (Reflection Freenote); The Examined Second Life (DanD Rau & Sazzy Oh); Existentialist Project (Sunfire Langer); Philosophy Cafe (Simulat Almendros); Philosophy of Math (MarkMonet Thor); Poetry Cafe (WindWalker Wemyss); Reading Aloud (Elaine Lorefield and Yresim Arkright); and Sonnets (Charles Esharham). And that’s not all; Thothica helps the art community to publicize their work throughout SL®. “Since my first showing in April of a drawing series and the launch of my own gallery, the enthusiastic receipt of my work is also heart-energizing. Artists get battered around a lot in real life by conditions beyond control. But here in Second Life, perfection is attainable in presentation, at least. Ideas can be debated. But beauty of presentation is something everyone can relate to. Since that initial show, I have received three invitations to exhibit in gorgeous places,” relates Medici.


Thothica Walkway Gallery clearly exemplifies the best of what SL has to offer: fantastic environments, the facilities to meet and discuss and a multitude of places to sit, think or have some fun. The sim itself is run by Jen Dix, Elaine Lorefield, and Simulat Almendros, and the gallery represents the potential of in-world media. To find out more about this exciting place, check out the Thothica website at http://www.thothicasl.net/ thothpeople.php, where you can find their online agenda of events. You can also visit the sim at Clemson University Dev 187.183.38.

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Inspirations

artwork Š Marco


the look

Curated by Paola Tauber


artwork Š KarlH Resident


artwork Š Max Butoh


artwork Š sanam Sewell


artwork Š sare


artwork Š Photos Nikolaidis

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AVENUE Magazine November 2011